The afternoon yesterday did not in fact improve; rather, I felt sudden chills in the mid-afternoon and had to take to my bed instead of getting on my exercise bike. I was afraid I was spiking a nasty fever that would send me to the ICU right quick, but my temperature never rose above 99.3 (early this morning) and has now returned to normal. False alarm, and likely not the last one. My oncologist told me that the body is going through so many changes that such episodes are commonplace.
The good news today is that it’s now no longer Day +5, but rather Day +6, and it’s been vastly more bearable than yesterday. For one thing, we made the call to switch me from a conventional “liquid” diet, which means one consumes things resembling food, to what they call the TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) regime, whereby my nutritional needs are met via a bag they hang from my (now rather crowded) IV tower and which feeds into my bloodstream. It doesn’t sound like the sort of thing one would generally welcome, but lately swallowing has been so painful and laborious that I can’t enjoy even the sweetest, coldest, most appetizing fare. In fact, even my taste buds now get sore when I eat, so there’s really nothing appealing about an activity I have always previously ranked in the Top 5 of my favorites. I hope this state of affairs won’t last too long, but it’s a relief to have made a sensible call that, while it eliminates a once-pleasurable side of life, also (and more importantly) greatly reduces the everyday discomfort of ongoing existence for me.