Status Update: Doing Better

12 07 2011

Things look much brighter today. While at first the doctors were concerned that I had a blood infection, it is now looking a lot more like a subcutaneous/skin infection. I am being treated with bags of the big guns — vancomycin, a broad spectrum antibiotic.

Meanwhile, the echocardiogram of my heart looked terrific — the doctors were concerned that the infection could have reached my heart or that there may have been fluid-filled sacs there. But none of that. My heart is beautiful and beating away just as it should. Yay for that!

I had a chest X-ray at 10 p.m. last night (who KNEW they do these tests 24/7?) to rule out pneumonia — a pretty standard procedure. Chest X-ray is clear, too!

I didn’t have any idea that someone from Hospital Transport would be knocking on my door at 10 p.m. to take me to X-ray. So, I checked with the nurse, and indeed, there was a doctor’s order for an X-ray.

Down the hall we went, me on stretcher, winding through the empty hallways, the lights dimmed for the night. Very Stephen King-ish, minus the ending, which was just an uneventfful trip back to my room.

So far, I have seen doctors from Oncology, Infectious Diseases, and Surgery. There were questions as to whether or not these boils on my skin — the first of which appeared on my abdomen and the second on my left leg — should be drained. At this point, thank God, the answer is no. Better that they resolve themselves with the antibiotics and rest.

Several more have appeared on my backside. Oh, great, I thought. I will be the literal butt of many jokes for years to come. Even worse, Infectious Disease wants to culture them today so they can identify the specific bacteria and ensure I’m on the correct antibiotic. More laughter to follow as that story is told over and over again for years to come at parties and who knows what. Butt cultures. Sigh.

I am waiting for the Big Guns from oncology, who have so far taken a back seat as Infectious Disease was busy doing their work – whatever this is falls under their umbrella. It’s a process of elimination and thank God that at this point, it does seem they have ruled out a blood infection. Seems getting myself to the ER asap was a very wise move.

My fever is gone, I feel fine, really. I do need the IV antibiotics and the tests and culture results, so it looks like I will be staying for a little while. My hope is that they’ll allow me to go home tomorrow, but I do realize that I must stay as long as I need to, until it is safe to let me go home. They may allow me to go home with IV antibiotics, which I can run through my chemo port.

I don’t know what this means for my chemo regimen at this point, other than I will have to heal before I can go back. I am going to ask for a CT Scan of my lungs today as I was due for another this month anyway and, if by chance those blueberry-sized tumors in my lungs have disappeared, well now, wouldn’t that be something?

Thank you for all of your heartfelt blog and Facebook comments. They really lift me up when I’m sitting in my hospital bed awake, late at night, oh who knows, perhaps waiting for Hospital Transport to wheel me down one of the eerie hallways.

Most of all, thank you for your prayers. I’ll continue to keep you updated.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson



47 responses

12 07 2011

So so glad to hear from you and know you are better!! Could it be an infection from the various exotic frogs you are raising?

12 07 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

Nope, Lisa. The docs said likely a public hot tub, pool, lake — or the like. They said truly the bacteria could have come from anywhere and I’m so susceptible that I couldn’t fight it. They asked me if I’d done anything out of the ordinary lately and when I thought back, we DID go to Lake Erie on the Fourth of July and the water was DISGUSTING, as was the trash washing up on the beach. I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure, but that’s my best guess.

12 07 2011

Sadly I would say that is a VERY good guess of what my have caused this. The lakes are a mess. So glad it’s not a blood infection.
Honestly I am hoping that I won’t be up to fb you but will if I am.
Glad to hear you are completely on the ball about things and don’t just sit around and wait for the Dr’s all the time but take charge yourself. Too many people are afraid to do that.
Won’t stop praying, I don’t believe in too many prayers. : )

12 07 2011

I don’t need a doctor to tell me that you have a great heart.

12 07 2011

That’s so sweet and so true…

12 07 2011
Sharon Frisch

Awesome news, Amy! I have been praying for you every time God brings you to my mind, which was quite a bit throughout last night and today. Take care and I pray you get to go home very soon!

12 07 2011
Janice Domanski

I am sooooo happy for the better news!!!

12 07 2011

I am glad you are feeling better and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

12 07 2011
Scott Orwig

SO glad to hear, Amy! Once again it sounds like you did exactly the right thing.

12 07 2011

I see the future… You are the lead singer in the band called the “Butt Cultures”…. You only take time off of touring with the band to promote your third best selling book- “I kicked cancer’s BUTT” and to hang out with your family in the Hamptons…

Take care, we still need some sweaty fries!

12 07 2011
Jennifer Wolf

Oh my gosh! I laughed so hard I spit iced tea out of my nose! I wanna be a back-up singer!

12 07 2011

What wonderful news! I think you are right….your butt will be the butt of many jokes, cards and wise-cracks (teehee) for many years to come! Love you!

12 07 2011

THANK GOD! And I will continue to do so. Butt cultures… *THAT* is what I have been waiting for – your incredible lightness of being and joy for the truly absurd!! The world just can’t survive without it – you are so rare my friend! See – even your body has a brilliant sense of humor. Thank the dis-ease for its contribution, and let it know it is no longer needed and is free of services IMMEDIATELY! Continue to relax, heal, love, laugh laugh laugh!!!! And imagine all of our love flowing through your body, gently disolving your butt culture clan while laughing as the love grows stronger, brighter and more vibrant penetrating deep into every fiber and cell of your body, calling forth your incedible vitality within.

12 07 2011
Elizabeth DeWaard

I knew you could do it!

12 07 2011

What a relief! Who cares about butt jokes when you get such good news ;).

Love and hugs!

12 07 2011
Kristi Rugh Kahl

While I’m sure some of the readers would have loved a scarrrryyy story to your xray visit last night…..I can tell you that all of us are relieved it was uneventful and wonderful news that you are doing better! Just another chapter title for your book…….

12 07 2011
danielle Neilsn

I think we all know that you have a beautiful heart. We didn’t need a dr to tell us that!
I’m glad you are doing better and that it doesn’t seem to be a blood infection. As for your night tme x-ray, I work midnights in a hospital so I know what you were seeing. It can be kind of Stephen Kingish.

12 07 2011
E. McCoy

That is some good news. Get some more jello and pudding and rest. I’ll come by again later today.

12 07 2011

A collective sigh of relief from your many fans. So happy to hear the good news that you are on the mend.

12 07 2011
Laura Kasischke

It’s so amazing that, through all this, here’s your incredible shining personality and sense of humor. You’re so wonderful. xoxoxLaura

12 07 2011
Mary Cox

Woohooo – Great news, thank you for taking the time to update us all. We will continute the flood gate of prayers for you dear one.


12 07 2011

Sharing you with my Tuesday night ladies. LIfting you up in prayer. Thanking the Lord for taking care of you. Sending much love and positive thoughts your way.

12 07 2011

So glad to hear it, and so sorry you had to go through this. Hope you are home very soon.

12 07 2011
Paul Vachon

Hang in there, Amy!

12 07 2011

Yippee, skippee! Glad to hear the news! Wish I could come down and visit you in the hospital. Hurry up and get better and GET UP HERE! In the meantime, “Elephant-fest” has begun. I’ll grab an ear for you.

12 07 2011
Sharon L-S

Wonderful news. Hugs and prayers continue. Hope you are home soon.

12 07 2011
Jennifer Bopp Stegbauer

Dear Amy,
the picture I saw of you and Don at the high school reunion was fabulous. And then this all happened so quickly. But I am always so amazed and relieved at how fast you receive the medical attention that you need. It is so encouraging to see that you are being well taken care of. It shows that you are meant to keep on keeping on and living life.

12 07 2011
Aunt Doris

Good news from you, Amy, is like a breath of fresh air on a hot day. I and my church continue to remember you in prayer. God can do anything but fail! And He loves you… and so do I. —Aunt Doris

12 07 2011

What a relief to hear such great news! Your docs do good work. Try not to fret about being in the hospital – rest, rest, rest. Considering the state of your sit-upon, maybe on your side…..

12 07 2011
Rita P

I’m so thrilled you are doing better. Even though I’ve never met you in person, I’ve become your blog friend. I awakened several times during the night (unusual for me) and just prayed for you ’til I went back to sleep. Continue to heal, and I mean that from the heart of my bottom!!

12 07 2011
Chelsea L

Knew you’d do it. Good job and yay for you!

12 07 2011
Debbie Loumakis

Whew, glad things are looking up 🙂

12 07 2011

Glad to hear that you are doing better!

12 07 2011
Jennifer Wolf

Amy, Amy, Amy… Butt cultures? Oh, wow. This. Is. Fabulous! See, for someone with a sense of humor like mine, this is called “ammo”.
Love you.

12 07 2011
Maija Kibens

Amy, what terrific news!! I can’t wait for Playboy to get a hold of your jokes — they could really use an infusion 🙂 Lots of love from us on the UP, so happy at your progress.
–Maija, Bob, Casey & Shuggie
P.S. We have temporarily become a multi dog family — Sugar, our daughter’s 100 pound black lab mix is in our charge & Casey is learning how not to be an only dog. But still way the fastest!

12 07 2011
Linda Stanislawski

Been praying extra for you . Thankful for the good reports you got and expecting you to do well with all your treatments. I was just reading and meditating on the scriptures in Isa. 53, about healing and thinking of you. Stay encouraged and know you are loved.

12 07 2011
Cathie Ferdon

Great news Amy! If you’re looking to eliminate all possible causes, we can pick up the hot tub today. 🙂

12 07 2011

So happy for you NUG!
Get better and come home soon!

12 07 2011
Deborah Ann Peters

Such good news Amy. Just so you know….I would never put you at the “butt” end of a joke.Get yourself better soon, but until then….rest your body!!

12 07 2011

What good news, and just get better OK!

12 07 2011

Eerie hallways…Lake Eerie..hmmmm…
You made me laugh Amy and that is a gift–in the darkest, bottomest moments, you can make me laugh..
Still praying you can kick this infection and get home ASAP.
I got a skin infection after my second mastectomy…had to be put on the same antibiotic you mentioned then had a nasty allergic reaction…not fun.
I’m praying you will know God’s peace and comfort as you heal up.
Lots of prayers,

12 07 2011

So relieved to hear the relief in your “voice.” When I read your blog I truly hear your exact voice. I hear all your inflections, undercurrent emotions, and find happiness in all the specific “Aimisms” that flow through it. I love to hear your voice…and especially when it is brighter and full of your wonderful humor. I couldn’t be happier that things are looking brighter…even on the side where the sun don’t shine (hee hee). Butt seriously, Now I can exhale again. Hope you are home soon.

12 07 2011
Sara Nickerson

Amy, as usual, your sense of humor is wonderful; I really believe a bit of laughter and lots of prayers helps heal. I know it helped me (my sister compared me to “Captain Dan” of “Forrest Gump” up on the crow’s nest, shaking his fist to the sky asking: “Is that all you got???” because I frequently made jokes about it). Well, I think thay applies to you, too! Your blogs have been inspiring, full of encouragement, and fun, too! I’ll be praying for your recovery, and that you can keep on laughing!

ps: my friend and I are “aspiring” Bras for a Cause models, so God willing, we’ll see you there! (I’m stage-shy and can’t believe I’m going to do this!)

12 07 2011

Keep the positive news coming! We are all in your corner!

12 07 2011
lucy (meau's friend)

“praise God from whom all blessings flow”—and may those blessings continue to flow throughout every day of your healing. praying for a touch of “amazing grace” for the whole family and all oFyour supporters. amen

13 07 2011
Kris and Bill Ritter

Such a huge relief!

13 07 2011
susan mettert (James Mom)

Hang in there we are all praying for you thanking God and being hopeful that those tumors shrinK and leave your body. : )

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