‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’ .. not sure if this saying can be applied in all difficult situation. Or atleast for those 11 days .. the most difficult time of my treatment. Not sure if you would enjoy reading this post. But tough times should never be forgotten.
9th May – our first wedding anniversary. The day was wonderful and filled with surprises. My treatment was going well and I had only 3 cycles of chemo left. But as I always say, happiness doesn’t last forever and so it is so valuable. I was feeling a little unwell so I took a medicine and tried to sleep. Early in the morning, when my mom woke up she realized I was not doing too well. I had high fever, so my mom gave me some antibiotics and asked me to rest. I was on pain killer and antibiotics for few days. During chemotherapy, the immunity system is on a total challenge. I was getting weak and my body was in pain. I couldn’t rest due to pain. 3rd day and no change in temperature. I still had 102-103 temperature. My parents were worried so they called up my Surgeon. He asked me to come over to the clinic for a checkup and for my blood test. Things looked fine with a minor infection. So I was prescribed some more antibiotics.
5th day and I still had fever 102-103. My pain was getting worst and my body was absolutely weak. I couldn’t step out of the bed and if I did, I would collapse. My mom had to help me move. I and mom did not sleep for last 5 nights. My parents got more worried. So my Doc was called again. He wasn’t expecting that the fever with antibiotics would last so long. So I was asked to be in the hospital for examination asap. On examination, my doc suggested I should be hospitalized and kept under observation for 72 hours. If the fever doesn’t subside in next 72 hours, then it would be a major concern.
When unwell, the patient is never given any chemo drug. So I had to skip the chemotherapy cycle for that week. Multiple blood samples were taken. Tests for typhoid, pneumonia, malaria etc were done. Since the body was so weak, all the test had some part of it as positive. Docs were getting confused and my state was getting worst. I was put of different antibiotics. The medicines were very strong and my body was getting weak day by day. I had no energy left and couldn’t eat. I could hardly talk – something I loved doing.My respiratory organs were not functioning well so I couldn’t breathe normal. I started getting asthmatic attacks. I was put on external supply of oxygen. My family started getting tensed day by day. I looked miserable with pain. 72 hours had passed but still no change in body temperature. Since none of the antibiotics were working, the Doc wanted to perform some more test. I went through sonography which looked fine. Then the next test was a CT scan. They did notice some congestion in the chest but that could not be a possible reason for the infection. My Doc had a doubt about my port as it was the only foreign organ in the body. Blood sample from my port were sent to a special lab for culture test.
In this course of time, I was already given different antibiotics for malaria, typhoid and pneumonia with no positive progress on my health. I was monitored more frequently and body temperatures were checked every 2 hrs. My Doc was waiting for the test results as he was worried that the port could be a cause of the infection in the body. My mom had hardly slept for last 7 nights. She was always alert day and night for me and also taking care of the house. At times, I got worried about her health. But hats off, she is power.
My dad would get tea in the morning and be around for a while. My bhabi would give me company during the day and let my mom go home and take care of the daily house work. She was closely monitoring my treatment. Mom would try finishing her work as soon as possible and would come to me with good food. My sis and bros would visit often. My sis from Dubai was in touch with my Doc on my progress. R was constantly in touch with me and family checking on my health. I am sure, he was worried cause I could hardly speak to him although I had lots to talk. My in-laws and friends were equally worried and praying. They would call often and check on my health. Everyone was praying day and night. I did not lose hope and knew Allah would help.
8th day with fever and zero energy left. Around 23 hours at night, I got a major asthmatic attack. I could hardly breathe and had blood running from my nose. I had my younger bro and mom along. My bro ran to call doctors for help. The night shift doctor gave me some injections and the attack was controlled. For the first time, I was losing hope. I couldn’t handle any more pain. I was tired of being in those 4 walls. I told my mom and my bro ‘I cant fight through this anymore. If Allah has decided and my life is meant to be short, then let it be. I cant put in more efforts nor see you all in so much pain’ and I was in tears. My mom hugged me tight and said ‘Allah is just trying patience and your strength but wont let you alone. You have fought through this, and would come out of it’. My mom was in tears too.
9th day with fever. My Doc had my test reports. The port did have some bacterial infection. He came to me, examined me and said ‘T, we have to remove your port. I know your concern. This is equally disheartening for me as a Doc to remove your port. I have planted more then 600+ ports, but never had to remove one during the course of treatment. You are the first patient going through it and I cant see you in more pain. We will have to remove the port. Nurse, get T ready for the surgery’. I didn’t know what was happening. My mom was at home and my dad, bro and bhabi were around. My Dad went to the Doc and my Doc had to take him out cause my Dad couldn’t control his tears. My Dad, the strongest man I have known was in tears. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of removing the port. It had become a part of my body and made my chemo cycles lot easier. And if the port is removed, then how do I take the remaining 3 chemo cycles – through hand ?. The thought made me more nervous. I had to speak to my mom and R. I called my mom, she was on her way to the hospital. She said, ‘Don’t worry all will be fine’. I had to speak to R before entering the operation theater. I tried calling him couple of times but it was too early in the morning and R probably had his phone kept silent. I couldn’t reach him. So I called my eldest SIL and told her, I have to undergo a small surgery and have the port removed. I could sense, she was tensed but still tried giving me support over the phone. I also called my BIL who is a doctor who knew my case extremely well and have been a great support.
So now I am in the operation theater to get my port removed. I had my bhabi along in the OT. I was given local anesthesia. I was totally active in the operation theater. I kept talking to my Doc while he was performing operation. When nervous, I talk a lot. It helps me relax. I could feel something moving and being pulled out from my body. I told my Doc, ‘Can I see the port after all, it made my life easy’. I saw the port and I looked cleaned. I told my Doc, ‘Doc, the port looks so clean and you say it is infected.’. My Doc laughed and said, ‘T, I won’t forget you as my patient entire life. How can a person talk so much in the operation theater. I wonder what R must be going through’ and we all laughed. I had couple of stitches during the surgery. My Doc assured there wont be any fever after 48 hours.
I was bought back to my room after the surgery. I felt weak so slept for a while. R called, he was dead scared as he had couple of miss calls from my end and from his sis’s phone. He spoke to my family and was told that I was doing better.
My body temperature started dropping and I felt better. The hospital staff was extremely happy to see me recover. Some of the staff was wonderful and took good care. I would always remember them. I was asked to rest for a day so my chemo could be planned.
11th day – after resting for a day in the hospital, my chemo was planned. This time it had to be through hand. Although nervous and scared but I kept praying. My chemo cycle went fine, with some pain in my hand. It did turn blue but not as bad as I thought. And my bro rushed to the hospital with a wonderful news, he was blessed with a baby boy. I was soo happy and so wanted to hold him. Truth, the new bundle of joy was a blessing and my lucky charm. After my chemo, I was allowed to go home.
I was terribly missing home and never felt so go to be back home. I had good food and good sleep. Finally my mom could sleep peacefully after 11 nights. I had read this somewhere “God cannot go everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”. So true !