Even though I can't walk these days, I bet some of you are having a hard time keeping up with me :)
The landscape for my personal reality shifted yet again. We did the gastroscopy as planned at 11:00 am, which meant I couldn't eat or drink anything from midnight. I was already reasonably assured that the bleeding must be located in the lower gastrointestinal tract, but today confirmed that. Before being rolled into the shower on a commode chair, I dutifully went to the washroom only to be confronted with rectal bleeding - bright red and clotted blood as well. This was a clear indication that the blood thinners were causing the drop in hemoglobin and that they were doing so in the same lower half of the body as they had triggered in April 2006 when I bled much more vigorously and considered my life in danger.
The gastroenterologist performed the gastroscopy and confirmed that there was no evidence of peptic ulcer or any other site for bleeding in the upper GI tract. But this leaves the precise location of the bleeding still a mystery (although there are several excellent candidates). The gastroenterologist recommended and my medical oncologist agreed that I would stay in hospital over the weekend and prepare for a colonoscopy on Monday morning. The hope is that we can discover exactly where the bleeding is located.
In the meantime, no more blood thinners, no more pantoloc, no more IV saline, nothing except rest and regular food until Sunday morning. Then we'll start the colonoscopy preparation with no food, just clear liquids, phospho soda, and the inevitable urgent trips to the washroom - Sunday night is not going to be pleasant at all! In addition, yet another postponement for the 2nd cycle of my chemotherapy until the middle of next week.
Family and colleagues visited again today, always providing a respite and time to reconnect. The hospital's spiritual care provider and I traded some books we had each recommended for one another. I caught up with some wonderful email and comments from family and friends and even got this blog entry in place. Now, if I could only get the swelling and blood clot down in the legs so that I had some mobility, I'd be feeling pretty good again. Until then, I have two bodies - the top half and the lower half.