Well, nothing much to report today. Same as every other day. Oh, except for the fact that MY COUNTS CAME IN! I tried my best this morning to remain stubbornly asleep despite the people coming in and out of my room. My nurse actually came in a few times, checked on me, and went back out to let me rest. But he finally shook me awake and said, "Jaymi, I didn't want to wake you, but your neutrophils came in today! They are at 200!" I got that wind in my sails. I may have teared up a little bit. I couldn't believe it! From 0 to 200 in one day (they have to hit 500 for me to leave)! My white blood cells were also slightly up. Unfortunately, my platelets were back down.
So, I was happy, and finally felt like I was on the way out of here. But I was also back into a world of bleeding, and still so tired. I had another platelet transfusion. The day progressed as usual (minus the anti-clotting shot, which is a bonus). And then my P.A. came in. His name is Steve. I met Steve two years ago when I had my last transplant, and I have to admit he was my least favorite P.A. to see. It's not the Steve is not nice, it is that he is overly worried about everything. He once gave me a lecture for almost ten minutes about how a cold could kill me, and even gave me a detailed example of a patient who was doing amazing, was a year out from his transplant, got a cold and fever, didn't get to the hospital, and died. He DIED (Steve emphasized it this way). Steve wants to know every detail, every possible feeling you are having. And he cleans his stethoscope incessantly--incessantly. I think he might be slightly O.C.D., which I can actually respect to some extent having many such qualities myself.
Anyway, Colten and I always cringed a little when he came in for our clinic visits. Not my favorite guy. But today, if I had a medal of honor, I would give it to him. And all that worrying he does, I found, translates into just how much he cares about his patients. He came in to see me with a huge smile on his face. "It's neutrophil day!" He exclaimed. He went through his usual checkup and then looked at me and said, "I think we can get you out of here. We don't usually discharge on weekends, but I am working this weekend, and I think we could get you out of here on Saturday if your counts keep progressing." I started to cry. I knew my neutrophils coming in was a good thing, but I never imagined it meant I could leave in two days. He smiled again and said, "I can't promise. You can't promise anything in transplants, but I think you'll be good by Saturday. Let's get you home." And suddenly, I could climb mountains, because there were no more laps.
It still didn't feel real. My nurse was cynical. He told me, "Steve is really advocating for Saturday, but it will most likely be Monday. We'll see what the doctors say in rounds." But Steve advocated all day long for me. And suddenly I had pharmacists coming in to meet with me, and a home healthcare company that will deliver my I.V. medications. It was happening. Every moment, every breath, every medication, every bit of pain, every hour of tears was finally worth it. Home. Thanks to Steve. Who ever would have imagined? Saturday will be 17 days post-transplant. I will have set the record for quickest haplo at this hospital (yes, that makes me happy. I need goals, and I like to beat people). I don't care what it takes, my counts will be up. I am going home.
And today was good. Cody stopped by for just a few minutes and it was wonderful to see him. Colten and Rora also got to stay for a little while. I took a long nap. And I finally talked to my nurse, John. He's a tough nut to crack. He gets in, gets the job done, and even seems a little mean at times (such as the comment about me likely going home on Monday). I could have responded in kind, but it was too good of a day, and I don't have many days left to impact people here. So I killed him with kindness, and tried to make conversation all day. Turns out, accounting was the topic that opened him up. He originally wanted to be an accountant, but decided it wasn't for him after a few classes. We talked about his friends and their careers, his career, what Colten planned to do, and how many opportunities accounting offers. He finally looked at the clock and said, "Wow, I am sorry to cut this short, this is the most pleasant conversation I've had all day, but I have a lot of patients waiting." I smiled and said, "No problem." He opened the door, looked back and me and said, "Thanks for talking to me," then walked away. Later on, when the nurses changed shift, he came in to give his daily report to my night nurse (they do this at bedside so that patients can add or object to anything in the report). He told my night nurse, "She's a star," then turned to me, "It was an honor being your nurse. Good luck to you." And he walked out of my room.
John and Steve. Two guys I never would have thought I'd like, but it turns out, when given the chance, people really do surprise you. I think it's more about what we choose to perceive than about who a person truly is. When given the opportunity, I think most people are good people. They just show it in different ways. I'm grateful I got to meet everyone I have met here, even the "bad ones." They're probably good ones, too. And either way, they made me appreciate the really good ones even more. ;-) One more day. Just one day, and I will be home (Saturday doesn't count because I get to go home that day). Thank you Lord. Please let the hours tomorrow pass quickly, and my counts continue to be strong. I am going home.