Benjamin feels better today than he did yesterday, and his labs continue to trend in the right direction. This is enough for today. Slow, steady healing.
We were up several times throughout the night, responding to pain, or the need for the bathroom, or beeps from the IV pole. Benjamin found it easier to rise from the bed and walk. This was the first promising sign of the day. He didn’t wince or moan when he woke up, or have that immediate look of surprise from the pain. He went back to sleep for a morning nap, and I joined him.
When we woke up for the day Benjamin was in pain again and felt nauseous. He wouldn’t agree to Marinol, despite its efficacy last night. It was frustrating. He knows which pills are mandatory and which ones aren’t. But he hasn’t eaten since Monday. His agency is about to expire on this issue. I know that after tomorrow, with the return of the full team on rounds–including Bill the nutritionist–less pleasant interventions than Marinol will be discussed.
Michael and Banyan spent the day with us. Benjamin was relaxed for the most part, with less frequent periods of pain than yesterday. He couldn’t tolerate mention or sight of food, and he didn’t want to engage in much activity. We followed his lead. Banyan brought his yearbook from Camp Highlands, which just arrived in the mail, and they loved looking through its pages, thinking about a summer when they’ll both be in Wisconsin. One day.
As the sun set, Benjamin started to feel worse. Kathy and Gana came for a visit and were able to spend the last of his wakeful hours with him. He took a bath for pain and crawled back into bed, then asked for dark and quiet. He was fitful as he was falling asleep, moaning more and clearly in pain. I begged him to consider medicine to make him feel better. I heard my voice shaking as I said I don’t want you to hurt anymore. I didn’t mean just tonight. I mean all of this.
Benjamin’s white blood cell count is down to 2,660. Four days ago it was 40,000. He feels better than he did yesterday and he will feel better still tomorrow. These are all things to be very thankful for.