Another set back. Yesterday Mom woke up with a dry, sore throat that we thought (hoped?) was a result of the dry air in her room. This morning it was still there, a little bit worse but by tonight, it was bad. So bad that she couldn't swallow her pills. The nurse will take a culture tomorrow morning to see if it's an infection. Either way, it sucks. She's already so uncomfortable, and now this. Her immune system is compromised, so it's not surprising that she would catch a bug, but it's just bad news and we all hate to see her so uncomfortable.
This morning was the first morning she couldn't get breakfast down. No matter how lousy she felt, for the past two weeks, she has always been able to eat a good breakfast. She may not have eaten much the rest of the day, but breakfast was solid. Not today. Today she took two bites and was sick. The nausea diminished throughout the day; she was only sick in the morning and spent the rest of the day fairly un-queasy. But she only got a few bites of lunch and dinner in. The nurse practitioner (who is awesome, by the way) ordered her another fluid IV, which she hasn't had to have in about a week. But she's not getting enough fluids in to keep her safely hydrated, so back to the IV.
The physical therapist noted that she was stronger today than yesterday. I mentioned to Ross that the past two doses of systemic chemo that she had were closer together than they will normally be (Wednesday, then Monday, when moving forward it will be only Mondays and then a week off every three weeks) and that may be why she's feeling it so much. The oncologist told us the side effects would be cumulative, so it makes sense that she'd be worse this week than last week. The good news is that she doesn't need to have another system chemo treatment until February 14th. Which is a shitty was to spend Valentine's Day, but she usually feels pretty good on the day she gets the treatment, it's the third day after that it seems to really catch up. So I'm hopeful that she'll continue to get stronger and feel better throughout the next week and be strong for the next round of chemo. Maybe I'm making up medical rationales to make myself feel better, to help understand why she still feels so miserable. Maybe we're all grasping at straws, trying to keep hope. Maybe this truly is the ravages of chemo and once it takes it course, she'll have a break from the cancer and feel amazing. Maybe I should stop all of these maybes and focus on the moment.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. I really hope so.
My goals (hopes?) for her for the next couple of days are to have the sore throat clear up and not be anything scary serious and for her appetite to return. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with her for a couple of weeks. It's going to be so hard to leave. Gary always says I'm in an impossible situation, and it's true. How do you live a life that's split on two coasts, when you're needed 3,000 miles apart but at the same time?