Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Back In The Hospital

I'm feeling pretty groggy right now. I'm taking two long acting Morphine tablets twice a day, and getting IV Dilaudid every three hours, so please bear with my incoherence.

My back had been bothering me for about the last month, and was getting worse. The pain in my left lung and spleen had disappeared altogether, but the pain in my liver never went away. In fact it got gradually worse, and by Sunday afternoon, it had become tortuous, reaching a crescendo of debilitating misery by Sunday evening. Anything but the shallowest breath would bring on a hellish stabbing pain and a cry of agony. There was nothing left to be done but get me to the Emergency Room as quickly as possible, and since I wasn't about to ride with my mother, especially at night, calls were put out to find alternative transportation, but no one was home! The only thing left to do was call 911. Within five minutes an ambulance pulled up to the building, and within less than 10 minutes total, five emergency responders were standing out in the hallway, ringing my mother's bell. That would be the bell on her door, not the bell in her head.

They came in and took vital signs, and questioned me about the history of my condition, and then with me moaning in agony, they helped me onto their gurney, and we began he trip down the hallway, and down the elevator from the 10th floor to the lobby, and then out to their ambulance. Mom rode up front in the ambulance as a passenger, with the driver and other male responders, while I was tended to in the back by the two female responders.

Because it was a Sunday night, the emergency room was not crowded, and it wasn't long before I was attended to. I was first X-rayed, then given a CT scan, where it was determined that my cancer had moved into the bone, and caused a compression fracture in my spine. It had also advance in my belly. The experimental therapy that I was on worked well to decrease the tumors with a particular genetic mutation in my lung and spleen, but there must have been other mutations as well, and they grew and spread unaffected by the miracle pills
I was taking. The ER doctor was very kind to me and giving me his blessings and well wishes, ordered the ER nurse to inject 2 mg of Dilaudid into my IV, which caused an instantaneous rush of blessed relief! It was like being caressed by a thousand angels! I now know why people become junkies.

I thought this was the end of the line for me, so I requested some information on hospice care, but I saw my oncologist yesterday, and he said that I shouldn't give up. He said he wants to treat the cancer in my spine with radiation, and then put me on an intravenous therapy that he said was pretty effective. He acknowledged that Melanoma was incurable, but he said he has seen this therapy add several years on to the lives of patients. He said that considering my age, he thought I should go for it. I agreed, so if everything gets approved by my insurance, we are going to continue managing my pain with drugs, and start radiation and chemotherapy. One of the side effects of most intravenous chemotherapies, is the loss of body and head hair. I'm already bald on top, so no big deal there. Hopefully I will soon be able to say good-bye to my recently reacquired hirsuteness as well.

Love to all!

Melissa XX

61 comments:

Ariel said...

So sorry to hear you have yet more of this to deal with. I hope your pain is well managed during that time! And I hope new therapy helps you.

Carolyn Ann said...

Goodness me! You certainly have your days!

Echoing Ariel, I hope this new therapy helps you.

You're in my thoughts,
Carolyn Ann

Jenny said...

The lengths some people go to just to get rid of body hair :)

I hope that the new treatment and drugs helps get the cancer under control. I know this is a really worrying time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care.

Kay & Sarah said...

Melissa, I also pray that the new treatment will push back the cancer and give your body relief. Will keep you in my thoughts.

Common Teri said...

Really sad to hear this. Was hoping things were going better for you, but it's good you doctor is feeling optimistic. Hold on to that and we'll be doing the same. It's good to see you haven't lost you sense of humor in all this. Stay positive girl we're rooting for you.

Becca said...

I can well understand the relief when they adminstered that injection. Something similar happened to me many moons ago and I can still recall the release from pain.

I am sorry that this is turning into a real battle for you. I had hoped from your previous post that things were going well.

I hope that the other therapies help and in the meantime the pills and positions help with the discomfort. My thoughts are with you.

Becca

Lucy Melford said...

Just caught up with this. Yes, don't give up yet, Melissa.

These seems to be pretty effective anti-cancer drugs, and you have nothing to lose if they want to step up the dose.

My goodness, what would have been the position if you hadn't got medical insurance? This is why people in the UK make our National Health Service, for all its undoubted faults, a number one election issue.

Lucy

Calie said...

You're in my thoughts, Melissa.

Calie xxx

Cynthia said...

I'm praying very hard for you, Melissa. Your fight with this is very close to my heart. My brother is fighting cancer again for the third time and this is the worst he has had. So please believe me that my prayers are just as fervent for you as they are for my brother.

Please don't give up!

Cynthia XX

Jenny said...

I am impressed that you managed to end on the note of losing your body hair, but I'm sorry to read this. The best of luck with your latest round of treatments, you're in my thoughts.

Caroline said...

The things some people will do to have a good subject for a blog post!

Hope the insurance pays up, your words on the net are priceless. With luck you will loose weight as well as hair and come out of it looking even more glamorous without going through all the dieting and exercise.

Ever in my thoughts.

Caroline xxx

Halle said...

Love back Melissa, and wishes that your oncologist is correct in that assessment of years through this new treatment.

Halle
xox

Naukishtae said...

Dear Melissa.. hold tight to your oncoogist's words and we will hold tight to you.. a day does not pass that i do not think of you and pray for your health.. we love you...

Naukishtae XOX

Suzi said...

I wish all the sisters here could be with you, holding hands in a circle around you, offering prayers of healing, karma vibes, or whatever.

Stay tough, fight with all you have, don't worry about insurance or anything to do with money...just concentrate on getting well.

We all love you and will be seeing help for you in our own way. Here's hoping for good news in the future. :)Suzi

Elizabeth said...

I'm glad the medics were not there to ring the bell in your mother's head, regardless of her driving abilities :)

And why doesn't anybody listen to me? I thought I told you to get better, already :D

Melissa, please take care of yourself and I'll be thinking of you...

Love,
E.

Stace said...

Sorry to hear that you are going through this.

Best wishes, you are in my thoughts.

Stace

Kay & Sarah said...

Just wanted you to know we are thinking about you. Hope today is a good day.
Kay

bree said...

hope things have improved since you posted...thinking of you.

B

Anonymous said...

I used to read your blog a long while ago until I kind of stopped looking at blogs and moved on to YouTube. Trust me, I was an avid reader so don't take it personally. Today on a whim I came back to your blog and now I am utterly shocked to read about your health. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that a few moments ago I prayed to Yahweh that you would get better or at least receive comfort and peace. Not sure of your beliefs but honestly most of them have the same goal so there you go. I don't know what's in your destiny (who does?) but I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and hoping for you. Keep your chin up okay? :)

Lori D said...

Haven't heard from you in a while. I hope and pray the treatment is coming along. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way!

Shirley Anne said...

Hi Melissa. This is Shirley Anne. I don't often visit your site but I was reminded about you through reading Lori's latest post on her blog. I am so very sorry to learn of your problems with C. I do hope everything is under control and that you are feeling much better now. I will pray for you (yeah I know you might have reservations but nevertheless). Lots of love and hugs

Shirley Anne xxx

Renee said...

Hi Melissa. I've been thinking of you often and am sending all my love and good vibes your way.

retrobassgirl said...

Hi, Melissa, Just thinking about you. I love your blog and the way you write. I can't even begin to understand what all this must feel like for you but your writing helps. You haven't given up on writing and sharing, I won't give up on hoping wishing and praying for you.

Robyn Jane xx

Karen said...

Hi Melissa,
You are in my thoughts.
I hope for the best for you.

Karen xx

Stephanie said...

Melissa, we all miss you. Me and Patty Lou are praying for you recovery.

))))HUGS((((
Stephanie

Amy K. said...

Melissa, oh no! I had no idea until I saw the post on T-Central. Regrettably, I've been behind on everything blog-wise. I am praying and pulling for you. You are one of the sweetest people I've ever met in Internetville, and I pray pray pray that you are okay. Hugs and love,

Amy

Carolyn Ann said...

Thinking of you!

Carolyn Ann

bree said...

I'm thinking of you, you have touched my life so and I wish there was something I could do for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hope you get better.

J

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Melissa,, keep fighting. Claire Hallam

Billie said...

Read about you on T-Central and was impressed by your postings. It's all a bit too little, I can only hope it's NOT too late. I hope you get well, I'll pray for you.

cdjanie said...

Melissa,

It has been a while since we have exchanged messages, and evidently quite some time since I dropped in on T-Central, where I saw the post about your health issues.

I wish you all the best, much healing energy and strength. Judging by the comments that have preceded mine, it seems there are many of us out here in the vastness of the web who have been touched by you and we all wish you well.

Hugs,
Janie

Kay & Sarah said...

Melissa,
Just wanted to see some update on how you are doing. Love and Hugs!!!

Stephanie said...

Someone please let us know how Melissa is. If you like send to:
Stephanie@ezsurfin2.net

Debbie K said...

Dear Melissa
You are in my thoughts & prayers.
Sending you peace & love
Debbie xx

Caroline said...

This would be your birthday.

Where ever you are meandering now may you be happy and at peace...

Caroline xxx

Lori D said...

I know you're finally resting in the arms of the Lord today, Melissa. I will miss you dearly. Friendships like yours, even though we disagreed on some things, reminds me that life is far too precious to waste our energies on what divides us. If only we could keep talking, keep commenting, keep it going for one more day. Bless you, dear Melissa.

Caroline said...

I have just woken to a tear soaked pillow.

Yesterday I had confirmation that Melissa, the sweetest voice I ever encountered on the net had moved on to meander the hereafter on the 20th of August.

Her last email to me was three weeks before apologising for being so weak with the combination of extreme summer heat and being doped on morphine before ending with a neat Melissa quip.

This life was cruel, my wishes are that she now meanders a better place.

Caroline xxx

Shirley Anne said...

It is so sad when we hear of someone dying and especially so when it is someone who we know has been through the same things in her life as we have. The only consoling thing is that she is now free from pain she has had to endure in recent times. May she now rest in the arms of our Lord. God bless you Melissa

Shirley Anne xxxxx

Kay & Sarah said...

I can hardly write this through the flowing tears:

May Melissa rest in the arms of her Comforter;
May She ever sing glorious music of the Universe;
May She swim the currents of the Gentle winds, sweeping the grain fields of our humble, mixup planet, called Earth.

Peace to You Melissa and your grieving family.

Good by Sweet Melissa, We Loved you well!!!

Kay & Sarah said...

Lori,
Thank you for letting everyone know that Melissa was overtaken by the Cancer, it's hard news to hear much less answer!

Lisa Maria said...

God Bless you Melissa.
You were allways there supporting me and I will miss you.

See you in the next life.
xx

April said...

The words I will miss you seem inadequate.

In heaven you are the woman you were supposed to be.

April

Jenny said...

You'll be missed Melissa.
God Bless xx

Calie said...

It was very hard on me to hear of Melissa's passing. This sweet woman was one of the first friends I made on-line. I have thought about her often in the past several weeks, wondering just what kind of hell she has been going through...a prolific blogger, silenced because she was suffering so much that she was unable to write in the last month and a half of her life.

If there is enough interest, I'd like to collect some short tributes of Melissa - a paragraph or two - from other bloggers and then post the collection on T-Central. If you are interested, please email me or one of the other T-Central admins.

Rest in peace, my dear friend...

Calie xxx

Stace said...

What else is there that has not already been said.

Thank you for making my life that little bit better with your writing.

Goodbye and god bless, I'll miss you.

Stace

Angel said...

Goodbye Melissa. You will most certainly be missed.

Lucy Melford said...

Just discovered what has happened. I have no words. Just sleep well.

Love, Lucy X

Sarah Murphy said...

Bless you Melissa, you are now totally free. Cancer no longer has you.

The spirit of a soul, as it is in heaven, lives on in all of us the lives she has touched. As I was reading the post on Hallie's blog, it hit me. I tearfully followed the link to here.

May the rest of us hope to travel in such a lovely way as Melissa has.

I now remember fondly the nails of youth and how pretty they were.

It's not goodbye. It's see ya later.

Sarah

Naukishtae said...

Dearest Melissa... always our dearest sister.. i am sure we all met in past lives, because contact throughout time is frequent. We meet again and again, on our journey's, as our paths cross.. so i know i will look into your eyes again.. you are one of the kindest, most gentile beings i have ever run across.. rest now, no more rush to be anywhere.. you blessed me with each post you made, good journey Sweet One......

Naukishtae

Elizabeth said...

I miss you. That's all I can say...

Love Always,
E.

Chloe Prince said...

I rarely if ever read blogs on Blogger anymore, but was sent to your page after I read a post on Facebook about your passing...

I'm sorry to have lost contact with you over the past year, but want to send my condolences to your family and friends.

You were always so kind to me, even when we may have disagreed on something, you found a way to bring out the best in me and make me "think" and not react. I've missed you... and now, like so many other good friends that have left this earth, I will hold your memories and our conversations in my heart as a reminder of just how precious life and friendship is.

...save me a seat up there. Oh, and I might need reference too. *hugs* Love you Melissa.
-Chloe

chrissie said...

The news saddened me dreadfully.

I had been so self-absorbed that I had lost touch with Melissa and other bloggers over the last several months, and so did not she was going downhill.

I shall miss her and her sensible down-to-earth way of thinking. :-(

Rest In Peace, honey.

Chrissie
xxx

Anonymous said...

Melissa
I wrote a message yesterday but it hasn't appeared. This is Helen (chapel) Melissa, for some reason I found myself reading two blogs yesterday one of them was you. I was shocked and really affected by all I read as I know many others have been. I cried. I am so sorry to hear of your illness. I just wanted to say how much I am thinking of you right now. xxx
Stay strong dear Melissa.

mrslickiv6 said...

Sleep Dear Melissa Sleep....One year has passed since you left us. I still miss you terribly. I pray you are is God's grace & rest in peace. Karen i

Calie said...

Yes, we can't forget Melissa. Rest in peace, my dear friend.

xxx

Naukishtae said...

It seems so short a time since you went to sleep.. would that we could wake you.. just to read another posting.. all we have are our memories of you.. still we are left wanting.. our love for still strong.. our hearts unfulled.. you were the best of us, and gave to us the best of yourself.. We still love you, and shall never forget you..

Time has passed almost two years.. and my grief is still as strong, and as great as the you left us.. May flowers surround you.. and may you sleep well......

XOXO Naukishtae

Calie said...

Naukishtae,

What a beautiful comment. I think of her often.

Calie

Caroline said...

If we live on it is in the memory of those we leave behind. Those who touch us the most continue to sneak into our thoughts, Melissa is certainly one of those.

Nobody has stepped forward to take her place in our blog world, she was certainly one of a kind...

Caroline xx

mrslickiv6 said...

Xmas 2014 I miss you're sweet little blog. I've moved forward came out and part of the community here now. Often still think of your photos and comments. Hope someday to meet you, where ever when/that becomes. Rest in peace my sister and friend.....hugs! Karen

Anonymous said...

Melissa,we had one screwed-up family didn't we?

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