Hi, I’m home for a few hours to sleep, shower, etc. I decided not to go to work today after Mathew continually broke down sobbing whenever I mentioned I would be working today.

I can’t say that things are going fabulously either. Mathew was put in an acute care room with 3 other patients, in a room right across from the nurse’s station. The acute care basically means palliative care. The three other patients are much, much older than Mathew. In the last stages of cancer it can be hard to tell someone’s age but I wouldn’t guess under 60 for any of them. One gentleman was discharged today as he has a brain tumour and nothing else can be done for him. The second fellow is definitely palliative and the third individual never talks and doesn’t have any visitors so I don’t know his story.

It never crossed my mind before that in the hospital, men room with men and women room with other women. It makes sense and this is how it was explained to us that Mathew ended up in acute care, which is NOT where he needs to be. The gentleman in the next bed, the one who was offered palliative care, started making loud whispering noises shortly after our arrival so in due course I listened. To my horror he was whispering, “please please please PLEASE please please shut the fuck up!”. This was anytime either Mathew or the other chatty fellow spoke up. The patient who was released today has a salty tongue something that Mathew noted. In fact, during one stressful time for Mathew he swore himself pointing out that I couldn’t ask him not to since everyone else in there swore. *sigh*…..

Several times through the night I mentioned to the nurses when the neighbour starting repeating his mantra and thankfully, they further sedated him. I think he just wanted to sleep and is having trouble with that. He is also on heavy pain medication and the nurses attributed his refrain to medicine-induced ramblings. His sister kindly offered us some home made Mediterranean soup.

Mathew’s bed is in a very squished corner. His suitcase are stacked against the wall and my chair abuts the same wall and almost the bed as well. The back end of the chair hangs into the doorway to the ward. The other side of the bed has barely enough room for a chair. There is no room and it is all elbows and knees and other things getting poked and jabbed. Mathew’s IV pole travels with him to the washroom so we have to unplug it from the wall and kind of jiggle it through the maze beside his bed.

Chemotherapy started late this morning. He is also getting a steroid throughout the week to help with nausea and another medication called Mesna. This drug protects the bladder from one of the chemo drugs that could otherwise damage the bladder. Saline solution is also flushing through his body to aid all those drugs through so he must visit the bathroom every 2 hours or so around the clock to keep his bladder functioning. He did not want the chemo today and had another sobbing breakdown poor guy. He started to feel nauseous soon after so the struggle to get him to eat and drink begins.

The food brought to him so far has sat untouched. It’s not terribly appealing to begin with but he is pickier than I thought – we are accustomed to our eating quirks in this house. Mathew doesn’t like toast, most cereal (or really, cereal at all), oatmeal, orange juice… not coffee or tea or the other normal trappings adults eat. John brought in a Mac-A-Beef that Nana makes (the kids’ favourite) and it can be heated up in the microwave on the oncology floor.

Okay, well I must rest a bit before heading back. I hate seeing him in there as much as he hates being there.

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