Day 44: And now for something new


On Sunday evening, Roo started to lose energy. She had slept badly the night before and resisted going outside until that afternoon. Eventually she felt good enough to get in the car and go splash around in the pond. She was sluggish, but happy. We didn’t walk anywhere. We just drove to the pond and she stayed in the water the whole time, except for when she walked the short distance on the bank to another part of the pond. That was enough to make her start limping a little, as if her legs were sore. She didn’t even check on her groundhog, a sign that she was really not well.

Her last chemo had been five days before, and that, I thought, was the most likely cause. She wasn’t sick, was eating well, her digestion was fine. She wasn’t depressed. She was just tired. On Sunday night she became agitated and more uncomfortable. She couldn’t rest. I gave her an anti-nausea tablet, but that didn’t help. Lately, she has been getting anxious from the prednisone and how hungry that makes her. She doesn’t ask for food – she never really has – but I’ve noticed lately that when given some, it calms her down for a while. Around 11 PM she ate some more and then had another restless night. On Monday she was tired, but again not sick. Just so tired. On Monday afternoon she wouldn’t go outside until 3 in the afternoon. the last time was around 4 the day before – 23 hours.

We had a bad night. When the temperature is in the mid-60s it’s hot and humid in the camper and the air conditioner either blows freeing air or wet air, keeping us both up all night. Roo would probably have been up all night anyway, but the temperature swings and the moist air guaranteed it.

Roo was scheduled for another round of chemo today. Roo didn’t want to get in the car. She already had to get in the car once – we had to go to dump the camper tanks – and that was enough for her. But she didn’t argue much once I told her she was going to go to the doctor. She seemed to like that idea.

Roo wasn’t scheduled for more bloodwork today, but because of how she was feeling and acting, Dr. Mason did the test. Roo’s white blood cells, which have been low and were low last week, were now elevated, a sign of infection. Dr. Mason said that Roo was not coming out of remission. The most likely culprit was a tickborne illness. She asked me if I had found any ticks on Roo and I told her that when we were down south we had been under a constant barrage of Lone Star ticks, and those little bastards from hell tick meds have no effect whatsoever. Dr. Mason said there was no point in running a tick titer because the treatment for any tick disease would be a course of doxycycline. So, now Roo is on yet another drug. Her chemo was put off to give her a few days to try to catch up and feel better. Another pill bottle to add to the collection.

She’s feeling awful tonight, lying on the floor, panting, trying to make up some of the sleep she’s been losing these past few days, but it’s going to be another humid night in the camper. 

Roo must be so sick of the quantity of pills I have to jam down her throat every day. As soon as I post this, she’s getting another two. She doesn’t even want the bone I just cooked for her. I think of all the times in the all the months I’ve spent in hospitals around the world and how the nurses never took no for an answer and try to do it the way they did. Lights on, take these, and goodnight.