The dreaded big C invaded my life over nine years ago. Today I am cancer-free. While the surgery wasn't a walk in park, it was seven weeks later that an abscess I'd developed (and had no idea I had), turned into sepsis and I was hospitalized for five nights. Scariest thing ever to happen to me. I'd never felt so sick in my life. From my work in hospice, I knew that sepsis had a mortality rate of 30%.
But here I am today, celebrating nine years of being cancer-free. I had a wonderful surgeon and hospital staff, both for the surgery and the subsequent sepsis hospitalization. The infectious disease doc was outstanding. My internist stopped by every day I was in the hospital to see how I was doing.
Most of all, I want to thank the 24-hour nurse on call with BCBS who, when I called because I had no idea what was wrong with me after going from feeling fine at 7PM, to feeling like death warmed over at 11PM, triaged my symptoms over the phone and told me in the calmest voice, 'Ma'am, you need to get to the ER within two hours. If there's no one there to drive you, call 911." My heart rate was 140 and I was running a fever of 102°. I'd been on the tail end of a cold and thought maybe I had developed a serious respiratory infection, but because of my surgery seven weeks earlier, I didn't know whether to call my surgeon or my regular doctor. Boy did that nurse take charge and direct me on what to do. I wish I'd gotten her name and could go back and thank her, but I was a bit distracted at the time. 😳
It was a several-months recovery from that sepsis, but I did, and thank my trainer for knowing how to start me out very slowly, just to get my body moving again (prior to sepsis, I'd gotten up to walking three miles a day after the surgery).
Man, what a ride...