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February 3, 1999 - Third day in the Hospital

Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary

Third day in the Hospital

To: wellness < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: Third day in the Hospital
From: Harry Patterson < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 06:36:34 -0500

Today was interesting. Karen was supposed to sleep through the entire day. but she was wide awake virtually the entire time. She was given several shots of Ativan (sedative) but they seemed to have little effect. Every time the nurse walked in Karen would be bright, alert and talkative. They didn't quite know what to make of it, Karen managed to be the exception to the rule again. As the day wore on she became increasingly more uncomfortable from being in the bed the entire time. She got in "trouble" twice for going to the bathroom without asking for help from the nurses (they are concerned about balance and all the tubes attached). She was what I call "feisty" most of the day and I was waiting for someone (including me) to make a wrong move and get spoon popped (a southern term for whacked). She had no nausea at all and the nurses "say" that should be how tomorrow goes as well. Despite the nausea she couldn't bring herself to down any of the "gourmet" meals they served other than the boxed corn flakes, pudding and crackers.

I took advantage of her alertness to read all of the e-mail she has received including the postings to this list. She enjoyed hearing them and made me read some twice. Even though the Ativan has made her forget much of the previous day, she seemed to remember most of what I read to her today. She then let me read the journal she is keeping which read surprisingly close to what I have written. The only major difference was in her terminology of how she felt when they told her about the possibility of cutting her ring off where she termed it "kicked in the stomach" and that it took a long time to get over the extreme sadness of the experience. She reiterated her stance that runs throughout the entire Womens Wellness site that doctors and nurses should learn how to treat the "Whole Women" not just the physical. It is very important to ensure mental and emotional well being as it is physical as they are not separate. After we are all through with this process we will discuss with Duke how they can improve the "Whole Women" approach by improving their pre and post op treatment, areas that are sensitive to women (such as the potential removal of a wedding ring), etc.

A quick medical note on the chemo drug I didn't know the name of yesterday. Her 24 hour chemo drug is the name I gave yesterday Cysplatin and the 1 hour stronger chemo drug is Cytosine. On a more humorous note, I still can;t get the Get Smart tune out of my head when I'm walking through the 3 electronic doors. So far I have avoided being hit in the nose by them as Maxwell used to do, but leave it to me to accomplish that feat by Saturday. On a technical note the doctor showed me their new Toshiba sub-notebook computer. Karen and I had just seen this less than 1" thick computers at Circuit City. They are amazingly small and light and the only draw back is I understand they can't have an internal floppy or CD de to their size.

Thanks again for all your support,



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