Thursday night December 18, we went to bed early for most people, the usual for us, 9 o'clock. It was supposed to be another night before Moffitt for us. I was awakened at 10:15 p.m. by Melanoma Man calling my name. I looked over to his side of the bed, but he wasn't there. He called again. I sat up. He was standing by the sink in front of the closet with a towel in his hand. "Will you come look at this? Is it my port?"
I could see that his shirt was soaked in blood and so was the towel, but I didn't have my glasses on so I couldn't tell if it was the port. He had been at the dermatologist earlier in the day. She biopsied a mole near his port. I put my glasses on and was so relieved that the blood wasn't coming from the port. I am not sure why that seemed such good news to me, especially given the rate at which he was bleeding, but it did seem like good news. He blew his nose. No blood from his nose. More good news. My brain processed, It is not systemic bleeding. It is not disseminating intravascular clotting. More likely it is the collision of Fragmin(his anti-coagulant), his biopsy, and possibly new blood vessels feeding a mole that was likely another melanoma. I put my left hand over the towel on his chest and my right hand on his back, like a sandwich and walked him back to the bed. We sat down on the bed. I pressed my hands together with him in between them, as hard as I could. Looking down at the bed, a pool of blood. I realized he had likely been bleeding for a long time before it woke him. He said he felt a tug on his stitches when he turned on his side, just before he fell asleep. I could smell the blood. He asked me if it was time to go to the ER. I said No, let's do 15 minutes of compression and then if it works we will do it for 15 more minutes. I started seeing stars and feeling nauseous. I asked Melanoma Man to hold pressure on his chest. I slid to the floor and broke out into a sweat, apologizing.
After a few minutes I stood up and walked to the hall closet for gauze and tape. I made another bandage to secure over the existing one. By eleven we both felt confident that it had stopped and would stay stopped. I asked him not to go to Tampa, but to go back to see his dermatologist here to have the wound re sutured and to get a new pressure bandage. He had already decided that.
He asked if he should strip the bed before we returned to sleep. I said No, these are our only sheets. I laid towels over the bloody sheets. Up at 5, we stripped the bed and I began rinsing the blood out with cold water. So much blood.MM seemed to be feeling well. I asked him to take it easy today, to drink a lot of fluids to restore what was lost.
By 9:15 this morning he had returned tot the house, having been sutured and bandaged with an ace bandage encircling his chest. He left a message for Jennifer at Moffitt: "I'm not going to be able to make it to Tampa today due to waking up in a pool of blood."
"You did not leave that message!" I said later in the day when he told me about it. "She knows I'm fine or I wouldn't be able to leave the message," he said, "Plus she was sure to call me back quickly with a message like that."