Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


They weighed me, checked my pulse rate and blood pressure, then stuck the needles in my right vein. We scored a private room with a TV because we showed up so early. But the TV stayed off because I was floating in and out of consciousness and James was catching up on his reading. I'm supposed to take the time-release morphine pills at 10:00 am, and they make me very drowsy. That combined with sleep deprivation makes for a very loopy patient.

Dr. Buchschacher and the pharmacist stopped by with questions and information on the chemicals being pumped into me. Thankfully, James was alert and filled-in the blanks as well as remembered all the dosage info for the new pills I was sent home with. I love that my new husband has a medical background. Whatever I don't get he explains to me. We also went over all the Chinese herbs I'm taking and Dr. B said they shouldn't be a problem.

Turns out, my appointment with the Pain Management Clinic is NEXT Wednesday. So we woke up early for no good reason. Not that it mattered on my end of the bed. I don't know if it's stress from the impending chemo treatment, or recovering from all the talking I did over the weekend, but I've been having a lot of trouble breathing at night. I can only breathe if I'm sitting up, and even then the airway feels constricted. I have an appointment with Dr. McNicoll next Wednesday so he can take a look at my throat with the scope.

I was a little bit nauseous, but fresh fruit did the trick. I can't not eat at this point. We stopped by the farmers market in Culver City the other day and brought home a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. But I haven't had a yoga session since before the wedding. I need to get back in to the swing of that, too.

The hospice delivered an oxygen machine and four oxgen tanks this afternoon. It's just for those times in the middle of the night when wake up struggling to breathe. It's just a precaution; that's what I keep telling myself. Just having this equipment in the apartment makes me feel like I'm preparing for the worse. I have to keep assuring myself that this is going to help me get well.

James has been so wonderful, as usual. There is so much to remember and do and deal with now that chemo has begun. Leaning on him makes focusing on getting well a lot easier. My father asked James on Sunday to start calling hime "Dad." James' own father died when he was an infant, so he's never called anyone Dad. It means so much to me. It means everything.


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