Posts tagged ‘hospital’

In the Hospital… Again

I  don’t really use the phrase, “It’s like riding a bike” all that often. I think it’s because I don’t enjoy riding bikes. I know — gasp.

The seats are hard. I don’t like helmets. I can do it, but it’s not really my favorite activity. In fact, I don’t own a bike.

But if I got back on a bike — I could ride it. I’d know how to balance and pedal without training wheels. I’d just get it done. (And if truth be told – I’d probably have some amount of fun along the way.)

So if you asked me how’s it going — day #2 in the hospital after an unexpected trip to the ER the other night?

Well – it’s like riding a bike.


photo(35)The doctor suspects that the little flu bug that bit cute, innocent little children (particularly a two-and-a-half old one with an adorable fro and mischievous smile) made its way to me this week.

But rather than hanging around for a few pukes and then scurrying away after 24 hours – my bug decided to set up camp inside my small intestine this week. Apparently, my itty bitty, beat-up bowels offer great accommodations for little GI viruses.

So, this little virus, infection, bug — whatever it is — made itself at home and reared its head late Thursday night. Searing abdominal pain throughout the night gave me an indication something wasn’t right.

photo(33)My amazing husband who’d worked past midnight every day of the week came home, tried to do everything he could (I’m talking 1am foot massage, heating pad, wet wash cloths, back rubs, etc.) to make it go away.

Yet to no avail — the pain continued. The puking started. So we visited the ER.

That was a few days ago and… I’m still here. A CT scan showed my small bowel is extremely inflamed. Dehydration and very low blood pressure are also of concern. The doctor said it’s a good thing I came in when we did – we caught it early. If there wasn’t already one – a small bowel obstruction was on its way. And as those familiar with this stuff know – we just thankfully adverted some not-so pleasant happenings like surgery. Please pray that we stay on course and avoid it!

photo(34)So, I’m hanging out in a suite … I mean hospital room (These St. Luke’s East rooms are niiiice.) I’m once again surrounded by a squad of strong supporters. I started to eat food again today. We’re trying to get my blood pressure up. And we’re making the best of it. I mean I can’t complain too much – I’ve gotten to keep my underwear on the entire time. (Sorry – probably TMI.)

As all would have it — I started a new full-time job this week. Part of why I freelanced for so long was the fear of “what if” I’d need to be in the hospital while working for someone else. So I am shaking my head at this. But thankfully, my new team at Fight Colorectal Cancer has been extremely awesome and supportive. Of all people – they get it. I’m unbelievably blessed.

So – there’s the story. I’m hoping I’ll go home tomorrow. And while there’s a million other places I’d rather be, at least none of this is foreign to me. I’m used to the drill. It’s all very familiar and routine these days.

It’s sort of … like riding a bike.

June 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm 1 comment

One Year Cancer Free… Again

I remember how cold the OR waiting room was a year ago. For whatever reason, the warm blankets weren’t cutting it that morning. Maybe it was the frigid temperatures of the hospital, or it possibly could have been that my nerves were fried and my body temperature off. Plus, the sterile wall paint color wasn’t helping calm me either.

My family was crammed into the tiny 12×12 space they allotted me. We had mom, dad, Mike, Nick, and I think at one point Mike’s parents joined us too. It was comforting yet scary. Looks of compassion, yet fear behind the glances. Everyone, including myself, hated that I was in that spot again. The tubes, tape, ugly hospital gown – we all hated that I had to go through it again. But what gets me is that we didn’t even realize what was to come.

The surgery went relatively “well” in surgery terms, except for that it kicked off a three-week extravaganza of me residing in a hospital bed after many complications and a second surgery. Apparently removing almost all of your large intestines through a major colon surgery isn’t always a four-day cake walk. For some, it is. Unfortunately, I drew the small stick that day because in addition to a physical “hospital-esque” beating, I was handed my second diagnosis of colon cancer.

I struggled going into surgery. I had a heavy feeling that I was entering something much more than just life without colon. And after my pathology reports confirmed that the polyp-in-question was indeed colon cancer again, I understood why something inside of me just didn’t feel right.

You know, cancer is a beast. It’s scary, confusing and just mind-blowing. And although today marks a day where I “should be” celebrating that I’m “one year cancer free… again” I just see it differently this time. I’ve had a one-year cancer free anniversary before, it was in January 2002 and this upcoming year I will have been a 10 year survivor. But today feels so different than any other cancer anniversary I’ve had. It is joyous and exciting, but it’s also emotionally difficult because as much as I want to celebrate it, I don’t feel “cancer free.” My CEA levels and path reports may indicate it, but my heart doesn’t feel it. And I’m not sure that it will ever get back to feeling quite right.

I say all of this not to be a bummer, nor gather a crowd to feel bad for me. But I say it to be real, and to hopefully encourage any other survivors or caregivers out there who are going through the same thing. Today I celebrate that I’m only in a routine of check-ups and that I’m able to live a “normal” life … from the outside. I celebrate that I’m not hooked up to a chemo bag nor sent through a radiation tube each week, and that I haven’t been for nearly 9 years. I rejoice that we found the cancer early one year ago, and that it was completely removed with surgery.

But I also pray today for what’s to come. I pray that as much as I wish that this cancer book would just close, I have the strength to realize that it probably never will. I pray that I can put on the “armor” I need to stand strong and keep fighting it off when it continually tries to come back. And I pray that the further and further out from the cancer diagnosis I get, and the more and more I realize what being a cancer survivor really means, I’ll keep believing it’s why I’m here in the first place and find my joy in that.

June 9, 2010 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

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