I arrived at Elephant ward with lunch. As I said hello, Isita silently and disappointedly pointed to the white tube taped along her cheek and running into her right nostril. She hardly spoke to Marta after it was inserted last night – the silent treatment. Marta said she was very brave about the rather unpleasant process of putting it in, but it is going to take some getting used to.
She is more chatty this afternoon. Later the doctors will give her a peptide feed through the tube. This is a liquid, partly-digested high-calorie drink to keep her weight up. She is also eating normally, perhaps even trying a bit harder than before, as if to show she doesn’t really need it. Attagirl!
We are now into the hard slog. The novelty and drama has worn off. The strange innovations of cancer treatment – the visits of community nurses at home, the tubes, hospital rooms, and complications of multiple drug administration – have become routine. It is not so much that it is difficult than it is long.
We have to jolly Isita through the day, picking a tricky path between being too indulgent and too strict. She was furious that I took Jamie to Shropshire without her last weekend. It is,however, also hard for Jamie to understand why Isita gets so much attention, special treatment, presents, and iPad time compared to him. Everyone is a bit grumpy. There have been a few outbursts.
The challenge is to keep everything together while the treatment takes effect. The different drug cocktail she is having this time causes more nausea, but the anti-sickness drugs seem to be working. Her small weight loss recorded yesterday was not enough to make them reduce the dosage. We push on as best we can.