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Take II

July 21, 2011

Last Wednesday I went for my regularly scheduled appointment and treatment and, after having my blood drawn and waiting a few hours, got sent home due to a low platelet count and told to return in a week. Future treatments would be two weeks from the make-up date. After my initial concerns – Did this mean I was more susceptible to illness? Should I not go to work or use the metro or go to the grocery store? What about my summer plans, since my chemo and off-weeks were now reversed? – I decided I was just as glad to have an extra week to relax. My nurse told me that self-quarantine was not necessary (just don’t play football, she said), though my bosses told me to work from home anyway. Why risk it? What if I slipped and fell in the hallway? (Yes, since my family is far away in Arkansas, my office is full of surrogate helicopter parents.) And as far as my vacation plans go, although this meant missing a long-planned camping trip with friends this weekend, with only a few tweaks I’ll still get to spend some time with my sisters, brother-in-law, nephew, aunt, uncle, cousins, and other extended family at Virginia and Delaware beaches in August.

My fiancé arrived the same day as my no-go chemo session, and we celebrated his arrival and birthday with a quiet weekend full of country roads, small towns, comfort foods, and local wineries in rural Virginia.

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Yesterday I went in to the hospital for Take II, also the halfway point in my six-month, 12-treatment chemotherapy regimen. As much as I ended up enjoying having an extra week off, I was hoping my platelets had regrouped and were ready for round six. The less the length of this whole ordeal is extended, the better. David met me there to keep me company – his first chemo experience, since he’s been in Spain since it started.

My counts were good to go, and the pharmacy was fairly quick in getting my pre-meds, the oxaliplatin and leucovorin, and the 5-FU push up to me. However…the external pharmacy that brings the 5-FU for my pump had overlooked the order. Luckily, the nurse noticed this before the pharmacy closed, and arranged for it to be dropped off at my house. The nurse who usually comes to disconnect the pump at the end of the 46 hours would come to connect me.  Not the end of the world, of course, but less than ideal, since we weren’t planning to go straight home from the hospital, but rather go to a friend’s birthday dinner. But plans change, and my friend understood. And luckily, the nurse arrived to my house just as we did, the 5-FU had already arrived, and we were able to make dinner. Better late than never!

I suppose I’d better get used to these little bumps in the road. But at the same time, I wish these other people involved in the process would just all do their parts, to help me maintain as close to a normal life as possible while this is all going on. My nurse encourages me to be a squeaky wheel. I guess that sometimes entails calling ahead before scheduled treatments, and making sure everyone is on track.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Alleen permalink
    July 21, 2011 9:17 pm

    Yay for fiances arriving and weekends away! And yay for discovering your blog as I no longer have to rely on Leslie for updates. Glad to know it’s here and to know that you are well taken care of (if only I had a donut waiting for me every morning…). And loving your new haircut.

  2. Rain permalink
    July 22, 2011 11:35 am

    These kinds of bumps can make a person very patient. When you realize that you have a part and you’ve done it, but there isn’t anything else that you should/can do, you either drive yourself mad or you get really relaxed (or you do one first and then the other :). It sounds like you have a great team of professionals, though, who are going to do what it takes to help.

  3. Krista permalink
    July 31, 2011 12:08 pm

    I don’t have much to say, I just wanted to let you know that I am reading these blogs to stay updated and I have been praying for your complete recovery. Wishing you all the best from Arkanasas.

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