Thursday, July 22, 2010


I’m ensconced in the hospital. I’m going to try not to type too much tonight, because my wrist hurts where my IV line is. (They couldn’t fit me in for a central line tonight; I’ll get that first thing tomorrow.)

The nurse came in, started my IV, and we got talking. We probably talked for twenty minutes. She is an oncology nurse (not all of them on my floor are), has been for seven years. She’s young, and startlingly competent. Right now, she’s looking up my paper chart and printing information about the neuropathy drug they’re discharging me with. (I have the beginnings of peripheral neuropathy, in both hands and feet. It’s scaring hell out of me.)

We talked about my care team here, in Sac, in Oakland. We talked about my support system. I told her some of the things I wrestle with—see how healthy I am, how can I be sick? She told me she thought I’d do well.

I asked her why. She said, “Because you’re so positive. When the mind gives up, the body follows.” I didn’t tell her how much I hate this.

I told her about the wind talking to me at the Ranch. I also told her I want to be alive. We talked on the level of, how does cancer change you? If you live, who are you? How does this make you be?

She got it. And I think now I get it more, too.

They upped my Ativan, another grace. It’s starting to take effect. I’m going to go to sleep now. Goodnight.


claire said...

I will have to check about peripheral neuropathy, Kirstin, even though I think I can guess. And yes it would be darn scary.

Being positive. Did I tell you this already? The way I helped myself was by imagining myself in the Caribbean with my grandchildren (I did not have any then) and living there was a very remote possibility.

In fact, when I woke up in the hospital from my cancer operation, the first thing I said to the male nurse (I was told I said that) was: I want to go to the Caribbean... I'm all the way with you, lady, he replied.

I can still remember the image of the wind in the palm trees. It makes me feel good to this day.

Maybe you can conjure up an image like that on which you can hook all your energy and dreams.

Of course, we each have our own way of coping with our sickness and how to fight it.

Sending you all my energy and prayers. May you feel surprisingly well.

Blessings, love and light :-)))

Caminante said...

Thank God for the ativan.

I hold you in prayer right now as the infusion must be happening.

Debbie of Boise said...

Thanks be to God you had an excellent nurse last night. I laughed out loud, a knowing laugh at your comment that she was startling competent. God bless her and may more follow her example.

Also sending you energy and prayers my friend.

Two Auntees said...

I am happy that you had a really good nurse. One that talked with you.

On the question, "if you live, who are you." You are who you are right now with a lot of positive things added. Things like compassion, grace, gratitude, a real sense of what is important. When someone tells you they are sick or in pain, you know on a level that others cannot comprehend. Your ministry will be vastly enriched.

When I was a nursing student, I had a mass in my chest for which I had surgery. It was not malignant but I almost died from the complications of the surgery (no exaggeration). I was in the hospital for six weeks. The recovery was slow and difficult. It was the time that I learned the very most about being a nurse. It was a difficult time but the lessons forever changed me.

I will hold you in my heart during this journey.

it's margaret said...

LOVE ATIVAN!!!!! Saved my butt more than once.

Grandmère Mimi said...

How blessed you are to have such a nurse, Kirstin, an oncology nurse who will have such a conversation with you.

Good night to you tonight. Sleep well. Sweet dreams

Love and blessings.

Lisa Fox said...

Thanks be to God for that nurse!

Peace be with you, dear Kirstin.

Jane R said...

Glad you have good drugs... and a good nurse. We love you! Thinking of you - and putting a prayer request and a link to this blog on mine.

Word verification: recapepr -- sort of a mix of "recap" and "pepper."

Wishing you peppery energy!

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward eagerly, and with faith, to your next installment on your blog, in which you report that you got through the latest treatment and that tests show it is working. You are in prayers all over the place.