Friday, June 4, 2010

Setbacks! Safe to say that damn train finally found me!

And boy did he ever lay me out. Granted I've made it all the way to what is essentially the last week of treatments in this entire ordeal with limited overall damage but when he got me........he making me pay the price. This not the first time I've eluded to things turning on me over the past few weeks however as I sit here in my room at Queen's, I seem to have the time to catch up with some more detail on this blog.

That is right, I said Queens as I have been readmitted, although hopefully only for a brief visit. The first 24 hours back in and maybe, just maybe they've figured it out and things will settle down and can go home over the least that what I'm hoping for. Lisa and the boys take off for Cleveland on Tuesday and I certainly don't want to be holed up here and not see them before this 18 day stretch begins so some added enticement for me to escape as soon as I can!!!!

As you know, I've been commenting about how this radiation has been kicking my butt....but almost over. Yesterday was to be treatment 28 of the 35 total, however, 28 was the end of the major regiment he had scheduled to administer, to be followed with a reduced regiment and taper it down to the finish line next week however, I left the house yesterday already making my own decision to talk to both the Radiologist and Oncologist teams about completing this one last treatment and calling it quits. If that was to be the case, we would probably not do yesterdays chemo regiment as only something we were doing to concurrently with the zapping sessions so don't see the need.

WRONG! The whole process and decision had been made on my behalf and I would find that out before I even saw my ontological nurse friend.

To review, the previous Thursday, Dr Cho cancelled that weeks chemo due to my platelet counts dropping below 80 (to 44 to be exact,) and that puts you in the danger zone of being septic. Instantaneously upon seeing the numbers pop while still with the vampires, I see the number has dropped alarmingly further and Carboplatin is a no go and for some reason, I am concerned with these new numbers that they may be making me a reservation next door. It took less than 3 minutes into the appointment to learn that is what was happening as I also found I had a fever confirming I have obviously developed or am in the process of developing some major blood type infections. What I didn't realize is this meant NOW! Don't pass GO! Don't collect $200! get your ass in that wheel chair as we'll call admissions and get you a bed. I overhear it is going to be a few hours so they want to hook me up to an IV and start flowing in some meds and fluids here in the office until the Hospital is ready to take me. I of course have other ideas of what to do with this time and figure I might as well head home to get my truck out of the garage so as to not tack on god knows how much in overnight fees, pack an overnight bag and pick up my computer and iPod-(no laugh-necessities in this place!) Liability issues in play now I'm sure as no one likes that idea one bit-so you know me-I finally had to pull that "non-compliant behavior" card and tell the NP I'd be back in an hour. She was seriously concerned and pleading she couldn't let me do that so I wink and say-alright-I'll just go to the restroom, should be back over at admissions in an hour (wink-wink). Must be serious as in 61 minutes my phone rang with her asking where I was-Wow really? No worries, on the freeway heading in as a passenger!

She's done a lot to me and that put her at ease. It was jsut then I realized she was on speaker so she may have just had her own interrogation of sorts-I hope not as she has been great.

In any case, shortly after 1 pm I find myself walking into the now oh so familiar unit on the 7th floor of the Queen's Hotel and Spa! Im greeted by some of the staff that actually still recognizes me (don't laugh, harder that you'd think with the lack of hair and now what has become over a 30# swing in weight top to bottom as I'm sliding in just shy of 200 this week). With talking still extremely difficult and painful, I try bypass some of this and get pointed to my new room. "But you're not scheduled in here Jeff" says one of my old nurses. Confused but tell her I am and Dr Cho's office called it in late this morning and she pecks on some more keys, looks up and I immediately see she is not happy. I hear her say aloud I am checked into Diamond Head tower this time.....and that generates a few similar looks from other staff-they obviously don't like this as it turns out hat is the supped up, acute care unite side of the ward. i.e. special projects and problems. Uugghh guess this is bad and it involves ME!

Ironically, during all this my dear Sluthy Lucy is on the ball an doing her Google/WebMD due diligence for me and sends me and an urgent text with her results appears. Bottom line is no-this is not good and could develop into some very serious problems so she is ecstatic Im checking in and heading to my new room. To be honest.....SO AM I as I am right at my limit at home and should something really bad develop, I have very little wiggle room.

Being a newbie in the new section, all my previous experience in the other side doesn't count and I'm stuck in the must do's/don'ts of hospital administration and have no option but to go through the inpatient and floor procedures as if I'd never been there before. Truth is, I hadn't I was on the next block and could have been Romania as far as they knew-LOL Once we are completed here, inclusive of meeting the Doctor on call, and no-not Mr Bill, we checked that this morning, we can now put in a prescription order, get my IV installed and get some other tests done. By the time this is all complete and I am actually able to finally try relax ....the efficiency.

Bottom line, I am now hooked up to a few different antibiotics, some hydration bags with potassium and electrolytes (I know I need these bad boys) and they are preparing my very own morphine drip-complete with and self administered button to be used as needed! Too funny as it arrives in its own security lock box and a preprogrammed password protected keypad to prevent any "excess" dosage. Oh yeah-if that doesn't help!

This morning begins with the vampires sticking sharp friggen needles in my arm all the while smiling and saying "Good Morning" Sadists! the entire bunch of them and by 7 am we looking at what problems have developed in the overnight and how to address them.

First off my day nurse for the day seems fabulous-very nice bedside manner and seems to know her stuff. She suggest a meeting with pain management team to put me on a program that really works for me and I'll be able to leave with so she sets out to find the Dr on duty and set me up with the "pain team." We also agree on this silver based ointment that she'd like to administer to these burns on my neck as they are so bad. Third time of heard that medicine mentioned so all for it. She gets all that in order throughout the morning and comes back to apply this magic silver potion. So far so good-now can we get it in a liquid gel so I can administer INSIDE as my throat looks like the outside, inside. Proved that one last night as in a hospital, they like you to keep everything and I mean everything, even those bound for the toilet. WARNING: Graphic nature here.........I knew last night in clearing my throat, not only did it hurt like never before but I felt something come loose and come up with the phlegm. Turns out, just like the outside, my skin is literally sloughing off inside as well and what I felt was in fact strips of skin that were literally being torn from my throat- I mean OUCH! That sht hurts so pain team please!!! Where might they be.

Further, and now with the condition of my throat deteriorating we also need to address my count situation - most seem to be reacting properly except these damn platelet's-fallen again to a mere 17 and that is a problem as I am now a serious risk of bleeding out. If I so much as bite my tongue, or cough up my throat as the case may be. We spend the next few hours doing more blood work to determine what mine is as well as allergy checks........and I hear the word "transfusion"


Someone better explain as I have read countless issues in the past few years on transfusions gone bad. Slightly different in this case she tells me as only looking at platelet additions, not whole blood and much less risk of complications as they come from single donors instead of a pool of donors as full blood would be. This is another discussion in its own right but needless to say, we took on a unit of the bright yellow clotting agent and hope what few of my own I have left bond with them overnight.

All in all a very busy 24 hours and praying for progress tomorrow-unlike my last visits here where I was the one on the prowl and in constant motion, I'm much more subdued this trip until we can get a handle on this and I can get to rebuilding the body! That said...Good Night

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