|Hard to Get Into the Christmas Spirit This Year|
I haven’t written a blog entry in quite some time. Too damned tired and depressed I guess. My wife, Alma, went for her annual checkup at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance the week before Thanksgiving. It seems like every time she goes over there, she comes back in worse shape than when she went. This time she was anemic – no iron whatsoever in her blood. When she got home, she spent most of one day at Kadlec Hospital in Richland getting a transfusion of whole blood. That seems to have done the trick, at least for now. She scheduled a colonoscopy and endoscopy to try and find out where her blood is going.
Alma got chest pains shortly after getting back from Seattle. Of course we were afraid it could be her heart or a clot on her lungs. It turned out to be pneumonia, so the doctors put her on antibiotics. That, of course, meant postponing the colonoscopy and endoscopy, so we still don’t know why she keeps getting anemic.
A few days ago, she started complaining about pain in her ear and neck. A rash developed, so one of her daughters got her in to see a doctor, who decided it was an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was taking for the pneumonia. By Thursday morning, she was in terrible pain and couldn’t turn her head. The “rash” had turned to blisters. I decided to not go in to work because she obviously couldn’t be left alone. The other daughter, who was trained as a physicians assistant, came by, took a look at the blisters on her throat and scalp and promptly looked up “shingles” on the Internet and I called the nurse at her doctor’s office. The nurse took her own sweet time getting back to me, but we were able to make an appointment with the same doctor who had misdiagnosed her rash as an allergic reaction.
The doc took one look and apologized for his boo-boo and prescribed an anti-viral medication and told her to finish the antibiotics for the pneumonia. He also told her to up her pain medication for a few days until the shingles medication takes effect and the pain subsides.
Alma has an incurable form of cancer called multiple myeloma. It’s a cancer of the bone marrow. It has caused several of her vertebrae to fracture and compress. She has been in excruciating pain for about two and a half years. She’s been through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. And now, anemia, pneumonia and shingles. She’s got more guts than I’d have.
And a merry fucking Christmas to one and all, and to all a good night.