HEY THERE… IT’S ME KATHY BY KATHY GOLEMIEC
How was your week? Mine was a big, ‘oh my God.’
Friday I had a fever of 38.8 C so I took two Advil so it wouldn't go any higher and off I went to the hospital. When I got there, it was down so I home I went.
On Saturday, it was 39.9C, so off I go again. This time I didn’t get to go home. I had IV antibiotics and in came the dreaded blood test woman with her bucket of torture tools. She put a needle in my hand and she got it in one stab. Let me remind you how much I hate needles.
I kept waiting to go home and then the doctor said they were going to keep me and see how I was in the morning.
I didn’t sleep too bad on a stretcher but the room was cold thanks to the great-working air conditioner. I was in the isolation room with a little metal toilet with a sink attached out in the open in the corner. Anyone brave enough to use it better think about metal in an ice storm. I wasn’t taking any chances and by morning I had six heated blankets put on me and I slept in my clothes.
I figure no germs were getting in here or they’ll freeze at the door.
Next I was moved to the room down the hall, still on the stretcher so still a chance of going home. My white blood count was dangerously low at .9 and my blood pressure wasn’t great either.
When they set up a table with boxes of gloves, masks and gowns and put up a sign to put all three on before entering the room. It really didn’t look like I was going home.
Sunday morning at 6 a.m., I heard, “Kathryn, I am here to take your blood,” and I can’t remember bolting up in the bed that fast in my life. Mark Twain once said, “if you eat a live frog for breakfast, nothing could be worse for the rest of the day.” Ha, I’ve got news for him.
The next day I was moved upstairs to a private room with a real bed. Oh, I thought, this is not looking good.
The radiation buns are now full with vengeance. The burns under my arms and in my groin have blistered and broken. The allergic reaction to the tape around the port is just as bad and to top it off, my lips are burnt on one side and blistered from the heavy chemo.
Oh, what do I do now? Call Bonnie, the new cancer navigator. She will know what to do. Sure enough, Bonnie comes to the rescue with saline sterile pads and antibiotic cream. Woo hoo.
The next morning, I heard, “Good morning, Katheryn, how are you my dear?” Yup, I know that voice. It’s my doctor, the most pleasant person you will ever meet and the best dressed. He said he wants to keep me there until he is sure it’s safe for me to leave. OK, that’s good enough for me.
We never did find the source of the infection, but all the antibiotics over the week cleared it up. My hospital stay was an adventure. Everyone was so caring and helpful. I want to thank all of the doctors, nurses, cleaners, food service workers, porters and all my friends, family and Bonnie for helping me get better.
The days can be long. I was sitting there pulling my hair out…. Ha, literally. My hair is starting to fall out. I should be bald in a few days. Thank you to my father and Janet for taking care of my guppy farm.
Weight-wise… my pants need a belt.
Have a great weekend folks and yes the ragweed is out.
Kathy Golemiec is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. She writes a weekly column on her experiences.