Day+14

Coming up.

Yesterday went well.  Drip-feed recovery.  I’m feeling increasingly well.

This morning I really feel ready to walk out of here.  I’m tired but energised and ready to move around; to cook and eat good food, to sit in my garden, to feel the sun and wind, to breath sea air, to exercise and build strength and balance under the great skylights at the studio.

I’ve passed the danger zone I’m sure.  I’m two days free of the high temperatures and sweats and shivers so the flu virus is retreating under the antibiotics and now my growing immune system.  My lungs a almost clear, the coughing sporadic.  I can breathe deeply and regularly and can talk for short conversations now without erupting.

My blood oxygen levels are good again as are my blood pressures.

The mucositis is abating – I have no mouth soreness and no ulcers or bleeding gums, my throat is pain free and I can carefully swallow liquids and solids without pain.  I’m eating solids, what I can face.  It’s not just what’s on the plate but my sense of taste has gone and everything tastes soapy, salt and sugar don’t register anything but I can pick up the acid of orange juice, otherwise its a taste wasteland.  It’ll come back.

I can stand and walk around easily and do my Qi Gong exercises with precision and strength and steadiness in my limbs.  My balance is good – I can stand on one leg and raise the other knee and arm in unison in a controlled and smooth way, 10 times each side.  I can run through the first half of my Tai Chi short-form without difficult, and manage a foot dominoes circumnavigation of my room with only a couple of dab-downs, in reverse too.

I’m certainly feel fit enough to go home, but my blood counts are still too low.  They jumped up again yesterday and my neutrophils are up to 0.71/L, out of the low red-alert limit of 0.5/L.  I’ve just had an encouraging talk to the nurse taking my morning bloods and she thought once my neutrophils went over 1.0/L the team would consider releasing me all else being well.  I await this mornings blood results with interest!

Meanwhile not much to report except I feel good and begin to look a little more like myself, or at least like a high-dose chemo patient – tired, thin, creased, dry.  I’m sure I can bounce back – just get me home!

I’ve been enjoying good sleep for four night thanks to a half-dose of Zopiclone which just keeps me down of 6 hours, but I’ve been supplementing it by listening to recordings of the rainforest, tropical storms and the Australian Outback on my earbud headphones and it’s a joy to drop off with these sounds filling the space in my head.  YouTube is full of such recordings, some several hours long, some seem genuine live recordings and others are composites I think, I haven’t fully researched it. Very relaxing and evocative…

It’s been a busy morning and I’ve had to move room again so pack everything up and at lunch time Bibi and Maria trundle my stuff round to the Guthrie Ward – it looks just beautiful out there and its good to stretch my legs and breath some air, albeit through a mask.  The Guthrie is a private care ward and I’m being accomodated there to allow a new high-chemo patient to have my room.  I should have remained in one the haematology wards but a lady in one of the other rooms who the team needed to shuffle round so all patients were in the care zones required refused to leave her room.  So here I am in the relative luxury of the Guthrie, experiencing a night of first class hospital accomodation!  But such is the massiveness of the Kings College Hospital building programme, I have scaffold outside my winow and still no view of the sky.  I’m not complaining.

So my bloods are up again – neutrophil count at 0.91/L so almost there.  The team are hoping that tomorrow I will be above 1.0/L and they can then release me.  I spoke to ward sister Bibi about it and she has said she will try to get the meds I’ll need at home organised tonight, so that if I do reach >1.0/L they will be able to get me out the morning.  Wow.

And the other wow is that Mike A. and Selene’s Dragon arrived in Mounts Bay early this morning and came into Penzance Wet Dock at 11am, tied up next to Joff on Holly Mae and a stone’s throw from Paul on his boat Falcon’s Flight.  It looks like a perfect day down there with high blue skies, and I imagine Mike A and his crew Steve are exhausted but elated to have sailed from Scotland to Cornwall in 3 1/2 days straight.

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It’s time to get home!