October 07, 2003

Unhappy Interlude

Grrrr. And HOWL.

At 12.30, they told me they *weren't* doing neurosurgery today. Their schedule is too full. This meant I had been npo for twelve hours, pointlessly, and -- much more important in the grand scheme of things -- they can't start chemo for yet another day. Meanwhile, the lymph node on the back of my neck is getting larger and larger and pressing more and more on my skull. It feels like a great big boil, all squishy and painful, and it's giving me a headache.

Though the headache may also be something to do with the degree of rage I am presently feeling.

Neurosurgery has not, of course, graced me with a visit. They merely came up and wrote a note on my file to say my platelets were too low to do surgery.

Now, yesterday afternoon, my platelets were 52. This level was deemed more than adequate to do the surgery on my chest to implant the double-lumen port, but neurosurgery wants a level of 100. So yesterday I had 4 units of platelets, which brought me up to 77. Still too low, they said. So I had 4 more units. By this morning, my platelet level was 84.

I'm now in a conundrum. The cancer is very active indeed. Maybe so active that it eats platelets faster than they can pump them into me. I therefore can't qualify for neurosurgery, because my platelets are too low. But they can't start to treat the cancer until I have had the neurosurgery.

So it goes. Patient Services (Jefferson's version of Customer Relations), Case Management, Oncology and Old Doctor Tom Cobleigh and all are involved in trying to get an answer from the august and mythic Attending Neurosurgeon. He has been reverently referred to by each of the four Baby Neuro Docs who've been up to see me ("When will you have the procedure? I'll have to talk to The Attending"), but I've never seen the bugger, and nor has anyone on this floor.

I keep thinking it might be a real good idea to go home now, and tell Jefferson to call me if they ever find themselves organized to give me treatment for the cancer. It's over a week since the diagnosis, over two weeks since my first admission, and all I have to show for it is a scar where they took the lymph node, a tiny hole where they took the bone marrow, and a port in my left boob.

Call me picky, but this doesn't seem like *quite* enough to stay my cancer.

Later thoughts:

1. They are now scheduling my neurosurgery for Thursday.

2. I was never, apparently, scheduled for neurosurgery, at least according to neurosurgery. Not yesterday, not today. Why Dr Puppy the intern decided to put me on npo, I'll never understand.

3. Grrrrrr.

Posted by maddy at October 7, 2003 04:15 PM

Reading this makes me so mad I could spit. Unfortunately I'm working in the library, and I doubt that would go over too well with the patrons. So I'll just grimace unnervingly instead.

Since you can't have live flowers, can we send Herr Dr. Attending Neurologist a great heaping bouquet of hideous dead ones? And a dead rodent or two as well?

Love and sympathetic growling,

Posted by: Emily at October 7, 2003 09:41 PM
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