A stay in the hospital.
I started my new round of chemo on Thursday. No more “Red Devil”, now I’m on Taxol. I went for my normal visit ahead of time with Dr. Mauer and she let me know my CT scan came out good. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to hear her say how wonderful it was, however she’s a reserved oncologist and I guess they just don’t get too excited about these things. I however did have a chance to see my results and found them to be fantastic. The CT of my chest doesn’t even mention the spots on my chest wall that they had seen before. My tumor is way, way smaller and I feel very positive about the way my treatment is going. They did my normal labs before hand to make sure my blood was stable enough for the chemo and we headed back to the “Chemo Room”.
They drug you up pretty good before the infusion as Taxol tends to cause allergic reactions, so I ended up sleeping a lot through the three hour infusion. I didn’t have any hives this time and felt pretty good when we walked out. We stopped by and picked up my Neulasta injection from the specialty pharmacy and headed home. I think it was about an hour later that the power went out…uggg. It was 95 out, the sun was boiling eggs on the sidewalk and we had no power. I called the power company and was told they knew we had a problem and it would be two hours before they could get out there. It was a weird power outage as we had one overhead ceiling light that was working and the power in the hallway worked. My son lives one floor below me and his kitchen had power, so his refrigerator was working, giving us a place to take our food. I found a power outlet that worked in the hallway, ran a long extension cord down and at least got my little window unit air conditioner working. Every two hours I called the power company and it was always going to be another two hours. It never did come back on that night.
After chemo I’m supposed to be away from people as my white cell count drops leaving me open for infection. However my room was the only one with any air so everyone ended up sleeping in our room that night. I prayed I wouldn’t get some nasty infection from a cough or sneeze. The next morning I called again to let them know it was a medical imperative that they get someone out here, not only was a cancer patient here but an eight month old baby…we needed our power on. Some time after 4pm they arrived, did some work outside and then told us there was nothing else to do, it was a building problem. So then we started calling the building owner. I took my Neulasta shot like a good girl, ate several small meals and waited for the power to come on. They ended up getting it repaired sometime around 9pm Friday night. It was then my headache started.
It started as an annoying headache which I attributed to the heat and frustration. I took Tylenol and went to sleep. The headache woke me a few times during the night but I didn’t think too much about it until Saturday morning when the light started shining in the room and my eyes and head really started hurting. Of course these things happen on the weekend…always. I took more Tylenol, then after a few hours Advil. I took my temp and it was 100.6. You are supposed to call the doctor if your temp is over 100.5, but I gave it a little more time and a little more Tylenol and it started dropping. Then I got a terrible case of diarrhea which I thought could be the Taxol. I stayed in bed the rest of the weekend and tried not to take too much medicine and called Dr. Mauer first thing Monday morning as even walking was causing my head to pound and my eyes to ache. I really only wanted something a little stronger for the headache, but she sent me to the hospital…joy.
I was more prepared this time with my med list, my medical history list and a no you’re not going to touch my port attitude. They were quick, efficient and seemed very concerned. I had blood tests and a CT scan of my brain…the only part of me that hadn’t been scanned so far. Everything looked mostly okay, except my white cell count was high. They didn’t know if it was an infection or from the Neulasta shot so they admitted me. I was going to have an MRI a few more labs and a night on the oncology floor.
Now I have to say everyone was extremely nice, ever so professional and did everything possible to make me happy. I was starting to wonder if there was a flag on my chart because I had called the hospital to let them know about my last visit and how concerned some of the events had made me. I was treated very well. It was the next morning before I had my MRI as the ER was very busy that night with emergencies. They kept me comfortable with Morphine for the pain and Zofram for the nausea. They fed me and kept me hydrated. By Tuesday morning my headache wasn’t so bad and I had been examined by dozens of physicians, new and old and they each had their own idea what might be causing my headaches. They came to get me for my MRI. Now this was my first MRI of my brain and although I new it would be loud I had no idea how that would effect my headache. By the time I was done, about 45 mins in this banging machine with bright lights shining in your eyes I was in terrible pain. More morphine and zofram and I slept for a few hours.
Eventually I got my results and my MRI was normal, so it is either the Taxol, the Neulasta shot, or new onset migraines. They sent me home with a prescription for Imetrex after an EKG to make sure my heart could take it. I was very glad to see my bed and be at home. I’m happy to say my headache is gone today and my only issue is constipation from all that morphine…heh if it isn’t one thing it’s another.
I only have three more chemotherapy visits and then a few weeks off for good behavior and then my surgery. My wonderful sister is coming back to do chemo number 7 with me and my lovely parents are driving up to do the last one with me before driving me down to my sons graduation from Officer Training School. I’m feeling very positive and extremely lucky to have such a great support system in my family, friends, coworkers and my steadfast partner Telle. So many people do not have this kind of great support and love from so many people and I honestly feel this is what is going to push me over the top and lead me to a cancer free life.
I know my family worries about me with all these little events that keep happening and the wonderful thing about that is that I have someone there to worry about me. I love you all so very much and I have to say that all your support has made this cancer an actual blessing instead of a curse. I have never felt so loved, so cared about and so important. Thank you for being there for me, thank you from the very depth of my heart. No matter what happens in the end, I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole wide world!
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