The Last of Cancer's Lingering Plagues

Ed's weakened immune system plagues him for the last time.

One Thursday evening, Ed began to run a fever, mild at first but rising. It had been less than two weeks since Ed’s root canal was repaired and everything was going well. Ed was not too concerned at first, the fever was 99.9 degrees. He took two Advil and relaxed. By 11 p.m., he was not feeling very well. He was light-headed and felt as though he could not take a deep breath. As Ed climbed the stairs to the second floor master bedroom, he felt slightly winded. By 1 a.m. Ed woke up in respiratory distress and his heart was racing. He woke up Pattie, asking her to take him to the emergency room at Beebe Hospital.

Following the admitting procedure, Ed was taken by wheelchair to an ER exam room where testing began. It turns out he had pneumonia and congestive heart failure. His heart was now in atrial fibrillation. Ed had a leaky aortic heart valve that the cardiologist had been monitoring for several years. Now with the pneumonia fluid in his lungs, the blood flow back towards his lungs from the leaking heart valve was causing congestive heart failure. The ER doctors were working as quickly as they could to administer appropriate medications to reduce the fluids in Ed’s lungs and stabilize his heart.

After three hours of intravenous medications, Ed was becoming more comfortable. When the doctors were satisfied that his condition was under control, he was moved to the hallway to await a room assignment. Finally, late Friday afternoon, Ed was moved to a room in the cardiac ward of Beebe hospital where he would remain for the next five days. After more than 16 hours laying on a gurney, the hospital bed in his room felt very comfortable. His room was just outside the nurse’s station and he was under close watch for the next four days until the cardiologist discharged him.

Ed was beginning to think the rest of his life was going to be one bad thing after another when he recalled another verse from the hymn “Whispering Hope”

“If, in the dusk of the twilight,

Dim be the region afar,

Will not the deepening darkness

Brighten the glimmering star?

Then when the night is upon us,

Why should the heart sink away?

When the dark midnight is over,

Watch for the breaking of day.”

During a visit from his cardiologist, Ed ask how could he contract pneumonia when he had the inoculation against it. The doctor explained that various forms of pneumonia exist and one form was able to slip past the preventive inoculation due to his weakened immune system.

Fully recovered, Ed was released from the hospital and as Pattie took him home he began a little vocal banter with his favored caregiver, “You sure have spent a lot of time caring for me gal. What is it going to cost me?”

“Oh, I’ll think of something. How about no more illness for a while?” Pattie replied.

This was the end of the plagues. Ed’s immune system grew stronger and more normal daily. Ed and Pattie began looking forward to life with good health. And good health and good life did come to Ed and Pattie.

You have a CHOICE each and every single day.

I CHOSE to feel BLESSED

I CHOOSE to feel GRATEFUL

I CHOOSE to be EXCITED

I CHOOSE to be THANKFUL

I CHOOSE to be HAPPY

and

I CHOOSE to be HOPEFUL

-- Unknown

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 136:1