Tag Archives: medicine

Hi

19 Sep

Sorry for my absence. I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed, and I’ve been extremely tired. I’ve had a really hard time getting out of my bed, and I’ve missed my last 2 chemo appointments due to low blood counts that won’t seem to stay up anymore. I have had my exam week for school, and am not sure how much longer I can continue doing this. It’s been rough. I’ve spent much more time asleep than awake, and I’m strongly considering moving back home as I don’t think I can handle school anymore. This has made me pretty deeply depressed, and I’ve kind of withdrawn from talking to people a little bit. I’m really not sure how much more I can take, and I just want this all to be over.

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Rough, Yet Satisfying

28 Aug

School was rough today. It was so long, and I was super exhausted. I don’t think I could have stayed another minute. I was so nauseous, too. And I have a killer headache. But I did correctly diagnose a 4 year old girl (in a clinical vignette) with a purulent bacterial meningitis manifesting in her subarachnoid space with a high concentration of neutrophils (hence the purulence) and with phlebitis due to the meningitis. It was secondary to chronic otitis media. Maybe I can actually do this whole doctor thing! I’m getting pretty good at it 🙂 So that made me excited, because I did get pimped on the question and I got every single thing right! Which is very rare in this class. Gah Pathology!

Stupid Cancer!

28 Aug

The other day I passed out in the shower and got a concussion. That’s just what I needed in addition to the shingles and bleeding and…well…cancer. A concussion. It’s like the little cherry on top! It’s actually more like a ‘kick me when I’m down’ kind of moment. But I like the cherry on top idea better. It works, too, because I don’t like those little red cherries. Anyways, I’m back at school, so it’s ok, I’m ok. I just have a massive headache and it’s kinda hard to concentrate, but we’re learning about cancer in class right now, so it’s not like that’s something I have no idea about. Ugh. I’m like the class ‘resident cancer expert’ so everyone is asking me for help with the carcinogenesis and neoplasms chapters. At least this cancer is useful for something.

I’m not producing enough of my own red blood cells, so I’m getting pretty anemic. It’s a problem with both myelosuppression and lack of EPO because of decreased kidney function. That’s most likely why I passed out. I threw up basically all day yesterday, so I didn’t even try to eat or even use the PEG tube. Or as Randi so affectionately called hers, “Peggy.” I am having a cup of tea right now, but I can tell that it’s not going to stay down. I’m already getting those waves of heat all over with the chills and cold sweats that I usually get when I’m going to throw up. My apartment is kind of a mess. I haven’t been putting my clothes away when I take them off..just haven’t really had the energy to do it, so there are clothes scattered about, and my parents are going to come visit me and my mom will NOT appreciate the condition my apartment is in. She’s the kind of person that before she comes over, I need to vacuum, dust, polish, and scrub everything or she’ll have to make some kind of comment. But then she usually winds up cleaning it. My clean and her clean are two completely different things. I don’t think I could ever clean up to her standards. I don’t know what she sees when she looks at things. But I don’t have the energy for all of that. I’ll just pick up my clothes and call it a day, and she’ll complain, and I’ll be like, ‘I was too tired’ and she’ll understand and clean for me. >_<

There’s this guy at school that likes me. He’s a first year, but he’s a year older than me. He wants to take me to dinner sometime. I haven’t told him that eating isn’t really a thing that’s high on my list, but…I suggested something else like the aquarium. I have a year pass, so i might as well use it as many times as I can before the year ends. Or maybe the art museum would be cool. I don’t know what he’s into, but I think he’d like just going anywhere with me. He’s lived in this city for years now, and I’ve lived here for a year. I haven’t gotten out much to explore the city, so he wants to take me to a few places to see some random things around here. Sounds cool to me. Oh, and he’s from Sudan and he has family there and in Egypt. It’s pretty cool. He also speaks 3 languages: Arabic, English, and some nubian language that I forgot the name of. English was his 3rd language, he learned it when he was about 12. It just feels nice to have some human connection and interaction like that in person again. I miss that. 🙂 He doesn’t know about all the health stuff and I don’t really wanna tell him and run him off, but it was kinda obvious I guess, and he didn’t seem to mind, but he doesn’t know any details or anything. Gah! Stupid cancer.

It’s Decided

25 Aug

After talking with my hospice home health nurse, it’s decided that I’m going to get TPN, hydration, and IV antibiotics from my apartment when she visits in addition to the blood draws, physical therapy, and personal care help. I’ll also get remote monitoring of vital signs since I’m a “high hospitalization risk” patient or ‘client’…whatever they want to call me. Then, I’m also going to get a volunteer that comes out to help me with other things around the apartment and takes me to chemo and stuff. That will be much needed. It’s still a little embarrassing to me personally…just needing all of this extra help, but if it helps me get through this without having to move back home, so be it.

Someone Wrote This About Me

25 Aug

I know a 23 year old girl who has been declared disabled. She has had several types of cancer. She is weak and always sick. She coughs up blood. She is thin and can not eat solid foods. She visits the ER at least every 3 days to get blood and fluids and meds and nutrition to keep her alive. She has every right to give up on life. She is in pain all the time. She has been like this for over a year now. The doctors told her she has a less than 10% chance of surviving what she has.…

Do you know what she did last week? She started her next year in medical school. After her first day of school, she ended up in the ER to get blood. She then went home and started reading a required text that will likely take her most of the year to read. After the third day of school, she had to call an ambulance to go to the ER. She was coughing up blood and choking on it. She had procedures and then went back home late that night. She managed to get to school the next day. She still drives herself. She wants to be a doctor, and she is not giving up on that dream. She thinks everyday that this may be her last day. She is scared. She is in great pain. But, she is not giving up. 

It’s strange to think that I inspire people. It’s a weird feeling because I don’t know that I’m doing it. All I try to do is get through each day. When people tell me that they feel inspired by me or that I’m so strong, I usually end up feeling awkward. But somehow, this struck me. It showed me how by doing what I do, it can actually mean something. That motivates me to keep going even when it seems impossible. Thank you for believing in me. I will try not to let you down.

Life is Tearing Me Down.

24 Aug

I can’t catch a break. I need to just breathe, and I can’t even have a moment. Everything just keeps happening. I feel like I’m not allowed to complain, but I want to scream. My body is giving up on me, I can feel it. Today was an awful day. it’s really not fair. I don’t like to ask why me or anything like that, but seriously? Why is all of this happening? I can’t deal with this. It’s too much. Also, I don’t really have a support group here. My one back at college is diminishing, too, because everyone is graduating and going off to different places. I have nowhere where I can go back to and say, “This is home. This is where my people are.” I don’t have a place like that. I don’t have a physical group of support people here where I am…not really. Not like I had in college. I have people to take notes and record lectures for me, and that’s great, I appreciate that. But, I don’t have people to talk to and say, “I’m having a tough time.” I don’t even have a therapist anymore. I’ve been in the hospital so much this summer. And what if this is the last year I’ll be able to stay in school? I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next week or month. I can’t even plan for my future like I used to. What if I don’t have one? I feel like giving up everyday, but I said I wouldn’t. I wear that promise on my wrist everyday, so I know I can’t, but it’s so hard. I don’t know how to deal with this.

Aside 24 Aug

Dammit, I’m bleeding again! I’m really hoping I don’t start bleeding any more than I am right now, cuz I’m really not feeling the whole “go to the hospital” thing. I just wanna stay in my bed. Just once, please!!

Blood and Shingles

23 Aug

Last night I wasn’t feeling very well, so I went to sleep a little early. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt really wet. When I looked at my pillow, it looked really dark, so I turned on the light and started choking. There was bright red blood all over my pillow and I was choking on blood. It was coming from my throat and coming out of my mouth. I went to the bathroom and kind of just let it drip into the sink while I called 911. I was scared…again. Things like this keep happening. I’m wondering if that’s a really bad sign or what. So I went to the hospital, and they did a bronchoscopy. They told me that there was a ruptured vessel in my lung, and that they gave me tranexamic acid, as well as did an embolization and used a laser during the bronchoscopy. I’m not choking up blood anymore, so that’s good.

Last night, I also discovered a very painful rash on my trunk area, and I didn’t know what it was. They noticed it as well, and I was started on an antiviral medication and some medications to treat the pain, as they believe that it’s shingles. I was really hoping that it wasn’t shingles. 😦 The medication that I’m on for the purpura rash should help the shingles to not be as bad, though. I hope that’s true!

Chemotherapy Today

18 Aug

 So, I had chemo today. It was kind of not a good experience, because I was already throwing up and feeling so weak last night that I couldn’t really make it to the bathroom. My aide came in the morning to help out and she took me to chemo, where I got lots of fluids. I keep getting so dehydrated. I don’t mean to let that happen, I just can’t keep anything down. I got a new medicine that should help me be able to eat, it came in the mail the other day, so hopefully that help with the dehydration, too.

I feel really weird that the nurses have to put on all this gear just to administer this medicine, and it’s going straight into my veins. Like, that can’t be safe, right? I don’t know how much hope I have that this trial is going to work. Certainly not as much as some of the people around me, but they have to have hope for me. It’s all they can do. And this is the last thing we’re trying, so everyone is kind of placing their eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

I just want a chance to feel normal, and this trial can take up to a year. A year of this is certainly not going to be normal. Not even close. Maybe I’ll get used to it, and maybe the side effects will stop being so bad, but I have a feeling that as the toxicity builds up, it’ll be the other way around. I really want to be able to finish school, and I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I’m already feeling like I can’t do it. I’m already doubting myself. I’m also starting to feel like maybe I won’t make it to graduation, so maybe all of this is pointless. Maybe I’m just overthinking things, but I really don’t have anyone to talk to about these things. Not in person at least. I don’t have a lot of support here where I am, so it feels like I’m doing this by myself sometimes. That’s a really lonely feeling. I’m trying to push through, but there’s only so much I can do, and I don’t exactly know when it’s time to stop, but I don’t know if I will. How do you know something like that? I do want to stop. Kind of. I also don’t.I have been thinking about dying a lot. I’m scared that it will hurt. I’m scared that I’ll miss things. Important things. My brother just turned 18. He wants to go into the Marines, and then he wants to become a police officer. I wonder how much of that I’ll get to be a part of. It’s hard with this uncertainty always hanging over my head. I try to stay in the present, but how can I? I’ve been planning for my future my whole life, and now it might be taken away. That hurts. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for so long, but the process just takes so incredibly long, that I may not see the end of it. People keep suggesting alternative treatments and diets to me, or eating soursop and all of that, but I can’t even eat, I can’t change my diet much, because I can’t even figure out what stays down in the first place! My classmates are going out to eat, having parties, and doing all of this fun stuff, and I’m unable to participate in the majority of it. It just doesn’t seem fair. I know that life isn’t fair, but…you can’t help wanting it to be.

I should really get back to studying now. I have to study for microbiology, pharmacology, pathology, and I don’t think I have much to do for fundamentals of medicine, but I do want to see if I can get to reading some more of Robbins. It’s hard to do today. It’s hard to concentrate, because I’m just so tired, and I feel so sick to my stomach. I found out one of my friends from when I was younger got married and had a baby. She has two kids now. A lot of my friends are getting engaged, married, and having kids. I’m just sitting here having cancer. A lot of my classmates are getting engaged, too. I’m happy for them, but every time one of them gets engaged, it just reminds me of how lonely I am. I know I’m rambling, and the flow of this entry makes little sense, but that’s what I need right now. Just to vent in whatever way I want. Like I said before, I’m not a write. This isn’t article quality. Just some random thoughts of a sick student. I keep wishing life were different. I keep thinking how different they’d be if I were healthy right now. How good my grades would be, and how much easier it would be to make friends. Maybe I would even be asked on a date. Who knows. I can’t keep living in “what ifs.” It only makes things worse.

Playing Doctor

16 Aug

Today I took a patient history including social history, medical history, family history, review of systems, and vital signs. I also read some full work up write ups to see how they are formatted. I got to play doctor today, and it was so exciting!