Up Your Nose…

… With A Rubber Hose.

I spent five days in the hospital because apparently cancer is a real drama queen.

In the wee hours last Wednesday morning, Pete was trying to pry me off the bathroom floor as I clenched the porcelain goddess. My abdominal pain level and nausea were off the charts but thanks to Zofran I made the one-hour ride to the hospital barf-free.

The CT scan showed an intestinal blockage so they shoved a nasogastric tube THROUGH MY NOSE, down my throat and into my stomach. There it stayed for two days. Kids, don’t try this at home.nu205004

Why the blockage you ask? The theory is that with my pelvic surgeries (radical hysterectomy & exenteration), the Scar Tissue (That I Wish You Saw) from the radiation and my new tumor pushing things around down there, (shit) blockage happened.

I dislike being rushed to the hospital. It scares the people I love and it completely sucks. But during all of my hospital stays at El Camino’s 4B Cancer Unit, I received the most amazing care. The men and women who have chosen a caregiving profession here are some of the kindest.

Never has it been more apparent that I am living with cancer; a cancer that is no longer silent (“No one puts Baby in a corner!”). I have accepted that cancer has interrupted my so called normal life with things like lymphedema, doctor’s visits, blood draws, chemotherapy and managing ostomies.

I am living with cancer. Fact: Cancer looks and feels different on everybody. People tell me “you look so good” and “I’d never know you have cancer”. What do they think cancer should look like? I do a forehead slap to myself when these words come out of my own mouth. Perhaps it’s just human nature for some to want to say only kind things. I appreciate the kindness fer sur but please do not displace the struggles I, and all cancer patients and their caregivers face on a daily basis. If you don’t know what to say to us, a smile, a hug or “I care” speak volumes.


This is me on cancer, leaving the hospital.

16 thoughts on “Up Your Nose…

  1. Carol,
    Laura and j were wondering how you are. I am never on FB, but saw your news. I am sad you are dealing with this, you’re so strong. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you.

      • I wish I wasn’t so far away, to see you and give you a hug! I am sure you feel different everyday, I hope you are doing ok today. I know it’s been many years since we’ve seen each other, you still are so special to me.

  2. This made me laugh. As a nurse (worked in the icu at El Camino years ago) one meets people who live with chronic disease, acute injuries and the aftermath of “shit happens” . Finding the funny is what changes you from ‘having cancer’ to “living with”…… You are my hero. So glad that I have had my life path cross lines with yours. Cheering from the sidelines …fight on sister.

  3. You are such a fighter and such an inspiration to so many people. You look so beautiful in your picture. I hope you are feeling well. Prayers that this cancer will go away and stay away and stop bothering you and interrupting your beautiful life. I care about you my dear old friend. Lord bless you and keep you safe.

  4. I love you Carol Ann, I have never stopped praying for you. You are such a strong, beautiful person. So sorry you have to go through this crap…. God bless you🙏🙏🙏
    Love always
    Aunt Patty

  5. My dad often asks how things are with you . So glad this is posted to stay informed . You are such a strong fighter and inspiration to those who love you .
    Glad to hear this episode is history .
    Love and hugs to you both ❣

  6. Oh no! I’m happy to bring you food or friendship. I’ve had a blockage and can relate. Let’s get together soon!


  7. LOL..your title is hilarious…though I know the scenario was not so. The healing music was amazing and what a blessing…they do take such good care of their patients! And Pete…holla whenever you need us. Always here for both of you! Gentle hugs filled with love…

  8. Keep fighting. We love you. I bet you will never think of up your nose with a rubber hose the same way after this. Sorry you had to endure but glad you are fighting back.

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