Monday, October 13, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 12

10 pm 99.9
2 am 100.6
6 am 100.2
2 pm 99.5

7 pm 100.6

It is official. I am stubborn. I should have gone to the hospital. There, I said it and it is in print. I promised Vic that if this fever stuff ever comes up again, I am at the hospital door. Probably would have felt better by now if I had gone in on Saturday.

Can't brush my teeth - gums are too sore and inflamed. Thank goodness for cotton facial pads to finger-brush the teeth. Taste buds are gone again because of the mouth issues. Other TMI side effects would probably be cleared up as well.

A huge Push Up to my husband, Vic. He has the patience of Job. Vic hasn't once complained about what he has had to do or give up for this cancer journey, despite his own cancer and surgery.

Time to go find some cardboard, um, I mean food. What a crappy way to lose 13 pounds in two weeks, eh? Then off to the laboratory and a visit to the onc nurses.

Afternoon Update
My NADIR is down and I've been ordered to stay at home, avoid crowds, not eat any raw foods unless they can be cooked or washed (i.e., apple), and frequent hand washing. If I washed my hands anymore, I wouldn't have skin.

All of the above body complaints are a sign of low NADIR. Isn't that interesting?! If I'd known that, . . ...grrrr.

Dr. P said if my temperature got to 100.5 that I was to go to the ER in Seattle where she is. So, we are on our way and expect to be there within a couple of hours!

Stay tuned to the As The Cancerville Turns saga. It is such an old story, I'm so sick of it.

Evening Update
We are so frustrated. We have no idea why the request for us to go to the ER - other than the damn "standard protocol". What we wanted to achieve by going to the hospital wasn't met - no fever, my taste buds back, no mouth sores or inflamed gums and the other TMI issues resolved.

Oh wait, I got the opportunity to have 5 - five - needles! Thank goodness that the first and fourth ones were Lidocaine. The others were the port needles, in 3/4" and 1" length. They were having challenges getting a good flush on the port. I had two x-rays and got a lovely grey pair of non-slip slippers. They match the previous two pairs I received.

It was like the ER doctor was talking to the Oncologist but the ER doctor wasn't agreeing???? Such as - oncology protocol is any fever over 100.5 you go to the ER and be admitted. I was higher than 100.5 many times this weekend and even today. This is what I was fighting over the weekend. ER doctor says oh, no, it's 102 degrees. He goes on to say that the blood work in the morning shows that my blood counts are low, but not "that bad". Okay, so why am I told to stay home, avoid crowds, no gardening (as if I have the stamina to do it right now), drink lots of fluids and wash your hands. Umm, been doing that for 3 days now!

Then! Okay, yes, this is a rant. I shared my frustration with the ER doctor and discharge nurse of just spending an hour trying to get access to my port. The nurse replied, "We are just the messengers. Don't be an ugly cancer patient". Yes, that's right. That is what she said. You bet your sweet bippy a letter to the administration is going out tomorrow as soon as I cool off. This one just rises above the "oh well" attitude.

Many of the ER discharge instructions contridicted Oncology instructions. Such as the temperature and taking Motrin/Advil or Tylenol.

On our way home, I called the temporary onc nurse to let her know what happened. I also wanted to confirm that I should call or come back to the ER if I have a 102 degree temperature and that I could take Advil/Motrin. After the onc nurse talked with Dr. P, she comes back on the line and says, "No, follow the oncology protocol. Call us if you have a fever of 100.5 and do not take Advil/Motrin".

At 7 pm, my temperature was 100.6 and I am not calling. I will call my usual onc nurses tomorrow (they don't work on Mondays) to obtain the preliminary results of the blood culture. And next steps. Geesh! I just want to go to work and be normal!

Oh wait. I have cancer. I'll have a "new normal". Who coined that crappy phrase?

Rant over and I am out.

Love and peace to you all!



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Renee,

    I can hear the frustration in your voice, and you know what? I can so understand!!! I for one, know how frustrating it can be with doctors. Went to many doctors when our daughter was sick to figure out what was wrong with her, several years back. Some of them, and even some nurses, could be SOOO rude, and sooo insensitive!!

    One doctor had Cara in tears when he went to take a phone call. Cara was college aged then. I told Cara, I could understand her tears, as I felt like "punching" the doctor, I was sooo mad at him!!

    And if a nurse can't be sensitive to a patient, especially one that has cancer, she should NOT be a nurse!! I totally feel that way! It makes me so upset that they can get away with acting like that, and be "heartless!!!" Get them OUT of the profession!!! You write your letter! You need to, I'm all behind you in that!!

    I love you, understand you, and am soo praying for you Renee'!!