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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ear Infection and Cancer -- What Fun!

The emergency room was quiet, when we arrived, around 6:00 in the morning.

During intake, the triage nurse brought me a Percocet. I don't know if the Percocet made the pain go away, but it certainly made me care less!

Percocet really spaces me out. (and I'm already pretty far out there...)

The ENT on duty peered into my ear with some really fancy equipment; then he said those infamous words: "keep taking the antibiotics and you should feel better in another day or two."

Not this time!

"I have been taking antibiotics for 48 hours, and the pain is WORSE." I said, in a strong voice, belied by the tears visibly welling in my eyes.

"The senior doctors will be in at 9:00," said the kind, young doctor sympathetically, "You can come back then for another opinion."

It was 7:00.

I had plenty of time to go to the oncology ward, open my port, and get my blood tests.

We went up to oncology.... apparently the ward opens at 7:30.

There were two chairs in the hallway, outside the locked doors. Moshe and I sat down. I closed my eyes. Between the two and a half hours of sleep and the Percocet, I could have fallen asleep standing up!

At 7:15 my oncologist came strolling down the hallway.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, shocked to find us at the hospital so early in the morning. "I'm glad I got here early," he continued, inviting us into his office.

We had a comprehensive visit. I left with referrals for a CT, a bone scan, and an MRI. My markers are creeping up (more on that another time) and we want to identify what, if anything, is changing.

Then I went to have my port opened -- I was the first one in line! (will wonders never cease!)

And then, back to the ENT.

The senior ENT diagnosed an outer ear infection, and prescribed a different set of ear drops. He disagreed with the younger doctor's evaluation that the infection was also in the inner ear, yet suggested that I continue taking the Augmentin (amoxicillin), since I had already started.

"This way, you are covered from all angles," summed up the young doctor. "Come back in two days."

Without further ado, I was dismissed (and discharged).

Alas, my day was far from over.... I returned to the chemo ward, where my day was just beginning!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


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