The Big Drip : Day + 14

A good day to all you readers out there! It’s a wonderful thought that such a variety of people from all over the world are taking an interest in my morphine-induced ramblings of late. I will wrestle my wandering brain into submission and squeeze out some sense or other. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whether you have had cancer or not, I hope you find some value in these musings and I wish you a wonderful day.

Today is the 2-week anniversary of the bone marrow transplant and those new stem cells are taking position and readying their exponential-growth trick for eventual population of Mr. Milt. In the meantime, I am the Incredible Stasis Man – just hanging in there with no immunity and relying on 23 hours of multiple-infusions every day for survival. I get one hour of ‘detachment’ every day to shower and stretch. Continual attachment to drips eventually induces PDS (Phantom Drip System) This is the illogical feeling of paralysis that occurs when you are, at long last, disconnected from all the machines and find that your body hasn’t fully accepted its new freedom. So you lie there completely still, staring blankly at the ceiling with legs that stubbornly refuse any requests for movement. I find that the quickest way to 2 PDS is by several magician-style arm waves around the whole body until I can fully believe, that, yes, I am free. I AM FREE! Of course, PDS is caused by the continual fear of forgetting that you are attached and taking a nonchalant stroll. I have performed this inadvisable trick a number of times. It goes something like this: Inexplicably forgetting where the hell you are, start heading away from the bed and machine at speed, having that momentary stupid look of confusion on face as the tube(s) become(s) taut, getting sprung back into bed as your vein (or nose) puts up a forceful protest amid screams of warning and terror from all those present. Oops.

Today is also the 5-month anniversary of my diagnosis. 5 months since my life took an unprecedented twist into the multi-coloured world of chemotherapy, major discomfort, international notoriety and very long words. 5 months is a long time to spend in hospital undergoing intensive treatment, but it is a relatively short period to fit in this amazing emotional and spiritual journey. In the desirable scenario that all goes as well as possible, I will be on the road to recovery 6 months from diagnosis and restored to good-ish health within a year. Which is a short piece of life to exchange for a life-changing experience.

Still no engraftment today. That’s okay, despite some headaches and general discomfort, I am happy enough in my little room, doing my nerdy logic puzzles, hooked up to my life-saving chemicals, watching some crappy TV and writing this diary. I certainly have got the hand of living with cancer. I guess my next big challenge will be learning how to live without cancer again.

And so until tomorrow, people, take care of your good selves…

Milt xx

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