Before I say anything, yes, I did thankfully make it to the commencement procession this past Saturday. I was discharged from WIH on Thursday, went to commencement for about an hour or so. My body didn’t have the energy to stay for anything beyond that.
I took about as many pictures as a “proud parent” might but here are some highlights. (And yes, I’m incredibly sick here. Make up and a new dress does wonders, huh?)
I was beaming with pride for each and every graduate that walked through the archway. So many powerful and significant bonds have been formed with these students since they entered as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman. It was an honor to see them through to the very end.
It is no secret that I adore working with students which is why it truly pains me to have to be away from work for so long as I watch the clock from a hospital bed.
So onto the heavy news…
I’ve had enough.
I can’t believe I am saying this, again, but I am writing this from yet another hospital bed with another NG tube going from my nose into my stomach.
This is the 3rd admittance to the hospital since May 5th. I’ve only slept in my own bed three nights since then. The past few years have handed me a mess of challenges but it feels like this month has had me in a choke hold and it it isn’t letting go.
After commencement I was exhausted so I went straight to my bed. A few hours later I felt nauseated and took some Phenergan to ease the nausea. The pill didn’t stay down long enough before I threw up for the first of eight times that afternoon. Around 5pm, with Sheila’s advice, Cory nodded that it was time that we go back to the Emergency Room. The hospital was the last place on the planet that I wanted to be but the only place I needed to be.
Per usual they made me comfortable, eased the abdominal pain, and sent me for x-ray’s and CT scans. I got the usual chorus of “didn’t I just see you the other day?”. We were initially alarmed because my white blood cell count was really high but I exhibited no other symptoms of sepsis. They brought in the infectious disease doctor just in case but in the end infection was ruled out. We were back to square one, the original culprit, the bowel obstruction that just won’t resolve.
Before you jump to any conclusions about what I must have eaten to land me back there so soon, please know that I was sent home with TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition). IV nutrition that I administer myself that ensures I have everything I need while I slowly introduce other liquids and solids into my diet. In addition to TPN over the course of two days I ingested the following: 5 conservative sips of ensure, 4 plain crackers, 4 bites of Rice Krispies with almond milk, and less than a 1/4 cup of butternut squash soup.
So clearly I’m not wolfing down a grand slam at Denny’s*.
*Even if I COULD eat, you would never find me at Denny’s
So here are the facts:
1.) I’m in the hospital NPO (no food or drink by mouth) and receiving nutrition from TPN
2.) I have an NG tube in my nose to rest intestines
3.) We suspect the tumors studding the intestines are the reason the bowel obstructions are not resolving and happening more frequently
4.) Chemo begins tomorrow right in the hospital room. We’re going back to Taxol and Carboplatin.
5.) Taxol will happen weekly and Carbo will happen every 3rd week
I joke about Denny’s and keep the blog light but the truth is, in this moment I do not feel all that strong. All of this scares me. I’ve spent a significant amount of time being consoled by my parents, Cory, doctors, nurses, social workers, CNA’s….shit, even the radiology ladies brought by presents after I simultaneously sobbed and projectile vomited while they placed my NG tube.
It’s been a rough journey wrapping my head around this seemingly never ending story.
I’m in a place where I have no choice but to wholeheartedly believe that this treatment is going to help me because I am unwilling to accept anything else.
I am putting every ounce of energy I have into the universe: this treatment will work, I will be able to eat again, and I will go on to sustain a better quality of life without crazy invasive measures.
I need to believe this to be true, and I need you to believe this to be true.
Better things are on the horizon and I’m ready to get there.