what thoughts rattle around in your brain when you're a mom of a toddler and a breast cancer patient?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Infections and an emergency hospital visit

I felt crappy on Mon and Tues and by Wed morning I just couldn't get moving. I tried taking a bath to loosen thing up (I have a constant backache now) and then I got out of the bath, I vomited. Just a little though because with two days of intensive backpain, I had not been eating much. Anyhow, I stumbled back to bed, flipped on the heating pad to relieve the pain in my back, and then called my pal Angela to come over to help since Dan had already left for work with the babyshoe at his side.

I also called the parent of a school pal of Veronica's to help get her in for the day. Angela arrived in about 30 minutes and started feeding me pedialite unflavored (tastes like soap flakes) until she was sure I could keep it down. The onto some gatorade. Angela said, I think you have a fever, let's check. Sure enough the thermo shows 102.6, not good. Thanks to recent blood work, I knew I had a low white count and was susceptible to infections so the rest of the day was already not looking good. We called the onco office and they demanded that I come in to see them for an evaluation. Angela gets me out to the car and to the onco office within 10 minutes. The chemo nurses draw blood and start me on IV fluids while the doc puts together an express admission to the hospital for me. My pulse is high (145) and my breathing is labored because of the infection. For most of this I am reclined in a chair with a blanket over me just wishing I could bein the hospital already where they could take the pain away from my tortured back.

I was in the hospital from Wed -Mon, mostly because they were having touble getting my pain mamanged properly. It seems to be ok now.

After a chest xray, MRI and CT scan, it was determined that my cancer is still progressing.There is a large tumor forming over the right lobe of my lung and is starting to squeeze down on it, hence the tremendous back pain and shortness of breath.

Since my cancer is still progressing (growing, geting worse) so that means I'll be switching from Navelbine to some new drugs. Two this time: Avastin and Taxol. Taxol will make me bald again, btw, I am still getting used to the idea of dealing with that nightmare. I have oxygen at home now that I have to keep plugged into my nose ful time and 02 travel cannisters to lug around for when i can get out of the house. I will be off of work an on disability for a long time.

It's official, I am chemo resistant. This last stab at new chemo is only because I'm not ready to stop fighting for more time with my family. It' so hard to believe I've arrived here after only being diagnosed since Mar 04. My mood is up and down, and I would say this is largely to do a safe comfy sense of denial and a brain that is simply not ready to quit fighting the good fight just yet.

My dad and stepmom were already sheduled to visit from Jun 8-23 so their timing turned out to be perfect for helping us all with the stress of my being in the hospital and Dan singlehandedly trying to manage out two sweet girls. They may actually extend their time if it seems like it would help.

My ever-supportive sister also hopped on the first plane she could get from NYC to SD and stayed until Wed evening, promising to come back as soon as dad and JoAnne haveto leave if we still need some help. She spent her frist two nights sleeping in the hospital cot in my room to be there in case I needed help right away like if the nurses were responding too slowly for things like administering pain medicine. Meanwhile she paid for this week of Jen's daycare, a cell phone bill and a gas credit card bill, all without me saying a word about it. Plus she left behind another check for $1k to be sure we could continue having a housekeeper come around as often as we need to keep the monkey house clean.

And just to make the hug around us a little tighter, during the week while I was in the hospital, our friends Mark and Alyce dropped off a big bunch of groceries, and now Alyce is trying to help us coordinate how we will get V to and from daycamp each day if I can't safely drive--School is out on Jun 17. (Rx morphine + oxygen = DUI?)

The final link in the hug chain is that my Laurel, reiki master, came all the way to my house so I could have a session this week because I couldn't get the energy to get in the car or even muster up a ride.

It's been a rotten week and yet I feel so blessed by all the warmth my loved ones are showing me. I think, what did I ever do for any of these people to come through for me like this?

Final thoughts: I'm playing by the rules and doing everthing I possibly can, including taking every test or medicine known to kill cancer. I admit I could do a better job eating more -- I am really working on that too--but it is so hard to eat a nurishing meal when it feels like Pele is practicing his kicking by aiming for the right side of my back. Mostly I keep a positive attitude and am grateful for my remaining days here on God's Green Planet. Can I have a just a peek at the plan? Does it say lay down and go quietly or does it say Stand and Fight this one last time and you will be rewarded with your life.

I dream about watching Jennifer graduate college someday. About holding her children in my arm as their grandmother. About seeing Veronica find first love. And about being a wonderful wife and companion to my husband that he deserves.

Thank you friends and family, for once again racing to help us to help the moment you are needed. Namaste.


Anonymous Dan said...

Mitzie, just want you to know, im following this, im sorry I dont comment, its hard just reading it after living it with you. I love you so much, you are the world to me and I wish so badly I could stop this disease for you.

12:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog and getting news from Vikki. I just want you to know that there are so many people you don't hear from who are also wishing you and your family the best. I am so glad you feel the love of your family and friends during this difficult time. There are so many times during the day that my thoughts turn to you and your brave struggle. I don't know why your doctors' efforts, your fighting spirit, and the collective will of so many people who care about you don't seem to be enough to make you well. I guess there's an awful lot about this life and the grand design that we mere mortals can't possibly understand. Just know that you have already made a wonderful difference by being in this world. Wishing you freedom from pain and happy times with those you love. Hold onto those dreams!
Debbie (Schellhas) Sanchez

8:04 AM

Anonymous Maggie said...

Ronne I love you so much, I am so sorry that I don't live right there to come over every day and help you out. I'll do anything for you, just please ask. Please ask.

9:49 AM

Blogger carla said...


You are so loved and you are so strong. Yes!... KEEP fighting the good fight. Never give up, don't back down and screw that phrase "chemo resistant". Feel the love coming to you from up North and know that the hug that keeps getting tighter includes my arms.

10:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Punster I love you.

1:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you keep fighting, I have been reading your story for awhile now, and pray everytime I think of you and your family.. don't give up yet, your little daughter wants you to see her do those things also- keep the dream alive.

2:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronne, I don't know you but your step Mom, Jo Anne and I were high school friends. She told be of your website and I have been tremendously moved by your strength,courage and positive attitude.Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during your tremendous fight. You are truly a role model.

8:02 PM

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Anonymous JJ said...

Back Pain is a pain in my… well… back!
I was hit by a car a few years ago and since then I have suffered a lot of lower back pain and back ache! I was on strong painkillers for awhile but then I was getting addicted to them so had to drop them before it got too bad. That was about a year ago now and since then I have been looking for alternate ways of relieving the pain and aching until a month ago I was struggling to find anything that helped but I managed to get hold of some Cheap Sleepeezee Beds and I finally got a good nights sleep! It was great!
Upon waking from my beautiful bed the relief only lasted until I got to work then the suffering began once more.
Can anyone give me any advice to ease my pain?

9:04 AM

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