I am not exactly sure what day it is.

But perhaps it’s Thursday.  I know it’s 11:24 PM because there is this HUGE clock on the wall opposite the end of my hospital bed. 

So whatever day it is, it’s late, but I figured you’d rather have the update, late and incoherent, rather than not at all.  and I KNOW you’d rather have fancy photos like Emily takes rather than snapshots I capture with the back of my phone using only my left hand… but Emily is at home, sound asleep. 

I am, obviously, still here at the Presbyterian Cancer Center.  They are very nice here, and it’s a quiet, peaecful place.  I got to escape down to the interventional radiology department yesterday morning to have a port placement.  Here is what I wanted, because I used to have one and I loved it:


This kind of port is all totally hidden under your skin, no moving parts, etc.  Oh well.  For various reasons, I had to get the kind that sticks out and you have to do major daily maintenance on.  But please don’t think I’m complaining.  As soon as I got this new vascular access device, all the poking and sticking and fishing STOPPED.  You are never going to believe this:  they were even able to draw my blood at 1 AM this morning without even waking me up.

I get to take it home with me and it is a very good thing.

Here’s another good thing:

Being able to access the world and my friends with my computer in my hospital bed.  I am absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support and by the comments from people who really, really get it.  Like you know how the other day I was whining about the financial aid stuff I was trying to get done while feeling so bad… the insight that several mamas had that having this one job that I could do to take care of my family, even though I had to be away from them, was a GOOD thing…  well, it really helped me feel better about lots of things. 

And the comments!  I have read and treasured every single one.  The poor nurses.  They are quite tired of my calling them to read what you’re writing.  Like this one:

OK, so maybe it’s bragging, or being excessively proud of how my family has coped through this all, but gosh, to have somebody notice that we are getting through all this by being a family TOGETHER!  Totally made my day.

And then, the other thing about this connection to the world through my computer… it became a major portal of fun and happiness over the past two days.  My NSML friends all collaborated to fill every electronic device I own with the most amazing mp3’s… inspirational music, laugh-till-you-cry good clean comedy, funny kids stuff, awesome peaceful classical selections…. I have no idea how they all put it together, but so many people sent me so many different things, all perfect, and not one duplicate.  I would love to be able to find the master data list they must have hidden somewhere…

The only problem I had, as I downloaded and listened and downloaded some more, was that I learned that I had to listen to my brand new things by album or artist.  If I let them all play randomly, every time a new track came on I had to stop and figure out who or what it was that was so amazing.  99.9 % of the non-classical music and 99.5 % of the comedy was totally new to me.  But the ones that were on my ipod, when I tried to go to sleep last night on “shuffle”…. big mistake.  There’s no way you can fall asleep when you go from classic Amy Grant to PDQ Bach to Facing Future by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and then on to Bill Cosby’s version of the Noah story. 

You know, if there ISN’T a master list out there, I need to make one.  Or maybe Sam can create one of those fancy side bars with the Amazon links with everything on it.  I know I’m far less aware of the music world than I should be, but this compendium of diversity is amazing.  I know you would find some new treasures you’ve never heard of.

And while Sam catalogs the MP3s, Emily needs to take photos of the flowers.  Joy, pure joy and sunshine. 

But before I sign off, you might want to know the latest with this pneumococcal pneumonia?  So I got my port, and I’m still on boatloads of medicines.  More medicines.  Because now my blood pressure is too high and my potassium is too low.  Even though every day they give me more potassium and more blood pressure medicine.  Heck, they are even giving me blood pressure medicine that is supposed to have the side effect of raising your potassium.  Um, not so much yet. 

So even though I don’t have a fever any more, and they are not capturing any bad germs from my latest blood cultures, and I have my port to get any drugs I need at home, I am sort of stuck here for the moment.  It’s going to take probably a month to totally heal from the pneumonia.  But it’s the high blood pressure and the low potassium that might delay MY PLANS TO GO HOME TO MY HUSBAND AND BABIES TOMORROW.  They are going to keep track through the night (they come in and check various things, give me drugs, breathing treatments, etc every hour all night long…) and they will send labs down at 1 AM.  I will get the results (and the plan) when the oncologist comes by at 6:30.   If things aren’t all better, not only wouldn’t it be safe to send me home, we have to start the complicated process of figuring out why this is going on… theyve been working on it yesterday and today only to discover  that it wasn’t any of the usual, obvious causes.   Of course.  So we’ll see.  And then I’ll tell you.  But right now I have some new music to listen to, so I’ve gotta go.  As soon as they finish drawing my blood through my fancy new Power PICC 🙂 


27 thoughts on “I am not exactly sure what day it is.

  1. Hi Elizabeth (waving madly)!

    Thank you soooo much for keeping us up to date. A few people were worried when we didn’t get an update earlier in the day. 🙂 You mean so much to all of us, and we’re all praying and pulling for you to heal well and quickly, so that you can go home and spend time with your family.

    Lots of love,
    mom to Josh

  2. Dear Elizabeth.
    All I can say is how blessed you are, even through all you have such a support network in real life (as well as your own family) and via internet.
    I pray they work out all they need to so you can go home, but be assured that you still uplift those who think they are supporting you, such as myself. I was totally humbled by your genuine care to keep us informed.
    Enjoy your sweet gifts
    God Bless and prayers

  3. Praying and praying and more praying. For you. For your remarkable family. For your doctors and nurses. I wanted to comment recently but I couldn’t find the words. I found them, but someone else had plucked them right out of my heart and into the comment you included in this post. Those words so beautifully express what I couldn’t. I am in awe and so very humbled by you and your family’s example. I pray you sleep well tonight and awaken to good news in the morning. God bless you all.

  4. Such a blessing to hear from you, dear Elizabeth! And, “Yay” to no more sticking! “Little things” like too many needles can really sap your brave pool after a while. Like so many others around the world, I continue to hold you and your lovely family up to Him in prayer. May God bless you as you so richly bless us.

  5. Good evening Elizabeth, we just wanted you to know that we think of you often and remember your family in prayer. We visited our monastery yesterday and humbly prayed for you all. Your strength, faith, and love are an example to us all.
    Alicia in New Zealand

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    Something woke me up this morning,and I was having a hard time falling back asleep and so I thought I’d check on here to let you know that I am praying for you. I am a firm believer that our Lord or our Guardian Angels wake us to pray for people, so that people is you, my dear! Praying for complete healing and that you would be able to go home to your sweet family. I have always enjoyed your blog though I don’t ever comment. I don’t knit either, though I sure envy folks that can and my MIL is teaching my darling daughters how to knit and crochet:) Prayers coming to you from up here in Canada!

  7. Elizabeth, you never cease to amaze me. Never have I seen such a combination of faith, perseverance, and humor! You have such a gift of writing! All of your TT friends are praying for you and your sweet family. Stay strong and faithful. I love you! Karen

  8. So good to hear from you this morning! We’re off to Mass, and as always, you will be fervently prayed for during consecration. God bless you today, and I’ll be praying especially for lower blood pressure and higher potassium — and HOME for you. 🙂 Love, Michele F.

  9. So wonderful to have an update from you! Hurray (and Deo Gratias) for PICC lines and Good Nurses and fabulous family and friends and Bill Cosby and Bach from JS and CPE to PDQ (Josiah loves PDQ- so funny). So happy to hear things are improving. Will pray specifically for the BP and K isssues. xo

  10. Seems like you have a great medical team working to get you better and home to that sweet family of yours.
    Now all you need to do is listen to your music, feel all our prayers, love and hugs and rest! (This should help the blood pressure issues,right?)

    More prayers, love and hugs Elizabeth!

  11. Hello,
    I am a long-time reader from England. (also a Catholic. also a doctor. also a SAHM. also a passionate lactivist! but with only 2 children at the moment).
    Just wanted to send my love from across the pond and say I am praying for you

    God bless

  12. I’ve been following along since I heard about George reading, and just wanted to say I think you are amazing too. I am an oncology nurse, 13 years now, and I never cease to be amazed by the grace and positive spirits of so many of those affected by cancer. I always say it’s the nicest people who get it, so I try to not be so nice!! Kidding, of course, but not about the fact that it seems like it is always the nicest people I take care of! I wish you were my patient, I would love to care for you in person!!
    Take care, God bless, and pneumonia be GONE!!

  13. Was surprised to hear about your illness… Hope Mom and Dad Are there to help with the family. Want to let know you are In our thoughts and prayers always. I hope you received good news and will be going home.Sending positive thoughts your way!! Love you!

  14. Seriously you have the best attitude ever. I’ve only been in the hospital to have babies and I complained bitterly over all the poking and prodding AFTER the baby was born while I was trying to get some sleep. I can’t imagine having people come in every hour to do all of that during the night. Especially when you really need to rest up. You are such an inspiration, Elizabeth. I love your updates and am so thankful for them because I am praying for you SO much. I really, really hope you are home with your family this weekend. 🙂

  15. Great that you can have a rest from poking and sticking…it’s amazing how much healing power un-interupted sleep can have!! Thanks be to Our Lady. We are keeping you in our Rosary every night and in my prayers morning and night.

  16. E, you are in my thoughts, prayers, heart! You are a wonderful woman, Mom, physician, blogger…just a multi-tasker 🙂 Hoping you get home soon; but thankful you are being a bit pampered at the hospital 🙂

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