An Ordeal Not Worth Repeating

By Susan Phillips

I don’t remember much about going to the Emergency Room.  Just know that George came home and I was lying on the bathroom floor trying to get dressed. It was the Tuesday after Indy Qualifying. We were admitted and got a room pretty quickly.

I don’t remember a whole lot about that time except I heard those dreaded words “we are going to admit her for a few days.” At the time, I don’t think they knew exactly what was wrong with me—my potassium levels were dangerously low and my electrolytes were way out of whack. I never understood the importance of potassium in your diet, but I do now!

The first doctor to see me was my oncologist who wanted to do a biopsy on my liver. I was a bit surprised because when did my liver become a key player in my hospital drama? As long as I was able to go to Indy, it would be OK.

As the week wore on, we were met with more questions than answers and I begged them to discharge me so I could go to Indy. They took pity on me and I was discharged from the hospital on Friday, so we ran home to get packed and pick up some prescriptions. While we were waiting in line at the prescription window, my oncologist called and she was not liking what she saw on the scans—apparently, I had a liver abscess that needed to be monitored, so I was recalled to the hospital. I never heard of that, but we had almost made a clean getaway. We then turned around and headed back to the hospital.

They also told me they had a room ready for me—which was not true. George waited with me until they cleaned a room. It took forever and I was getting concerned about George having to drive to Indianapolis at midnight. I finally got a room and George settled me in and headed off to Indy.

I was so disappointed because there went the Indy 500 for me. There was never any question that George would go to the race. I can’t think of anything worse than having tickets for THE race and having to watch it from a hospital room. I guess that was a controversial decision because George got some grief about leaving me alone in the hospital—which is pretty much the perfect time to leave, where you know that your loved one is being taken care of.

The hard part about not having someone from the “outside world” coming to see you is not getting goodies. I absolutely CRAVED ginger ale, but they only sold it in the vending machines just a few floors below you. I don’t know how they did it, but a member of the hospital staff would surprise me with an ice-cold bottle or two every day—it was heaven.

The days wore on as we waited to see the results of the liver biopsy—it ended up inconclusive. The days were ticking away to Road America. I told my doctors that I was going to Road America and they had better get all their tests done. Of course, they had to confer and come up with the best solution. Meanwhile, I was getting all the fun I could out of me stay. It was really fun to pull the sheet over my head while being wheeled through the hospital to get a scan. It was not unusual for me to be upside-down on my hospital bed or lying with my head hanging off the side of the bed and my tongue hanging out. I kept the nurses and techs on their toes.

June 7th rolled around and they decided to do a laparoscopic procedure and take a larger slice of my liver for analysis, I was fine with that as long as I was ready to go to Road America. They said they would leave a small drain in my liver and I was cleared to go.

The “small” drain is about the size of a small pony and is pretty annoying. Its hard to find clothing that covers it. I am moving extremely slow, but I’m getting stronger every day.

But after all that ordeal, I was rewarded with the opportunity to go to Road America, which is truly one of my favorite places. In case you haven’t heard, my oncologist called while we were here, and told me I was cancer-free. The magic is still here.

7 Responses to “An Ordeal Not Worth Repeating”

  1. James T Suel Says:

    Susan you are one tuff lady. You have gone thru a lot. Better times are ahead for you. All the best.

  2. Rick Johnson Says:

    Susan, you’ve had lots of ups and downs the past couple of years. Here’s hoping you have nothing but ups in the future.

  3. Wow. Truly AWESOME news. You are an absolute warrior. Hope you can enjoy some good times for a while now. God bless you!

  4. Carol Hayes Says:

    You are amazing! Congratulations!

  5. Jana kennedy Says:

    I truly do not know how you have survived the things you have been through the last few years!! You are absolutely amazing and I am hoping and praying for all good thins to come your way! Love you

  6. Cancer-free! Amen, Susan. You are a super hero!

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