Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2nd Day of Chemo and the following week

So almost 2 weeks have passed, just trying to get caught up now.

The 2nd day of chemo went pretty uneventfully.  Katie took me to treatment and waited till I got hooked up, then had to get to work.  This was the R in the R-CHOP mixture, and this was the one they had to monitor the most closely due to possible allergies and reactions.  They started me off with some Benadryl, then plugged me into the real meds.  I dozed a bit here and there, but for the most part just sat in the chair all day.  I was hooked up by 8:30 I think and wasn't done until 3:45pm.  My sister Steph came by to give me a ride home, but it was hard to judge when I'd be done so she was there early and just kind of hung out.

I was supposed to go to my follow up appointment for my blood clot afterwards, but they said they could reschedule until Friday morning since it would have been after 4 by the time I got there.  So Steph took me home and dropped me off.  I wasn't feeling terrible, mostly just tired and 'heavy'.  It was a weird feeling.  I spent most of the evening in bed.

Friday morning, I got up and was able to drive to my doctor's appointment.  I started off with an ultrasound and then met with the surgeon that cleaned out my leg a couple weeks before.  The surgeon had bad news.  My leg was clotting up again, basically from my knee to my hip just like before.  I wasn't in as much pain and could walk pretty well, so I was pretty disappointed.  It meant another trip to the hospital and another surgery.  After spending the prior 2 days at the clinic for infusion, I had a hard time with this.  The surgeon noticed this and gave me the option of coming back on Monday morning to have my surgery.  It meant being on bed rest all day Monday and the follow up surgery Tuesday, then going home after that.  We had a lot going on Friday (car in the shop, Girl Scout Cookies, etc), so I tried to finish things up and have a quiet weekend.

We were scheduled to check in at 7am on Monday.  Katie took me over and got me registered.  I knew what to expect so I wasn't too concerned, just wanted to get it started and get it over with.  I was not looking forward to the clear liquid diet again.  At this point, I was already down about 15 pounds.  They wheeled me to the surgery room and I remember sliding over to the table and that was about it.   I know I spent quite a while in the recovery section right after surgery as they were waiting for a room to open up.  I slept through most of that and most of the early afternoon in my room.  When I did come to, the nurses were checking me over and I think things went fine.  I made sure to order my lunch (chicken broth, jello, shaved ice and apple juice) so I could be sure to get 2 meals in as room service closes at 7pm.

I spent most of the afternoon watching tv, trying not to get too burnt out on one show.  Katie came by with Eva and Robb later that evening while Nick and Alex were at Boy Scouts.  They stayed for a while, but needed to get them home to bed so they took off around 8:30.  I tried to stay awake, but I think I nodded off not long after they left.  I know I took some pain meds around 10 or 11, and tried to sleep.

Around 2am, the nurse woke me up and told me I had a fever of about 102.  She was going to page Penny (my surgeon) to see what he wanted to do.  This part of the night was in and out.  I know I was given some kind of meds for the fever, then had a portable x-ray come in.  I decided not to try and stay awake in between, so I think I slept fairly well, all things considered.  They had the fever under control and I think I woke up around 6 or 7 and waited for surgery.  Again.

They wheeled me down to the room again and everything went as planned.  They removed the sheath and any remaining clot, but this time they inserted a stent to keep my vein open, which was the main cause of the clotting and all the swelling.  The surgeon didn't want to put one in, but he didn't see a way around it as the chemo was supposed to shrink the nodes, but not very quickly.

I woke up in my room again and waited to make sure everything was ok to go home.  I called Katie when I was good to go and she was there in about 5 minutes as she works about a block away.  She got me home and I went to bed.  Katie figured this out later, but she was guessing it was the time in the treatment cycle where my blood cell counts were super low.  Couple that with all of the blood they had to take out of me for the clot and I wasn't doing well Tuesday night.  I think I tried to make dinner, but am not sure.  I was very confused, weepy and tired, and then got winded from going up and down the steps.  I also had a rotten headache that wouldn't let up.  I was pretty grumpy too and snapped at Katie over something, so she let me be.  That went on thru Wednesday night as well, so we'll see if this is the normal part of the treatment cycle or not.  I was pretty miserable though, as I wasn't sleeping well either.

Thursday came along and my headache was gone, or at least toned down a bit.  I was able to work for a short time in the afternoon and even went into the office on Friday morning.  It felt great to do something and see everyone again.  I made it till about noon on Friday and went home.  I worked a bit from home that afternoon, but was pretty much spent.  It still felt good though.

We had a fairly quiet weekend.  Katie had to work most of Saturday so we were around the house, and I made it to church on Sunday so that was nice.  I've been working every day this week so far so that has been great.  Probably doing a bit too much, but enjoying it while I can.  It's great to get hours in again too, will definitely help the paycheck.

The crew from here has also organized a pancake breakfast this Friday, so that should be fun.  Will be fun to see who shows up, hoping to see some familiar faces in the bunch.

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