Thursday, September 24, 2009


Apparently, I looked like crap when I went to my radiation appt yesterday, so Dr. Dickson called Dr. Laudi- who had already been getting frequent updates from Mark by phone, email, and texts (I have spoken to Mark about his incessant harassment of this poor man. Mark understands 'boundary issues' on a conceptual level, but the possibility of facing tomorrow without me... well, he is stuck in survival mode and cannot help himself). So yesterday, I was admitted to Mercy Hospital for dehydration and pain control.

I have lost 22 pounds. (NOT endorsing this weight-loss plan). I didn't realize how horrible I felt, until the IV fluids started to rehydrate me, the IV Dilaudid PCA kicked in and I actually started to feel good. I had a CT and Xrays of my pelvis, along with an MRI. I get wheeled to radiation each day.

Today, Dr. Laudi said he wonders whether the MS Contin is contributing to my nausea. He is weaning the Dilaudid PCA and is planning to have me use a Fentanyl patch along with Dilaudid and Methadone prn when I get home. It just takes time to figure out which meds will work best for me.

Mark was updating his brother, Steve, who is an attorney in Chicago and when Mark said "Fentanyl patch" Steve told him that he is working on cases where Fentanyl patches have been defective. Instead of delivering a small amount of the narcotic at a time, patients got a huge bolus resulting in death. Steve strongly advised Mark to refuse the patch. Our internet connection will be humming tonight...

My parents have been taking care of Amore. Nan and Larissa- or Pickle as we sometimes call her- have been staying at Amy's. Today, my mom brought Larissa up to the hospital to see me. My mom brought me a new fleece blanket and some flowers that Larissa had helped pick out. My mom told me that Larissa had suddenly started to cry on the way up to my room. She asked her what was wrong.

Larissa said, "On TV, people cry at hosibuls. It's sad. I don't want my mom to get all dead."

We have talked to our girls about cancer and tried to reassure them that we love them and will make sure they are cared for. It breaks my heart when I think about dying and not being here for them.

Pickle jumped into the hospital bed next to me, snuggled into the blankets, then played with the bed controls giving me quite a ride. I held her close and just went with it- luckily I didn't throw up.

I remember my mom taking our dog, Nikita, to the vet. Dr. Wall, a friendly man in his 40s, had examined Nikita observing the stiffness in her gait, the cloudiness in her eyes.

"She is an old girl." He had said.

The next year, when my mom called to make Nikita's vet appt, she was told that the vet had died unexpectantly. An aneurism. Unexpectantly, Nikita had outlived him...

So, you never really know. Cancer reminds me that all we really have is today, right now. Cancer also shows me -without a doubt- how much you care about me. When I count my blessings, I am counting you.

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