Back In The Hospital

Yesterday I was admitted back for more scheduled chemo, this time a HUGE bag of Metheltrexone (?) was administered after some other chemo drugs, and now I stay at St. John’s for at least 3 days while they monitor me to make certain I’m handing the new chemo well.  THIS is the high-power stuff (40 ml of it) that is the scary part of M=CODEX/Ivac (if I’m writing that correctly…) and I’ve been fearful of it.

Well, now it’s al in, they have me back on fluids (which make me pee like there’s no tomorrow) and I’m back on high dose dexemethesone, too, which has made my blood sugar SOAR up to 500 (I didn’t even know that was possible!) so I’m taking insulin, too.

My entire family has had Type2 Diabetes.  I say, “has had” because my entire blood family – those who haven’t passed from cancer related stuff – has passed from diabetes/heart disease related stuff.  The curse of the hillbilly-high-fat-and-sugar diet, and the curse of living in a cancer cluster (Parkersburg, WV) has taken it’s toll on my family.

I’ve never been thin, but compared to many in my family I’m absolutely svelt.  Right now I’m round as a steroid-pill and bald as Uncle Fester, but when I’m not pumped full of dex I tend to be a bit thinner looking than I am now.

I made the choice when I was 16 to leave the Ohio Valley/WV area and go to college, then to NYC, and not to return.  I knew that living with so much chemical input into the drinking water, so much coal dust in the rivers, and so much deep fried food would play hell with my health, so I chose to live where I could express myself artistically and be the person I always wanted to be – a New Yorker.

I was strongly affected by Television, my first role model was Anne Marie on THAT GIRL!  Later my role model tendencies switched to Rhoda (and I DID work in costuming!) which made it SO ironic when eventually I moved to the Twin Cities.

Am I now channeling my inner Phyllis (post Lars, now…) and will I eventually end up in San Francisco?  Is this part of the blog entirely senseless to those of you born after 1970?  Sorry, childhood role models will remain childhood role models.

I’m not dealing with Gerry’s loss right now.  I’ve made the decision that I will address it in full, with all of the emotions that entails, when I am better able to allow myself to.  I’m not ignoring it, I cry, I’m sad, but I can’t give myself up to the grief and continue with my recovery as I need to.

I hope this doesn’t sound heartless.  It is hard, like missing his memorial service, or not circulating with the dozens of folks who came to the house after the service.  I promised my doc I wouldn’t put myself into close proximity with more than a dozen folks for infection’s sake, and I physically just couldn’t make it to the service. But more to the point, I don’t think, emotionally, I could have extended so much of myself and would have been able to keep the strength I need to get through this chemo, which is so damned hard.

The kids, I’ve been told, did a stellar job.  Max taped it using professional equipment from SPNN, and he’ll be editing it together with some lovely family video that Andy fortuitously had transferred to DVD just a few months ago.  When I have that edit, I’ll post it here so you can all see how amazing my kids are to have put something like that together.  Amazing.

Max will return to college this well, probably while I’m still in the hospital.  It’s been amazing to have him home, exactly what we all needed; a bit of normalcy.  If this current chemo round goes well, I may be starting my FOURTH and FINAL chemo sometime around Nov 12, and then we shall see…

I have no idea, when this whole “cancer” thing is done, whether my body will be as it was before.  I’m getting a growing sense that, like Gerry, I will ALWAYS carry the pain of the tumor in my back and the damage done by it’s growth into two vertebrae.  Will I always be on pain meds to deal with the constant bone & spine pain?  I guess these are things that will be revealed I I continue with my recovery/remission.  Which are lovely words.

25 thoughts on “Back In The Hospital

  1. Dear Annie. I am sending healing energy to you in this moment. There are so many fans and friends pulling for you. Let us carry the burden of healing and love. Rest in the knowledge that you are loved so your body will recover.

  2. Annie, you are doing the exactly right thing. The season for grief will come in time. Your energy is better spent on your health right now. Know that many , many people are keeping you and the kids in our hearts and prayers.

  3. You are surrounded and supported by a cloud of well wishes and love. Follow your instincts and concentrate on getting through this chemo and making a recovery. The prayer wheel is spinning constantly, even the cat is helping ensure its constant motion. We love you, Annie. We want you well. The world needs you.

  4. Heartless? Never, Annie. Your choices are exactly what Gerry would have told you to do – get well, and go on. They are loving choices.

  5. Love, love, and more love. You’re walking a hard path, and when you’re doing that, you just do the best you can.

    Best wishes, good thoughts, and health mojo, always.

  6. I’m glad your children could be there for you and were able to step up and do the things that needed to be done in this dark time. The resilience of your family is inspirational, and I’m so sorry it’s been required.

  7. Your blog has its own direct link on my first phone screen. I see your face as soon as the screen lights up. I probably check it 5 times a day – wanting news, dreading news, hoping for news. The rhymer in me would say “News shared is news better beared” but I just can’t do that, so I’ll say “News shares is news better borne,” its burden has the shoulders of the world under it – Yeah, shoulders made stronger by knitting and lifting heavy hanks from dye-pots. #alwaysmentionwool

  8. Sending you many, many virtual hugs and a million positive thoughts, I think of you a lot and thank you for sharing, you are doing the right thing of putting yourself first right now!

  9. You will grieve when you grieve. There is no set timetable for grief. The most important thing, the thing that Gerry would want for you, is for you to take care of yourself. To heal and recover

  10. Thanks for the update. I’ve been wondering about you. I think you are doing the right thing by focusing on self-care right now. You need your strength for this battle. Praying in big ways for you!

  11. Go be you – – know that we’re not going anywhere. Andy & Max are there for you & you are there for them. That is all that is important now! You have 2 strong, smart, loving young adults there, and they have an amazing Mother. Just do what you 3 need to do for one another. We’re here – listening out and sending love and good vibes up the road to you. Let us always know if there is anything that we can supply! You have our best good wishes always.

  12. Sorry for what you are having to go through. While no two cancer patients are identical I can offer some hope about the pain. I too had lymphoma in my back. Mine was inside the spinal column, through one of the vertebrae, and also in two spots in my back. The pain was horrendous and I moved as little as possible. Treatment worked on the lymphoma and the pain lessened but it took a long time (several years) before I was able to do everything I did before without pain, but it did happen. I don’t even think about my back anymore and the pain pills have gone away.

    • Thank you so much, that kind of reassurance is golden right now! I hadn’t met anyone who had lymphoma with the spinal/vertebrae tumors / pain so I’ve been worrying that my own pain will continue unabated forever. I’m so glad that your own pain diminished in a few years!!

  13. Do what you believe for yourself and your children with no regrets; Gerry is with you as you battle forward for you both. Sending healing thoughts and prayers for all in these difficult times.

  14. I’ve been following you online since you were on the East Coast and noticed I haven’t seen a post from you in a while so I decided to google your blog. I am so sorry you are going through all the things all at once. May you experience peace and joy in the near future. Some of the most joyful people I know live in San Francisco so it is easy to imagine you living and thriving there as well.

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