Saturday, October 28, 2006


The biopsy yesterday went pretty well, that I think I'm going to do some Christmas shopping/food shopping/general errands today. That's what'll happen when you sleep for pretty much an entire day!! We should have results on Monday but at least there weren't any extraneous issues like last time!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

biopsy tomorrow

Going in for the lovely biospy tomorrow at 7:30, so blogging will, consequently, be light or non-existant for awhile. Oh the joy! We go to admitting at 7:30, then up to the Outpatient Surgery Center to have them access the port and start fluids. Then it's "Hurry up and wait" until 9:00 when the procedure "officially" begins. So Mom and I will be spending our Friday in a little glass cubicle (at least one with flat screen TV!) for however long this one takes.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Biopsys abound...

OK, yes it's been a long time since I've updated, but I've been out of commission, due to tx related stuff...all the better to write about here!

Last Wednesday I had my (very, very belated) one year bronch, which was fun, per usual. But this time it was not quite as much fun. There was a lot of bleeding (well, more than usual) and I went into quite a coughing jag, which caused two blood vessels in my eyes to pop, so now I have blood-streaked eyes around the irises, which looks odd, yet seasonally-appropriate (i.e., Halloweeny). So they had to sedate me more than usual, which meant that I slept until 3:00 in the post-op area! (and the bronch began at 9:15!) Dr. A also found a small polyp in the upper right quadrant (up near the shoulder) that he wanted to get a better look at and possibly biopsy.

Well today I had the CT with Contrast; very lovely, because we cannot use the port, so they had to start a peripheral IV, which is next to imposssible with my small, crooked, incredibly scarred and abused veins which had already been scarred and abused by the outpatient lab that morning. So the pickings were even slimmer than usual! But we eventually got one in and got the scan done. After examining it, Dr. A decided he wants to do a biopsy of the little sucker on Friday. Yes, this Friday. The Friday I was supposed to go to D.C. to see David. But noooo. So I will be here, in who knows what condition, over the weekend. That is a bummer.

I'm not too worried about the thing, because Dr. A said this can happen and is probably normal. But still, it's more stuff to do. I should be used to it by now, though, shouldn't I? One would think...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Initial post-tx photos

Now I can start documenting the "recovery" process via photos, so here are some:

Top: Tom and I at his 23rd birthday party, less than a month after my discharge (August 2005)
Middle: Tiff and I at her 24th birthday party (September 2005). You can see the bandage that's covering the burn on the right arm.
Bottom: The DeArdo family Christmas picture 2005--me, Bryan, Mel in our backyard (October 2005)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Izzy says "Donate Life!"

And she knows what she's talking about...both personally and professionally.

Link on the know what to do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hanging out at home

So I decided to go back to work Nov. 7, or something, so my first week would be short due to Veterans' Day. But I still had to wait until October was over, because even with the completion of rehab, I still had a lot of testing to do that would pretty much consume October, like the 3 month tests, which included a bronch (which, as we know, I love!) with biospy, which meant it would take a little longer and I'd be a wee bit more sedated. The chances of being sore afterwards were also higher since we were snipping of a bit (or bits?) of lung to test for rejection as we did this. So in October I geared up for all that, and I bought a new car, a 2002 Civic EX I named Lilo, after I traded in the beloved Rosie for something with a little more "get." But man, it's hard to say goodbye to your first car...sigh.

Anyway, in September, choir practice at church started again, and I was so glad to be back. I had real lung capacity, woohoo! Everyone was excited to have me back, and I was glad to actually get out of the house occasionally, since I got my driving privileges back at the end of Sept./beginning of October. I also went out with my friends to celebrate birtdays, like Tom's 23rd at the end of August and Tiff's 24th in the beginning of September (pics to follow). I don't look like Heidi Klum, but for someone who just had major surgery I don't look too bad, either. I didn't really start gaining weight back until the New Year, about 6 months post-tx.
It was so nice to be out in the world again!

Also in August, I was named the Columbus Diocese's Young Catholic Woman of the Year at a banquet with Bishop Campbell. It was nice to be nominated, but I gotta tell you it was also nice to win. :) We had a nice ceremony and I got a lapel pin and a plaque that hangs on my apt. wall. Very nice, especially given the DeArdo family tradition of always being nominated and never actually winning.

I also did a lot of reading, a lot of DVD watching (what else???).

Random things I learned

Before I went back to work, though, I should probably share some random (warning, some of these could be graphic/gross, whatever, so proceed with caution) things I learned during the whole CF/TX experience (and I am still learning!):

--When they say "NPO" (nil per oral, Latin for nothing by mouth), they mean it. That means no water. So drink/eat up before the deadline, even if you don't feel like it, because trust me, you will in the a.m., especially if the procedure/operation isn't scheduled until like 2:00 pm. Or else you have to implement Emily's Law of Eating: NO EATING IN FRONT OF THE NPO GIRL. It is carved in stone. I have banished my parents from my "resort" room for this. Course dad has qualms about eating in front of me anyway...

--If you've been chroncially nauseous, keep plastic bags in your car. Know the locations of the nearest bathrooms in all movie theaters, shopping complexes, churches, etc. If anyone would like to know precisely where the bathrooms are at Easton, I'm your girl. If all else fails, locate trash cans, even though vomiting in public is not something I recommend. But I have done it. (Dad calls them my "exorcist" moments.)

--Barium's not that bad, especially if flavored with Quick. Just drink it fast, or "down it" as my mother says, and don't think about it.

--You will always wait forever in a lab. And radiology. It's a Law.

--Always bring a book. it's the times you don't have a book that you wait forever. And if for some reason the book doesn't work as a charm against waiting forever, at least you were prepared.

--It is usually cold in hospitals. bring a sweater or a jacket.

--ERs take forever. Always. And if things are moving fast it's usually not good.

-- Don't be afraid to ask for pain meds!! They have them!

--Anti-nausea drugs are God's gift to mankind

--Have one good pair of hospital PJs, like a t-shirt and pants, that come off easily, move with you, and cover all your vital parts. Also no long-sleeved things since they interfere with IVs and food. Victoria's secret Pink t-shirts (for girls) are a good choice because they are soft and move to adapt w/ various IVs and such. I wore a lot of their stuff after transplant.

--Get some fuzzy sock at Target or whatever to wear around. Those hospital socks get gross pretty quickly.

--hospital food is not that bad but make sure you know where the good vending machines are.

--if you're nice to nurses, they are nice to you

--There are always infomercials on at 2 am, which you will find fascinating if you can't sleep.

--Arterial blood gases are the devil!

--Sleeping in a hospital is a hit or miss proposition.