Hard Day's Night . . .

23 Jul

This last round was by far the worst.  But, I am definitely on the other side of it now, thank God. I am tired, weak and worn out, but coming back.  

Yesterday was a tour of Hoag facilities. Tuesday night I had been pretty dizzy and woke up feeling the same way yesterday morning. It seemed like it was from dehydration. But, I also I had a fever so that was a concern too. With chemotherapy, you can end up in what is called a neutropenic fever or shock. This is caused by low white blood count and is very dangerous. The trouble is, you never know whether the fever is just from an infection or if it is from your white count being so low that you are in a fever from that.  So I went in to the doctor yesterday. They decided to give me intravenous fluids, it took a couple of hours and well, it definitely seemed to do the trick (the dizziness went away, blood pressure came back up, it had been a little low).

So after a quick trip to Mother’s Market (it is next door to the Hoag Health Center) I went home and went back to bed.

Then I woke up with a fever and felt worse than before. The whole point of my going into the doctor’s yesterday was to avoid having to make a trip to the ER after hours in case I didn’t improve on my own. So, I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to save myself the ER trip. I tried to get my fever down last night, but wasn’t able to. So, I called my doctor and he made me go into the ER. It was the last thing that I wanted to do – be around all those germs when I am at my lowest point immune system wise. And the only reason why I had to do this was to get a simple blood test to confirm my white blood count. If it was normal, then my fever was simply from an infection and I would be put on an antibiotic. If it was low, then the fever was a dangerous one.

So I get to the ER and it is packed with people. The front desk person tells me that there are no beds in the ER (yet) and that there are no beds in the hospital – that there are 13 people in the ER waiting to be admitted to the hospital, but because there were no beds available, they were taking up space in the ER. So, it was going to be a long night. Meanwhile, I was told that I could wait outside (to avoid exposure) and they would come and get me when it was my turn.

I waited outside for a while and then decided (and I know my doctor would be mad at me, but) that I was going home. I did the math and figured by the time I would even have blood results and get care based upon those blood results that my own doctor’s office would almost be open. So, what was the point.

So I left (without signing the release of liability the hospital wanted me to sign). They were none too happy about that. I was just not going to stand around in germville any longer.

So I went home. And, to my delight, my fever went down to normal, I started taking a Z-Pack (antibiotics) and went to bed.  So glad that I decided to leave, it would have been a miserable night.  Besides, I was definitely not up for another IV in the same day.

Today I have a bit of a busy day medical wise. I have my Herceptin treatment this am. That usually takes about an hour and a half. I get this done in the same place where I HAD (woo-hoo) my chemos. And then I see my reconstruction surgeon this afternoon.  The key is to be alert enough for the afternoon appointment (I am on Benadryl during the Herceptin treatment and so that kind of wipes me out for a while). A friend of mine is taking me to my appointment and she will come in with me and take notes in case I am not so clear myself.

I feel SO much better, even in the last few minutes while writing this post. Wow. So glad. Thank you to everyone who has been helping me and praying for me and thinking of me. I now really, really feel like I am done with chemo!

2 Responses to “Hard Day's Night . . .”

  1. Marv July 23, 2009 at 3:18 PM #

    Lisa:

    It was great seeing you at Mother’s market yesterday. I am glad I finally got to see you (even if by chance). It must have been fate, because I had NO intention of going into Mother’s when I left the house in the morning. You look great. Remember that I meant everything I said in my emails. Let me know if you need ANYTHING!

    It sounds like you had a pretty rought night. I know from experience that there is no slack time in the ER. It took guts to leave like you did. I am glad it worked out.

    You are smart to take someone into the examing room with you. Even under the best of circumstances, it is hard to listen to the doctor talk about yourself.

    Good luck today.

    • cancerfree2b July 23, 2009 at 8:31 PM #

      Hi Marv,

      It was so nice to bump into you at Mother’s Market. I try to stop in there after my treatments since it is right there and it is the only place I can buy some of the things on my diet. Plus, you can get rice milk by the case! I was pretty wobbly yesterday (although, when you saw me, that was the best I was yesterday). I am feeling so much better now. Just need to rest some more and I really will be through this last chemo round. I really appreciate your offer of help and I plan on taking you up on it. The next few days will be devoted to getting better and then it is all about getting ready for surgery (this will involve some shopping – so I will likely take you up on your offer of a ride, etc.). Thank you for your message, thoughts and prayers. I look forward to seeing you intentionally in the future 🙂 Love, Lisa

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