EJ's take on entertainment and travel plus a few pointers in a fairly smart-for-old-person way

Wednesday, March 2

Andy's recent encounter or Ways not to recover from brain cancer treatments


One night during her last set of chemo treatments, Andy decided to move from the couch to get some water. That doesn't sound like a traumatic incident. It was.

Feeling weak and a bit dizzy, she remembers putting her hand out to find the counter. Sometime later (anywhere from 20-50 minutes) she opened her eyes wondering where she was, what the hell just happened and why there was something wet on her face and hands.

As she regained more awareness, she moved her hand around enough to find her trusty cell phone on the floor next to her. She remembered her mom's speed dial number and pushed it. If that didn't work, plan B was 9-1-1.

I answered the phone, grabbed my keys, hopped into my clunker van and headed northeast. My grungy pajamas and I managed to push in the key and turn the doorknob. Taking a deep breath in an attempt to stay calm, I stepped in and turned on the light.

Andy had managed to crawl back to the couch. Dark red dried blood kept her fingers stuck together; seeping blood was still an issue somewhere on her head and/or face.

A wet white washcloth showed the truth of what I suspected. She split her forehead open just between her eyes. It didn't matter how much we pressed and dobbed at it, the cut was too deep for a band aid to make it all better. So, I did what any concerned mother would do. I called my son and told him to take his sister to the emergency room. NOW.

Skipping through the next several hours of tests (to be expected when a brain cancer patient slams her head and blacks out), the girl ended up with nine stitches and some rough looking bruises from her fight with her kitchen counter.

A few days later she was all about putting the ordeal in perspective. She did have a few good points related to her incident:

1. Now people could stare at her new stitches and bruises. It might detract from her larger brain surgery incision on her now-bald head.
2. What could have happened. Coulda, shoulda, woulda stuff. Coulda been her eye. Coulda been closer to her tumor. Coulda caused worse injuries.
3. Two-fer-one special. Not on beers but on medical services! When she went to her podiatrist to check on how her big toe was healing since he'd removed the toenail, his assistant also removed the stitches from her forehead! Sweet!
4. She didn't have to go to the clinic the next day for blood work. The hospital sent their results. Time saver!
5. Bonus visit from friends who were concerned about her head's most recent abnormality.
6. Stepdad changed cat litter and delivered fast food of choice (to Andy, the cats avoid fast food).
7. She didn't mention this one but she got to have HER MOM stay over a couple nights. What fun to bond over the memories.

Currently, Andy says she feels about as decent as she's felt since pre-brain surgery last August. She has had enough stamina to leave the house and feel "normal' for 4-5 days. Hopefully, the next round of chemo won't be much of a setback for her.

This time when she is stubborn and states that no one needs to stay with her at night during her chemo treatment days--her mother will win the argument!

TIP OF THE DAY: It's better to put up with a hovering mom than a vicious countertop with a sharp edge.