So begins the festival of suck.
A little medical knowledge for your brains:
"Mucositis occurs when cancer treatments break down the rapidly divided epithelial cells lining the GI tract, particularly in the oral cavity, leaving the mucosal tissue open to ulceration and infection. Mucositis can occur anywhere along the digestive tract..."(cancersupportivecare.com).
Trust me, you wanted me to put the "..." in there.
To help prevent this, or at least make it as mild as possible, we have to give Lila mouth care 4 times a day. This consists of shoving tiny sponges with 3 different types of oral hygiene solutions into her tightly closed, unwilling to cooperate mouth. We have been doing this since we were admitted and she has never liked it, but she particularly hates it now and it just so happens that it is even more essential that we do it now. Awesome.
She is really starting to feel miserable, which is miserable for me to watch (let's make this all about me, shall we?). She woke up screaming every three hours or so last night. I didn't hear it of course, because I was nestled all snug in my bed, but Ben had the privilege of dealing with it. She is now on PCA which is basically drugs on demand. They are going to monitor how often she needs the painkillers over the next 24 hours and then decide whether or not it would be beneficial to put her on a continuous fentanyl drip. From the looks of things so far today, I would say the drip is on the way.
Although I really have no idea exactly how she feels, I would venture to say it's like having the flu (times 10). She is nauseated and aches all the time. She can't swallow because of the mucositis, so she's drooling a lot (I know, that's not a flu symptom). It is going to get worse before it gets better, so they say. Even more Awesome.
She will start to get fevers and likely develop a rash, which her nurse today said is good news ("What kind of hotel is this?!"). It means that her body is starting to engraft the transplanted cells and make more. Today, so far, has consisted of a lot of really pathetic sounding cries and this:
She's not hungover. She's sleeping.