It's been many moons since I last blogged. Actually, there has been only one full moon since my last blog...August 18th, but there have been two new moons...August 2 and September 1. So maybe it has been two moons since I last blogged. Whatever. Who's counting? Anyway, it's been a really tough month, so I haven't been up to blogging about it until now.
I'm very sorry to report that our sister-in-law, Kathy, succumbed to lung cancer. Her passing was a devastating shock to all of us who loved her. It's almost inconceivable that this vibrant, beautiful, amazing woman was cut down by this devastating disease at such an early age. Our whole family is reeling from this. She was loved by so many and will be missed by so many. It doesn't seem fair, but I guess life isn't always fair. We will mourn her forever. She has left a deep hole in our hearts that will never heal.
As much as Gretchen doesn't want me to talk about her, I think I have to. After this tragedy, Gretchen had to go in for an esophagectomy on August 5. The surgery went well, although it was very complicated and took about ten hours. Her recovery had a few speed bumps, including fluid in her lungs and two atrial fibrillations. I have to say that The Beth Israel Deaconess staff were great! Every
problem was dealt with immediately, and she got wonderful care there. Now she is home and gradually recovering. The best news is that they got all the cancer, so she won't be needing any followup therapy! Hooray! She is feeling a little better every day. She was on a feeding tube, but that got clogged, so she is trying to eat normally now with soft foods. We see her surgeon, Dr. Kent, next Tuesday, so maybe he will decide to remove the feeding tube then.
I have to tell you about some of her experiences. In the ICU, everyone was terrific. After the ICU on the floor, however, it wasn't quite as good. At one time, she was short of breath, and one of the young nurses told her to vizualize her really happiest place and to breathe deeply. Gretchen, who is a psychoanalyst, was like, "Are you kidding me?" She then referred to her and some of the other nurses there as "toddlers". She complained to Holly about the "toddlers", but she didn't see any children around. Holly checked the halls to see if there were any children that should have been in the children's ward, but found none. She and we finally all realized that the term "toddlers" referred to all the nurses there that just didn't get it! Now that she's home, she still talks dismissively about the "toddlers". I don't think I will ever think of toddlers in the same sense again. Gretchen may have been sick, but she is not stupid. My father used to tell me that he did not suffer fools gladly. Neither does Gretchen. Good for her!
As for me, I met with Dr. Connors, the hematologist at the Farber. Based on my low iron count numbers, she recommended another iron infusion, which I will take on my next visit on September 12. I'm still not sure why my iron count keeps dropping, but I plan to schedule a colonoscopy and an endoscopy soon to try to figure out what's going on. Maybe there is another problem here that I don't know about.