Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 6:06PM
Two years ago today, I knew right away that I'd be going to the hospital. I had just woken up for the day, not feeling any better or less bloated, and took a couple of sips of water to help my cause. About 10 minutes later, I vomited that water up and knew that my days of trying to get through this without serious medical intervention was over. So where would I go? Well, I was vomiting and pooping pretty frequently, so it wasn't like I was game for a drive across town to Cedars or UCLA. Since I lived in Downtown L.A. and had friends who'd gone to Good Samaritan for various reasons (plus that was where my probiotic-prescribing general practitioner practiced), I decided that Good Sam would be the spot. I waddled out of my loft, giving my sweet and concerned dog Winston one last kiss on the head, and was at Urgent Care within about five minutes. They didn't waste any time over at Good Sam. After hearing my symptoms and seeing my bulging belly, I was taken to the ER and given a barium pre-scan drink. I looked at that huge cup of liquid, then at my huge belly, then back at the liquid, and shook my head. I didn't see how it was possible to do what I was medically required to do, but I gave it a shot. Of course, the barium pre-scan drink was vomited up almost as quickly as I drank it down. Still, we went ahead with the scan. The results were good, but confusing. The scan showed no blockage, no tumor, no nothing. I'd be admitted to the hospital to monitor my situation. My ER doc thought that my GI system had stopped because of some meds a doc prescribed a few days earlier and that only time and patience would get me back on track. My illness was still a mystery, but I was finally given something to ease the intense pain in my gut -- a drug called Dilaudid. Oh man. Dilaudid. I'd never taken a painkiller before in my life and holy crap if this wasn't the best painkiller on earth. My pain was gone. I was in bliss. And only then did I look over and nod at Will, who had his phone in hand and was waiting to call my parents and family members to tell them where I was. I knew they'd all be going nuts, but I was too busy in Dilaudid-land to care. Despite all of the puke and adversity, I was already a happy and cooperative patient. Two years ago today, I joined the ranks as a patient at Good Samaritan Hospital. Two years ago today, I had a clear CT scan and an unclear future. Two years ago today, I could never have predicted what the next day -- or the next hour -- had in store for me. But I was optimistic and freakishly calm, as if this was all part of a greater plan that I felt like I'd always sort of known about... Tune in tomorrow for more. I'll be writing "Two Years Ago Today" until my cancer anniversary, a day that I was not expected to live to see, September 19th, 2012.