Until this month, I had never stayed a night in the hospital. Never accepted a stitch. Never even had any kind of outpatient anything. So spending a few nights at New Hanover and now 3 different days in the UNC Cancer Center is obviously not something I’m accustomed to. As friendly as these places have been, and with my Pop and JoAnn there with me, I have still felt a bit anxious and uncomfortable.
So walking into the 2nd floor of Lineberger today and seeing my longtime, beautiful and big hearted friend Wendy Lucas Riggsbee was comforting to say the least. She knows the situation and actually wrote a few days ago, and I know where she works, but it just didn’t even dawn on me that I would see her there today. Too much going on in my head. She greeted us with hugs, smiles, humor, mojo and some Ritz and Graham crackers. The 2nd floor could step up their snack game a bit, no doubt. Wendy agreed. Thank you Wendy for making today much more bearable. Mucho happy to know an old-schooler from Chapel Hill has my back there.
Here’s the latest on my treatment: Didn’t get the chest tube out. Didn’t do the new biopsy today. They simply were not ready to do all this today…I did do an x-ray, which showed very little fluid left in my chest, good news. Next week the surgeon is going to do a Bronchoscopy, to check for lesions in my chest, and then also go in through a small incision the front of my neck, then go down to where my lymph nodes are (to the left of my sternum), get some of that tissue, as well as some from my lung. It’s called a Mediastinoscopy. This will then go to a lab at UNC, where they will see if I am a match for the immunotherapy. Should take a week at the most. Also learned I was wrong about the PD1 treatment. Not a pill. It’s an infusion, like chemo. Once every 3 weeks, with a list of possible side affects 2 pages long. Sounded like the back end of a pharma TV ad where they list off about 27 things in 7 seconds. Joint pain, bloody nose, numbing in feet, bad taste in mouth…the list is funny to read.
Headed back over to UNC for a 1:40pm procedure to get all this done on Monday. 6pm or so before I’m out of there.
Here I am telling Wendy how much I want this tube out of my chest…and how hungry I am…