I was admitted into the hospital Wednesday. I was too out of it to update the blog, but I’m on the upswing now, so here it goes.
I wake up with a grateful heart.
Yes, I am still covered all over in what my friend Karen and I were joking about at 1:00 am …my dragon scales. You should see my Khaleesi GIF. It’s an appropriate name for them, as I feel like I’ve walked through yet another fire. Your skin is your biggest organ and we take advantage of it.
“Love the skin you’re in.”
So true, people.
Get up today and moisturize or something.
Yesterday started off stressful, as at one point I had the attending oncologist, his four attendings, and as I am explaining my history another doctor walked in. I knew he was my guy right away, because I was in the middle of making sure they all knew that I may be a kindergarten teacher, but I have a doctorate degree from Save my Ass, University. The new
Guy listened to me for a minute and got that look in his eye of “She knows her stuff.”
The other men cleared out pretty quickly when he showed up so I knew he was a big deal.
Apparently, he is the dermatological specialist. He explained he read my chart and based on what he read, he booked over because he was afraid I had the fatal kind of reaction happening. The fact that he walked in on me speaking and reviewing medical jargon toe to toe with five doctors, even with marble mouth, relaxed him greatly.
I’ve lost all shame elements, and he took pictures of my body all over. Maybe they’ll make a dragon scale calendar and I’ll be their girl of the month… meet Keri, Miss November.
Then he explained he wanted to do a biopsy to make sure it’s simply the type of reaction he is thinking, and to see if it is a deep reaction or just skin. This would entail getting a core sample of my thigh. As my dad always says, “knowledge is power”, so I agreed.
Speaking of my dad, the six time cancer survivor, former marine, and retired police officer… keep him in your prayers. I think this is harder than he lets on. He had a hard time staying for the port access, the morphine injections, and walked out when they did the biopsy yesterday. Don’t let anyone fool you…
My mom is the marine.
They did the biopsy right there on my hospital bed and she held my hand the whole time. Poor Rob was rushing to the hospital after dealing with the kids and drop offs and trying to get things from his office. He ended up coming right after we finished, and mom, dad and Rob and I all had a discussion with the doctor/specialist/surgeon. Results will be in today.
The rest of the day was a flurry of emails between Erin, Donnie’s secretary, and my team at Stony Brook. I’m refusing heparin injections and making sure I get up and walk to prevent blood clots.
We had a huge relief when my oncologist stopped by after her long day. We are not stopping the doxil. We are adjusting our sails a bit.
I’m canceling the chemo for next week and pushing it off a week. We may push it another week if needed, but I already know in my heart
I will be fine by then. We are going with metronomic dosing. Lower doses at a more frequent schedule. So instead of one one big dose once a month, we will do a small dose once every two weeks, or maybe even three. Donnie is pleased with the tumor markers and also noticed a jump in lymphocytes which is good. The spike in oesinophils is probably due to an allergic reaction. We asked when I could go home and it will probably be tomorrow or Sunday. She wants to keep getting fluids and the steroid IV push into me. I’ve been wearing myself off the pain medicine as well.
Don’t get me wrong, morphine and oxicodine are good things. They’ve been life savers and necessary to even have fabric touch my
Skin. My doctor last night said I looked
Worse than a week ago… and last night was after a day in the hospital already. I guess bloated and dragon scales won’t win me the calendar girl contest.
She shook her head that I was even teaching Wednesday morning. I had a new student coming and wanted to be there. She just laughed and shook her head like I was crazy. I said i would probably be back to work Monday.
Teachers are crazy, but kindergarten teachers are a special kind of crazy.
It was another long night. Vitals every four hours, my Roommate’s phone going off in the middle of the night. I used my Headphones and listened to Christmas music all night long. It helped.
“Joy to the World”.
I’m up now, and going to attempt to clean myself up a bit before slathering the lotion all over my scales again.
The thigh hurts where they took the biopsy, so I may need some pain management there as well.
I think my brother Scott is on “Keri duty” today and will bring my mom here. My dad is the kids Uber driver today. Rob is going to come from mid morning until about 3. Jill went over last night to help out with the kids. Morgan got hit in the face in gym and had to have her braces looked at after school, and Quinn had to pack for his big Boy Scout camping weekend. I dont know what we would do without my family. They have been here for us every step of the way.
I also had God step in a few times yesterday. My friend Melissa, a swim mom and one of the most amazing and passionate teachers I’ve ever met, sent me a selfie. She was with carol Masin. Carol was my building reading teacher when I was hired at Roanoke, and left every day with a suitcase of plans. She was a dynamo, and part of what will always be called my “Roanoke Family”. She retired, and school districts now hire her as a trainer. If I ran our district, she would be my first call, followed by Pat Bloss, math trainer extraordinaire..
These two women, both who I admire and love, met for the first time and sent me a selfie.
I looked at it all day long.
God sent us Stephen too. Rob has been dealing with this and so strong. He doesn’t have a big open Facebook. He has a few close friends, and one came yesterday. Stephen is actually one of the people who helped rob and I meet. Digger O’Dells is “our place”. It’s where he asked me to be his girlfriend by quoting New Edition. “If it isn’t love, why do I feel this way?”
How could I have ever said no to that?
We laughed when I joked that here I am, not wearing pants, or a bra, and had on a hot blond wig. Years ago that would have been called a wild Friday night. I think rob needed to see him more than me.
He isn’t a hugger or emotional , but please, send him love. He is a good man.
Please pray for my dear friend Karen, who is recovering from hip surgery. Texting at 1:00 and laughing with her was a blessing during a long night.
Please pray for my roommate Joyce. She is an elderly woman who speaks out loud to Jesus all night long and is cries and is scared. I just prayed again with her, and pulled a nurse aside that perhaps a clergy visit would calm her down. Listen, anyone can pray with anyone, but she knows her bible verses and names and numbers, and it’s time for a professional.
Please pray for Quinn’s troop as they camp this weekend. I miss my kids. I won’t see him now until Sunday.
Please pray for all of these amazing and overworked nurses who are so kind. 19 North is now added to my nurse squad.
Please pray for good biopsy results, healing, and along life ahead.
In Jesus’s name, amen.
5 thoughts on “Hospital Day Three”
You remain in my prayers every day Keri. You will pull through this I know 🙏🏻❤️ Uncle Bill will be in Stony Brook Hospital this afternoon getting a stent put in his bile duct, please pray for him too since I know you and Jesus are tight 🙏🏻🥰
I love you Keri and your Mom and Dad and family too 💐💕
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My mom will be here today too
And of course, may Bill be covered in His grace and mercy and protection. By his stripes we are healed.
In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Keri, reading your words today reminds me very much of my own chemo experience: a lot of pain, but also a lot of laughter and love from my friends and family. Chemo is brutal. I went through 14 consecutive weeks of IV taxanes, along with 6 concurrent MEGA DOSES of carboplatin delivered through a port in my abdomen every three weeks, for ovarian cancer treatment. Like you, I had the steroid burn and bloat, neuropathy in my hands and feet, finger and toe-nail fungus, incredible weakness, terrible mouth sores, and worst of all, allergic reactions to the taxanes that started out as hives and then ended up burning the skin on my arms and heading towards my face (which is when we finally stopped the taxanes, at week 14). My arms were on fire, and looked like the picture of your legs. That said, once I was done, the burnt skin eventually cleared up and I felt more like myself…and more importantly, four years later, I am still alive and able to spend time with the people I love. Keri, please know that people of all faiths all around the world are praying for you, your family, and your caregivers. And also know that you have been a force to help change the future for MBC and all Stage IV cancer patients. With sincere wishes that your advocacy helps to ensure a long life for you and others. PS – Keep smiling. You and your family are beautiful.
Continued prayers for you, Keri. So sorry to hear about ur dragon scales. How painful that must be, yet your blog made me laugh out loud about being a graduate of save ur ass university and it made me smile when I see all the love that surrounds you and all the lives you touch, including mine. Grateful to know you thru this blog and I hope you get to go home soon and make a full recovery. You are amazing