She went to hospital with hair on her head.

Bony growth has stopped. Yay.
But disease has progressed in her marrow. No! Not again!!
She’s quite unwell. When do you want to start? Tomorrow?
Premeds. Long lasting antiemetics. Diuretics.
Drip, drip, drip. Hyper hydration. Weigh the output.
Familiar friendly faces, in a way we’re home again, but not where we want to be.
Ahh, that wasn’t as bad as it could be.

Checkup time, 39 degrees, needing packed cells and platelets. What? That’s not supposed to be.
A simple temperature and a little sniffle. Not so bad.
Neutrophils less than 0.01. Sigh.
Neutropenia and a temperature. Not so good.
Drip, drip, drip. IV hydration. Antibiotics.

Hours turn to days. Tired bleary eyes. Fractured thoughts. Fatigue.
Caffeine to see the day through.
Neutrophils 0.02. Sigh. Come on marrow.
A day, an hour at a time. It’s out of my hands. It’s in His!
Comforting. Hugging. Rewarding. Negotiating. Encouraging. To eat. To take meds. To do another procedure.
Persistent temperature continuing.

Sniffle, sniffle. “Can I have another tissue”.
Hair out in clumps. Hair in food. Hair in mouth. Annoying.
Drip, drip, drip. Another bag of platelets.
Frustrated. Annoyed. Shave it off!! Ahh, now it’s prickly.

Drop offs, pickups, groceries, washing, cooking, cleaning. Routine doesn’t stop.
Move that meeting, cover me for that. Sorry I need to just take time off. To focus, not to juggle. Extend my leave.
Ask for help. Get overwhelmed. Loved.
Neutrophils 0.06. Sigh. Not counting chickens. Come on marrow!!

Full name. Date of birth. Does she have any allergies?
Panadol. No. She has her own, it’s in her box, the strawberry flavoured stuff.
Crush that tablet. Swallow this one. Mix the capsule with Lemon yoghurt.
Drip, drip, drip. Another bag of packed cells.

Mango smoothie, yum. Three sips in. I’m full. Sigh. It was worth a try.
Pink milk for breaky, sure, whatever to keep the NG away.
OJ spilt again. Change the sheets.
Washed clean hands, dry cracked knuckles. Moisturise.

Day 10, temperatures stop, not counting chickens. Time to wait and see.
Marvel movies pass the time.
Craft and games with volunteers. Agrocardo!!
The hunt for Mickey and Minnie and a giant avocado.
It’s not a mouse, rat or rabbit, it’s a Bilby!!

Day 12, neutrophils 0.23, eating ok. Bag of platelets. Home 🙂.
Hot shower. Ahhh. Comfy bed. Sleep.
Back to not committing. Not knowing. Just doing what we can.
Restore, refresh, recuperate, renew, relax. Breathe.

A full kitchen instead of the microwave down the hall.
Yay, fresh fruit and nuts, no longer waiting for the cart to come around.
Bacon.. Mmmm, bacon and fresh eggs.
Beeping machines, nurse call bell replaced with sounds of neighbours in their yard.
The heat. The dry. The warm sun.
Eat child eat and drink! Put on weight to avoid the NG.
Stop. Refresh. Relax. Rebuild. Prepare for it all again.

She went to hospital with hair on her head, and came home with it in a bag.

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