The Gippy Pages


Down with a sickness

Jul 7, 2015 | Cancer | By Shawn Parker

Warning: incoherent babbling ahead!

So, today should have been my second day of round 4 of chemo, my final round. But that is not to be. I was hospitalized on Sunday night with some kind of infection that was giving me strep-like symptoms: 101º fever, sore throat, sore ear, and the inability to swallow.

After feeling bad for a few days, but not feeling horrible, everything got worse on Saturday night. We went to the ER about 2am after I’d tried, to no avail, to use morphine to ease the pain. I was admitted around 3:30 am and spent the night. Since we were waiting on bacterial cultures to figure out what was going on I stayed Sunday night as well.

I got little rest while there. Despite needing to be at the hospital to get better the amount of traffic in and out of my room to ask questions, administer more drugs, ask me what I want to eat, just check in, etc… it was impossible to rest. Add to that the fact that hospital beds are the least comfortable surface in the world and that the food is impossible to eat I felt like I was doomed to get worse.

It was a relief to be discharged. Though the infection was never positively identified I was sent on my way with massive antibiotic pills (125mg pills – surprisingly they go down rather easy). We dodged the exit crew and I was able to walk out instead of being carted out in a wheel chair. I hope that didn’t get anyone in trouble.

Last night I gained a new found appreciation for sleeping in my own bed. I normally can sleep anywhere and be fine but never before have I been so grateful for my own bed. My own pillow. And nobody checking in on me every 3 hours. That hospital bed made every part of me sore.

Did I mention that the hospital food was terrible? Blech…

Words of Wisdom

If you ever find yourself in the hospital do yourself a favor and ask about every drug they give you and why they’re giving it to you. I was accidentally given a drug that I wasn’t supposed to get. Fortunately for me it was just a blood thinner. I guess there was another patient with the same or possibly a very similar name that the nurse got us confused. She rattled off the drugs she was gonna give me, and I did notice that this was a drug that I’d not had before and asked her what it was for. She told me what it was but it didn’t sound terribly out in left field so I just accepted it and let her carry on. Maybe being half asleep at the time didn’t help.

Lesson learned, though. Ask about each drug and WHY you’re getting it. Shit happens.

Continuing Treatment

What getting this infection has unfortunately done is set by my treatment by a week. Now that puts me squarely in to long term disability. That means more paperwork and more time away from mah peeps. I had been noodling with the idea that I might take a little longer on the recovery side but was stuck on the need to jump through hoops for the long term disability, but now that the long term is a certainty that decision has been made a bit easier. 3 weeks away from my last treatment and I still have mucositis and need a mid-day nap. I’ll be in no condition to return to work once my treatment schedule officially ends.

I feel a bit guilty staying away longer knowing that I’m holding up some organizational changes at work, but at the same time I need to be 100% for those changes. I’m gonna have a hard enough time getting back in to the fold as it is. I shouldn’t try to do it with half a brain.


I passed the 4 year mark at Twilio back on June 20. I meant to make more of a hubbub about it but to be honest I let is slip by. I done forgot. But there it is. 4 years.

Tagged as: hospital, treatment