Friday, August 14, 2015

From Coma to Cancer

This is a continuation of my blog post of July 19th, It Began on April 12th.

I do not know how long I was unconscious—it was at least six days, I think—or what took place during that comatose time. From those who were conscious when I wasn’t and from what medical records I have been able to obtain, I have been able to construct a partial timeline. I know that at some point while I was comatose I was moved from Norton’s Hospital to a nursing home (name unknown). Then—again I don’t know when—I was returned to Norton’s intensive care. It was in intensive care that I regained my consciousness. 

I had/have no memory of anything that happened after I fell and telephoned 911 for the third time on April 12 until I awakened in Norton’s intensive care unit (ICU) on about April 23—again I am unsure of the date. Family, including my son, Nick, who had flown in from California, was around me when I came out of the coma. I later learned that they had been told that the odds of my ever regaining consciousness were quite low.

I was not—I have never been—a happy patient. I was only given yucky, tasteless mashed food and thickened water that didn’t quench my thirst. That continued even after I was moved from the intensive care unit (ICU) to a private room. There my treatment primarily consisted of breathing therapy three or four times a day.

The day that I was tested and approved for solid food was a red letter day! My son, Nick, was lunching at a restaurant where I reach him by phone and requested that he bring me a huge hamburger with all the dressing. I tasted wonderful, even though I could not eat all of it. That lack of apatite continues: today I am able to consume only about a third of what I did before the fall. (The good news is that I now weigh about 60 pounds less that I did before April 12th.

By April 20th it was confirmed that I have prostate cancer with a PSA level approaching 1000. It was also noted that I have cancerous cells in the lymph nodes in my back. A biopsy found that these cancerous cells metastasized from my prostate cancer. Thankfully, they are not lung cancer cells!

After leaving the hospital I spent 6 weeks in a rehabilitation center, where the primary treatment was physical therapy to renew my body strength. Although the majority of the staff were really neat people, there was one shift supervisor who had all of the negative qualities of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest . I was overjoyed to leave and return to my apartment and my kitty kids (about whom I shall post more later) at the end of May.

Due to communication screw-ups between my doctors, I did not begin treatment for the cancer until mi-July. On August 12th I had may second treatment. I was over-joyed to learn that in one month my PSA had dropped from 1000 to 68!

More later!

For further reading:


  1. What terrible experiences. I pray things improve.

  2. So you ARE getting cancer treatment. Any word on how it's going? I've been thinking about you. Katy and I sent a card to one of the places where we thought you were, but it got returned.

    1. The treatment is going well, Squirl. After the first month, my prostate PSA dropped from about 1,000 down to 68. Thanks for the card that didn't find me. I appreciate that you and Bucky sent it.

  3. Glad you are back at it. I look forward to your comments.