Thursday, July 15, 2010

No chemo today

Thursday July 15th, 2010

My brother, David, and dad came with me to my oncology appt. today. I had my labs drawn, then my vitals signs taken. I was tachycardic, my heart rate was fast, 130 bpm (beats per minute) while standing but my blood pressure was fine. My tympanic (ear) temp. was a little elevated but they rechecked it orally and it was 98.1. Then we went into the room and I was told that my platelets were too low to receive chemo today. I still have a slightly elevated white blood cell count and glucose but it's been that way since all this started. The nurse practitioner, Vera, came to speak with and examine me. She added more labs to the ones I had drawn and consulted GI if I'd need any further testing ie. a CT or ultrasound.
After having a good day you wouldn't believe the night I had. I told her that last night I couldn't sleep at all because I had really bad abdominal pain and could not get comfortable. I had felt hungry but the multiple midnight snacks didn't help. I also had a really bad headache but I'm trying to blame that on the changes in the barometric pressure and the ringing in my ears. I feel that my ears are congested at times. I also had some slight bleeding in my R nostril on tissue but I sleep with a fan in my room & it's on the right side of the bed. I had finally fallen asleep around 5 am and when I woke up, I was sweating, but not profusely. Not to gross you out, but I had been "gassy" yet again and I'm blaming that on the onions that came in the Chinese food we had last night. I'm "moving" from below too. I'll see if the Colace will ease in that department. I mentioned that it feels like my insides are "hanging down" on the right side of my abdomen. Vera stated that tumors aren't supported by anything and other cancer patients had mentioned that sensation.
While we waited for more labs to come back, David & I watched Barbershop on VHS. I got to sit in the big comfy reclining chair which was provided. Vera came back and mentioned that tumors can "sludge" and block ducts but that I wasn't jaundiced and overall, I looked pretty good. She said that I looked too good to admit and that I can hydrate myself at home. The labs that they added on were good, my kidney function, my hemoglobin, my bilirubin, and pancreatic enzymes. She mentioned that the ultrasound wouldn't show much and that she didn't want to expose me to more radiation and IV contrast with the CT. She said that if I was to be admitted that they'd just watch me. I did get a thermometer and was told to call back for any fevers, chills, severe pain, etc..
I did go to the VA to see my coworkers and to show my dad & David where I work, the triage area and the ER. I was so happy to see them and hug them but I also felt very dizzy and held my ground, walking with a wide stance, I felt I was wavering @ times. Was it the vertigo? Things were a little swirly and luckily I didn't pass out. That'd be fun to be a pt. in my own ER and I hadn't had a chance to shave my legs that morning. EWW!
We made it up to Human Resources but they were at lunch. So we wandered down to the humid cafeteria where the ice machine was broken. I ran into more coworkers along the way & introduced them to my family all the while holding my stance and trying not to pass out. Was I hungry? I had just eaten a banana on the way to the VA from UIC. Anyway, I grabbed the first table while dad & Dave got our grub. I did feel better after eating half a sandwich and cold water.
Maybe it was the vertigo, I did have the ear congestion & ringing all night. We made it back to HR on the 2nd floor and Sandra, the lady who took care of me, was very sweet & compassionate. She recently was diagnosed with breast cancer and she understood where I was coming from and was very helpful with my beneficiary paperwork. She also gave me words of encouragement and said if I need to talk to come up and see her. We wished each other well, as my cousin with breast cancer says, on our "new journey".
I hobbled on back to the car in a better state having those worries off my mind. I couldn't wait to get home and once I did, had a good, deep 2 hour nap. Later Gabe & Lisa called to see if I could come out for a bit, I really thought about it but Marie, my niece and guardian, reminded me how weak I was earlier in the day and to rest up. As tantelizing as the offer was, I told him to have a strawberry margarita for me. Marie's pretty wise, I'll never forget the time she, her mom & I were in N.Y. during a heat wave, quite a few years ago. She was the smart one telling us to get a cab to Central Park instead of walking and to get ice cream while we meandered the grounds. I'm glad we listened to her then and now. I can barely get my butt off the couch half the time. Plus I'd hate to pass out in public, if I did, I hope to have shaved my legs by then. :o)

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