Posted by: glenswatman | November 30, 2012

20121121-30 Finally Steve is feeling better

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WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER – In Ilkley I meet up with Cameron and Viv. Cameron has recently come through myeloid leukaemia and is looking really well. They treat me to lunch at Betty’s which is wonderful and very posh. It is 5 months since Cam finished his treatment and it is good to hear that he finally feels like himself and can do the things he used to do without feeling weary afterwards. Visiting Steve I find he is back in source isolation due to the diarrhoea coming back. He is having a foot massage so I head off to chat to the Doctor who is not unduly concerned about the CMV count rise and says that source isolation means Steve can still leave the hospital to go outside but not walk around in the hospital. Next visitor is the psychologist who says she can see Steve is in better spirits than when she visited a week ago and more accepting of his present situation. We start to watch a movie but get interrupted with an offer of some reflexology which Steve gladly accepts. It’s been such a busy afternoon that there is no time for me to give Steve a back massage, no time for cards and we don’t even finish the movie. Paul & Elaine are coming up on Friday so back home I research options and come up with Roundhay Park if the weather is nice and Temple Newsam if not.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 13 (+47)

THURSDAY 22 NOVEMBER – After my hand & foot massage I visit Steve. To me he seems to be moving more freely and in better sprits. The results of the bowel biopsy show no signs of graft versus host disease which is good. Dr Gilleece has been and says Steve is doing really well although she doubts today’s’ test will be negative and Steve should prepare himself for a few more hospital in stays as this virus comes back a few times before the new stem cells are strong enough to fight it off. With tomorrows visit to look forward to Steve seems to take this all in his stride. Steve still has diarrhoea and sister comes in and asks him to provide a stool sample, just after he has been to the toilet. Peeing on demand is not that difficult but pooing is another matter. At home I get an Email with the sad news that our New Zealand friend Ron, diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, died yesterday.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 14 (+48)

FRIDAY 23 NOVEMBER – Arriving at the hospital I am surprised to see Mick chatting to Steve. He is lending us their netbook whilst taking our laptop for repair. We get a call to say Paul & Elaine have arrived so all leave together. Paul drives us up to Roundhay Park and we have a good chat during the 2.7km walk around the lake. It’s a beautiful sunny day and Steve copes really well with walk and maintains quite a good pace. For lunch we got to nearby Deer Park and are reminded of Spain when we order the chocolate and churros for dessert. It’s been a lovely outing but Steve is ready to go back to his room where Paul & Elaine join us for a short time before heading home.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 15 (+49)

SATURDAY 24 NOVEMBER – There’s a frost on the car and it feels like a real wintery morning with lots of fog around. Steve is dressed and waiting to go out. Unfortunately the blood counts have come back and the virus level has gone up again and is now over 5000. We walk to the Thackray museum where I order a chilli con carne which Steve dips into. The museum is interesting even on a repeat visit for me and Steve finds lots to read about but just over half way round starts to feel tired. We return to the ward and I make a few phone calls to re plan things as Steve’s virus counts mean it unlikely Steve will be out within 10 days.
KEIGHELY – ST JAMES 16 (+50)

SUNDAY 25 NOVEMBER – Setting off just after 8am there is little traffic on the roads but the speed limits still make the 23 mile journey take 50 minutes. Steve is dressed and ready to leave so we head to Lisa & Mick’s. Mick seems to have fixed our old laptop which will be great for Steve to use in hospital. They have done a lot of ancestry work and we looks at old photos and some of the results. Back home Steve soon settles on the sofa whilst I cook dinner and Claire joins us. Steve says since arriving at Lisa’s he’s had a griping stomach and this worsens as the afternoon goes by. Before 4pm he says he wants to head back to hospital. Claire is taking him back then picking up the kids from Daz’s before returning home. She calls later to say she almost got him back before they had to pull over for him to be sick. Once on the ward Sister Honey and Nurse Luke immediately attend to him with medication. I call Steve later in the evening and hear that he has had a very bad bout of diarrhoea and the Doctor is on his way to see him. Talk about 1 step forward and 2 steps back.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 17 (+51)

MONDAY 26 NOVEMBER – Steve is not alone in his sickness as Natasha is off school after being very sick yesterday and through the night, unfortunately I can do nothing to help as it is too risky for me to go round. Mum’s car is pulling to the left so I call round to Doughty Brooks garage and leave the car with them when I go to Leeds. Steve seems OK in himself and we enjoy watching the remake of “Arthur” movie. I head off on the 5.30pm bus to Auntie Pamela’s and the journey should take about ½ hour. Leaving Leeds I rest my eyes for a couple of minutes. I wake with a jolt, don’t recognise the surroundings and notice it is now 6.15pm. Dashing to the driver I find we are almost in the centre of Wakefield so I ask to get off at the next stop where I can cross over and get a bus going back in the other direction. I call Auntie Pamela who offers to drive and pick me up. Fortunately, when we get back to her home the vegetables have not boiled dry. After a delicious meal I spend the evening quizzing and learning about our ancestry and very interesting it is too. We round things off with a DVD of all cine film and photos.
WAKEFIELD – ST JAMES 18 (+52)

TUESDAY 27 NOVEMBER – Auntie Pamela comes into Leeds with me and recommends a specialist bra shop that she believes can fit anyone. Well anyone but me who has a broad back and a couple of pancakes. We take lunch in Leeds Minster where there is a nice cafe. Steve is pleased to see Auntie Pamela and she stays chatting for about an hour. The Doctor has been to see Steve and says he thinks the sickness and diarrhoea are down to the magnesium tablets so they will try stopping them and if his levels go low they can give it in a drip. They don’t want to adjust the virus medication as higher levels can cause kidney and liver damage so it is better to wait it out and have blood tests each day. Just before I leave we get results showing Steve’s CMV is heading in the right direction and down to 3500 and his stool sample is negative so he should be able to come out of source isolation. I pick up the car, the wheels needed balancing, tracking and swopping over and it is good to go at £64.80.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 19 (+53)

WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER – I pick up Sandra for the drive in to Leeds. Steve is no longer in source isolation which makes visits easier. He’s raring to go and we start at the The Brown Cow & Dragon pub. Sandra and I have Thai curries whilst Steve quickly sees off a plate of fish and chips. The bannoffee shared dessert is scrumptious, a huge dish of chocolate brownies, bananas, honeycomb ice cream, cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles. We are near to Temple Newsham with a large Jacobean mansion. £3.70 admission includes an audio guide and we while away a couple of hours admiring the rooms, furnishing and other artefacts. In fact by the end of it Sandra and I are more tired than Steve. I leave the car in the hospital car park and we head back on the train.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 20 (+54)

THURSDAY 29 NOVEMBER – I meet Mom at the railway station to head to Leeds. Steve is dressed and ready to go and I drive us into Leeds in the car. First we visit the library and spend more time looking at the tapestries. The food at the Red Chilli Chinese restaurant is delicious with lunch specials at £5.50 including rice. In Millennium Square the German Christmas market is in full swing with the beer house packed out, can barely imagine what it must be like in an evening and at the weekends. There’s time back in hospital for me to give Steve a massage before we leave. The traffic is really busy and it takes ages to get to Lisa’s. Once Mick arrives home we tuck in to a cottage pie dinner, no wonder I am putting weight on. I get a phone call from “Hospedia” the expensive user unfriendly hospital TV Company. We paid £35 for a 10 day package and wanted to pay the extra £15 to extend to the £50 20 day package but their flexible system meant our only option was to pay another £35. After speaking to customer service and getting nowhere I wrote a strong Email and the phone calls is to say that due to Steve’s unusual circumstances (repeated hospital stays with no idea how long) we can now take whatever package we want and they will put the remaining days on hold when he leaves and reinstate them when he goes in again.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 21 (+54)

THURSDAY 30 NOVEMBER – The rut has set in and it is another frosty morning and doesn’t even get above zero by the time I leave at 11am. Steve & I wrap up like Scott of the Antarctic and venture out for a really good walk exploring the area around the hospital. There is a very old cemetery, the countries first district cemetery containing 180,000 tombs but it is almost all in a state of disrepair. Even after over an hour of walking at a reasonable pace Steve is not tired but we are chilly enough to welcome a hot drink in the room. The Doctor comes in with the good news that Steve’s virus count is down again to 1000 and knowing my birthday is on Wednesday they are going to try and do something to get 2 more tests in before then in the hope they are zero and Steve can come home. He’s looking really well and says he is feeling the best he has since he started feeling ill just a year ago. It’s so cold that there is a frost on the car when I get back at 6pm, going to have to make sure I keep some de-icer in my bag.
KEIGHLEY – ST JAMES 22 (+55)

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Responses

  1. So glad to here that Steve is feeling better. We sure hope that he can make it home for your birthday.


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