verushka70: S4E1 Walt alone silhouette wearing hat and holding shotgun (headstones)
Well, today is my mom's first chemo of the second round of chemo. We'll see how that goes.

We've received confirmation (yesterday) that the pathology report of her original surgery was amended. That's fine; I know that initial reports are usually hand written and then "signed off" on by everyone -- nurses, MDs, other specialists.

But what pisses me off is that, while she was under the knife last year, the surgeon sent the section of her lung down to the lab to get a frozen section, to see if there were cancer cells in the margin. It came back from the pathology lab saying that there were no cancer cells in the margin. If there had been, the surgeon would have gone back in and removed more tissue, until the margins were clear. But since the lab came back and said the margins were clear, he closed my mom up and finished the surgery.

Then the lab report was amended a couple days later to report that there were, indeed, cancer cells in the margin.

And that is exactly where the cancer has come back. In that exact spot.

So I'm pretty pissed. I think I will write a letter of complaint to the hospital (where we'll NEVER send my mother again, the nursing care was so shitty after she came out of the ICU), to the pathologist, and to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation about this pathologist.

I'm too exhausted by everything I've been through in the last few years to fight through a malpractice lawsuit. (I get the feeling, however, that one of my older sisters will be pursuing that.) Besides, all the money in the world can't change the past. What's done is done. I'm just pissed off that this stupid pathologist may have shortened my mother's life expectancy by not identifying the cancer cells in the tissue margins WHEN THE SURGEON NEEDED TO KNOW -- WHEN MY MOM WAS STILL ON THE OPERATING TABLE. As my mom once said, "Someone has to graduate at the bottom of the class."

At any rate, I am going to work on my resume tomorrow. Tonight after we get back from chemo I plan to go over my Joe Dick/Jerry Bines story, and try to make headway on finishing it. I do so need the escapism and to get that feeling of "flow" from writing. Sigh.

In the world of finishing nursing school, however, I was cheered to read that this HESI exit exam I took (on which I scored in the 96th percentile) is predictive of passing the NCLEX-RN exam on the first try -- AND the higher the HESI score, the more predictive of passing the NCLEX-RN. (Other things have also been associated with passing NCLEX-RN on the first attempt -- number of Cs received (in my case, only 1; all the rest were Bs); ACT score (yay! mine was 29! But that was 23 years ago! Egad!), GPA (in my case, 3.25, a solid B average), etc. So it would appear that my passing the NCLEX-RN is a likelihood. That's a relief! Nevertheless, my friends and I are going to take this week off from studying (a WELL-DESERVED REST!) but then start a study schedule for the NCLEX-RN next week. Whew.
verushka70: S4E1 Walt alone silhouette wearing hat and holding shotgun (CKRInvisible)
I passed the HESI exam! I didn't just pass it (850 is passing), I aced it (1078). My report says that's the 96th percentile. YES!! Something to feel good about, for once! I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED !!! I get to graduate! Also, this is supposedly predictive of my chances of passing the NCLEX-RN on the first try. Apparently (so HESI people say) those who pass the HESI on the 1st try have a 75% chance of passing the NCLEX-RN licensing exam on their 1st try. So, although I will still hit the books like a crazy person (especially in the areas HESI scoring told me I need work on), at least some of the pressure is off now. I feel more confident than I did two days ago, that's for sure.

I was amused to read the comparisons between average HESI scores from diploma nursing schools, ADN nursing programs, and BSN nursing programs.

The average HESI score for diploma school nursing students, in the past year, has been 838 (which is below passing, 850).

The average HESI score for ADN (assoc. degree/2 yr program) nursing students the past year is 837.

The average HESI score for BSN (4 yr degree program) nursing students the past year was 838.

All that extra money and two extra years of school... to only do 1 point better (and with an average that is still below the passing score).

Far be it from me to dissuade people from 4 yr degrees -- I already have one, from '92. But these alleged 2 yr associate degree (ADN) programs -- the kind I'm about to finish -- require a HELL of a lot more work than most 4 yr college liberal arts degrees. I have a friend with a BA in German and another with a BA in Fiction Writing. They would EASILY fail out of this "2 year" ADN program.
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verushka70: S4E1 Walt alone silhouette wearing hat and holding shotgun (Default)
My mom had a CT scan Wednesday. It showed two enlarged lymph nodes in the mediastinum (between her lungs) in the path of where she had radiation, and pleural effusion in the upper R lobe of her R lung. They thought, and I hoped, it might be just enlargement from the pneumonitis she's had since mid-January.

(She squeaks when she inhales deeply; it's the friction of her inflamed lung tissue from the radiation. But, I mean, she has been feeling pretty good -- she had Easter, whereas she was too fatigued to do Xmas. But for Easter, she did all the cooking herself, the whole leg of lamb; me & my one sister just helped with peeling and slicing up the potatoes and onions to roast with the lamb.)

But no such luck. The PET scan yesterday showed the cancer is back, in those two enlarged lymph nodes & in the upper R lobe where they had wedge resected one of the lumps. So. Another round of chemo is in the offing. Supposedly it won't be as bad as the last one, because Taxol won't be part of it.

I had a fight w/my bf last night. His idea of comfort was to say nothing and leave big silences in our conversation over sushi last night. I don't know wtf his problem is. I don't know why he's with me. It seems like my life is just one stress event & one catastrophe after another. But if he's going to be with me, then wtf, could I at least get some comfort? Couldn't he at least say something compassionate? Every time I stopped talking, there was just silence coming from him. I fuckin' hate men sometimes. They're so closed.

I got an 80 on my psych nursing test yesterday AM. That's a C. But I got a 97 on the last one. I can fail the final with a 72% and still get an A in the course. I thought that was really important all day yesterday... 'til my mom told me about the cancer's return.

Now I'm like, who fuckin' cares. Next Friday is the HESI exit exam. I have to get 850 minimum to graduate from this fuckin' nursing program and register for the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX-RN). Again... I'm like, who fuckin' cares. Why study. Why not just play Half-Life2 and watch DVDs for the next six days and say fuck it all. I'm getting pretty far in Half-Life2. It's not as good as Dreamfall the Longest Journey but whatever. I need the escapism. Except I brought my Xbox to my bf's last night so I could play it there and I left it there because if I have it at home I will never study for Monday's final and next Friday's exit exam.

I asked my mom did she want me to speed up getting married & having a baby & she said, "No, you do everything however you were going to do it; don't change anything, don't speed anything up for me." She said she just wants to be around for my wedding & my younger sister's baby's birth (which should be in November), and more, if she can be, but if not, just the baby and the wedding. I don't even have a ring from M------ yet. I don't know wtf his problem is. He says he doesn't have any money but he just bought a building with his sister. It would be just my luck, and typical of my life the last four years, for him to decide not to marry me in the end. Fuck it. I'd probably be better off. Just another person to take care of when I hardly take care of myself anymore.
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It's funny. I knew it would be bad when the CT scan results came back with the enlarged lymph nodes. I just knew it was the cancer, that it was back. But I tried to talk my mom & my sister out of it. It's probably the inflammation from the pneumonitis, I said. It could have been. Even the docs said that might be what it was. But they rushed to get her into the PET scan to be sure. And, well, there you go. Friday the 13th. Figures.

Ironically, my friend M---- at school yesterday, on Friday the 13th, got 2 bags of Cheetos from the vending machine between morning and afternoon classes, and then she won 4th and 2nd prize in the nursing club raffle: a canvas tote bag, and a $200-off coupon for the Martin review for the NCLEX. It was so oddly like the previous night's CSI episode "Lab Rats", which was Hodges' lucky day. (I wasn't even going to watch it -- Hodges is my least favorite character -- but it was actually pretty good.)

Well, Friday the 13th. One person's luck is another person's quagmire.

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