—  Ken and Vesta  —

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Shannon’s Journey, 12

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I wish I could report Shannon is doing well, but I cannot.

Last evening she messaged me at 8:00 saying she had blood in her urine and that she was going to the ER. She lives in Fernley, which is about a half hour east of Reno and she went to the Renown Urgent Care there and they sent her to Reno. When she got to Reno, their Urgent Care here was closed, so she went to the ER at their real hospital.

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At first the doctors there thought it might be kidney stones and she messaged me saying that. I messaged her back saying that I’d had one last month and that it hurt plenty. She messaged me back saying she wasn’t in that much pain and she thought Shelby was going to drive her home.

I asked her to let us know when she knew for sure

At 4:20 this morning, she messaged me saying that she’d spent the night and that Shelby had gone home at 11:30. I was up and messaged back that we’d see her at 9:00.

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She looked tired when we got there. She said that her urine last night had been almost straight blood. She had an IV that needed fixing. She said the doctors thought it was a bladder infection.

Vesta asked her if she’d ever had one before and she said she hadn’t and we wondered if the chemo could have lowered her resistance already.

And she said she thought she’d be going home today.

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About an hour ago, I googled Neulasta and side effects and found out that blood in urine is one of ‘em and if it happens you should go to the hospital.

A few minutes ago I messaged her and asked if she was home or still in the hospital.

Shannon: Had bad turn, on morphine, going to run more test. Pain is bad.

Me: Oh shit! BTW, one of the side effects of Neulasta can be blood in the urine. Do the doctors there know that?

Shannon: Not sure. I think they’re going to ultrasound for burst ovarian cyst or stones that they couldn't see on CT.

Me: Tell them to google the side effects. I have and I really think they should.

Shannon: I will, just want pain to go away.

Me: I feel for you. I wish there was something I could do.

Shannon: Thanks, gonna try and sleep.

Me: Okay, We'll come by later and see how you're doing. -- I think I'm gonna post this, so people can see how you're doing. Is that okay?

Shannon: Yes, Shelby already posted something.

Me: I saw that. I'll have something up in fifteen minutes or so. And we'll see you later. Try and get some rest.

She messaged me back a thumbs up emoticon.

Vesta’s at the store now. So she doesn’t know. Around 7:00 or so we’re gonna go back to the hospital and see how she’s doing and I really hope we’ll find out all is going to be well.

* * *

Vesta and I went to see Shannon this evening and we found her in considerable pain. It was hard to see. But she was in pretty good spirits and she was decidedly better off than the heavy set eight-four year-old woman in the bed next to her.

While we were there she must have moaned, “Help me, help me. Will somebody help me go to the bathroom?

But nobody came.

“Shouldn’t somebody call a nurse?” I said.

“Oh they know,” Shannon said. “She’s been doing that non stop since I’ve been here.”


“Yes and it makes it hard to sleep.” She moaned. “But when I get to talking to her, she’s really very sweet.” She went on to tell us the woman has Pneumonia and her neighbors found her passed out on her floor and that they were gonna move her to a board and care facility soon.

And you know what, I think that woman might’ve actually taken Shannon’s mind off her pain, which apparently the doctors are thinking is due to kidney stones. They’re gonna do an ultra sound to see if she has any that weren’t picked up on her body scan.

Dinner came and she couldn’t eat.

A nurse named Aracila came and said Shannon could have a Percocet, but Shannon declined saying it wouldn’t work. Morphine too, was no good. It just dulled it. She wanted whatever they’d given her in the emergency room cuz that worked.

“That was dilaudid,” Aracila said.

“Then that’s what I want,” Shannon said.

And the nurse went to get the doctor’s okay, which she got. And, I swear, within seconds of her shooting it into Shannon’s IV, she was pain free.

I told her we’d be back in the morning as she nodded off to sleep and she squeezed my finger, hard. Then she was asleep.

“Think it would be okay if I ate her dinner?” I whispered to Vesta.


“But she’s not gonna eat it.”

“And neither are you.”

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It’s another day and Vesta and I went to see Shannon this morning and she was considerably better than she was last night. However, she still wasn’t keeping anything down. She’d eat it or drink it and five minutes later, vomit it into these special vomit bags the hospital has, which are way better than the kind they give you on airplanes.

Also, she was alone in the room, cuz she got a nurse, who was also a cancer patient and who know straightaway that Shannon’s immune system wasn’t firing on all cylinders, cuz of the chemo. And the last thing she needed was to be in a room with someone who had pneumonia. Instead of making a note of it, this nurse, whose name I don’t know, insisted the woman be removed, cuz if Shannon got pneumonia, cuz the hospital screwed up, it could be curtains.

She thought they were gonna transfer her to the oncology ward. And she didn’t know when she was going home, because they still hadn’t figured out why she was peeing blood, and not just a little blood, almost straight blood. However, they’d been pumping her full of antibiotics all night, because it coulda been a bladder infection and this morning her urine only had a bit of pink in it.

And though she couldn’t keep food or drink down, she kept trying and while we were there she sucked on a Cherry Otter Pop, which, for those of you who don’t know, is like a popsicle in plastic. You open one end with your teeth and suck out the popsicle. And that, she was able to keep it down.

She got a red tongue though.

Flash forward five hours and Shannon just called Vesta. As of right now, it looks like they’re gonna let her go home today. She’s feeling lots better, but she doesn’t know what was wrong with her and they haven’t told her yet. They couldn’t find any kidney stones, though they’re checking her pee (a job I don’t envy) just in case they missed ‘em on their scan and ultrasound.

But she’s feeling lots better and that’s good.

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