Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BEP Chemo Round 3

April 2017

On the third, we again prepare for a week in the infusion center. Hubs isn't feeling any better. Not that we thought it would be perfect, but he was totally prepared to be back to the place he was after the first round. We weren't sure if it was because of the complications along the way or if that was totally normal.

But our morning rituals of a bread item (he really liked french toast bagels with some kind of jam or jelly on them) was keeping his stomach in check. He still felt sick, but managed to not throw up through this whole process except the day he was admitted to the hospital (and that was caused by the meds given to stop the shaking).

Monday through Thursday went well. No adverse reaction to the bleo. Yay! I had a work event that was out of town on Saturday, so I left early Friday morning to drive there. His father and sister came to stay with him. I called about a gabillion times to check on him, make sure everything went smoothly, and ask how he was feeling. It was nerve-wracking to be away from him after everything that had gone wrong by that point. He spent the weekend in bed, not feeling well at all. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath were the biggest issues at that point.

The PICC line was removed at the infusion center Friday afternoon.

Everything seemed to be going as well as could be expected until late Tuesday evening. He shows me his arm where the PICC line was. That vein was super dark and there was a knot on his inner arm. Since there was an appointment set with the doctor for Thursday, we decided to wait and say something then.

Turns out, the one complication that can come with a PICC line is a blood clot. After an ultrasound of the entire vein, it's decided he has DVT (deep-vein thrombosis). Doc puts hubs on a blood thinner. Round two of the bleo for that cycle was infused that afternoon, he asked for hydration in addition because he was having a hard time drinking anything, and we headed home.

Blood. That's what happened that next weekend. In the toilet, where it's not supposed to be. We discuss and decide it'll be okay to wait until Thursday when we have the appointment with the doc. Why? Because half a teaspoon of blood looks like a lot more when it hits the water, and he wasn't bleeding when he wasn't using the bathroom.

Doc didn't think there was anything to be worried about, said that it was probably a fissure due to a hemorrhoid, but he did tell hubs to go ahead and stop the blood thinners. When we got the results from the blood test that morning, it showed his white count down to four. This will matter in a moment...

Round three bleo was infused April 20th, along with some more hydration, and we headed home where he proceeded to collapse into bed.

Now, I know I make it seem like I was all good that whole time, but I was stressed beyond belief. One of the drawbacks of the way my MS affects me is that when my blood pressure goes up, my brain starts acting stupid. I battled nausea daily during this process, and my joints were screaming from sitting all day. There was a lot of pain to deal with. I was popping Aleve twice a day like tic-tacs, and that was causing other issues. My body struggles with medications. I'd been holding back my tears because I had hope that the chemo would be it, and I'd be able to breathe again soon. Crying also makes me very, very ill.

That was the last treatment in the cycle. We were hopeful. So very hopeful.

Thursday evening, a fever set in. There were no tremors or shaking, but no matter what I did, I couldn't get his temperature to go back down.

We pile in the car and head to the ER after a terse conversation with the doctor.

They admitted him, put a triple central line in his neck, and kept him five days. His white count was at zero, and it took the full five days for it to come back up to a level they were comfortable releasing him with.

I couldn't stay. There was nowhere for me to sleep. Luckily, that hospital was only about twenty minutes from the house. It was over an hour to the one he was admitted to the first time. So, I spent my days there and my nights at home.

We were tense by the time they released him. He just wanted to go home, and I was worried there was something they weren't telling us. Things were nearing a breaking point by the time the doctor came in and signed the papers. Turned out it was probably the fissure causing the fever. Awesome. Not.

PET scans and CTs follow. I'll start on May tomorrow and go into what happened.

Until then!

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