Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This makes me sick

"Actor Evan Handler, says that being a bad cancer patient changed his life. Throughout his leukemia treatment in the mid- and late-1980's, Handler said he was yelled at by doctors, given another patient's IV drugs, and had healthcare workers ignore hygiene protocol during times he was immunosuppressed.
Handler advocates not only leaving doctors who aren't right for you, but writing them a letter telling them why. He urges patients to remain in control, advocate for themselves at all times, or find someone who can do it for you."

We were told to be there for Renee, to be her advocate, and when she needed me the most, I was not there to be her advocate. I was too distracted. How can I ever get over the regret of that?

I so distinctly remember that Thursday morning. I was not able to sleep, so I got up and worked on the computer, doing emails related to the forced buy/sell. Renee knew she had to be at the day hospital at 10am for more of that dangerous chemo, and when she was ready to go, she asked if anyone was coming with her. I was not ready, nor was anyone else, so she went alone. I can still feel those pleading eyes on me, begging me to be there for her.

I keep kicking myself.

She had told us that the doctor wanted to do a scan to see why she was in so much pain. Without me at her side, she had no advocate to make sure that that scan happened. So the scan never happened. It was not till Monday afternoon that they took her down for x-rays. By then it was too late. They admitted her to ICU immediately, but they could not stabilize her. Her lungs were not been working. Her finger oxygen detector said her oxygen level was good. When they did blood gases they found that her co2 levels were way too high and the best medical care in the world could not save her. She went into multiple organ failure and her heart stopped beating 14 hours after that 5:30 am phone call. If there is hell on earth, this is it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:02 PM

    I'm not one to usually reply to blogs but as I was going through some old emails I came across one you'd sent in Dec/07. I read your blogs regularily and something you wrote in that email jumped out at me regarding your latest entry. Here's a quote: "There is not much we can do about Renee's situation except to pray and trust God and the best professionals to do the right thing for her" At the time you felt you were doing all you could for Renee and that her life was in God's hands.