Saturday, January 31, 2009

Well, that was fun....

Yesterday, while feeling particularly awful during this round, I started getting weird visual disturbances in my eyes. That went away, so I blew it off thinking I needed to eat. So, I went into the kitchen and almost fell to the floor. I realized that I could feel my leg. The sensation was quickly going up my body on the right side. I got to a phone and called Grant. I wasn't making sense and he called my oncologist. The nurse from the oncologist called me, talked to me for a minute and said, "Ang, hang up the phone and call 911. NOW." I wasn't really processing, so I hung up and thought, it will just pass. I wasn't going to call and then Africa appeared, knocked me in the head three times HARD, and pushed the phone toward me. Didn't I just post about that cat? I looked at her and she stared right back. I called and she was gone. I wasn't really explaining myself properly on the phone and could not get the words out. Finally, I got out that I was alone and the 911 guy said, "Angela, we are coming. Hold tight." I hung up the phone and they were here. The phone was ringing, they were saying things like, "...the chemo drugs she is on can cause stoke....what is her oxygen level...can you smile and me (is he kidding???)" All the sudden my Mom was there, Grant was on the way to the hospital, I was in my PJ's in the back of an ambulance, and I realized that the first thing you should do is brush your teeth in the morning just in case you have a stroke and can't do it before firemen show up. At least my PJ's matched, but I had on not so okay underwear. Let that be a lesson to you! By the time, I got to the hospital, I was known as my oncologist's favorite patient, I got a private room, they had all my information, and they were ready to do blood work, EKG, and MRI. I certainly appreciate the system. The blood work and EKG went fast and were normal. The MRI however took six hours to get into. They were a bit backed up. The good news is that I had a private room and, if you wait, that means you are probably okay. The MRI was awful. I hadn't eaten in 10 hours, not that I wasn't offered food, I was just not hungry and kept thinking, "Great, now it is in my brain." Funny when you JUST want to have Stage Four Rectal Cancer. Grant had gone home to get the kids and Mom stayed with me. My oncologist came into the room at 7:30pm (I got there at 12:30). He said with a smile, "You are fine. It was a migraine. Why have you been here all day?" And, then, I cried. I cried from relief, for feeling stupid, for hunger, for missing my boys before they went to bed, for not showering, for dirty teeth, but most of all because I was really happy I could go home and just had cancer on my plate. There is a day I choose not to repeat, but in the end it was fine and I came home to my shower, tooth brush, and instant breakfast, but those are just comforts. More importantly, I came home to my husband and two precious, very asleep, boys. Whew. Love, Ang


Jill said...

holy crap Ang. That's so scary. You need to start these posts out with "Before you freak out, I AM OK"... OK??

I'm glad you're OK. And I can't believe you had to be there so long... I hope you're laying low this weekend and Grant is taking extra care...

And even though I hate cats, I'm glad yours made you make the phone call! ;)

Anonymous said...

OK, Jill had it right there. HOLY CRAP. I think you scared everyone. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, I'm shook up just reading it and I can't believe you had to live it.
Thanks for sharing with us. Enjoy your boys tomorrow and EAT please.
Praise the Lord for Africa!!! I tell you, the animals always KNOW.
Thinking of you,
Your unmet friend

Charlene Waymire said...

Holy Crap is an understatement! When you mentioned your vision, I immediately thought of migraine - I get vision auras with some of my migraines. But as I continued to read, I would have never known them to cause some extreme symptoms. Girl - when someone tells you to call 911, you need to do it! Thank you Africa! I need to bring her some special treats when I bring dinner over. I'm glad to hear that it ended up only being a migraine. Have a restful weekend and take extra care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

A big, ole, fat prayer of "Thank you Lordy" was just sent upstairs. Rest, take care and pet that kitty. Love Jane

Anonymous said...

Super scary, honey. Like all your wonderful friends, I wish I could have somehow spared you that ugly experience. Thank goodness it was just a mini scare.

Now, listen up sister: despite your general ├╝ber competence, you really need to listen to the pros, particularly during this juncture. Africa has proven to be an excellent judge of your well being. So, next time, please (oh please) start by listening to her. Love you, and I'll be thinking of you on Monday, if and/or when you have your scan.
P.S. You don't have to answer the phone when you have company. I know how to leave a message! :)

leslie kendall said...

Good grief! I am so glad I saw you yesterday before I read this or I would have had a stroke! I am so sorry that you had to go alone in the ambulance and can only imagine the hell of that day thinking the worst but praying and hoping for the best. Feed Africa a big piece of fish for taking such good care of you - must go brush teeth and change underwear :)
Sending you good (great) thoughts for your scan this week.

Vicki Olafson said...

DEAR LORD GIRLFRIEND - what an awful experience. I actually had to immediately go to the end of your post just to read you were alright. Then I had more anxiety just reading your ordeal. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, and alone ...well except for the superb performance of Africa and her 911 training. I'm looking forward to seeing you this weekend and giving Africa a big hug. I should ask my firefighter/paramedic brother if he ever pays attention to ugly underwear??? (just kidding )
Hugs and love you dearly.

Sandy Grancaric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy Grancaric said...

Very scary Angela!!
But you always seem to put a comical spin on everything...I can see why Grant feel hook,line, and ,sinker! You really should do a stand-up routine!!! ;-)

FYI...just if you're interested.They ask a potential stroke victim to smile because,if you're having a stroke,your smile will most likely droop on one side due to the stroke affecting only one side of the body.Good indicator.
And speaking as a firefighter,we see all kinds of underwear in all states of disrepair so don't worry about the boys in nomex.they've been there,done that.
As for Africa,she is a incredible friend!!I have always been a cat person,so this behavior,is what they do their humans!!

Anonymous said...


PLEASE DO CALL 911,when someone tells you.
As a nurse I can tell you that time is of the essence .
Am glad to know it was only a migraine.
I do not scare easy ,but you did scare me.Thnak goodness for your cat.

Take care my freind.
Love Peggy Smith