Friday, November 14, 2008

So, this week turned into one big suckfest in more ways than one....
As many of you know, Ive been laid up in he hospital for three days now, and im exactly in a blogging mood, but Ill give you the low down with the pics...just a heads up, some of these pics might make you gag so dont say I didnt warn you!!

First of all, I go to Romer and I dont get my last treatment of Ixempra because my breathing has been so bad and the last two blood transfusions havent really made things better. He wants me to get a PET scan and revisit the situation the following week. I wasnt able to get a PET scan appt until this Friday at 2. It sucks to wait, but whatever. Gotta be patient.

So Wednesday I wake up with this excrutiating side "stich" pain, like the side cramps you get when you're running and you're dehydrated, only ten times worse. John had already left for work, so mom comes down and picks me up and takes me to Kettering's ER.

Im in he ER almost 12 hours on Wednesday. I had a few hiccups that made my side pains feel like a steak knife twisting in my side, which scared the fam, and got me hooked up with some SWEET painkillers. While I was in the ER, I got a CAT scan and a chest x-ray, and the doc said it looked liked the cancer had progressed to the liver, lungs, bones, etc....I cant say I was surprised.

What was scary, was the "Plural effusion" in my lungs. Quite a bit of fluid built up that was really causing my breathing problems.

I was admitted Wednesday night, and they brought a cot in for mom so she could stay too.

Thursday I basically laid around getting my blood pressure and temperature taken on and off all day. Doc from Romers office comes in and reccomends I get the fluid drained from my lungs - I say bring it on.

The whole day Im BEGGING to take a shower, but due to some miscommunication when I was admitted, they brought me in with "Chest Pain" which landed me on the telemetry floor, and cardiac monitors all over my chest that they would NOT take off.

So they take me down to get a ultrasound of my lungs so they can figure out how much fluid they'll need to remove. The foreigner who took me down kept asking about "the baby". Ugh. He was just trying to be nice. Not really in the mood for this discussion. I sucessfully changed the subject. The gal doing the ultrasound said I had about 750 mL of fluid in the lungs.

I come back and Tracy, Rachel, & Ang are there, and get to witness my version of a temper tantrum, which basically amounted to me getting sarcastic with the nurses. They finally realized I meant business and actually got a hold of the doctor on call to get permission for me to take a shower. WTF???

The girls leave, and I get to take off all the heart monitors, although they make me wear my oxygen tubes the entire time which was a little awkward. They tell me not to make it too hot or else I could get light headed. I get out of the shower and im really out of breath over the whole situation, and to make a long story short, I get nauseous and start yacking everything Ive eaten that day in the trash can.

Have you ever been in a hosipital bathroom and ever wondered who the sorry bastard is who has to pull the emergency cord - - -- - NOW YOU KNOW SOMEONE!!! I got sick, but it was TOTALLY worth the shower.

Friday morning, I wake up, expecting to get my PET at 2p so I dont eat any thing - Im told the procedure on my lungs will happen before the PET.

Oh yeah, and Thursday night they ended up giving me my SIXTH blood transfusion of the season, and Friday morning I had to get a dose of Platelets since they were so low, and they needed to make sure I could clot if anything went wrong. Ok, here's some pics:

Me in the hospital. So much fun!

3 daggone days and Ive got 2nd grade Get Well Art hanging in my room:
Thanks Philly & Tammy!

This was my view for three days....Pam taking meticulous notes. Im actually writing my blog off her notebook.
Look who came to visit me, all the way from Denver! (seriously, I was his first stop from the airport - thanks for driving him Jody!)

Heres the cast and crew for the "Procedure" (and nick walking through the door as they're taking the picture) Nurse Mary (awesome), Doc Razi (awesome, mom thinks is hot), and me, the patient. I have no idea what Im in for....

So I sit on the edge of the bed, and the table/tray is raised so that I can lean forward on it while Doc Razi works from behind me. He tells me he doesnt like surprises either, so he's going to be telling me whats going on each step of the way. That was really helpful because there's nothing worse than an unknown procdure that you cant see ANYTHING coming...
So he sterilizes the puncture site on my lower back, then tells me im going to feel a stick and a burn. He numbs the site. And it burns like hell! It feels like he massages the local anesthesia into the site and then asks if I feel the stick (im guessing he's got the big needle partly in at this point). I say I dont feel anything, and he tells me Ill start to feel some pressure. What I weird feeling! There was a little bit of pain, but Nurse Mary was there to hold my arms and keep me focused. Next thing I know, the procedure is done. I didnt even feel the needle come out!
Now for the good part - CHECK OUT THE NEEDLE!!!
The doc thought I was crazy for wanting a pic with the bag of fluid and the needle....kinda looks like a bag of Killians Red, huh?

Look how excited he was to get HIS picture taken with the bag!!! You're welcome doc. You're welcome.

So heres my Wed thru Friday recap:
- Side pains, visit Kettering ER early AM
- Multiple doses of painkillers - Morphine & Didualid
- CAT scan, with high resolution dye
-Lots of unknown bloodwork
- Chest X-Ray (almost throw up afterwards bc of nausea)
-On Oxygen all day
-BP & Temp checks all day
-Ultrasound on lungs to determine fluid
-Finally get a shower and I puke
-Oxygen all day
- THORACENTISIS (removing fluid from lungs) Click here for more info
-More painkillers

Here's the shitty irony. The ONE procedure that we actually DID have scheduled for this week? The PET scan? Couldnt be done because of some bs insurance was originally submitted as an outpatient procedure, but since I was now IN THE HOSPITAL, they would not cover an INPATIENT event. So basically I could have run outside in my street clothes, walked in and had my outpaitient procedure and it should have been ok right? Apparently its not that easy.
So now, Ill have to get the pet scan done sometime next week. Oh yeah, and another real crappy nugget for you. Tumor marker was up to 983. Yikes. Not good.
So if you're wondering where everything stands, you're not alone. Right now Im slowly acclimating to the improved lung capacity, HOWEVER, they still have to do tests on the fluid which we have not received yet.
We're praying for pneumonia or just a chemo-side effect, but with my tumor marker that high, its probable that they will find cancerous cells in the lungs.
And really, until I get that PET scan, we wont know anything, so I just spent three days in the hospital basically to get my lungs cleared up - which isnt a bad thing - but we really dont know much more and will have to patiently wait until next week to figure out.
Thanks to everyone who was there to support me - Dad, Nick, KJ & Watts, Jennifer, Shelley, Debbie R, Jonnie, Connie, Ang, Tracy, Rachel, Jan, Ron, Ryan, Chris, Sharon, Josh, Jody, Jean, Greg & Denise, Brownie....and of course, MOM! Thanks for being there every second. I know sometimes I get pissy and you always bear the know I love you!!


Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Fort - 750ml?! You'd think the 'sloshing' would have been a giveaway there was something in there.
Glad you're feeling better and see you tomorrow for Fortfest?...uhm...CHILIfest, yeah, that's it.


Anonymous said...

You're the bravest Fortner Marie!!! I hope you have a good time tomorrow!! The picture of the doc with your bag of lung juice is hilarious!! GET WELL LADY!!! love, Jami

Anonymous said...

one day at a time melissa...and some days that goes to one hour at a time...I almost puked myself when I saw that needle. love you girl...

Anonymous said...

That poor doctor - did he tell you that you must have one hell of a set of lungs?!! Also F*** Insurance companies - that scan issue has to be relayed to Obama's new health czar. After this set of pictures I can't imagine what you will post after the Chili Fest :) Live Strong dear Melissa - Hugs to you and your tremendous support group. Love Sue

Misti said...

That is quite an impressive sack o' fluid. It must be a relief to have that out of your lungs. See you today with the winning chili!

Karyn said...

Girl, just wanted to let you know I love ya and are thinking about you....that needle looked all kinds of scary, and I know I will not be partaking in Killians any time in the near future...

Anonymous said...

Hey woman, wow what a week. I'm sending all kinds of those healing vibes right atcha. You are so incredibly brave, Fort. So it sounds like you're eating some chili today...have's chili weather. XOXO Marisa

Lola said...

Hey Fort. Lots of hugs from Baltimore. Your strength is nothing short of inspiring. Love you and think of you every single day!


Anonymous said...

Melissa keeping you and your family in my prayers. Your stories, pictures, family, and YOU amaze me.

angelsamoungus said...

You are one of the most amazing women I have met. You are an inspiration!

What is that with the insurance company? How disgusting.

You and all are in my prayers.

kj said...

Um, I'd like to ammend your Thursday schedule because I came to visit you twice and not once did I see the oxygen tubes actually in your nose. The closest I think they got was in the evening when they were on your forhead :)

Lots of love, sista!

kj said...

...and yes I realize amend is spelled with only one "m" and forehead has an "e."

I should proofread :)