On the way to the hospital this afternoon, I passed a church whose marquis broadcast the message "Too blessed to be stressed". While I can't say I wasn't feeling stressed when I read this message, I was feeling very blessed, and I took a mini stress vacation as I continued the drive, pondering the wisdom in this statement.
I feel extremely blessed with a network of wonderfully supportive friends. I'd earlier noted Amy's mom's timely visit (and my mom and her husband will be visiting in a couple of weeks). Meanwhile, our friends are really stepping into the voids that are emerging as Amy is increasingly incapacitated (and I try to spend more and more time caring for her), and I am overcome with feelings of joy and gratitude at all they are doing for us. We have received nourishment in several dimensions -- food, flowers and plants, and various [other] expressions of emotional support (including one family who will be fasting for Amy's recovery and comfort). Our kids have been taken in by various friends at various times -- for various lengths of time -- on moments' notices, have been transported wherever / whenever they needed to go, and Meggie even got a small, surprise, bona fide [belated] birthday party today -- movie followed by a dinner at Red Robin -- thanks to the intervention of some of our friends. Tears are welling up [again] as I write this -- we are forever grateful.
Amy is resting comfortably -- actually, she's sleeping -- next to me as I type this. It's been another heckuva day, and Amy is wondering how much more of this she can take. There has been some good news. Her neutrophil counts are up to 1500, but as this is probably an artificial elevation from the G-CSF injection yesterday, they are still considering her [mildly] neutropenic. Her temperature was normal earlier, so she didn't take any Tylenol all afternoon, though it just crept up to 100, so she took some this evening. Her abdominal pain has dimished, possibly due in part to the switch from morphine to Dilaudid as a pain management medication. She was also started on a TPN IV system to provide her more nutrition while on her clear liquid diet. Unfortunately, her diarrhea is now back with a vengeance (though I'm not sure it has any causal link to the TPN), and she is feeling very, well, sick and tired.
Yesterday, we had another "hero moment" when her colorectal surgeon paid a visit. Although the exam was painful (and painful to witness), he ruled out the [then] leading hypothesis about an abcess causing the fever, and prescribed a silver sulfadiazine salve to be applied regularly to help ease the pain from the radiation burns (and we are further fortunate to have one nurse who is from a burn unit, who is an expert at applying the salve ... and overall, the most consistently kind and conscientious of our nurses).
The feelings of relief and renewed hope I felt when our doctors showed up today and yesterday reminded me of when I was younger, and we would visit my cousins, and my uncle, who is a doctor, went in to the hospital to see his patients every day. At the time, I was thinking it was a manifestation of workaholism, and yet now that I can experience a doctor's visit from a different perspective, I can see why it was so important to him ... and am grateful that our doctors are likewise so dedicated to their patients ... yet another aspect of feeling blessed ... and, now that Amy is resting so peacefully, I am feeling less stressed.