Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Of Karen and Cancer: An Update


…and there went July. In hindsight, it’s clear now that Karen was a lot sicker than we thought for a lot longer than we thought. Not to bury the lede, she’s home from the hospital now and resting comfortably, but it was a much closer call than we realized. It seems now that she began to get sick sometime in the first week of July, and by the evening of July 15 she was really out of it. Not only was she in general seeing things that weren’t there and speaking to people who were invisible to the rest of us, but specifically, she was seeing Baron Samedi following her around everywhere she went. 

Thankfully, though, she was not seeing the “real” Baron Samedi, the authentically terrifying Haitian voodoo loa of the dead, but even more specifically she was seeing Baron Samedi as played by Geoffrey Holder in the Roger Moore James Bond film, Live and Let Die. So apparently the Baron was quite upset with her, because while he was trying to frighten her, she wanted to talk about his stage and film career. Did you know that Geoffrey Holder was a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and won two Tony Awards for his work on the original stage version of The Wiz? Neither did I.

It must be frustrating to be a loa these days. 

Anyway, it took her a week in the hospital just for the doctors to figure out what was happening to her, and then another week for them to figure out how to treat it. Apparently the infectious disease specialists were quite excited. It’d been a while since they’d had a good mysterious infection and the chance to play House. Or perhaps Chicago Med.

Then, once they had a treatment that was confirmed to be working, they gave me a crash course in how to prepare and deliver IV antibiotic infusions and sent her home. She was discharged exactly a week ago. Since then…

Honestly, it’s been like bringing home a newborn. I monitor; I medicate; every eight hours I prepare and deliver another infusion. She’s going to be on that regimen for another three weeks. Fortunately she has a chemotherapy port, so basically it’s a matter of cleaning and connecting the plumbing and then pumping in the next round of drugs. 

Last night I got nearly six hours of contiguous sleep. It’s the most I’ve had in a week.

The good news is, we now know what the problem is and have a treatment plan that seems to be working. The bad news is… What the heck was I doing before this whole thing started? Oh yeah, publishing stories. I really need to get back to doing that. 

Starting tomorrow.

See you then,


Mark Keigley said...

You guys get all the interesting people for your visions! If I had one, I'd probably get stuck with Peewee Herman.

Leatherwing said...

Very glad to hear she's recovering.

An anecdote on cancer recovery: My mother was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1971. She was scheduled for surgery in Texas but my dad learned that the University of Arkansas was doing some of the best cancer treatment in the world at that time, and Arkansas was their home state. So she transferred to Little Rock and they treated her with some experimental techniques. For years when she told other doctors what procedure she had received, she was told that it wasn't being performed in 1971. She smiled and told them that it was in Arkansas (score one for the hillbillys).

tl/dr She is still alive. Her doctors in Little Rock finaly told her to stop coming in for annual followups because the drive was more dangerous than her risk of relapse. But then they asked if they could bring in their med students. They all want to meet the lady who is in their text books.

Prsying Karen has similar success.

Fred said...

Very glad to hear she’s getting better! Wishing you both many Baron Samedi-free nights!