Monday, June 10, 2013

A Minor Setback and The Next Step Forward

When last I left off, I was going to be getting my Neulasta shot on Thursday, May 30th. That day, as well as the next two, I had frequent bouts of nausea, but the medications they gave me kept it strictly queasiness, with no vomiting. I also spent most of the 30th and 31st sleeping, or at least lying down. By Sunday, June 2nd, I was feeling a little more energy, and I even went with Barry and Amy to a garage sale, and bought a few things.

By Monday morning, the 3rd, I woke up feeling like "me" again, and I had a fairly normal three days, with at least one trip out somewhere each day. On Thursday, the 6th, my mother came up for a visit. We went out shopping, brought home a pizza for lunch, and just sat around talking for a while. When she left, I was feeling really tired and wrung out.

Shortly after she left, I took my temperature (something I've been keeping track of on a regular basis, because if it gets to 100.5 I'm supposed to go to the ER right away). At that point, totally out of nowhere, my temp was 101.7, so off to the hospital we went.

We got there around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon, and after blood draws and a chest x-ray I was admitted and got to my room between 5:30 and 6 pm. I didn't really find out much until Friday morning, when we started to get test results back. All of the blood cultures came back negative for infection, which led us to conclude that the culprit was most likely the bacteria from all the fresh fruit I'd been eating, thinking I was doing myself and my health a big favor. Turns out fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and even fresh flowers are taboo during my chemotherapy.

The fever was gone by Friday, and has stayed gone ever since, as long as I remember to keep myself well hydrated. Unfortunately, we still had to work to get the white blood cell count back up to normal, and that took until Sunday morning. That meant several antibiotic IVs a day, as well as heparin shots in the stomach once a day---LOTS of fun!!!

TMI warning--if you don't want to read about my bodily functions, go on to the next paragraph!! Just to throw a little more drama into the mix, Saturday morning I started to have some diarrhea. We figured from the get go that it was just a reaction to all the antibiotics, but we still had to test for this really nasty bacteria, "C. diff" (I'll spare you the full name!)  Until the results for that test came back late that night, everyone who came to visit had to wear gowns and gloves. Poor Barry did not enjoy that at all--I felt bad for him, but NOT bad enough to prevent me from snapping  a picture of him!

Continuing on the drama rollercoaster, about the same time I got the c. diff results back, I broke out in a rash on both legs and my right arm. It was the itchiest rash I had ever felt in my life. Thank goodness on of the internal medicine students on call was able to prescribe some cream for me that took care of it in no time at all.

Yesterday morning, all of my blood cell counts were back to normal. Around noon, they finally kicked me out the front door. I came home, made a few phone calls, and hit the couch with my laptop, where I spent the rest of the day relaxing.  I went to bed early, and LOVED getting a full night's sleep in my own comfy bed again.

Today, I did some more unpacking and putting away of things. Then I went in to get a shower before Bible study, and the bad news showed its ugly head again. As I washed my hair, it was coming out in handfuls. I knew this moment was going to come at some point, but I had hoped it wouldn't come quite so soon. It is what it is, though, and I'm NOT going to let it get me down. It's just hair, and it will eventually grow back.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my oncologist, and then have to get some lab work done to make sure I'm healthy enough to do round two of the chemo on Wednesday. Considering all my levels were back to normal yesterday, I'm not really concerned about that this time around.

So,now it's time to see what adventures round two will bring us.

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