Friday, July 25, 2008


I feel most of the time I was in Riverside I was in a fog. I remember my first day there. We got there about 3am or so and checked into our room. We woke up around 8am or so and drove across the street to the hospital. We just wanted to find where we would be at. Once we knew where the Oncology Dept (The ABC clinic, which stands for Advanced Bio-Chemotherapy) was, we went to breakfast. After breakfast we showed up at Dr Gailani's office. Everyone there was so nice. The first lady just took me back and took my blood pressure, etc. It was low, and we told her that for me that's normal. Sometimes I'm normal, and a lot of times it's low, so I guess low is normal too...crazy, but it's true. Anyway, after that we waited a bit and then we got called into the physicians office. Dr Gailani's assistant came in and had my whole medical profile there! She asked me questions about my whole medical history, some stuff I had even forgotten about. But yep, she had notes on just about every visit I ever had, even pre-cancer. It was crazy! Then Dr Gailani came in the office and asked me all the same questions. They are really thorough and want to make sure nothing gets past them. It seemed repetitive, but in a way its good. While meeting with Dr Gailani, I learned that I have Metastatic Melanoma. For some reason I thought that metastatic was when it went to the brain, but I was wrong. Stage IV is metastatic. There was a chart in his office, and he asked me where I thought I was on the chart. Well, obviously I knew I was in the bottom stage. But I didn't know where. There are 3 stages of stage IV. I told him I knew it was in my liver, but the words that described them all didn't have any organs. So I told him I wasn't sure. He looked at me and told me I'm M1c. I'm in the bottom stage. There is no worse stage I could be in. Of course the statistics on the bottom stage was the very worst. Sebastian just sat there and started crying. My heart was going out to him. I did not want to break down in front of the doctor, and I think I kept my composure pretty good. But I kept looking at Sebastian and all the fear in his eyes. He was not taking everything very well. My dad was with us, and he was visibly upset also. The good thing is, he is a very good doctor, and he says that those statistics are not for everyone. His treatments are very good, and hopefully those statistics rise due to his work with melanoma patients! Right before leaving his office, Robin stuck her head in and introduced herself. She is extremely nice & helpful.

After meeting with the doctor, they took me over to the hospital section into the ABC wing. I didn't realize there was a whole wing just for his patients. I was very happy that everyone gets their own room. YEAH. I didn't have to share with anyone. So a few minutes after getting me to my room, they wheeled me down to ground level. They took me to this room with a lot of nurses around. It was where they inserted a tube in my neck. When I got down there, the nurse was really nice asking a lot of questions. He asked if he could pray for me, and I said of course. So right there while I was lying on the procedure table he prayed for me. It was really nice. After that, a dr came in and inserted everything. I was shocked at how many people were needed for this procedure. When I got my picc line, it was just one nurse practitioner. Here there was at least 5 people. I wonder if it was because it was in my neck versus my arm? And of course they used tape to keep it in place, and my whole neck got red and itchy. Anyway, after that they wheeled me back to my room afterwards and started hydrating me. The first day they just have IV's because they want to make sure you are properly hydrated. The next morning I started the treatment. Much after that is a fog to me. I really don't remember too much, mostly what my dad & Sab had told me. I do remember that on Saturday my cousin Chrissy (aka Louise) came out to visit me. She was supposed to bring a helmet and break me out, but she didn't! We did get in trouble though because they had given me chemo in my IV, and we left the ABC wing and were walking the hospital walkways. Little did I know that was a NO NO. With chemo in my IV, I can walk around, but must stay in the wing, which is very small. Guess I won't do that again. That night or maybe another night, I don't recall, but I had a high fever, 103. It wasn't coming down, so they made me got off the bed, and they stuck this cold blanket on the bed and made me lie down on it. Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love the cold. NOT. Then they laid 5 ice packs on me. It was sheer and utter pain. I hate the cold. They made me lie and sleep on the blanket all night. It was even connected to this a/c machine or something, so it was like 52 degrees. I was hating life. The next morning my temp went down, so they removed it. I was soooo happy about that. Later that day, my temp started rising again, and immediately they were being proactive and started putting ice packs all over me. I hate that, and I started moving them so that they weren't touching me. I remember the nurse got really mad and yelling at me, and I just remember thinking, I don't care. I'll move them when she leaves again. But Sebastian was there and he wouldn't let me move them. And he also took my blankets away! Luckily for me, my temp never got too high again. Most of everything else in between all that is forgotten. I do remember get a phone call or two, but that's about it. I think my sis Maria called me once, but I don't even know who else. So if it was you, I'm sorry!!! Even today Sab told me the day I was released we ate KFC back in the room. I do not recall that at all. He said I had a piece of chicken with potatoes & mac n cheese. I looked at Sab stunned. I do not recall eating chicken? I was asking what kind it was, what piece was it? Crazy how I've done things that I can't remember. Anyway, I do remember waking up first thing in the morning and Sebastian driving us home. I slept the whole way :)

1 comment:

anonymous said...

Don't you just love those mean nurses that yell at you?
I vividly remember the night after having my thyroid removed. I had drain tubes in place, and in order for them to drain properly, my nurse tried to make me sleep sitting up almost straight in bed! Ha! Each time she left the room, I'd push the bed button back down, she'd come in, yell, put it back up. Repeat all night. ;) I'm a very nice, compliant person, but geesh!
Much love,
Kate (Bryan's wife!)