Full of it


Yes it is Monday night and I am still at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. I was feeling sick. Nausea and headache. So I didn’t go to the bathroom for 5 days and well had an impacted colon. Basically, I am full of “it”. I know all the jokes ha ha ha. All I can say is I am clean as a whistle. Actually, I still feel a little sick. The medicines I take are all pretty binding. So I need to take some extra meds to avoid that. It has been interesting couple of days. I realize that hospital life has become very easy for me. Easy with my roommate whom I helped take care of. Easy with medical staff who ask me an array of questions about my care. Easy to make jokes. Easy to share my desire to not be resuscitated. Easy to talk to Dr. Demichelle about what I have done to prepare for my death and my life…however long that may be. My new motto…don’t fight with reality, reality always wins. I just think it is better to deal with these things as they come and go from there. One day at a time.

If you ask me today I will tell you I am happy. Really happy. I made jokes all day. Smiling and teasing my roommate. Visiting all day with Leah. Jen came in the morning and brought me my ipod and a bagel. She came back later with Alec. Jenny Ball also stopped by to check on me. I am pretty sure they will release me tomorrow. My home is being managed by Naomi. She apparently set up a calendar for each one of my kids. It sounds efficient. See the show must go on. That’s my belief anyway. It will all go on and function without me. I have so much help. And I am so fortunate to have such loving and capable people around me. Right now I am laughing as I write this because Alec and Jen are visiting me. What a wonderful day.

My mottos have served me well. I shared some of them today. My happiness is not dictated by my situation. God is not Santa Clause. I am happy that some of my close friends have decided to come out to visit me. I think better now than later. I am trying to make the best of every day. Even these ones in the hospital.

20 Responses to “Full of it”

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    Jenni says:

    thank you once again, for taking the time to let us know what’s happening-it suddenly seemed like such a long time that you posted a blog, lost in hospital limbo. As always, you’re still taking care of so many people.

    We love you and are thinking of you

  2. Deb says:

    SOOOOOO glad to read this upbeat message, Andrea. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked for an update since Kelly’s message yesterday morning.
    Glad to hear your colon is…ahm….well…..pink and squeeky clean again!
    Take care of YOU.
    love and prayers
    Deb in AZ

  3. Ruthie says:

    You leave me with the feeling that I have missed out on something tremendous and magical ~ the pleasure of meeting you and knowing you personally. You are so gracious in your blogs and is apparent that you continue to care for people in the moment when it is within your power to do so as you have done for your roommate. You care that those who read your blog are kept updated…even if some of us are virtually strangers to you. You realize that the show will and must go on, and you are not bitter because of that knowledge, and don’t take that as an indication that you are not loved deeply by those who are closest to you. You take that as a reality of life… You know and acknowledge that you and your family are so fortunate to have loving, caring people around that help and make things efficient.

    I hope and pray that you will continue to enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your wonderful life.

    Ruthie from California

  4. Bill & Karen says:


    We are relieved that you are “relieved” and sounding so upbeat. I wish we could be there to visit you in the hospital, but it won’t be long before we are together. I hope it’s at home and not in the hospital. Whatever may be the case, we take our cue from you about going with the flow. The peace you have in dealing with this radiates out to everyone who loves you, even as far away as California.

    Hugs, K&B

  5. megan says:

    I love you. I am going to go to New York tomorrow and live into this new experience! Thanks to you!

    (Backstory: On Saturday, yes just two days ago, I told Andrea I might not be able to come over Tuesday because I’m supposed to try on a dress at Vera Wang in NYC. I actually was not looking forward to it at all, the trip with my kids, etc… But Andrea’s first response was: “I’ll go with you.” And for a good five minutes we tried to figure out the logistics of transportation, which of our kids would go, which would stay, etc…)

    I will imagine you with me, giving me confidence as I try on dresses at Vera Wang, joking with the saleswomen who would otherwise intimidate the hell out of me, but end up falling in love with andrea. andrea, everybody’s dream of a best pal, always on, always made up, always always andrea (or often always andrea). thanks again for actually being my pal, and not just a dream. i’ll call you from the road. megan

  6. leah says:

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    OMG! did i have the best day with you although it was a short 6 hours. i love our talks, you teach me so much all the time, without even trying. i’m also so happy to hear you made a deposit! thank goodness. i hope you had a nice nap.
    i love you!

  7. jenni bender says:

    hi dear. you have been on my mind today, as always. i am hoping you can make it home tomorrow! so glad you’re all empty and cleaned out! =)

    love. love. love.

  8. Renee Khan says:

    Andrea xxx kisses and ooo hugs.

    Love Renee

  9. Fudd says:

    hey, sis n law
    I love you. I was thinking and remembering the sushi lunches we used to have. Eating in chinatown. Teaching you to bartend and you teaching me to be a vegatarian. turns out you were the better student. But I still like tofu. I do love and mis you. Can I call? 5047236009.

  10. Tina, French Creek, WV says:

    Live Laugh Love!!! I hope you get to go home today. God is Good All the Time!!

  11. Michelle Wienke says:

    “It will all go on and function wthout me.”-Andrea- so glad youwill be going home today, but life isnt functioning without you, rather, I think that your wonderful friends and Kelly pitch in BECAUSE OF YOU!!

    You are a rare gem-and your family and friends realize this! No matter how long you have, weeks, months, years-you make the most of them and tell the people that you love that you do love them-THAT IS WHY YOU ARE SO SPECIAL!!

    That is why people like me, who will never meet you, check in on your page everyday to see what is new, and how you and Kelly the kids are doing. You have raised an amazing family, and you are so special-and you need to remember that people like me, people from far away who will never meet you, continue to pray for you and be concerned about you….

    Im glad you have made the decision to contact Hospice-they are a wonderful, supportive network and will be able to assist all of you in many tangable and intangable ways-

    You continue to all be in my prayers-you are amazing!
    With love and prayers-

  12. Grainne says:


    I have been reading your blog for the last week, by coming through a friend of an acquaintances. I have lost many people through cancer, but the biggest shock is that of my beautiful 24 year old sister becoming ill. It has been ongoing for the past year, and as I’ve read your blog I have laughed out loud and felt comforted in your writing. So much of what you say reflects in my sisters and my emotions over this year. We are not sure if her cancer is terminal, but it will be with her for life. We are waiting to find out if it can be kept at bay. It is not IBS, but it is equally as terrifying.

    You are a very brave woman, and it seems that your legacy is your family and friends. I am sure that there are many women out there like me who have read this blog and never commented before. Your faith has renewed my own which has been lacking over the last few years, and your honesty in everything is truly invigorating. Through your blog this week I have felt myself beginning to accept my sister’s illness and her behaviour. We are extremely close and I couldn’t understand why she said she didn’t think she could keep fighting. However, witnessing her illness and understanding her faith has made me realise how selfish I was in expecting her to be strong for me. If I could be strong for everyone else, why couldn’t she be for me?

    I thank you for the gift of your blog. I wish your family and friends well and safe over this harrowing and deeply upsetting time. I will pray for you and think of your brightness in this a time of deep darkness.

  13. Mare says:

    I’m so glad you had a good day and I can relate to that being in the hospital happiness!:) Prayers for you always sweet lady.


  14. Julie says:

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    I hope as I type this you are having a leisurely trip home enjoying this beautiful day. You are in my thoughts and prayers.



  15. Heather says:

    You have given me so much hope. I decided back in April to do the Two Day Avon Walk in NY in October. You have inspired me to actually do something to help raise money for a cure. You give me strength when dealing with my husband’s Thyroid Cancer and you give me strength with my 2 year old son. Who new a cool chick who used to bring me beers and pick on my roommate Eric would truly inspire me so much. You are truly a gift and I Thank You. With Love and Admiration, Heather

  16. suburbanmom says:

    i met you some time ago when our (then little) guys were at school together.i remember thinking -“ah,another ferocious mommy lion protecting her cubs” during the parent/teacher conference night.
    our paths only crossed again at the “corsets for the cure” event- i said to you- “girl, you are SOMETHING” to which you replied “nah, i’m nothing.”
    well, i’ve been reading your blog since then and i have to say YOU ARE MY HERO! your faith, generosity of spirit,insight and humor touch all those around you and beyond. i agree with so many others that your blog is truly a gift.

    i keep you and all of your amazing loved ones in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. WhyMommy says:

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    Andrea, you sound wonderful. Keeping you company tonight….

  18. imstell says:

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    Glad your days are filled with laughter and friends and your colon is not filled with either. Who could ask for anything more?

  19. Carolyn says:

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    Andrea… I’m thinking of you and your family. Thanks for keeping us updated through the good, the bad and the colon cleanings. Peace and love. xo carolyn

    (imstell – LOL!)

  20. FlippyO says:

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    I’m here visiting from “Not just about cancer”/Laurie’s blog. My partner & I have been participating in an opioid-induced constipation clinical trial. First, we were in a trial with pills (meh, no great shakes) and now it’s an injection. It makes you go with in 20 minutes or less, and even softens what’s already in there. It makes my partner feel kind of nauseous, but I felt fine. In case you want to compare pain medications (we both have Fibromyalgia, so our pain isn’t usually comparable to yours, except for our really bad days – I also had a herniated disk and back surgery) to see if how the drug works versus how much pain medicine we’re taking. My partner is taking 60 mg of Methadone and occasionally adding 5mg of Oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I’m taking 240 mg of Oxycodone per day. We’d both be using Fentanyl patches, but we can’t afford them. No insurance for my partner and my pharmacy benefits were used up in January, so now we have to use the cheapest methods possible. I can’t take Methadone because of certain side-effects.

    Anyway, the drug isn’t available commercially yet, and I don’t know where you live, but maybe your doctor could find a trial in your area. Or, maybe your doctor could just ask Wyeth directly for the drug – it’s in Phase 3, so it’s almost ready to be released anyway. It’s called Relistor and here’s their website with more info – http://www.wyeth.com/hcp/relistor/landing, and if you’re really interested and can’t find a way to get it, I think I know how you would be able to try it. Send me an email if you’re interested.

    Just as an aside, I think it’s great that you’re keeping up your blogging, even when it’s obviously very difficult for you in a variety of ways. Your children and husband will cherish everything that you’re leaving behind for them.