Hardware

Well friends, unfortunately my health has taken a turn south – and I don’t mean towards Galveston for a nice cruise. I have been loving my extension of lifetime on this beautiful planet, thanks to my medical team, the chemo, and yes the Beelzebub. I had even qualified for a promising new drug trial. Then wham! – back in the hospital for two bleeping weeks.

It’s been almost a week now since I got home. With the help of dear friends, I have been able to get some critical things done – like drag my sorry butt to church, get a bunch of built-up errands done, and fulfill some important personal promises. After getting to sleep in my own bed, I am feeling more or less humanoid. Ironically, as far as hardware goes, I am looking more like the Bionic Woman.

SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH. For example, I now have a “tunneled central line.” It’s a cousin to the port I once had. The redhead accesses it twice a day to give me my meds. In the event I qualify for more chemo (and we won’t find that out until Tuesday), the chemo and pre-medications will be much easier to receive with this setup rather than depending on an IV.

CONTINUE TO SKIP. And not needing to depend on an IV is excellent news, by the way. The docs found a deep vein thrombosis in my arm, so I’m down one usable appendage.

CONTINUE TO SKIP. Also, I now have a “gastrostomy tube.” I’m trying not to panic about that. The tube’s purpose is not to feed me (at least for now), but rather to aid my digestive system in processing the nutrition I am able to take in myself. I have developed a “tumor ileus.” That is, a cancer tumor is interfering with my upper intestine by kinking or partially blocking it. After some basic research, I have had a change of mind and heart about feeding tubes in general. It would be entirely possible for my digestive system to continue to jack me up, while the rest of me – brain, heart, lungs, mobility, etc. – continues to chug along reasonably functionally and even well.

AND CONTINUE TO SKIP IF YOU DON’T LIKE SOPHOMORIC HUMOR. The most awesome part about the gastrostomy tube, however, is that it has given me a brand new skill. I can now fart from my stomach. The reason I know this is that I just did it. [Giggle.]

The redhead and I continue to appreciate your friendship and support. Thank you.