February 1, 2007
Yesterday brought a pleasant surprise: I found out I was scheduled for a body scan TODAY. Ok, perhaps the scheduling wasn’t the best, but I was greatly relieved because we’ve been waiting for this in order to answer questions about what’s going on inside me. The lumps on my neck we could feel, but not so much in my chest.
Given the threat of weather my mom came down today, so she was able to take me over. I learned my lesson from last time and wore sweatpants (rather than anything with a zipper). This time the scan was over at Fontaine instead of the main hospital, and the procedure was markedly different. First I had to drink two glasses of solution, and then they proceeded with the fun and games of placing an IV. Since we’re down to my left arm, there was naturally a bit of trouble. After a second go they got it in, and a short wait was in order. Then I was placed on the table, injected with more solution, and the picture taking comenced. All in all the procedure itself took the better part of twenty minutes.
So now we wait; hopefully, I’ll have some good news within the week.
January 18, 2007
So at this point, I’m kinda used to having all sorts of bumps and bruises on my arms from various blood tests and IV insertions. Therefore, I wasn’t very alarmed when I noticed my elbow was a little swollen. However, on Tuesday evening I threw my clothes over my loft and was suddenly struck with a sharp pain in my arm. For the record, I’m rather, how you say, “uninspired” when it comes to physical fitness, and it wasn’t class, so my arm hadn’t been over my head in a while.
Upon further investigation I discovered that it was impossible for me to fully extend my right arm. That is, I couldn’t make a flat surface by stretching my arm out. I slept through it, though, went to my first class on Wednesday, and got a call from my parents at lunch. I was trying to do a hundred things at once (get the phone, answer IMs, heat my soup) so I just told them and they called the doctor. About 20 minutes later I found myself at the doctors office, and a series of tests (ok, mostly me squeezing the nurses’s hand) revealed that the strength in my right arm was somewhat diminished. She ordered blood work and an ultrasound (such priveleges that apparently come with the title of nurse practitioner).
My tech, Mario, discovered, through the miracle of ultrasound (it’s just not for babies anymore), that I had a small clot in one my arm veins. No major danger, since we caught it early, but it’s still on a path that could endanger my lungs. So what does all this mean? Really, just an addition to my cocktail: a shot to the belly each day. Stings like a banshee, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Here’s hoping I can stay out of the UVA medical system for at least a few days…..oh wait, I have chemo tomorrow.
January 12, 2007
So I ended up arriving in Charlottesville a wee bit early for my bloodwork today. How early? Oh around 1 o’clock last night.
See, as I noted in my last entry, I’ve been battling a head cold since about Sunday night. Generally colds are taken for granted and easily treated, but in a nuetropenic person such as myself every infection is cause for concern. I have orders to head for the hospital if my temperature heads over 100, which it did last night around 10. We didn’t make it to Charlottesville until about 1, where a room was already waiting for me along with an attentive and caring night staff.
Much to my chagrin my fever ended up clearing rather quickly; however, they’d already started me on an IV (I was stuck a total of five times last night). Add to all this interruptions for medication and a visit from the X-Ray tech (she actually brought the machine to me! marvel of marvels!), and you can imagine that I didn’t sleep all that well.
However, after all that they declared that I was safe for passage, and I was discharged at about 11 this morning. Right now I’m waiting in my apartment while my parents are out fetching my books for next semester. I’ll try to keep you all apprised if anything else happens this weekened, but hopefully this is the end of our excitement for now.
January 9, 2007
Hello again, and sorry once more for being remiss in my blogging. However, as I’ve said before, everything has become a cycle these days. I passed the half-way point on Friday; that was treatment number seven. Treatment was a little rough; for some reason I had trouble getting all my pills down, and they had to put two IVs in my arm due to a sore spot on my right wrist. Good news, though: there are usable veins in the left arm after all. They just happen to be a little deeper and require more finesse to get at. The nurse was quite good at finding them, though.
Thanks to the miracle of dexamethasone, I had a great weekend. Ok, great for somebody who’s been looking at guaranteed nausea every other weekend (that has nothing to do with it being the weekend, like most college kids). I still have problems with my taste buds, and for some reason I have these odd burps, but it’s far better than laying flat on my stomach feeling like doing nothing.
The week has been a little rough; with my counts down I think I’ve managed to catch a little something. I’ve been coughing and waking up with a little tickle in my throat, but so far no fever. I’ll have to keep a watch on this though; worry not-I know what to do.
Anyways, that’s where we are. I’ll be sure to post once we know where I am; next time we should know when my scan is. Stay posted; oh, and best wishes to everyone in the new year.
December 24, 2006
As promised, a report from Friday. It was a bit rougher than usual; I got ill during my treatment, and apparently I looked “horrible” most of the evening. However, on the upside, they put me on a new anti-nausea drug, and although my sense of taste is still diminished, I feel far better than I have many weekends. Also, the weekend brought some great news: for the first time in my college career, I managed to make the Dean’s List! Yes, I was surprised as well.
As I mentioned before, things have become somewhat routine with my chemotherapy, but I’ll try to keep everyone updated. Anyways, best wishes to everyone tomorrow, and I hope that everyone has a great Christmas (or had an excellent Hannukah).
December 20, 2006
Just a quick note:
I’m in Woodstock right now (where I’m planning on being through the 17th of Janurary, outside of chemo on the 22nd and the 5th), so any correspondence is best sent to my parents address.
Again, I’ll report back on Friday.
December 17, 2006
I apologize for being remiss in my updates; however, I’ve been in the midst of finals and wrapping up classes. By some odd twist of fate, it appears that this may end up being my best semester of grades ever.
However, I do have good news. My doctor cut back the one drug that was responsible for the tingling in my extremities, and it seems to have worked. Also, my nuetropenia seems to have subsided; while my counts are still getting low before treatment, they aren’t QUITE as low, giving me a little more freedom. However, I still have to be careful.
I’ll try to report back in after Friday, my next treatment. If nothing else, I’ll be happy to report that I’m past the half-way point (hopefully).