I called the Doctor on Call at Dana Farber yesterday when my temperature had spiked to 103.5.
I felt terrible. My mouth felt like it could crack and slough out due to how dehydrated it was from mouth breathing all night.
No amount of chap stick and fluids was making it feel better.
Alyea was out of town. I was directed to his coverage. When I spoke, I reviewed my history, specifically the fact that I was seen on Tues, diagnosed with Para Influenza and given Augmentin. My fever had subsided slightly but had now jumped higher than before.
Then, Dr. educated, with his superior accent, proceded to tell me if I felt “totally crappy.” Something was wrong.
TOTALLY CRAPPY?! Yes. I do feel totally crappy!
Did I use those words to describe myself or were those descriptive terms his?
Then he said it again, “If you are still feeling totally crappy. . . . . .
Now, through all the snot, difficulty breathing, eyes watering, and pain, I’m trying not to laugh.
“I’m going to go to the emergency department at Dartmouth Medical.” I told him.
He agreed this was the best idea, said my actual doctor would be available by the end of the day, and he would be available as coverage if anybody needed to speak to him regarding my care.
I went to the ER where I was seen promptly.
I forgot how friendly and welcoming the staff at DHMC was.
It feels. . . . . .homey.
Yes, I said it, homey.
I’ve spent over 6 full months total here as an inpatient. At one point, one Christmas eve, X asked me if I could spend the night at his house.
This is where his idea that I “live at the hospital” comes from.
I was also treated by two nurses who had experiences with cancer themselves.
Anyway, a little Tylenol, pain killers, cetriaxone, and zithromax for my pneumonia did get me to feel better, but not completely coherent.
I decided it would be a great time to learn how to post on my facebook page’s wall via my blackberry while waiting for my room.
The message: This is my first message from my blackberry. I’m in the hospital. Say some prayers.
I thought this was simple enough.
I didn’t anticipate the mass remessaging I would receive from a couple simple sentences.
I am definitely receiving prayers and hugs from all over the country all the time. I was smiling through my haze of fever, bacterial infection, and medications.
Through bouts of sleep and consciousness I was transferred back to my old wheeling ground (for some it could be stomping ground, but I wasn’t doing much of that while I was here).
I saw nurses you took care of me years ago. I remember how comfortable they made me and who educated they are.
I feel so safe in their care.
I remember seeing Dr. Meehan, and talking to him briefly. I tried to high-five him when he went to leave in advance for making me feel better.
Something tells me patients don’t usually high-five him when they feel terrible but know they will feel better.
I give high fives. I do touch down dances.
Life is a game. I like to play.
Everytime I get sick and begin the road to recovery, I celebrate. I celebrate like an athlete, scholar, or writer who has accomplished a goal. Every small step, every virus or bacterial infection I overcome, is a victory.
I give thanks. I throw an internal party. One less thing I have faced that did not kill me. It made me stronger.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."