Here I am...

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 I’ve been MIA since New Year’s because things haven’t been good. I feel like I’m always writing “bad news,” but the truth is that I haven’t caught much of a break.I didn’t think it was possible, but the fevers got worse than they were before. I spent a few days in a row with a persistent chill and temperatures hovering around 101.5.  I got a break for a day and then the fever train rolled back in for another 4 days.  For a while I was able to kill it every few hours with Tylenol but then that stopped working.  Even when the flame was out, I was still feeling so sick, had no energy and was just bracing myself for the next one.  Mike’s mom came over to watch Sam for a few days while Mike was at work but she was really there to take care of both me and Sam.  At one point she had me stripped down to my underwear while she was holding cold facecloths under my armpits trying to break one of my more pesky fevers.I didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night and walked from room to room trying to breathe, stifle a cough and keep cool or warm depending on which way my body was (dis)leading me. I spent an hour with my face on the porcelain tub and since our house is so small, the toilet is conveniently close so that all I had to do to throw up from my hacking cough was turn my head.  At 6am Monday morning, I woke up Mike and told him to take my pulse.  I could feel my heart beating out of my chest and was light headed.  I surrendered and we drove to Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  My oxygen levels were VERY low and up until yesterday, I was on an all day/all night oxygen tank.  Today is Saturday.  I’ve been here for almost a week.After more tests than you can ever imagine, here’s what we know: the fevers are being caused by my lungs. There’s an irregular pattern on them that came up in both a CT Scan and in multiple chest xrays.  Now WHAT exactly is on them is a goddamned mystery.  I’ve met with my Oncologist, the attending physicians, Infectious Disease doctors AND Pulmonary Doctors and all are stumped.  Yesterday I had a procedure called a bronchoscopy.  They took a biopsy of my lungs…  A biopsy of my lungs.  And wait for it… they don’t knock you out when they do this type of endoscopy.  Instead, they gave me a lidocaine nebulizer to numb my mouth and throat.  I had to smoke it like a pipe.  Then they turned on the drugs.  It felt like I had had a bottle of wine, which to the old me would have been nothing.  The new me is a cheap drunk.  I was “out” but NOT REALLY.  I could hear everything and each time I would cough (because they had stuck something down my throat and INTO my lungs), I would stir, squeeze Ben the nurses hand and slightly moan.  I remember opening my eyes at one point and seeing a towel had been placed on them.  Weird.  It’s over.  That was yesterday.  Today is today.  We are waiting for results.  They’ve limited it to 3 categories: an infection, something environmental or an allergic reaction, or disease.  Pray it’s not disease.  I wouldn’t be able to handle that shit right now.  There’s also a possibility that they come up with nothing.  Neat.  It’s not cancer.And so that’s where we are now. Since Monday, I haven’t had a single fever and feel better each day.  I’ve also had IV antibiotics every night.  But we’ve had both of those things happen before and this time the Doctor’s are not just guessing- they’re determined to figure me out.  Mike has come in every day to spend time with me.  He usually gets here around 10:30am and leaves around 6pm.  Sometimes we go hours without talking.  It’s just nice to have him close and I don’t feel lonely when he’s here.  Of course it’s hard to be away from Sam.  I Facetimed with him a few days ago and I had to get off the phone because I had started crying too hard to talk and keep smiling.  It’s almost easier to not see him and instead focus on HGTV while I’m here.My Dana Farber chemo nurse, Beth somehow hospital stalked me and showed up one day as a surprise. It was the best.  She’s HILARIOUS.  And my friend Lisa who is a nurse in the ER came up to visit.  Here’s something I’ve learned from cancer: nurses really are amazing.  Like.  Amazing.  The nurse who admitted me to the cancer floor last time we were here, Erin, was here again on my admitting day.  It couldn’t have been any better to have a familiar, warm and friendly face waiting for me to arrive.  And on my first night; I was alone, drained, and so scared.  My night nurse fell from the Good Lord’s Heavens Above.  She rubbed my back with cold towels and then rubbed my back with lotion TWICE.  And at 2am when I still couldn’t sleep, she came in and we talked in the dark for an hour about our lives, our babies, our fears, and our joys (our babies).  She applied Vaseline to my disgustingly chapped lips and I just layed there and let her.My voice is back.  It’s not “teach yoga over one of my playlists” strong, but we have ditched the pen and paper routine.  Obviously, my Lyme disease results came back negative.  I have an appointment to remove my skin cancer for the end of January.  My throat doesn’t hurt much at all anymore (I can only swallow really small things) and I’ve stopped taking pain medicine.  I’ve been able to drink water consistently through my mouth and even ate some soup today.  My tastebuds don’t work so most things taste like chemicals which is unfortunate.  I’d rather food just taste like nothing, but apparently that’s not an option.  I’ve got a sweet outbreak of thrush in my mouth.  I knew it was just a matter of time.  Also neat.Hopefully my lung biopsy will point Doctor’s in a direction that is manageable.  If I get a definitive result, I’ll post another quick update on the blog.  Otherwise, assume they’re still searching.  If my oxygen levels remain high, I may be able to go home before the results come back.  I’m looking forward to putting my cheek right next to Sam’s.