Monday, May 16, 2005

No chemo today!!!!

Today is the day I'm not starting chemo again. If I were doing another round, it would have been this week. Happily, I'm not.

The past few days have been eventful.

Friday evening I had what the gastro-enterologist on call labelled a "vasovagal" event. At about 6:00 pm, I was home alone with our youngest child, and I suddenly broke out in a cold sweat all over my body. I also felt very unsteady. This lasted for about 15 minutes, during which I wondered 1. what the hell was happening to me, and 2. if I was dying.

When the gastro-enterologist called back, he did not seem especially concerned, and advised me that if it happened again I should lie down until it passed. He said it was essentially the same as fainting, and described some possible causes, none of which seemed to apply. When I asked if I should call my oncologist, he said no, that it originated in my digestive system. It seems like I should be finished with new ailments by now.

I haven't had another episode.

On Saturday we were Judy and I were overwhelmed by the kindness of 17 friends who came to our house in work clothes and did more yardwork, chores and housecleaning that we ever would have done on our own if I were fully fit. The house and yard have never looked so good, and the generosity of these fine people had a palpable healing effect on me. Thanks.

Yesterday, after Mass and lunch, I received a phone call from a close friend. He said that he'd had a seizure and was in the hospital emergency room and "just thought someone should know where he" was. I have some recent expertise at sitting around in hospitals, so Judy and I quickly decided that I should go to him.

It turned out that he'd experienced a brain hemorrhage and had a benign cyst in his head. Last night a neurosurgeon performed emergency surgery and drained the blood and the cyst. The surgery went well.

My friend is in his forties and had absolutely no reason to suspect anything was wrong with him.

I get the point that life is fragile and uncertain. I don't need any more lessons.

But, I was glad I'm strong enough that I was able to be with my friend during his trials. I'd rather not have the opportunity to give back some of the kindness shown me these last seven months. Given the opportunity, I'm glad I was able.

3 Comments:

Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, I think this blog shows how much you are back to yourself.
Think about how many people would have thought more about themselves(especially after all you have been through) than to go because someone else needed them, you truly are remarkable. Keep fighting the good fight!
V

3:54 PM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, I think this blog shows how much you are back to yourself.
Think about how many people would have thought more about themselves(especially after all you have been through) than to go because someone else needed them, you truly are remarkable. Keep fighting the good fight!
V

3:54 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

That was really nice of you to go to your friend. I'm glad he's okay. It's obvious that so many people love you, Jim Guy!!!

Vasovagal reactions can be really scary to bear, but most of them are harmless. I had a bout while working on the oncology unit, and they found that my increased stress levels caused my blood pressure to drop, causing me to pass out cold. Luckly with some meds, and a bit of a change of scenery, I've had no episodes in almost 2 years. But, yeah, it feels like you're gonna die, but you won't. Glad to hear that your also talking openly with your docs. As I said before, don't feel your being a pest, because that is what they are there for. And if one of them gives you any lip, let me know and I'll beat them up! Can't wait to see you again!
Love,
Jenn, John and FiFi.

5:28 PM  

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