I have had the absolute pleasure of spending the better part of the last week just outside of Cancun, Mexico in a beautiful resort with my dear friend Jennifer in honor of her 40th birthday. Jennifer's very generous husband sent us away as his gift to her (since she didn't really want the big party he was willing to throw for her).
Thanks to family and friends, not to mention Jay's complete support and encouragement, I was able to spend 5 days away from home reading, relaxing, napping and eating way too much. Of course, the best part was being with Jennifer, who I have missed so much since she moved to Texas years ago. We tend, when we are together, to revert back to the age we were when we met (that would be eight years old) and end up laughing about completely immature and ridiculous things, and this visit was no exception. I laughed an awful lot and had a really good time.
Naturally, I missed my family and was thrilled to find them all waiting at the airport in a row when I arrived. I was relaxed, my buttons were all reset, and I was ready to face the mountain of laundry that I knew was awaiting me at home.
This is where things started to get a little squirrely.
About half way home I started to feel not so well. I figured it was because I had to get up really early to catch my flight and just needed to sleep, so I went to bed pretty quickly when I got home. The next morning (Monday) I went down to UCLA for my usual blood draw. My neighbor Robin went with me so I could bring the kids with me--I did not want to leave them so soon after just returning. I was feeling fine, thinking that the sleep had done me good. And this was indeed the case, until I had something to eat.
When Robin and I stopped for lunch on the way home (at a really cute kids-only restaurant, but that is another story) I started to feel really bad. I was suddenly very glad she had come with me so she could drive.
Not long after I got home I spiked a fever, so I emailed my oncologist to let him know. His nurse practitioner emailed me right back and told me to go to the ER because, apparently, a fever can be a big deal when you are going through chemo because of potential problems with white blood cells. Feeling a little ridiculous, I went.
To make a long story short, after a bunch of bloodwork and some X-Rays, the ER docs concluded that I had a fever, probably from a virus. Since my white blood counts were OK, they sent me home around midnight. Far from making me feel silly for coming in, the ER staff from start to finish was great, assuring me that my oncologist had done the right thing by sending me in, and even giving me a private room (those of you who have been to the AV Hospital ER know that this is no small thing). I was consistently surprised by how seriously my little fever was taken by all involved, and I felt very well cared for.
One might think the story ends there, but alas it does not. About a half hour after I fell into bed, exhausted, Tony began to throw up. This repeated every two to three hours throughout the night, and not once did he make it without soiling his pajamas and bedding in the process. Even with the middle-of-the-night laundry load, I had to do four loads today just to get back to the beginning of the enormous pile that had been awaiting my return in the first place.
Today my fever is gone and Tony is better too. I am reassured that all this has nothing to do with the cancer and is, instead, some sort of virus. Everyone gets sick, and not every ache or pain I have is cancer-related, although it is hard to remember this when it is happening.
So, here's to vacations...and the inevitable crash when we return home from them!