It’s been a long two weeks in Cancer World. I have been the sickest I have ever been after my second chemo in a row. It began almost immediately–the crushing fatigue and nausea. I foolishly tried to muster through work, taking a nap when I had to, but really not functioning. Feeble, bald and anemic are the words that come to mind. In retrospect I won’t try that again. Better to stay in bed and sleep my way through it–and when I say sleep, I mean hours and hours of sleep and a boat-full  of medication. After 7 long days of that you can imagine how excited I was when the tide started to change and I began to feel better on my 2 week break. I was so looking forward to Easter weekend and being more like my old self. image

It started well with a wonderful lunch on Saturday with my visiting nephew and his wife and various family members on both of their sides. So happy to see them and the new babies that have arrived. Iimage gotta say, The Cheesecake Factory is not for the faint of appetite—-the portions are gargantuan and the desserts I can’t even talk about they were so big. Europeans must go there and wonder what is wrong with us. After we said our goodbyes we headed to the most expensive candy store in the world and made a small down payment before proceeding to Nordstrom’s with the large bag of candy in hand. Tim Blanket decided to sit and wait by the escalators while I wandered  around. I tried on a few dresses but it was so crushing to my self-esteem (bald, ashen gray, bony, scarred) I decided I needed to escape before I was too damaged to come back from the abyss. I found Tim and headed out when he suddenly said “where’s the bag?” We hurried back to where he had been sitting–no bag! On a whim I said let’s ask the girl at the counter and sure enough–some nice person had turned the bag in! At this point the big fatigue was arriving and my catheter port started to inexplicably hurt–time to go home.

The cath port was red and swollen and beginning to ooze. I face timed Nurse Kelsey who took one look and said “you have to call your doctor immediately”. What!? This is my big Saturday night–the one day a month when I feel okay. Reluctantly I sent Dr. Rachel a picture and immediately she said I had to go to the ER at Brigham and Women’s. What!? I begged not to go, promising to go in the morning but she wasn’t having any of it, nor was Tim. Kelsey and her friend Katie, who is an ER nurse at Brigham, met us there. Kelsey had a bag of clothes for me. What? She announced I would probably be admitted for IV antibiotics over night. Why doesn’t anyone tell me the whole story instead of doling it out in pieces? Fortunately the ER was kinda empty. Apparently Easter isn’t a big drinking holiday or maybe everyone stays home and waits for Jesus to rise up and cure them. Kelsey, Tim and I sat on a gurney in the middle of the ER watching the action although I had to wear a mask. Finally we got a private room and the poking and prodding began. Not one, but two IVs later my blood and wound were cultured and sent off and the nice ER doc consulted with Dr. Rachel. Since I did not have a fever and looked perky, they agreed I could go home on oral antibiotics and wait until Tuesday when I see Dr. Rachel. She would have the lab results back and could decide if they could save the catheter or not. So I got my pass jail and go free card in time to get home before midnight and crash for 11 hours. As we walked out of the ER I made a crack about the silliness of it all. Tim’s response: “I can just see the Facebook post now—“good news, Barb’s not going to die of cancer after all, bad news–she died tonight of a blood infection.” I guess I am stubborn.

Easter at my brother’s was lovely especially after all the worry about missing it. Food and more food, lots of candy and eggs. All’s well that ends well. Back at chemo tomorrow.image

Happy Day After Easter to all–sometimes I’m going to be late on these things.

I really appreciate all the comments people leave me or e-mail me—-less lonely here for me and I love feedback.

Be well,

Barbara

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Written by barbigelow

Wife, mother, school psychologist, cat lover

14 comments

  1. So sorry you had to spend the night in the ER but happy you got to spend Easter with your family. Always thinking of you and sending love and hugs to you, Tim and the girls.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fuck, fuck, fuckfuckfuckfuck, FUCK! There, I feel better. I was very pleased thZt Nicholas contacted you and included you in their visit to Boston. Barb, you probably weren’t feeling very well, but the pics looked good. Meanwhile, we were in Detroit putting up with Scoop’s bad mood, and trying to make Zgraany feel better. Oh, the craziness of life!
    I’m incredibly sorry that you feel like shit so much. I wish so much that you could have a reprieve, even for a day or two. Just to feel strong and healthy and beautiful and vibrant.
    Maybe all this crap you’re going through will give you that, eventually. Hope springs eternal. Until then, I guess I can only say “hang in there”. If you said that to me if I was in your shoes I might shoot me, so take it with the grain of salt we all talk about, and know we all love you beyond words or prayers or even hugs. We love you beyond all words or thoughts. 😍💚❤️❌⭕️🙏💜🎼💖😹🍀

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  3. Glad to see the Blog today, I had a feeling something wasn’t quiet right. Company, family, friends and especially candy will always be a proven pick me up! Maybe they should pin your purple heart on your lapel like everyone else!!! Love you BJ, Tim, Kelsey and Bridget

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  4. Agh! Infections are scary when you are on chemo, I am glad they got you in, and let you go home. No one wants to stay at the hospital… ever! Especially when it is supposed to be your good day! Hope it clears up without event and you can keep your port. What a pain in the butt!

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  5. And there I was bitching on Facebook about my stomach bug! What an a-hole! Can’t imagine feeling as sick as you do Barbara–I am so sorry. And then to get an infection on top of it. It sounds like Easter was nice. Being in the hospital would have sucked. Praying that the next round of chemo keeps shrinking those bastards. XO Jen

    PS:I love that song from R & J. Haunting and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Barb: I am happy to hear that you didn’t get blood poisoning. Also very happy to hear that you felt well enough to spend Easter with family. i hope that you feel better. Miss you all.
    Love, Michael

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  7. I totally get the Cheesecake Factory observation. I have always wondered how they accomodate all those menu items, it all seems very greedy and American to me. No wonder we have so much obesity in this country, those menus are a lie and most of us by it! The cheesecake, however is good! Bless you for tackling the mall, I can no longer go there, it is too exhausting. All kidding aside, take care and good wishes with this new round. Xo. Kathy and Gib

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  8. Wow just a little ER trip between big meals!! Crazy! Glad you have such good care and an on call nurse who loves you! Thinking of you today at DF. Hoping for no excitement… Just the usual chemo day. Lots of love❤️ Carla

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  9. i missed you at the SPED mtg today…thinking of you and continuing to hold you up to the Universe for your highest and best health and wellness every>single.day. @ 5:45 am 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so sorry that you have been feeling so shitty and that you have an infection on top of all your other damn misery. Thank goodness you were able to go home and enjoy Easter with your family. Jeez Barb, never a dull moment! Hoping and praying that all of this brings you to a place where you feel strong and healthy. Sending love to you and Tim, Bridget, and Kelsey. Xox
    PS: Cheesecake Factory is very scary on many levels not the least of which is the clear illustration of American over consumption. (but damn that cheesecake is good)
    ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Barbara,

    What an ordeal! What a wordsmith you are … sharing your journey so honestly , capturing the misery you suffer with resolve & humor.
    Sending you, Tim & the girls strength & love.
    It’s a privilege for me to know you through Tim. Please know that I’m keeping you in my heart.
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

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