Darkness before dawn
It was a dark night indeed. I woke up with a sense of dread. Muni’s body was extremely hot and her limbs were shaking.
“Oh, no!”, I said. “This isn’t supposed to happen”. How can she have a fever now? After every precaution we’ve taken? 5 injections of Neupogen to promote white cell production, 3,000mg of Valacyclovir daily to prevent infections, no going out, no visitors during the “dip”.
But a fever she had. First, 38.7 degrees and then, despite two Tylenols, 39.5 degrees. All throughout the day, fighting fever and fighting to NOT go to hospital. Not to have multiple needle pokes to have blood drawn and saline solution and drugs injected into near-dead or non-existent veins. Not to be isolated from the world. Not to be with noisy neighbours, smelly rooms.
Finally, after the Blue Jays had thrashed Shayne’s Atlanta Braves 12-4, and after Lewis Hamilton had won the Canadian Grand Prix and 8,000mg of Extra Strength Tylenol had not done their job, she finally agreed to go for a leisurely Sunday drive downtown and maybe to the hospital.
Efficient as always, within a couple of hours, Muni had been poked and prodded at TGH Emergency, seen by now-familiar nurses and doctors and diagnosed — for the third time — with Febrile Neutropenia and Anemia. Disappointingly, the White Blood Cell count was 0, and the Red Blood Cell count was 68. No wonder she was fighting a fever and was dizzyngly tired and fatigued!
The kids showed up just in time as my head was throbbing from the tension. And, as our kids are wont to do, they livened up the atmosphere and sent me back home.
Overnight, I’m thinking: Could it be that the chemo drugs have knocked down all the bad cells and are now zeroing in all the good cells? Or, is the cancer so aggressive that we are losing the battle. We will have to wait until Wednesday to see Dr. Tiedemann about the results of the bone marrow biopsy.
You’ve heard the expression that it is darkest before dawn. Well…
Sabrina stayed up all night with Muni and they ended up in this beautiful new ward for head and neck injuries (huh?). Just as the blood transfusion was finished, Muni’s cell phone rings. It’s Dr. Tiedemann.
“Oh no!” Said Sabrina. Why is he calling today? Is there a problem? “Mrs. Premji”, he said, “I have some good news for you. I have reviewed the bone marrow test results, and there is no sign of lymphoma. And, the myeloma cells have reduced as well.”
Yay! The Lymphoma has been beaten and the Multiple myeloma has been knocked back.
We said Shukran tasbih (prayers of thanks) and then celebrated…with a grape popsicle!
We still have some ways to go, starting with: Get Muni out of the hospital, then deal with further treatments for Myeloma. But, we thought we would share this joyful news with you!