Friday, October 22, 2010

Writing on a COW

Friday October 22nd, 2010

Hi everyone, sorry I hadn't been able to write. I went into the hospital to have my procedure on Tuesday Oct. 12th at 0700. I had recuperated in the Walter Payton Liver ICU on 7 West, not 7 East (there's a few stories behind this) until this past Sunday and then was transferred to a regular surgical unit, 5 East. My family was kind and shanghai'd my cell phone and my latch hook rug, so I could rest. I wouldn't be able to use them anyway because of the locations of the painful IV lines in both wrists. I was bound by an arterial line to my right wrist (which was sewn in 2 places to my right wrist), a 16 gauge heplock to my left wrist, a foley catheter, I had 2 surgical scars to my left abdomen, one to the left side of my neck and I already had my portacath in my right subclavian (chest) area. I also had a Denver shunt placed inside my body. I couldn't use the phone if I dared tried. Every time I moved my hands, the heplock and arterial line would move around and irritate my wrists. OWIE! I felt like C-3PO from Star Wars (is that how you spell his name?) I was very stiff and couldn't move around much. I did get home yesterday, Thursday, October 21st. One of my friends suggested that I write my blog while on my pain meds. Strawberry Fields Forever.

On my last day at the hospital, I felt well enough and asked the nurse about the free Wi-Fi. She pulled a COW (computer on wheels) into my room to let me use it. The computer was already accessed. She warned me that they block certain websites. They had blocked Facebook because staff was using it. This computer had it. However, when I tried to catch up on my blog, it blocked it. So I decided to update it when I got home. Now most things that I write may be out of order because I was so in and out of it, due to pain, pain meds working their magic, being woken up several times for vitals, ICU and surgical doctors and nurses checking up on me, and multiple other situations, but not by "The Situation" himself. He was too busy getting kicked off Dancing With the Stars. I'm warning you now, this may be loooong entry.

Monday Oct. 11th, 2010

First of all, I just want to thank everyone for making my benefit on Sunday 10-10-10 special. Those who sent out the invites, helped out, showed up (especially those who travelled far and wide to get to the Irish American Heritage Center), donated, volunteered, sang, danced, made balloons and hats for the kids, face painted, provided security, provided videos, baked, deejayed, served, ran out and got more food, made gift baskets, organized the raffles and silent auctions, cleaned up, etc.. Seeing all the love, generosity, kisses, smiles, hugs, tears, family, friends and coworkers, not just mine, but my family's friends and coworkers as well, neighbors that had moved away but the family reached out to them, people from all parts of my life, grammar school, high school, college years and to the present, everyone who's supporting each other, my family and and me (or is it I?) in this cancer journey. The room was filled with so much positive energy my family couldn't sleep until 3:30 am talking about how wonderful it turned out and how good it was to see everyone. I hope everyone had a great time. I was tired, achy and pooped by the end of the night but I'd do it all again just to see y'all. I also want to thank those who tried to get me to eat, I did get some nibbles in, and Nancy for the heat wrap, Lisa for helping me put it on and all those who massaged my back. It helped me get through the night. The food was yummy, your well wishes banners were sweet, the flowers were beautiful. I did eat a big bowl of strawberry frosted mini wheats when I got home. Thank you all for a night to cherish.

Mon. morning I called the surgical NP, Melissa, and she verified that I will be admitted tomorrow, Tues. at 0700, I'll have one last paracentesis that day and then my surgery will be on Wednesday, Oct. 13th. I notified my family and friends. Dad loudly said that I was only going to an appt. to see IF I was going to be admitted because that's what Vera told him on Sunday. I had to clarify to him that I was definitely being admitted under SURGERY service, not oncology, and that surgery will be on Wednesday. That's when we noticed his nervousness had started.

Jenny, Marie, Cathy and I then drove to Indiana to visit our mom, brother, John, and other relatives in the cemetery. Yes I was able to waddle to their graves, again, I wish I was waddling to show them I was carrying a baby inside instead of this ugly cancer. After changing the candles, and saying prayers, we drove to The Wheel, a restaurant on Indianapolis Blvd. for some lemon rice soup and big puffy warm rolls. They serve everything from pancakes to stir fry to hot dogs, salads, gyros, chicken, etc.. Once there, Jenny and I smelled the saganaki. I said, "What the heck, I'm being drained tomorrow and I won't be able to eat this type of food for a LOOOOONG time." I buttered my roll, put a piece of saganaki inside, dipped it into the lemon rice soup and savored the flavors. I was in Heaven. PURRRRRRRR! I had saved room for a small chocolate sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Cathy had a taco salad and Marie and Jenny shared a patty melt. Aunt Helen, our mom's sister, joined us shortly, she was on the way to see her great grandchildren. It was good to see her before the surgery. I was super restless, my belly was swollen and painful in some parts and my back was cramping and I got short of breath. It felt this way in the car ride up there, I had tried to recline somehow in the backseat and Cathy tried massaging my back, it helped a wee bit. On the way home, I sat in the front so I could recline the seat and was a little bit more comfortable but big belly wanted to harrass me. I took a Tramadol at the restaurant before we left (come on, kick in little buddy).

Later that evening, Jenny and her son, Peter, came by to pick up the gifts their family had won at the benefit. Malaika also came by with her 2 sons in their Chicago Bears outfits and her special lasagna. Dad whipped up a salad and fruit as side dishes for dinner. As swollen and painful as my belly was, I had a pretty decent piece of lasagna and some grapes. My family fell in love with the boys, they're so CUTE. My family sang praises for the lasagna. (We get excited when there's good food, I'm sure some of you do it too.) Little Ryen was tired and soon started crying and Marie got Rashad to hold Widdo Poopie. It was so good to see Malaika, she can always make you laugh and hold you up when you're feeling down.

After they left I started packing for the hospital. Jenny said that I didn't have to pack too many panties, I'd be having a foley catheter, ugh! I got my toiletries together and couldn't sleep. I figured that I'd be out of it for a while anyway come the next few days.

Tuesday October 12th, 2010

Tita Lory, Dad and I got in the car to drive to UIC. He was very choppy in his driving and I reminded him that we'll get there, he didn't have to rush. He started calming down while we were on Elston and he started reminiscing about Malaika's lasagna. I wish he'd verbalize his feelings instead of holding them in but we've learned to read his cues and realize it's his way of dealing with stress. I just spaz out and get emotional, which some of you have already experienced. Once in the admitting area, it took about 2 hours to find a bed for me and 2 other pts. The hospital was full and they had to wait for some discharges. I got a bed on 7W, rm 722B. When I got up there I had a roommate, but she left after about an hour. Tita Lory started talking with the Filipino nurse blocking her from getting my vitals and admission done, I had to ask auntie if the nurse could do what she had to do so she can get her work done, THEN she can socialize. The beginning of a shift is always the busiest. The nurse accessed my portacath and drew blood. She was able to get my admission paperwork done and got me in the official hospital garb, a gown. Not too soon afterwards, dad took auntie home, they didn't get much sleep the night before and auntie hadn't had any breakfast. They had brought food but didn't eat it or go to the cafeteria, they preferred to go home.

Later that day, most of the family and some close friends came to see me. Charles was out of town but would return Wed. evening, he was out of town for work. He tried to figure out my surgery schedule but it changed after he made his work plans for that week. Odette came with her mom and put my hair in braids. They stepped out when Ultrasound came and did the paracentesis at the bedside. This time the doctor entered my body right above my bladder region. He didn't use the topical lidocaine but he went in the with the straight needle and lidocaine first. I felt it tickle with pain, some pain went into my bladder region, that was a first. Well we knew he was in the right spot when my stomach deflated. He removed 3.3 liters this time. The staff soon learned that I'd be having a lot of visitors and started to have them take turns while others waited in the waiting areas. I was able to eat a late lunch and dinner but was NPO after midnight. Odette brought some chocolate covered orange slices which were very good, it made my other guests who tried them get addicted, you couldn't have just one. I heard dad knocked his side mirror on the ticket booth getting into the parking garage. My older sisters were already making arrangements to get home and to get the hospital the next day. I'm more worried about my dad than myself. I told those who came by and a few on the phone that I felt very calm and confident and that I had put my life in God's hands a while ago. I'm looking for the comfort this procedure may bring me. Before Jenny and Marie left, Marie wanted to spend some time alone with me. I had her climb in bed and we just held each other tight, told each other how much we loved each other and I'm glad I was there to help raise her and that I want to be there to continue watching her and her cousins grow. I remembered about them removing jewelry before surgery and I gave them my necklaces and bracelets to wear. I wore the string bracelet Sue sent me from Cali, it was stuck in my name and allergy bands.

By this time, I had gotten another roommate, a Filipino/American who was a historian. She was 72 y/o and had to have a 2nd procedure the next day too. She had just come out of ICU from having the first procedure. If she can tolerate that, I can tolerate my procedure. I still had my cell phone, caught up on last minute calls after Gabe left. He stayed until the nurse came to help me wash up with the special soap one needs to use pre-procedure, the night before and the morning of the procedure. No lotions, conditioners or deoderant should be applied after using it. It's to help reduce potential for infection. I will take all the hugs, kisses and "I love you's" that I received that day, plus the energy I was still experiencing from Sunday, just looking at all the lives I've touched and how they touched mine, gave me strength to get through this. My roommate was very positive herself. We wished each other good night and good luck for the next morning. I stayed up working on my rug. My family told me that I'll be the one to finish it and I told them that I would.

We can't forget this date, it's the day they started getting the 33 trapped miners out of the collapsed mine in Chile. Lisa her and her mom stayed until they got the first few out. Yeah! It was past visiting hours but as long as you're quiet the nurses won't bother you.

Wednesday October 13th, 2010

The doctors came early after I finally got to nodding off. They ran over the plan. The main thing was that I was going to get a shunt, they were going to take out part of my left liver lobe and do some radioactive frequency ablation to some nodules as long as there was no signs of metastasis (spread of the cancer from my liver). I was told that I'd be going in around 11am and that there was a case before mine. My family showed up. Both my roommate and I were more concerned about our next meals and we both made some last minute calls. I was so hungry and had a hankering for ice cream, I had asked all those who could eat, to eat some ice cream for me. No one really said, "No" to that request, diet or no diet. As 11 am came and went, my family was concerned about how much longer until they would take me. My ride came around 11:30 am. Another round of kisses and hugs from family and they went to the waiting areas. They had brought their bags of things to keep them occupied. I walked to the litter that would take me to the OR (operating room) on the 3rd floor. I wished my roommate good luck again, hers wasn't going to be happening until 2pm. My family had taken all of my belongings at this time since I wouldn't be coming back to this room afterwards. Tita Lory was going to be in the chapel during my procedure, I hope she ate a big breakfast.

Once in the OR, I met my anesthesiologists again. I signed the consent papers for the procedure again and for a Type and Cross in case I needed blood products. They introduced me to the "margarita" in a syringe I was going to receive in my already accessed portacath and I also reminded them that I can't have heparin before they would put the arterial line, intubate me and place a foley into my bladder. They had me repeat what the procedure would entail before knocking me out and they were impressed that I remembered most of it. They gave me the margarita and the next thing I knew, I was being wheeled to the recovery room. I had periods where I woke up in the recovery room and they were busy. I remember talking but not sure what about, then dozing off. This happened on and off for a couple of hours. By the time I was more alert, the recovery room was almost empty. They had kept me there a little longer while they got a room ready for me. Dr. Giulianoti, my surgeon, wanted me close to the rest of his patients and had me placed on 7 west in their ICU, usually reserved for transplant pt.s, so if one came, I'd be the first to be moved to the step down unit. I was in room 733 WEST, not east.

I found out later that they were able to place the Denver shunt, I have to look it up for more info. myself, however, when they went in, part of my liver was attached to my intestine, so they separated that and they took a biopsy to see if my cancer had spread instead of doing the other items they had listed on their agenda. I mentioned earlier all the lines and surgical sites I obtained.

I was able to speak but my mouth was extremely dry and I had funky cracked lips and tongue. My throat was sore too. If I can recall, Kathy and Rachel from work were there, Gabe and Eric showed up and later Judy and Cathy came by with my glasses. I felt like crap and Eric told me that I looked good. I wonder how bad do I have to look to look bad. I was given the wet mouth sponges and I had to spit in the Yankauer suction with assistance. I had most of my guests help me with it. My left side was killing me from my abdomen to my neck. I was able to receive Tramadol by mouth, I was still being wimpy with my pain meds. I was able to have meds with sips of water and I needed assistance with sitting up to take it. Oh, that cold water tasted good. Surgery and the ICU docs would come and check on me. I had bowel sounds but was not passing gas or stool. It's a good thing, I wouldn't be able to wipe myself if you paid me. Anyone, even if they so much as glanced @ my left side or attempted to touch it, my darn ticklishness would kick in which would tighten the area then the post-op pain would kick in even worse. Gabe jokingly almost touched it and I jerked, yelled and tears came to my eyes. He saw what he did, Eric told him, "Nice going." and Gabe apologized profusely. Anytime a doctor or nurse came to check my wounds, palpate my abdomen or listen for bowels sounds, as long as I guided their hands slowly or placed their stethoscopes, I wouldn't react that way. I remember Rachel singing to me and Judy and Cathy trying to get me to sleep, massaging the non-taped part of my left forarm and reading to me from the gossip papers.

It was nice to hear the ice cream stories the next day, I heard David had a nice sundae in the cafeteria, some friends had gone to the Village Creamery, up on Waukegan Rd. Joy gave me a pic of Maya eating it. I forgot to tell my bro' Chas when he called from out of town the morning of the 13th when the idea hit me. It's always a good time to make up for it.

Friday after my procedure, Paul came to visit with auntie and had brought a container of Garrett's popcorn, caramel and cheese. Did Gabe and Lisa know to be there on this day? Paul opened the container and boy did it smell heavenly. Lisa said she'd have some, in the next 4 seconds. Why 4 and not 3 or 5 seconds? So Paul dug in. I had just started a regular, 4 gm sodium diet and wasn't sure if I could have a taste. I held off until I had the approval of my doctor. Later, Judy and Cathy came by and my doc said I could have a small amount. Just a taste was good enough for me.

It's a good thing we took the dressings off, one of my surgical sites was tender. It was pretty red around the site and when we pushed near it, some drainage was coming out. I was started on Zosyn (IV antibiotic) and Clindamycin (an oral antibiotic) over the weekend. I'm glad we caught that before I was sent home and I had told them that Dr. Giulianoti wanted to watch me for a few days. I had started to get up to a chair on the 2nd day post-op. I figure if dad could do it after his open heart surgery, so could I, foley, IV's and all. By day 3, all the lactulose and colace finally kicked in, and I started to pass gas, saying that I had a kitty in my backside that kept "purring". Hey get it out, then I'd get real food. A liquid diet was good, especially the first cherry jello but after 2 days of it, it got too sweet. While I was still there, I received 2 units of red blood cells, my hemoglobin had dropped to 7.7, platelets and later in the week some potassium and magnesium drips, so it's a good thing I did not go home that first weekend. By the way, I learned one can't store jello for a later time at room temp., it turns back into liquid.

One thing I realized is how small this world is. My aunt who was visiting from the P.I. (Philippine Islands) knew some of the nursing staff on 7, they had worked at St. Elizabeth's together. One tech on the night shift, Nessie, is the neighbor to my aunt's landlord so they knew each other for the past 30+ years. One of my coworkers went to the same nursing school as the nurse taking care of me back in the Philippines. My friend, Jenny and her mom worked @ UIC. My coworker's wife, Jeanette, works on the 8th floor and came to visit. One of the nurses, Rose, went to St. Ed's, Good Counsel & UIC with me and had been working there since nursing school graduation 18 years ago. 2 coworkers who retired from the VA work there, etc..

The phone rang one day and there was an irate lady on the other end, cursing and yelling. If that was someone I knew, I wouldn't care to know them much longer, so I hung up. The nurse had come in and told me to ignore it because it kept ringing 3 times after that. Later 2 friends had come to visit at different times and BOTH had gone to 733 East, instead of west. They noticed something was wrong when they peeked at the female patient in the bed and one thought, "Did Jessica get a tan?" If that earlier phone call was for the other lady, it's kind of rude to chew someone out when they're feeling sick. On another night the escort guy came with a wheelchair. Mind you, I'm sitting in a gown, with an IV and my foley catheter in place. He's smiling saying, "Okay, get dressed." I asked, "Where are we going?" He told me that I was going home. I didn't think so. I asked him if he was looking for the lady in 733 EAST. He checked his papers and realized his error.

Speaking of foley catheters, my main concern when they asked me to get in the chair was, "How will this thing drain if I'm sitting on it? Won't it get kinked off?" They secure the catheter to one's thigh with a special device so it doesn't pull/tug. They give you a little slack when the pt. has to move around. So when I sat in the recliner, I reclined right away to keep the flow going, the best it could. Men have it easier, they get a little more leeway with the tubing where it enters the body. I didn't realize that the tubing can twist and it can cut it off the flow. I was on Lasix and in the middle of the night, my bladder felt full, I called the nurse and she untwisted it. I had relief and I could feel the bladder drain, I had 350 cc's inside. So I experienced some complications but am glad that they could relieve it too. It was a little painful when they removed it a few days later, so many odd sensations to experience and I kept praying that it wouldn't turn into a UTI (urinary tract infection) because insurance companies won't pay for that if someone gets it in the hospital from a foley.

When I was transferred out of the ICU I was told by my nurse that I was going to, 5 EAST, the escort who brought me down was told I was going to 5 West. We passed an officer and entered the PEDIATRIC ward, 5W. On his phone, his instructions said 5W. The 5W nurses chased us back to 5E and sure enough, that's where my room was. I could've stayed on 5W if I was going to be a big baby. My food and meds also had a hard time finding their new home too. They had to scrape up some sammiches and an ice cream for my dinner. I ate one sandwich and saved the 2nd one for later. People tried to call me and they were told that I was discharged or they weren't sure where I was. I'm a hard to reach type of girl.

Another odd phone call I got was some guy looking for a lady. I told him that I was the only one in a private room. He continued to ask me if I knew if she was discharged or transferred. I told him that I'm also a patient and I don't have access to that information and to call the operator back. Duh!

The Monday after my procedure was done, they had taken me to ultrasound to make sure my shunt was working properly, which it was. Then on Tuesday, they sent me again because I told them I had tenderness and redness to my left side near the surgical sites. I also thought it was more swollen. They wanted to rule out infection. I had fun in u/s, I was tender from the incisions and still ticklish so I was stifling my giggles, with tears in my eyes and hoped the images turned out alright. Then they'd move the wand and hit a sore spot. OH! They said that there was some tissue swelling but it was not infected.

When I got back to the room, dad and Gabe were there. Then for some reason the phone rang, 5 times in a row, one call right after the other. Did someone put the word out that I just returned to my room? Dad left after that. Then the Spanish-speaking only lady from the chaplain service came to see if I wanted Communion and to pray. Gabe had to translate. She said the "Our Father", "Hail Mary" and the "Apostle's Creed" in Spanish while we recited it in English. I have to be honest, my brain was elsewhere and I couldn't for the life of me remember how the Apostle's Creed started. So I looked at Gabe for help, the former altar boy. If he tried tell me, I couldn't read his lips, then I tried listening but all I heard was Spanish, so I just shut my mouth and waited for her to finish. I don't even think Gabe knew because I didn't hear anything from him. I guess since I knew 2 out of the 3 prayers, we still received the Eucharist and a glow in the dark rosary. I thanked her in Spanish and she left some religious pamplets.

Dad had stopped by pretty much every day. It was nice, I'd share my lunches with him and once he took a nap in the recliner while I dozed off too. Like father, like son, Coye came to visit after he had gone to a pumpkin patch & brought a baby pumpkin for me which I kept on my table. He was sleepy too & I told him to get the chair with the higher back so he could sleep. We ended up watching a few hours worth of supernatural ghost hunters. Then Joe did the same when he came to visit. Maybe I'm a boring patient. I enjoyed the peace when it came too.

As he was leaving, Joe, Andy and Fred showed up, soon followed by 6 of my coworkers. So I had 9 visitors in my room at one point. My room was right across from the nurses' station. How did this happen? Security gave the 3 guys passes and told my coworkers to wait. When no one was looking, they took the employee elevators to my unit. The clerk told them that they'd have to wait while the other 3 visitors were in the room. As soon as she stepped away, they ran around the nurses station and into my room and closed the door. We didn't get in trouble, my nurses were pretty cool. Also, 2 nurses on my unit knew 2 of my coworkers. After the guys left and they brought my dinner tray, my coworkers used the pull sheet and lifted me higher in the bed. I wish I had my camera at that moment. It pays to know people.

You think with all this modern technology, they'd have a way to remove tape, all kinds, from the skin. From tegaderms to silk tapes to whatever anchored that foley in place, OOOOOWIE! Give me that "margarita" concoction again before it gets taken off. That alone made my hair grow, fall out and grow again. The adhesive remover didn't seem to do much. I thought that since I'm female and half Asian maybe I didn't have as much body hair, but that tape grasped anything resembling a hair follicle in it's vicinity and held on for dear life. After removing the foley fastener from my thigh, the glue was still there even after bathing, using alcohol, lotion and adhesive remover. The recliners in the room are leather and my thigh would get stuck to it. Wonderful, especially when my bowels kicked in rather quickly. Not only was I moving, I was sprinting and maneuvering my IV pole and compression boots too. I ended up going commando the rest of the stay, and sat on chux. That was one less hindrance in getting to the bathroom and less laundry that'd have to be done when I got home. Besides that, with the edema, it was too tight in the elastic areas. Jenny mentioned the "granny-panties" and they sounded better to me. Also having moist towelettes that are flushable, I use the unscented with aloe, come in VERY handy, especially in the bathroom.

As I was getting better, a nurse helped me shower, hair and all. It felt good. My family had brought back some toiletries, a brush, real shampoo and conditioner, lotion, my Dove sensitive skin soap and my rug and cell phone. I caught up on calls and a lot of the staff was interested in the rug, bringing some good memories or showing them a new hobby. I was glad I could work on it, my wrists weren't as sore.

One night, Jenny came to visit, and I was in severe back pain. I broke down and tried the oral morphine. It made me sleepy and Jenny said I had rosy cheeks. I was looking forward to the mac-n-cheese but the pain trumped that. I broke down crying because Gabe had gotten me to walk around the nurses station a few days before that and I didn't have to pause as often. I felt I was going forward in my healing but then I was taking a step back. The nurse held my shoulder and as most of the staff did, they prayed for me, with me and shared their stories of loved ones, coworkers, or themselves going through their health struggles. They were able to reheat my dinner for me later when I felt better, but was sleepy. I did get some forkfuls in after the pain subsided and Jenny got me to stroll around the nurses station. My dayshift nurse got me around it earlier in the day but my pain was starting to hit me then, it was in the center and right side of my abdomen, where the cancerous liver still resides and I took several times to pause on our stroll. With Jenny I still had to pause but not as much. She took me to the end of a hallway, after making it around the station, before returning me back to bed, then when I got comfortable, bowels were calling. Figures. Or when my docs come to check the pump, I have to go ASAP. Hey, it flushes my shunt and stimulates my elimination.

My last day, Odette came with her mom to visit when they said I could go home. Dad was having a lunch date with Joan in the northwest suburbs. Odette said she could take me home, but I didn't have clothes to go home with nor a house key. Then lo' and behold, my bro' Joe, came around the curtain. He had a house key. We called dad back and informed him that he didn't have to rush back. Joe helped me pack up while Odette and her mom ran to Target, sorry Dave, and were able to get me some clothes. They went on a good day, they got a sweat shirt and pants for only $5.00 and some warm slippers. The nurse had another admission then she took care of my discharge papers. They provided us with a wheelchair. Odette's mom waited with me by the front door while Joe and Odette brought the packages to the car and brought the car around. Vera, my onc NP, happened to be in the lobby and she told me to skip my appt. for Monday and to call to see them again in about a week or two. While I was in the hospital, she, Maria the onc nurse and Dr. Mehta, my oncologist came to see me. That's why I like that oncology dept., they're so caring with big hearts.

I made it home and laid out on the couch. I was swollen from my waist down, which I was told by surgery, would go away with time. I was to continue with the Clindamycin, Lasix, stool softeners, pain meds and to keep pumping my Denver shunt. Luckily I have a little mole on my belly that's a landmark to find it, a little balloon beneath my skin. So I have a little gross trick, I pump the balloon and you can see it pulse in my neck. It does flow but to prevent it from getting clogged with proteins I should pump it several times an hour. Getting up and moving should also decrease the edema, watch my salt intake and watch out for signs of infection.

I want to thank everyone who took care of me @ UIC, from escort, house-keeping, nurses, techs, to the doctors, dietary, etc.. I also want to thank everyone who came to visit, called, prayed, assisted me when I was weak, brought magazines and flowers, shared their time with me, combed/brushed and braided my hair, brought goodies, held my hand, brought smiles, hugs and kisses, dozed when I dozed, helped me bathe, encouraged me to eat, to hang in there and to get my butt up and move and not to be afraid to ask for pain meds or to ask for stronger pain meds. Sorry if I may have been crabby @ times, I'm sure it's due to pain and lack of sleep but I really do appreciate you, my cheerleaders. Love you all.


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  2. (LOL...oops!) Jessie, we are so happy that you are home. It's really nice to read your blog again.