It feels like I’m a character trapped inside my own personal mystery novel. So far, all of the results on the lab cultures have come back negative. As cultures usually show positive within 72 hours if they’re going to do so, and we’re nearing the witching hour this afternoon, it appears that I don’t have the shingles, staph, or MERSA that they were testing for.
On the very positive front, the antibiotics I’ve been getting all week are working. No new lesions and the ones that I do have are healing very nicely.
Other positive news — the CT Scan of my chest showed that the tumors in my lungs remain STABLE. That, as my oncologist says, is always a home run. She came by to see me yesterday and also mentioned that the tumors are so small they are difficult to measure. So STABLE in my case can also mean slightly smaller. I am so grateful that they are small and my breathing is, as one of my docs reported just last week, beautiful.
Yesterday and today I really noticed a difference overall. Tuesday and Wednesday there were a lot of tears. It’s frustrating to be in isolation, to not know what’s wrong with you or when you’ll be going home (every day they add a day), and to miss your LIFE. I cannot WAIT to go home and be able to snuggle up with my hubby and son and watch a movie, let Theo fall asleep next to me and listen to the sound of his breathing. I love that.
But Thursday I really turned a corner, physically, psychologically. My bff Anita Griglio Kelly stopped by Target and brought me NEW JAMMIES! There’s nothing like a new pair of pink, purple, aqua and olive pjs covered in very studious looking owls — along with a shower — to make a hospital patient feel almost normal again! My bff Tabitha stopped by and made me laugh, always good for the soul. And my cousin Lori brought DINNER — carry-out Italian from one of my favorite restaurants.
There is really nothing stopping me from going home today. Except. Except the doctors still don’t know what this is, and they want to know before they release me. It’s the final piece of the puzzle. I haven’t had a fever since Monday, all my vitals are perfect, my sores are disappearing rapidly, and I feel terrific. All of that is in place.
All we need now is that final answer. What is it? Added to the teams of terrific docs that have been racking their brains all week to figure this out is the Dermatology Team, which just came on board yesterday. Amazing minds and kind souls. They plan to do a biopsy of one of the larger sores today to see if pathology can find the answer. They are also searching the possible side-effects of the experimental PARP Inhibitor that is part of my chemo regimen to see if these types of skin lesions have ever shown up in another patient.
So, word on the street is that I am NOT going home today. Sigh. The team of docs just left the room after telling me that I would be staying the weekend. So difficult. But my college roommate Esther promised to come up tonight and play cards with me if they didn’t release me today. I am so holding her to that. She also told me that she’s not a very good card player, so BONUS! I get someone to play cards with AND I get to win!
I’m still holding out hope that life will turn on a dime, as it so often does, that they’ll find the answer and send me home perhaps sometime over the weekend. Friday has always been my favorite day of the week. I love it when Don comes home from work and the three of us are together, just hanging out, the whole weekend stretching before us. We make dinner together or order Chinese carry-out, make a run for fresh crickets for the frogs, stop for an ice cream, watch a movie and fall asleep to the sound of Spring Peepers and American Toads accompanied by the beautiful and spontaneous flashes of lightning bugs searching for their mates.
Time will tell.
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson