Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BEP Chemo Round 2

I tried to do this yesterday, but my MS is making my ears ring, and it's giving me headaches. But here I am! Onward!

March 2017

A third round of bleomycin was given on the seventh, but it wasn't hitting my husband as hard as he thought it would. He was on an upswing, and he was even back to eating some food with (very, very light) black pepper.

When he started round two, he was a little brighter and a little more positive.

On the thirteenth, we again hit the infusion center ready for the week. We'd learned what he'd want and not want as the week progressed, and we were well prepared. He worked, and I took the week off while I sat with him, focusing on his needs, and taking care of him in general. Neither of us knew what to expect, but we'd heard round two was worse than round one, so we were being cautious.

Monday through Wednesday went pretty well, but he was wiped out at the end of each day. By Thursday, he wasn't hungry anymore, and his port was really sore. Still no showers because they were leaving the port site accessed so they wouldn't have to stick him every day. You can't shower while your port is open like that. Friday, they took the needle out and he had the first shower he'd dared in over four weeks.

Saturday, he woke up complaining that the port was sore and so was his neck. I looked at it and noticed it was red, but figured it was because it had been used all week. By the way, it was still very bruised. Remember, this is four weeks from the implant date. *worry*

By Monday, it was red enough that I called the doctor's emergency number. Try to keep up here, because this begins a whirlwind of crazy.

We headed down to the office the doc was in that day and he had a nurse take cultures from the port. They infused a ton of hydration that day and got my husband an appointment with an infectious disease doctor.

Tuesday, the bleomycin was given via vein (this is the only part of the chemo treatment they can do without a central line) because the port was so red and angry looking.

Wednesday, we headed to the infectious disease guy at 9am. Cultures came back positive for several strands of staph. Dalbavancin was infused via an IV and Bactrim was prescribed. We were told the port needed to come out that day, and an appointment was made at the same place my husband had it put in for that afternoon. While we're sitting in the infusion center, our daughter's school calls and tells us she's fallen and messed up her face and knees.

Once the infusion is done, we head to the school, grab the kiddo, and go to the hospital for port removal. To give you an idea of how badly her face was jacked up, people in the hospital kept stopping and asking her if she was okay. Yeah...

So, we get the port out, and we manage to get home before 6pm. Of course, we had to pick up a prescription for pain, so I was also able to tend the girl child's face while at the pharmacy. Again, we're told he can't have a shower for seven days.

Next morning (Thursday), her face scab is super yellow. I take her to the doctor. Infected. Joy.

My husband is feeling fluish, but he had a flu shot before chemo started, so we're not worried beyond the aches in his muscles. After research, we discover this can be a side-effect of staph. Awesome. Not.

He laid in the bed all weekend and could barely walk to the mailbox without getting winded by that point.

On Monday, the order came down that the Bactrim dose needed to be doubled (just to be safe). So, rather than once a day, he began taking it twice a day.

Tuesday arrived, and we headed to the infusion center for the Bleomycin infusion. His temp was up to 99.2, but they decided to go ahead with treatment. All seemed to be going well, and he had the IV removed and got up to go to the bathroom. When he came back, he was shaking all over, and the shizz hit the fan.

Full rigors and a temperature that spiked to 104. By some miracle, one of the nurses managed to get a new IV in, and the medications started. They flooded him with fluids, hit him with demeral and phenergan, and called emergency transport. I got in the car and followed them to the hospital, freaking out.

He stayed there through Friday with a white count that was nearly zero, and they hit him with broad-spectrum antibiotics. I stayed with him and just did my Copaxone shots in the visitor's bathroom.

Before releasing him, they inserted a PICC line so chemo could continue the following Monday (we were back to the five day treatments they needed the central line for). No showers as long as the PICC was in.

He was sooooo happy. *sarcasm* Not only that, but he was a little bit traumatized from the whole experience.

Saturday morning, he woke up okay, but then after taking his meds for the day, started to shake and get a fever. After much research, we discover that everything he'd been experiencing since the staph had been found was related to a sulfa allergy. I call the doc, explain myself, and pump hubs full of motrin, tylenol, and benadryl.

He was better by that evening and continued to improve as the weekend went on. Now, because the doc was nervous about it being the bleo infusions, those were moved to Thursdays so he'd be in the office should anything go awry.

That was the last three weeks of March. We thought we were over the worst of it. Again, we couldn't have been more wrong.

April begins a whole new set of issues.

I'll get into that tomorrow.

Until then.

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