Lisa – Guest author once again.

Status: 7.0/10  Still stuck on seven.    

Events:  Felt a little better this morning, but unfortunately it didn’t last long.  I am totally wiped out – which may be because they are giving me so much Ativan for nausea.  The latest plan is to reduce the Ativan a bit to see if we can find that sweet spot between medicating me to numbness and staving off nausea.

Was supposed to have my 5th LP (lumbar puncture) today and boy did the Intern and Fellow try. Let’s just say three attempts later and I was worn out. They just couldn’t seem to tap into the right spot in the spine.   So tomorrow they will try again, this time I hope by using Fluoroscopy and dye.  They inject dye and then use the combinationg of the dye and the medical imaging machine to pinpoint the exact location to put the lumbar puncture needle.  (OK all you doctors out there, you can tell Lisa, not Bruce, is writing this description no doubt.)

Comments:  Bruce and Lisa have no pithy comments tonight – except that once again tomorrow is another day and we will hope it’s a better one.

Good night. Sleep tight to all.




18 Responses to “”

  1. Art Ulene Says:

    Bruce and Lisa…. If they don’t find the right spot for that LP, I’m coming back to do it for them. Most people (especially doctors) fail to realize that noone can do an LP as well as an Obstetrician…. and I was the best of the bunch. Modesty prevents me from saying more.

    We are sending good vibes from California, and hoping that tomorrow is a MUCH better day for you.

    With love,

  2. Peggie Neill Says:

    Bruce and Lisa,
    I sense the fog of sleep deprivation, feeling ill, and medication side-effect; for Lisa, trying to find the strength to be there for all the family. We all feel for you, and send our collective will to move you both back to health and restful sleep and being home from the hospital.
    Love to you and your family,

  3. Donna Hill Howes Says:

    Dearest Lisa and Bruce,
    Like Art and Peggie before me, I want to reach out and hug you both. My prayer is that, save for the excellent capture of these tough days, your drug-induced haze may spare you from the torture you are enduring right now. Your spirit, and the love and prayers of so many, many folks will see you through this fight. We all pray that your darkest days are past, and that the sun will come out tomorrow.
    Sending you love, and plenty of it.
    Donna, Taylor and Ross

  4. wendy Says:

    B & Lisa… it doesnt’ go unnoticed that Lisa is having to pull more than her fair share of weight these days. I know with my patients that I am just as concerned with the caretakers as the patient. It goes without saying that Lisa MUST put herself 1st or there won’t be enough of her to do anyone any good. So dear Lisa… as I said to a patient’s son today… if you can take 1 minute or 5 or 30 or whatever-so that you are doing something that feeds your soul… you will then champion this journey. Do Not foul yourself into thinking that toughing it out is all you have to do. Even God RESTED on the 7th day. Truly dear Lisa- do something special for yourself as you will fair better that way.

  5. wendy Says:

    and regarding Art Ulene’s comment… did he book his flight yet?

  6. Eileen Breslin Says:

    Dear Bruce and Lisa,
    We are praying you both get a good night”s sleep and hopeful that tomorrow is another day which will bring some respite from this suffering.We are pulling for you both in spirit. As we approach another July 1, I can not help but send prayers that you are out and home before the next crop of fellows/residents roll in. May tomorrow send a gifted skilled physician your way to get this LP done efficiently. We send you hugs, light and love. Eileen and Bill

  7. Joe Robertson Says:

    Bruce and Lisa,

    I hope the support and love all of your friends and family are sending you are helping push up your energy levels. We know you need it and we are trying as hard as we can! It is days like this that your mantra needs to be “this too shall pass”, and it will!! Winter is followed by spring, and the long, difficult nights turn to days of sunshine. You are going to get through this last low bit, and it, too shall pass.

    We are all looking forward to your coming out the other end into the sunshine, but we know you are looking forward to it even more than we are!

    And never forget: GO BRUCE!

    All our best,

    The Robertsons from France

  8. Sharon McDonnell Says:

    Click this link. I hope you are feeling as good as this fellow very soon. He is a coyote pup that ended up at my mothers as an orphan. We always referred to him as “high spirits”.
    We collected animals laughing and smiling for you.



  9. Kathy Says:

    Dear Bruce, my lifelong friend, and Lisa, my newer one,
    Hang in there! This nausea cannot last forever. (I’m very sympathetic, having just spent a day on rough blue water on the Gulf — and that was supposed to be fun!)
    You have really been through it this last week or so. I’m so sorry.
    I’m with Art – let me know if those docs can’t get that LP done expeditiously today. If they can’t, I’ll join him in substituting for them. Personally, I’m partial to the view that pediatricians are the best at LP’s (and I was the best at “Man’s Greatest Hospital” or whatever it was called in “The House of God”), but I’m sure that between us, we could do an excellent job. Maybe just beaming competent LP wishes will do the trick.
    But even more importantly, I’m sending warm and heartfelt wishes for a rapid return to a good white count and an absence of nausea. With your amazingly positive attitude (still calling it a 7!?!!) you should be able to beat anything that damn cancer throws at you!
    Lots of love, Kathy

    • Henry Miller Says:


      It was the “MBH,” or “Man’s Best Hospital. How do I remember? I was one of the House of God house officers at Beth Israel memorialized in the book!

      Henry Miller
      (Bruce’s ZBT fraternity brother at MIT)

  10. Karen Jaffe Says:

    not to disparage any of the good wishes expressed by all….but sometimes it is ok to say “this sucks” …

    xxoo K

  11. joel steinberg Says:

    Not to offer gratuitous advice, but have they tried Zofran and/or Emend? And I would claim that we neurosurgeons are by far the best spinal tappers of them all. The nausea will pass, your WBCs will come up, and you will get out of the damn hospital. Joel S.

  12. Alea T Says:

    Bruce, I have been reading your blog every day and it is hard to imagine the pain you must be going through right now. Keep your resolve and continue any positive distractions you can imagine. I know it might be cliche for me, the bohemian niece in VT, to suggest this but, have you considered requesting medical cannabis to assist with nausea, appetite loss and anxiety? I believe that Maryland is one of the 15 states that allow patients access to this pharmaceutical. It may or may not be helpful, but it might be a worthy alternative to what they have you on now?

  13. Greta & Michael Says:

    Bruce & Lisa,
    Thinking of you both with much love. Lisa, I so agree with Wendy. Do take some time, even if it’s 5 minutes, for you. You both are strong and courageous. Our arms are wrapped around you with love.

  14. Judi Golding-Baker Says:

    Dear Bruce and Lisa,

    I hope as the sun sets tonight, may all the love from all us wrap around the two of you and bring you healing sleep — and a better day tomorrow.

    Love you both,

  15. Debbie Blum Says:

    Dear Bruce,

    A voice from the past…I am so sorry to hear of your illness, but if anyone can weather this storm, you can. If it helps, I am a 3-year survivor of myelodysplastic syndrome leading to AML, and treated with an allogeneic stem cell transplant (following AML induction chemotherapy and one round of consolidation). Rough, but I am truly feeling better than ever and have been back to 100% normal activity for more than two years now–try to keep your focus on better times coming. I had tremendous problems with eating and taking in enough calories after leaving the hospital, but found I could tolerate chocolate Ensure and Boost Plus–may be worth asking the nutritionist about a chocolate concoction!

    Hang in there. My thoughts are with you. It’s wonderful that you have so much support. I too found the support from family and friends truly amazing and very comforting. Please let me know if I can be of support as someone who knows first hand what you are going through.

    With positive thoughts and best wishes,


  16. Tom Linden Says:

    Bruce, I’m sure if you and the hospital staff would let him, then Art would hop on that plane to do the LP. And I’m sure he’d get it on the first try. You must feel like a pin cushion now. So I hope you’re hanging in there knowing that we’re all pulling for you. And, I second the earlier motion that Lisa take a little time for herself… you two are amazing people but even amazing people need a break now and again.

  17. Susan Bies Says:

    Sitting here … wishing I could come up with the right words to make it all better.

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