It was a wild week over here.
On Monday, I was extremely short of breath even after the efforts of last week to manage it.
I called in to my doctor’s office and was called back with the news that I needed to be admitted to the hospital. For some reason, this made me cry. I think I look at going to the hospital as some type of defeat rather than as going to a place where they can actually observe me and care for me.
After 18 hours in the hospital, only 2 real things had happened: I had a CAT scan and my dear friends Emily and Sarah got me into a private room when at 9 p.m. I was wheeled into a double room with a roommate who’s family reeked of smoke. There would have been no sleeping on my part that night.
By Tuesday afternoon, we finally learned that it was fluid causing my distress after all and that I would need a drain. Fortunately, the amazing interventional radiology PA we saw soon after we received this news agreed that it might be best for me to go home and to get the drain placed in the morning over at the cancer center rather than another night in the hospital.
The drain was placed Wednesday morning. It is a different kind than I had before. It is not as bulky and I have control over when it drains. With my new head of hair and my lack of fanny pack drain, I feel like I am not always advertising my health status. I was breathing well enough to make it happily from the couch to the door every time we had trick-or-treaters. I wouldn’t have made it halfway there even once on Monday.
Here is photo evidence of me with hair as I write this:
Thursday morning we saw Dr. Campbell. We will keep the drain in as long as we needed to for comfort and we needed a few more rounds of chemo to see if we can dry out the lung with medicine. I don’t feel impatient about this at all because the drain is so manageable. It seems the likelihood of a blood clot in the lung had motivated his caution with me and hence my hospitalization.
Dr. Campbell has also been very good about managing the pain that comes with the fluid, the drain, and the chemo. I feel optimistic and functional.
After the doctor, I went straight to school. My ever-praying and understanding colleagues were so welcoming and wonderful. It was great to be there. I even cooked dinner that night.
Today I’ve been a bit groggier trying to work out the right dose of pain meds, but did get a few good things done–again with Emily and Sara’s help.
After my drain placement, my parents went to be with my sister’s family in Atlanta. Auntie Roze and Uncle George have stepped up to be “team B” in their stead. I’m afraid they are spoiling us rotten just as my parents do.
After a wild week, I’m ready for a peaceful deep-breathing kind of weekend.