It doesn’t seem like it should be possible to update a blog so many times in one day, when all you are doing in living in a single room. We don’t leave this room, usually not even to find food. We’re entirely contained in room 703, 7th floor East. And yet, there is constant eventfulness. I wish so much didn’t happen in one day. All of the thoughtful “how to kill time” gifts – I wish Phenon had used all of them and was bored to tears. But we’ve barely touched any of them.
So, after all of the IV portal adventures, Phenon napped. A well-earned, “loopy” nap. Then my parents arrived (Grammy and Papito). They visited with us very quietly while Phenon continued to sleep. Then came my brother (Bobby), my sister-in-law (Tania), and my nieces (Fiona & Kayla). Phenon woke up to party. Turned out my family was showing up to celebrate my birthday a few days early because nobody would be able to make it to the hospital on Halloween (in case we’re still here) or because we’d all be home exhausted and not in the mood for a party (in case we get to go home by then). So, they were all apparently here to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t know that ahead of time, but Phenon had talked to them in the morning. They had been planning on bringing me birthday cake, but she reminded them that pumpkin pie is the dessert of choice for my birthday. So, in tromped the gang. Phenon was alright for several minutes after their arrival. Then she got hiccups. With each hiccup, her chest tube hurt more. And then the nausea hit, and didn’t pull its punches. I went to the nurses, and they thought perhaps she hadn’t eaten enough today (true) and that the pain meds were therefore making her feel sick. So we tried some applesauce while everyone was visiting. Then she had to get some additional medicine by mouth, which tasted bad. She said she didn’t feel well and needed a bucket. I barked at everyone to leave the room, and Phenon vomited, painfully. But she didn’t want everyone to leave. She recovered, slowly and painfully, and the “party” resumed. We narrowly missed an actual lighting of candles in the room (good catch, Tim, what with all the canisters of oxygen and the oxygen feed running by Phenon’s side when it isn’t in her nose). Phenon ate a piece of pumpkin pie.
Then nurse Chris (of earlier posting fame) stopped by. What an awesome guy. He isn’t working in our section tonight, but knew it was the last night he might be able to see Phenon. He decided to stop by to say he knew she’d be alright, and knew that the whole thing stunk, because he had felt that way when he’d had cancer. Chris had a sports injury where he broke an appendage, and when he went to the hospital to get fixed up, they said the broken bone was due to his cancer. Wait, what? The cancer had hollowed out his bone. He was 17. He required 3 months of chemo and then some radiation. Six months later he was back on his feet. Said the best day of all of it was when he got his port back out. That’s when he knew he was done. Chris said he wouldn’t lie, chemo was gonna be awful. But she’d get through, just like he did. It was really, really kind of him to come say those things to Phenon. He went from all-around nice guy in my eyes to a total daggone hero for coming in and giving her a boost. Especially today. When there’s no way to sugar coat it. My family was pretty impressed. We finished celebrating, and then everyone left. Then she vomited again.
Afterwards, she seemed relieved and almost cheerful. She brushed her teeth, twice, and laughed and joked and harassed me the whole time. Then she decided that with the new port and the angle of the chest tube, she could get out of her hospital gown and put on some real clothes. Phenon made it through getting a shirt on – hooray! But the effort of that made her totally sick to her stomach again. So now she is sleeping. I just want to pick her up, wrap her in a blanket, and take her home. Enough of this shit. She has been brave, she has been terrified, she has been happy, she has been sick, she has been sweet, she has been unintelligible, she has been stoned, she has been silly, she has been needy, she has been tired. Tim and I have also been all of those things today too (although Tim had the additional bonus of being the one with the strong stomach and the greater resistance to fainting today). All of those things have happened today, all in one little room.
P.S. In the time it took me to login to the wifi network here, she has gotten sick again. That magic wand to make all of this better now? That’s overdue. Get on it, people.