I am doing a blog update because I am sure some of you are like , “what the heck?” I haven’t replied to any ones kind messages and wonderful sentiments. I got such wonderful news on Monday, the treatment is working as it should and decreasing the number of cancer cells that have metastasized in my body. Wonderful news, considering how advanced my cancer is. It was an emotional day for me. I was excited to come home from treatment on Monday and see my kids. We got home and I squeezed them so tight and we hung out and then we got ready for swim class. I took them by myself because I was feeling okay, maybe my adrenaline was pushing me through it a bit. We had a normal evening at home and everyone went to bed with smiles for the next day.
Then……..I suddenly wake up at 3:30 am with the chills so bad I couldn’t take it. Scott wrapped me up like a burrito in 4 heavy blankets with a heating pad underneath me and put a winter hat on me. I still couldn’t warm up. I was frozen to my bones, I actually felt like my bones were frozen. My entire body just hurt so much. Suddenly, I spike a fever of 102.5 which is not good. I have a compromised immune system so anything over 100.5 I am supposed to call my oncologist and go straight to the emergency room. Normally I would’ve done that but I just received a new drug infusion with my chemo called Zometa. It’s works with my other drugs to help strengthen my bones from the tumors that took over and destroyed my spine. I was told that some of the potential side effects are “flu-like” symptoms. I’ve never had the flu but I know it’s fever, chills, body aches and I’ve heard of some people staying in bed for 2 weeks with the flu so I thought this was to be expected. Scott gave me one extra strength Tylenol to help with the pain and try to break my fever and got me some ice cold water and then I was so worn out from my chemo that day, I just passed out. I woke up feeling even worse physically but at least the chills were gone. I still had a fever so I took some more Tylenol. I couldn’t even move so it got to the point where I decided to send an email to my oncologist and just give her a heads up as to how I felt. I didn’t expect a phone call back right away telling me to get to the hospital ASAP. So, that’s what I did and now it’s Thursday evening I am still freaking here with no end in sight!
The good thing about having cancer when you walk into the emergency room, you don’t have to sit with the general public hacking, coughing and puking everywhere. They immediately throw a mask on you and put you in a sealed private room in the back with its own ventilation system. When a cancer patient has a fever, something is very wrong and could be potentially life threatening so there is no waiting line. They immediately told me I was being admitted to the hem/onc floor. My blood pressure was very low at 70/40 with no explanation. I was not dehydrated, I wasn’t dizzy, I didn’t have a headache. As of right now my pressure has remained stable at 95/52 THANK GOD, because they were 2 seconds from putting me in ICU. My X-rays were normal and my preliminary labs were great not showing any signs bacterial infection in my blood or in my port lines. Even my blood counts were good. I was started on IV antibiotics as a precaution in case something was brewing. I got cefepime and vancomycin. They transported me by ambulance to the cancer floor and by the time I got there I was having an allergic reaction to the vancomycin. My hands were swelling and getting so itchy that I wanted them cut off. They stopped the IV and gave me Benadryl and it settled down. They found a cousin antibiotic that I could have and I’ve been on the two non stop as of now. I have been checked and rechecked every hour on the hour with vitals and blood work and every time they checked, something was wrong. Every single time. The red numbers were popping up everywhere, out of the blue. I do have to say that I am so thankful for my port, all my blood and meds go right through there and it is painless, they even draw my blood in my sleep. I do have to get heparin shots in my belly three times a day so I don’t get a blood clot.
I’m not going to go through all the craziness of this hospital visit but fast forward to right now, my white blood cell count has severely dropped to 500 where I am truly neutropenic and septic. There is no confirmed source of infection yet. They are suspicious of my port line being infected because it was accessed right before I got sick but there is still no confirmation.
I don’t really have any answers yet but all of the comments that I received on my last blog and update on my health was amazing and made me feel so good! Thank you so much for all the continued love and support as well as all the continued prayers and good thoughts. They work for sure and make a world of difference to me when I need them. And a huge thank you to my friends and wonderful family for being there for my children and making sure their world isn’t turned upside too much as I get back on my feet. I miss them so much and they think I am in the hospital getting some extra chemo. I can’t thank my husband enough, he has only left my side to take care of some things for the kids and has made sure that he is on top of everything when I have been out of it. I’m not in the best of situations right now but I am very blessed and surrounded by nothing but love and as much as it seems like this is the worst thing ever, I am where I should be and I will get better. I need to get better so I can get home to my kids and get back to life.
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is not as simple as winning and losing. It’s about the choices you make along the way and how you choose to live with your disease and make the most out of the beautiful gifts you have been given. I don’t have to remind myself everyday of how blessed I am to have the family, friends, love and support, because I already know.
p.s. as soon as I know more, I (or Scott) will update!