Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Sometimes I say that if this cancer doesn't kill me something else will.  Well, Sunday morning I made a mistake that did nearly take my life.  

Sunday morning, I had a wonderful time visiting with my high school girlfriends, some that I have not seen for quite some time.  They were all together for our 20 year reunion that took place on Saturday.  So not only did I enjoy seeing them, but listening to the fun stories about what took place at the reunion.  

After they left, I was home alone. My parents took the girls out of the house to give us some space and Jason was out at the PGA tournament with his Dad.  I decided to take a nap and give myself some IV fluids.  I give myself IV fluids every day to keep hydrated.  As I was getting the IV fluids ready I forgot to do one step of the process which was take the air out of the tubing by priming it with the fluid.  I hooked myself up and started infusing.  Just as it started I realized what I had done and before it was too late, all of the air in the tubing had been infused in my blood.  I panicked...I knew what the implications were should a large quantity air enter my blood stream.  I immediately called my Dad and he told me to call 911.  There was no way to get a hold of Jason because the PGA did not allow cell phones on the tournament grounds. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I called my Dad back.  I did not want to be alone and I wanted him to be on the phone with me...I did not want to die alone.  I was so scared.  Once the ambulance drivers arrived they calmed my fears, a little, by letting me know that if anything were to happen it would have happened already.   However, the doctors wanted them to take me to HCMC where they have one of those chambers that can get rid of air in the blood system.  Often this chamber is used for scuba divers.  I arrived at the ER and shortly after my Dad arrived.  It was good to have someone there with me.  The doctors confirmed what the ambulance drivers said that if anything would have happened, it would have happened by now.  But I was still at risk for a stroke within 12-14 hours after so they wanted to keep me overnight for observation.  They also did an ultrasound of my heart to make sure there were no air bubbles.  If there were, they would have immediately placed me in the chamber.  Luckily there were not.  They placed me on a neurological trauma ward where throughout the night they would perform neurological tests to make sure I was not having any side effects of the air.  They also consistently gave me oxygen which helps to diffuse the air in my blood.  Throughout all of this, I was having a hard time keeping calm.  It was just too much handle on top of everything else that am dealing with.  Luckily, I was sent home Monday morning and told I should be in the clear. 

So I guess maybe it isn't my time quite yet.  God helped me pull through something very serious.  Maybe this is a sign that God isn't ready to take me home quite yet and that I will also survive this cancer?  I certainly hope so.

These past few days have been rough for me.  This recovery process is so long and difficult.  Changes are few and very minor so it is hard to recognize the progress.   My patience is wearing thin and I am having a hard time trying to be chipper and positive.  I do spend the majority of time in my bed - the one place I feel comforted and a place for me to hide away.  I watch too much TV and spend a lot of time on Facebook and play Farkle, Bejeweled, Bubbletown and all of the addicting games on Facebook.  I shop online for school clothes for the girls.  I am too afraid to shop for myself...it seems overconfident.   I often ask my kids to cuddle with me in bed, but I have to bribe them with the Disney channel to do so.  They would rather be outside riding their bikes.  However, they are good cuddlers when I can get them to agree to climb in bed with me.  So I get pretty lonely up in my bedroom because everyone is so busy with every day life.  Jason tries to pop in as much as he can, but if I had my choice I would have him laying by my side all day playing cribbage and watching HGTV.  Although he hates HGTV.  It is so had not being able to participate in everything going on around me.  I was so disappointed I could not go to my reunion.  (By the way, my classmates wanted to let me know they were thinking of me and presented me with a book including written messages of encouragement.  I was so touched) I am thinking the State Fair is not going to happen as well.  I was hoping to get to the cabin over Labor Day weekend, but I am not sure that will happen as well.  

Am I getting depressed? I don't think so.  My doctor said it is common for patients at this point to get depressed.  But I am very down.  My biggest fear is that once I start to feel myself again, it will just start all over again.  I will have the scans and surgery will be required.  I just so desire to have some time to feel normal and enjoy life before the scans are completed and if this cancer is gone and I require further treatment.  Don't go down that road...I know I know. Believe the cancer IS gone.   The only thing that will help my spirits to rise is relief...relief from the inflammation, the mucus pouring out of my nose, mouth and ear.  The ability to eat whatever I want.  It will take a miracle for this to happen overnight so I will have to be patient...again.

Please pray for me.  I am needing it.


mebeling said...

Keep hope alive! You will make it through Sue. This is the first week I feel somewhat human, it does take too much time.

Shawn Anne said...

Hey Sue - it sounds just like you are doing what you are supposed to be doing... recovering!

I'm pretty confident you haven't taken a lot of time for yourself in a long long time. Maybe it feels a little lazy?? Or indulgent? But too many people try to rush recovery. Be okay with getting the rest you need to be strong and healthy. Watch HGTV! And I say shop away! Even if it's cute cozy new jammies or comfy clothes for lounging, it'll be a nice little pick-me-up. (In my expert opinion).

I'm thinking about you.

Shawn Anne

Anonymous said...

We keep you in our prayers daily, Sue. You have inspired much in us.

Jeff and Cindi S.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sue - we pray for you daily and sometimes more than once in a day. Try to hold tight to your faith. God has plans for you -- you have already taught us so much. I know you've got it in you to kick some cancer a**!! love, Tracy G.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sue! I can't imagine what panic you were feeling on Sunday! I am so glad you are ok. I would be happy to come cuddle - well maybe not cuddle :)- but rather hang with you while you veg and we could watch chic flics and have some girly chit chat time. Anything you need to help pull you through!!! We will keep praying for less pain, less drainage, less of everything icky and more of you feeling normal again! I am going to forward an e-mail to you that a friend sent to me. It has so much good insight and I think you can relate it to your situation. Keep pressing on friend! We love you! Michelle A.

Anonymous said...

Sue, we saw the ambulance in your driveway on Sunday and I was so worried. I am so relieved to read your post today. I LOVE HGTV. If you ever want company, just give me a call. I am praying things start to change soon for your recovery. Chin up!! I am praying and think of you often. Ruth L.

Anonymous said...

Sue, hang in there lady. You have come this far, don't give up the fight now. Life is never easy or always fun and we all know we cherish the things that we work the hardest to obtain. You will obtain good health and you will obtain a cancer free life. You just need to work at this one and believe. And please keep up your blog/journal. It helps so much to write things down and get them out. We pray for you all the time and are anxious for you to rejoin the neighborhood community. It will happen, just not on your schedule. Believe Sue, I know you can get through this!

Susan Thomas

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,
Oh how scary. I knew something had sent you back to the hospital but had no idea!! What an ordeal. You should never feel alone in a situation like that. So many people are around that would be there for you in a seconds notice should Jason or your parents be out. Just call. We all care for you and want to help in your recovery.
Glad to hear that you ate your first meal!! Yippee.
We are keeping the prayers coming for a speedy recovery.
Much Love, Toni E.