Day -6

Day -6 began even earlier than Day -7, because I had just moved into my new, real room in the transplant unit. It is the biggest private room I have ever had, and well worth the small extra wait. I was excited to decorate and set up my work space, so I got up a bit earlier than planned to do that, which meant I had to take a power nap as we waited to get my radiation treatment.

Fortunately, that nap lasted a while. You see, there is a typical bureaucratic communication snafu between the powers that be at the Radiation Oncology Center and our helpful nurses on Davis 8, so even though Rac Onc Procedures dictate that I must have a 6-hour break between radiation sessions, they insist on having the more than officious transport crew come to get me at 2:15. No matter that they know that my morning radiation session ended at 9:10 AM or so and the soonest they can begin my treatment is thus 3:10. And no matter that the trip takes 5 minutes at the very most. And no matter that my nurse tried patiently to reason with them. So I get hustled over to wait for quite a while, plenty of time to snooze strapped into my padded gurney.

The radiation treatments themselves were uneventful today, since I did not feel faint or anxious, though I seem incapable of holding still for long enough to allow the techs to be confident enough than I’m in the right position (they have to double check every time with a quick x-ray or four) until I am well and truly sandwiched from every angle. As if to underscore this tendency in a comical manner, I managed to get hiccups twice today, once just as my morning radiation treatment was ending, and once just as they were fitting me in for my afternoon session. They said it wasn’t a problem, but I think they were trying to seem understanding while shoving me about in every possible gentle way.

Anyway, we’re now halfway through the radiation, and the only ill effect I’m feeling is a bit of incipient constipation from the Zofran they give me every day before the treatments. So we’re going to up our anti-blockage game from just Colace to Senacot as well. My apologies for these gastrointestinal details, but being badly bound up on the inside is among the worst, most uncomfortable feelings I’ve had in the hospital, including my collapsed lung in May. Spoiler alert: these tummy issues will be likely to surface again, albeit in the opposite, far more volatile mode, later on, after I get the new stem cells. So in the meantime, let’s simply look forward to a more regular Day -5.

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