Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, June 12th

I awaken again early, and eat the same breakfast as yesterday. I get washed up when Steve wakes up, and then we go for a walk. I ask him if he heard the fire alarm last night, but he didn’t. It was just like the one that went off when we were in admitting, so I figure it must happen frequently.

I am moving to solid foods today, so the kitchen calls to see what I might like for lunch. This could be interesting.

Polly stops in early with another smoothie and some banana bread from Wildflower. Today I know that I can enjoy this smoothie legit with approval from the dietician, and enjoy it with no guilt.

While Polly is still there, my friend Alex also stops by. I haven’t seen Alex in a couple of weeks and I can see the concern on his face. He is relieved to see that I am strong and doing doing well. He brings good wishes from Valerie, Luke and Emmett, and the promise that we will all get together soon.

Kaileigh and Josh come in. Josh is going back to Ithaca to get ready for a camping trip. He will go, pick up gear and be back tomorrow. Josh has been so helpful and wonderful through this whole episode, from letting Kaileigh take his car to visit and then riding twelve hours on a bus to get here, to dropping what he is doing to help in any way he can. Having him around has been great.

Kaileigh and I take a walk, arm in arm. I don’t really need the support, I just think it is a nice way to walk. I have asked the nurse if I could go explore the art on another floor, but I am told no. We stick to our regular route.

The doctors are still trying to figure out why I have been running a temperature at night. After doing all the tests they can, they decide to take all of my lines out. No more IV, no more epidural. The anesthesiologist told me the most painful part of this whole procedure may be when they untape my back and take out the epidural. The tape is about twelve inches across and runs from my waist to my shoulders. As she peels the tape off, I feel such relief! My back has been sweaty and itchy and the stickiness of the tape coming off is like a giant back scratcher. It only hurts when she stops to move my hair out of the way. Now suddenly, I am a free woman. No more IV to push around, no more lines to get tangled in.

A physician's assistant comes in again today, a nice young woman whose name I cannot remember. We chat, she says I am doing well. She says they are still trying to determine the cause of my fever. Dr. Lentricia will be by to visit tomorrow. As she leaves, she asks if I need anything, and I say yes. I tell her I need a tiara. She stops for a moment and smiles. No one has ever made that request before.

Dr. Lathore stops in to say hello. She is one of the doctors from the Cancer Center at Roger Williams Hospital. She tells me she is waiting for the biopsy reports on my liver and will look forward to seeing me at the cancer center. They will make an appointment when I leave, or when they get the biopsy results. I tell her I am going to also see a doctor from Miriam Hospital which is a five minute walk to my house. I explain to her that we don’t have a car. She tells me they have transportation available, and they would help get us across town. It is not sounding that good to me.

Dr. Safran's office had already called, and I have an appointment for next Friday.

Lunch arrives, turkey with gravy, stuffing, potatoes and squash. If there had been more cranberry sauce, I could have finished the turkey. The vegetables are very disappointing. You would think that there is very little that could be done to make mashed potatoes and butternut squash unpalatable, but somehow the cooks at RWH have the secret. I eat my jello and drink my milk.

Steve has been with with me in the hospital, only leaving for brief periods to take a shower or cover a quick story at the State House. Tonight is a big night at the State House, they are getting ready to pass the budget. One of the stories he has been working on, raising the minimum wage for hotel workers in the city, has made it to the state level. They are asking that the state support them in their request.

[Steve here: I wrote a lot about the hotel workers and their fight for a fair wage, but the two stories I wrote on this day are RI House to hotel workers and PVD City Council: screw you and PVD City Council puts $15 hotel worker wage on Nov. ballot.]

RI House to hotel workers and PVD City Council: screw you - See more at:
RI House to hotel workers and PVD City Council: screw you - See more at:
I have started working on a drawing today that I will paint later. The weather is grey and there is little else to do. Tomorrow it is Natasha's birthday, and I think I might give it to her as a gift. It is a picture of festive little flags, and I put a three on one of the flags for her third birthday. Natasha is one of the children who comes to my daycare. On birthdays we make cupcakes and birthday cards and have a little celebration. I am sad that I will miss it.

It has been a quiet day, but it has passed quickly.

Ayla and I do an art tour and stop in vacant rooms to look at the view out the windows, and check out the room decor. We discover that the art in some of the rooms is far less spectacular than the art in the hallways. Hard to believe.

Before Ayla leaves for the night, a young nurse comes in to introduce herself. Her name is Cherry and I instantly like her. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a bad night. Around 8pm Cherry takes my temperature, and it is high again. She gives me a Tylenol to bring it down. I go to sleep and awaken around 11pm. Steve has not returned yet, and I am feeling sweaty, achy and irritable. I call for the nurse and she speaks to me from the intercom. I tell her my complaints and she tells me it is just from the fever breaking. She eventually comes into the room to take my temperature, and it has gone down. I ask her if I can get something for pain. She says she will check on that and she disappears.

I fall back asleep for a little while when Jean comes in to check on me. She is the third shift CNA who has been taking care of me all week. She helps me change out of my sweaty, cold johnny and gets me some pain medication. Jean is there when Steve comes in at 1:30am. He has taken a bus and walked through the rain to get back to me. “He is a keeper,” she says.


  1. Steve is definitely a keeper. No argument there.

  2. I have always loved the saying "mi casa es su casa"- translated to "my house is your house." I'd like to extend that to the car-- our car is your car-- whenever you need it! No one in your house need be walking in the rain-- unless purposefully wanting to commune with the elements. :) Really truly!

    While you were at Roger Williams on Natasha's birthday, you actually really were with us! She had a ball at your house and I was so so so touched, Kathy, that you had not only remembered her birthday with everything going on, but had also even arranged for the cupcakes and gone as far as making a card!! The next day, Saturday, we had a small family birthday with her cousins and made the chocolate cupcake and gooey fudge sauce recipe (a la Jim Fobel) you gave us. Natasha loves making cupcakes, so we actually did it together and talked the whole time about how these cupcakes were just like the ones at Kathy's. It amazed me how much she knew about all measuring spoons, cups, recognized flour, sugar, the mixer, and all of that. It was clear from the beginning that she wanted "a job" and she confidently measured, mixed, and spooned batter into the cupcake wrappers. (Ok, the last part was a little messy.) I found some adorable gold-foil birds to decorate them with and she had a total ball with her cousins eating them. Everyone, adults included, LOVED "Kathy's cupcakes." Not only were they scrumptious, but it was such a special way of having you with us on her birthday.