Procedure Panties, and other stories from the ER

If the last 3 years, since my diagnosis of breast cancer, has been a nightmare, the last 2 weeks as been the royal icing on the night terror of life.

I usually have quite a bit of fatigue, but as I was on FaceTime, I noticed my reflection looked like chalk. Literally like I was wearing a face full of white powder. Plus, there were a few pulsing veins on my forehead and my eyes looked black and a bit too big for my face.

Best Caregiver Ever (BCE) drove me to the ER. It was packed, but they triaged me right away. I had a fever of 102, my blood pressure was around 100/50-something and my pulse was high. The nurse said it seemed I would need a transfusion and, at the very least, some hydration. She told me she’d be coming back for me in about 15 minutes. BCE helped me to the only seat left in the waiting room where we, well, waited…and waited…and waited. Every time the nurse passed by, she’d say that she hadn’t forgotten about me and it would be just a few minutes. 6 hours later I was slumped in the seat being held up by BCE. The nurse come and took my blood pressure again and it was consistently dropping. Again, she said they were just waiting for a bed to open. The murmur through the walking wounded was there wasn’t going to be a bed open for another hour or so. I told BCE to check with the front desk if I was going to be seen soon. He looked at me, looked back in the ER proper and said, “It’s gonna be a while.” I was exhausted so BCE took me back home and I just went to sleep.

I made an appointment with my doctor and was seen the same day.

After getting home I was spent and fell asleep in the chair. After an hour or so, my doctor called and told me to get to the hospital but if I can’t get someone to drive me, call 911.

Little did they know I had (stupidly) been driving for most of the morning, which, right now I can’t remember much of the morning or how I managed to drive myself. I guess I was pretty much on autopilot. The nosebleeds I had been getting for the previous week didn’t help matters.

When they arrived at my house, I wobbled to the door and when I opened it they helped me back to the chair. They got me into the ambulance, where they had a very clear, upskirt view.

*sidenote: From the first day of chemo, I bought a ton of very cute and very sexy, what I called “procedure panties”. I had worn a different pair for every scan, every chemo treatment, and every surgery, no matter how big or small. My thinking was that if sh*t got real, I wanted to be lookin’ hot. Admit it! EMTs are sexy AF. I didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell with them even giving me a second look, but I can dream. So, I was pretty much in the things almost all the time.

Anyway, I wasn’t worried about the view. (Jeebus, old chick, get a hold of reality)

Even with the sexy chauffeurs cutting my way into the ER line, it only shaved a bit off of the wait. I lay on a gurney in a hallway for over an hour and even though I was being entertained by medically trained sex, I really needed to get into a bed with a crazy straw and a bag of blood.

For some reason they did a pregnancy test after 4 people had asked me if there was any chance I was pregnant.

Are you surprised it was negative?!?!

With my port tapped, they proceeded to fill 2 Tapatio sized bottles with blood that I couldn’t afford to lose, then I was taken back for a head, chest, abdomen, and pelvic CT scan. After 3 hours the doctor came in with the verdict…the bright silver lining was no brain mets! The bad news was a WBC count over 20,000, UTI, anemia, pneumonia, and the problem that hit me the hardest…


In 2009, I did a very slow restart with diet to get the ulcers in my intestines healed. I started with liquids, then slowly increased food by tablespoons of rice and mashed potatoes, soft foods, then a very controlled process of increasing and adding food. After 14 months, I was back to a regular diet and, hazzah! Remission!

Not anymore. Because of the omentum cancer, there’s nothing to protect my colon or stomach. I’m also in a flare.

I feel absolutely defeated. It seems day to day something new and scary happens. I’m sick of it and seriously tired of this traitorous body. I know I have fight in me still, but at the time all of this happened, about 5 days ago, I just wanted to crawl under the covers and pretend this is all a horrific nightmare. Maybe someone will see my thrashing and wake me up.