Andrea Coller's Blog
TRICK OR TREAT?
it is All Hallow's Eve, and i am dining at the illustrious Market Street Laundry, as i listen to the soothing sounds of the water in the washing machines, slowly twirling my clothing, assisting it on its righteous path toward cleanliness. i am alone, except for the employee who is dedicatedly sweeping the floors, and giving me the evil eye for bringing in outside food, instead of purchasing from the lovely vending machine. i feel as though the washing machine has been on for weeks now, time refusing to move onward, as it does on most bad days.
this one's been really shitty.
at radiation, the staff kept congratulating me on my last day of treatment. at first, i insisted that, no, i do believe that this friday would be my final treatment. but i was then assured that, yes, today, was, in fact, my final treatment. tears of joy sprung to my eyes. (and i NEVER cry.) the machine made its strange eerie noises and mooved around me. 'this will be great!' i thought, 'back to work, full time. back to writing group, and poker night, and hell, tomorrow's november, i'll even do NaNoWriMo!'
the second the technician came back into the room, saying 'don't hate me,' i knew that it had been a mistake. i spoke to the doctor, and he said that NEXT Monday would be my last treatment. maybe, he said, he could work it out for Friday.
of fucking course.
i tried to (make like mariah and) shake it off, but i couldn't. it was an unbelievably gorgeous day here in noho- the sun, shining, finally, 65 degrees, the leaves finally having turned- so i read in the park until the next doctor's appointment. (don't ever get cancer, people- too many fucking appointments.) there, i was informed that after my radiation, i get to enjoy another two cycles of chemotherapy.
that was the first time i'd heard anything about that.
i had held on to the hope that once this week of radiation was over, i would again be free to at least attempt to return to a normal life. (well, as normal as i want, anyways.:) and that was taken away, too. i locked myself in the hospital bathroom and cried (and i NEVER cry) until someone knocked profusely and forced me to get out.
so remind me to reference this day the next time somebody calls me a pessimist. yes, i CONSTANTLY doubt that good things are going to happen for me, but that's only because God is CONSTANTLY pissing in my fucking cornflakes.
trick or treat?
it's been raining in new england for a week and a half straight. seriously. as of last night, if this were snow, and not rain, there would be 96 inches of the dreaded white stuff. eight friggin' feet. it's gray. it's oppressive. it's horrible.
it's hard to say what makes people so sad and terrible to each other when it rains. all i know, is that i've been doing pretty darn well this week, considering what last week was like, and i feel completely oppressed, just because of this stupid rain.
the last straw was just a few hours ago, when i stepped on the bottom step of my front porch and fell, first on my shin, then backward onto my ass. the groceries were spread all over the lawn, my purse was in a puddle, and my leg was bleeding all over the place. after making sure nothing was broken, i gathered the sad remains of my groceries and limped up to my apartment.
so here i am, bitching about the rain... but if i hear ONE more other person comment on it, i'm gonna break my foot off in his or her ass. why? because it would feel really freakin' good.
yes, folks-- it's not even safe to talk about the weather.
so, as many of you know, i went through yet another drama involving that pesky-yet-essential left lung of mine. and i am now sitting on my futon in my cozy noho apartment, typing to y'all, so please know, before the story ends, no matter how scary it gets, that it does end probably as well as it could have.
so, a couple of minutes before it turned to midnight and began my birthday, i had my first ever ambulance ride. i'd started coughing up blood, and was having trouble breathing. after calling 911, of course, it stopped as suddenly as it started, just before the nice policeman arrived. and the nice fireman. and the nice paramedics. (i guess there's not a lot of action for the third watch in good ole noho...) so i was taken to the ER, where i had another very short episode, which landed me in the hospital overnight. it was decided to start my chemo right away. no big deal. i was clear for two weeks.
then, on tuesday, i woke up, got dressed, got my coffee, went to work, gossiped with dana for a few minutes, then went to the bathroom. as i was washing my hands, i coughed. and it was bright red. "fuck," i said. i called the doctor's office, and they told me to go back to the ER. so i called meredith to pick me up, and she was there in a flash. when i got the the ER, i assumed that it would stop on its own again. after about an hour, i'd lost a lot of blood, and was informed that they would have to transfer me to baystate hospital in springfield, and they were going to knock me out so that they could intubate me. the last thing i remember is meredith telling a nurse to please be careful with my vocal chords, because i'm a singer. (meredith wins the award for greatest bandmate/ friend ever. the nurse sassed her back, but she'll get hers. cause you just don't mess with texas.:)
the next thing i remember, i can't move. i hear nurses talking about another patient's diarrhea. i fall asleep. i wake up. i still can't move. i hear my mother's voice, asking if i can hear her. the nurses say yes, that i'm paralyzed, but it's only temporary. i fall asleep. i wake up. i discover that i can move my tongue, but only my tongue. nurses pry my eyes open and shine a flashlight in them. i fall asleeep. i wake up. i hear my mother, father, and brother, and the red sox game on the tv. i try again to move. i can move my arm slightly. soon i can open my eyes, and my family notices. over the course of a few hours, i become fully awake. i FREAK out totally, because the tube was hugely irriatating me. once i had the tube removed, things went uphill fast. i was in the ICU for a night, then spent another night on the cancer floor. i basically gave every doctor hell (including a funny incident where i harassed a particularly nerdy intern, telling him to get the tube "the hell out of my ladybusiness," and to "let me out of there, asap- STAT!"), until they released me on friday afternoon.
since then, i've been filled in on all the fun details of how i almost died and how they saved my life and all. the details are a bit too freaky to repeat. and i'll be doing radiation for the next 3 weeks, which is much less annoying than chemo anyways.
so that's what i've been up to. thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers and all. as it gets proved over and over again, i am a very lucky girl.