My dad is in the hospital.
I’m not even sure how to wrap my head around what they told us. Let alone describe it here.
Let’s just say his CT scan came back and there was a long list of things wrong with his lungs. That’s not an organ system I know well, but I’m pretty sure still having cancer and pulmonary embolisms are both really, really bad.
Two of the residents were absolutely lovely. The young people! Ahhh you know by now how much I love the young people, especially the residents who treat us like human beings!
I don’t feel well at all. I think I picked something up from the trip. Who knows. I try so hard to keep my immune system as strong as possible but given everything going on inside me, it often feels like a losing battle. I wore latex gloves and a mask at the ER the entire time - until the docs came through. Then I took notes.
It ends up one of them knew one of my former students! I taught him holy smokes, 10 years ago this summer. How has that much time gone by?! We worked for that organization Healthcorps that’s run by Dr. Oz but strangely, even with Oz’s massive media empire nobody still knows about Healthcorps - which saddens me because it’s an amazing program.
Anyway, I’ve stayed connected to many of my students from that time because they are AMAZING human beings. I saw that one doctor had something about Texas on his coat, plus this friend of mine is from Seattle so I thought it was worth a shot.
The resident we met with today said that my old friend was his higher up resident! Eeeks! My student was the higher up! And now this kid is treating my dad.
Deep breath. They both seemed super smart and went over things in detail which my mom and I appreciated. But it’s still a little terrifying to get to an age where you realize some of these people could almost be your kid. It happens.
I’m very nervous for my dad. He has an uphill battle. The attending came in and said: “when people react to the immunotherapy drug, it can often be this really strong reaction like your dad had.” And I said: “how long? How long will his body keep reacting to that drug even though he’s been off of it for nearly a month now?”
She said: “it can be up to one year to one year and a half. So the key now is to keep a very close eye on him to make it through this difficult period. IF he makes it through, then prognosis is good.”
Or something like that. I kinda blacked out for a second when she said so casually IF he makes it through.
Not to mention, THERE IS STILL CANCER IN HIS LUNGS.
One of the ER residents - not my little friends that were from a different department - a New Yorker, I could tell by his accent and he got a huge smile that I figured it out, was the one who passed along that there was the “carcinogenisis blah blah.” This is why I have to be in the meetings. My poor mom, she can only take so much of this information and then, I get it, the brain shuts down. I know JUST enough medical jargon to follow and will ask a ton of questions until they explain what they mean.
I kept asking him, what does that mean. What does that mean.
Now, I realize, he didn’t want to be the one to tell us that there was still cancer in there.
Fucking stupid ass medical system.
How many times can I ring the alarm bells, and then have someone pat me on the head and tell me: it’s ok, Julie, gee, you’re getting awfully HYSTERICAL.
Did I tell you about the dude that honest to Gd mansplained me HOW TO FIND A DOCTOR.
Yeah. That happened.
Yeah. Because that’s how I’m still alive - I just sit passively back and LET other people do the heavy lifting.
The arrogance! I’m sure I was just as arrogant when I was able bodied! I’m still arrogant. But also supremely humbled by everything I’ve gone through.
I’m actually embarrassed a lot of the time. When they wake up…oh, that’s gonna hurt.
Ok, I’ve got to go to bed. I don’t feel well. But I couldn’t let my parents go to the ER and stay in bed. I feel like the healing energy and wonderful time I had over the weekend recharged me enough to manage the ER heaviness. It’s very taxing to have someone in the hospital! Very draining, on so many levels.
I had someone recently ask: are you really in danger of dying? Do the doctors say that?
And I realized, holy shit. Able bodied people that have never had serious health problems don’t understand the risk I’m in. They truly don’t see it. Ok, I get it. Why would they?
But if she is asking that, then many others must be confused too. How can I be dying and still go on a trip?
How can my dad be dying and still drive to Costco?
Funny thing how that works.
But that’s for another day. My computer is at 5%. My body is about 2%. My brain is about to shut off for reals.
One last note: so I had to sit in traffic at 9:30pm at night because well, Seattle. And I realized I had no more of my Trader Joe’s meringue cookies. They are AWFUL. I mean truly just sugar and eggs, total crap.
They’re my ONLY crunch though! Ok, also when I make eggs, I leave crispy sections in the pan.
When I need some stress eating - which I’m finding is something that doesn’t go away, that urge! I eat the Trader Joe’s meringue cookies. Which I got sick of and THEN THEY MADE CHOCOLATE ONES.
Now I’m addicted to those - I’ll get sick of them soon enough, it always happens, I eat things too frequently to not get sick of them - but I’m out! I made myself promise to not go buy more for the week so that I can give my poor teeth a break.
I normally don’t get like this, where I’m digging through my trunk trying to see if I’m missing any containers (I keep them in the car so I forget about them - remember that short term memory loss comes in handy). But no go. I REALLY want to stuff my face with some homemade popcorn. Or better yet, Fairway’s organic popcorn they make in-house. OMG. Moan, just thinking about eating that.
Nope. No crunch.
Instead I want to write in here while I sip some broth so I can let out some ANGST before crawling into bed. I quickly look for some photos of my dad on his bike - back in his hey day. I just moved a bunch of stuff out of the two rooms that were painted and I know I saw some.
I go into the last bedroom in the hallway (I have a ridiculous amount of space, which is why I’m trying to utilize it to make a living - how do I explain to people around me that my dad isn’t going to be able to work for much longer and I’ll be left with a few options for survival - WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR SO MANY - not all thank goodness - TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND?) and I open it to look for a photo of my dad (I’m the photo archivist in the family).
And there it sits.
A half container of chocolate meringue cookies.
Thanks special TJ fairies.
Ok, now I really have to go. I need to STRESS EAT some processed food!
And then sleep.
My mom just texted. She is staying overnight at the hospital.
She only stays overnight when he is really, really bad. I’ve taken some shifts when her health wasn’t great.
It’s not his time yet. I know this. He said he isn’t ready to go.
So the fight continues.
Must post before computer dies!