Bloody Hell, Puke & Lost Keys

I don’t even know where to start with this post. I thought yesterday was a marathon and a candidate for worst day of 2024 and then I was introduced to today. Baton tossed, new winner awarded. After spending the morning at the cancer center and the second half of the afternoon and evening at Munster Community Hospital, I was so emotionally spent that I fell asleep with the lights on, mid post and phone in hand. If you read yesterdays blog you know why. I thought yesterday was my limit. Nope.

Saturday, January 6th started at about 715am, I had to call my mom to make sure she was up and getting ready. She was mad at me yesterday when I didn’t give her enough time between the wake up call and pick up time so today I gave her two hours notice. We had a 10:00am appointment back at Munster Community for her second blood transfusion in as many days. When she picked up the phone she shared some very concerning news.

Mom: “I fell. I fell twice.”

Me: “what??? How?! Are you ok?”

Mom: “yeah, I just must not be awake”

Me: “Mom, this means you fell THREE times this week, what’s going on???”

Mom: “I think maybe my ear that’s bothering me has something to do with it”

Me: “What is wrong with your ear?! First I’m hearing of this”

Mom: “It hurts in the morning sometime”

Me: “How long has this been going on”

Mom: “Maybe a month I don’t know”

if you’ve been following along at home, you know that since around Thanksgiving, we’ve had multiple doctor’s appointments a week. I have to admit I was quite angry to learn she has NEVER uttered a word of this ear issue to any one in her care team, not even me. I’m now angry at myself because it is super clear that she has had a sudden loss of hearing, she is constantly saying “what?” and is definitely struggling to hear normal talking. Why didn’t this come up??

This is the third fall this week. Two today and one a few days ago with a fat upper lip to prove it. Something isn’t right. Are there tumors in her brain? Is the massive purple hematoma making her brain bleed?? Of course that’s where my thoughts go because I have no idea what’s happening. All this new information before 8am. Good Morning!

We arrive to the plush infusion center at Munster Community where they even have valet parking. If you are going to spend hours getting a blood transfusion this is a fancy place to do it. Mom has a heated massage recliner, toasty warm blankets and free snacks. We were supposed to be in and out in less than two hours since we were just here last night for type O Postive blood bag #1. She was still physically exhausted from the crazy week we’ve had and I didn’t see her energy or spirits lift like I expected. Now she’s a fall risk. I thought well since we are already in the hospital we should get her head checked. I knew it would be an act of congress to get a real CT or MRI order in a non emergency setting. I told Dr Sidani I would not abuse my texting privileges but I really needed to let him know what was going on.

I knew the ER at Munster wasn’t going to be fun. I just spend Christmas night in Chicago’s Northwestern ER with my daughter who had an anaphylaxis episode. How much worse could it be here in Indiana??? Well, as you may have guessed. It was a LOT worse.

We were escorted and wheeled though secret back hallways in the bowels of Community hospital to avoid going outside in the snow. I was PRAYING we would be able to skip the step of triage, we had already been at the hospital almost 2.5 hours by this time. The infusion nurse even called in advance and well, she’s a cancer patient so maybe someone would make sure she was expedited. No such luck. We sat there with what had to be at least 50 people, some quite unsavory if I dare say. We waited, waited and waited longer. While sitting there waiting to find out what surprises we had in store next, I saw two different people barfing their eyeballs out, crying babies, a kid with a bloody face and so much more. I understood why we needed to wait and felt better for a half second knowing we were at least ok for now. Then the screaming started….

I need help…….. somebody help me…….somebody bring me something to eat……..somebody charge my phone…..

Distressed Man in the Emergency Room

This screaming went on for hours, no exaggeration. I am certain to hear this in my nightmares. Finally after ER hour four her name was called. I just LOVE when people try to pronouce my family’s name, CICCO. Heres a good way to remember how: CHEEK-O. Yep, like your cheek with an O. These are the favorite mispronounced variants: SICKO, PSYCHO, KEEKO, KIKO. SEEKO. Again, for the record, Its Cheeko. My sweet cousin Crissy who lives on the East Coast goes by Crissy Cheeks. I love that. Now I’m on a tangent, back to my mom.

She’s doing ok right now. Shes very sad. Very depressed. Very defeated. I am desperately trying to be positive and cheer her up but she sees the stress and fear in everyone, its very hard to hide. I keep reminding her that she has an army of people of are in her corner and we are pushing for the best next action, one decision at a time. We can’t give up now. We have a plan and its been deployed.

Weekly Taxol Infusions (One Down as of 1/5/24)

10 Radiation Sessions (First session this coming Tuesday)

Blood Transfustions as Needed (2 Units already in)

I know this was a very long post but I have two kind of funny things that made me laugh today.

1.) After seven hours in the hospital, we were getting ready to leave and the valet lost my car keys. Not really funny but it made me laugh because it was such and unbelievably crazy way to end the day. Just when we thought we were getting the hell out of there…after30 more minues they were found. We left. Funny in a punch drunk kind of way.

2.) I forced my mom to get some food and I know she doesn’t hate Panda Express. No one loves Panda Express either but thats where we ended up. We order our orange chicken and when we are pulling up to the pick up window my mom says in her super sweet and very soft voice, “you know what my fortune cookie will say? YOU’RE FUCKED.” Very sad actually but with her comedic timing and random display of quick wit, it made us both laugh.

No doctors appointments Sunday. We need a break.


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