Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Updates and Previews

Last night, my family took a little pool on today's ANC. Guesses ranged from 99 to 250. Lauren, the nurse in the family, guessed 175. Late this morning, Colleen and her oncology colleagues revealed that it was 171, so Lauren won the prize (something from the gift shop -- surprised?). I am told that the growth from here is exponential so there is still hope that I could go home tomorrow, but the team didn't make any promises. 

The day continued on as usual. I was blessed with the most wonderful nurse I have had in my stay  -- Jill. There was seriously nothing Jill could have done better. She was full of smiles, knowledgeable, energetic, and prompt with any request. My Mom and I told her supervisor all of this when we walked by her office. The supervisor responded that she sometimes wished she could clone Jill. I can definitely see why. 

Last night as I checked up on the news, I read the article linked HERE and I decided that today's entry would be about Dr. Murray. When my Mom and I got stir crazy around four and decided that finally we were bored of the gift shop, I told her that I wanted to take a walk around the hospital to see if I could find a portrait or more information about Dr. Murray. So we walked the length of "the Pike," which is a long stretch of hallway connecting Brigham & Women's with the old Peter Bent Brigham Building, to find some history. 

We walked by huge and beautiful portraits of medical pioneers and other legendary figures like Albert Einstein and Helen Keller. It was an inspiring walk. At the end, I saw a table of candles and a sign honoring Dr. Murray:   

I turned left to find a large wall dedicated to Dr. Murray's remarkable accomplishments: 


It was a beautiful exhibit, and included Dr. Murray's Nobel Prize and some good words from Dr. Murray: 


When we got back to our room, we ate our hospital food for dinner and I started to email the above photos to myself so I could write my post before Brian arrived. And then, out of absolutely no where, I felt it again. I'm calling it the heat of the devil because it feels like the devil is blowing steam in my chest. I wasn't even connected to the IV and it was so sudden that I panicked. I felt my neck get hot, and then the shortness of breath. I didn't want to admit it but I couldn't hide it. I frantically reached for the nurse call button as I told my Mom what I was feeling. Heat in my chest. When the nurse at the desk answered, all I could get out was, It's an emergency. 

As I sat back trying to control myself, about 12 people descended upon my room. I heard them page the medical ICU (MICU) doctor then more pages. Jill was by my side in an instant, telling everything would be OK. But I couldn't calm myself down. My legs were shaking, the heat persisted. It was quite the scene. Unfortunately, I've told this story before, and so you know the answer. Benadryl. They added IV Ativan this time, too, because my vitals remained stable, so much of the shaking was likely fright. I still don't know what to make of all of this, but Colleen assured me that the team is going to figure out why this happened and what we can do about it. In the meantime, I asked Sean to look into Lifeline products. I am too scared to be home alone without a way to get to help if I need it immediately and a button I can always reach will make me feel better. (It will also make me feel like I'm 90, but that's OK.)  

After the excitement ended, I fell asleep. Of course, my Mom kept vigilant watch the whole time. When I woke up, it was almost time for Brian to arrive. The whole incident ate up all of the time I had set aside to write about Dr. Murray so that will be tomorrow's plan. For now, I hope you get to read the article I linked above about this great man. At the very least, I hope you appreciate the quote from the wall we found on our walk tonight: 

Service to society is the rent we pay for living on this planet.
-- Dr. Joseph E. Murray


  1. “Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.”

    Rachel Naomi Remen -

  2. Hi Tara, just checking in and saw that things are not going so well, please know the whole CM family is here for support of Prayers and good cheer. Hope you are on the mend soon and back home with your family!! Deb