Saturday, September 14, 2013

Whew, what a week! (In and Out of Hospital)

Whew, what a week!

Last Saturday we spent the afternoon at a 2 year old's birthday party, and my daughter had SO much fun playing in the sandbox with her friends.  I had a minor headache, and some cough that I attributed to the mouth wash/medicine I had taken that week.

Well, fast forward to Sunday morning - I had a bad sounding cough and just didn't feel right.  I felt like I was getting sick, so I tried to take it easy and was checking my temperature every couple of hours, just in case.  Around 5pm I had to cancel on a shopping trip with friends, and a couple of minutes later, I checked my temp and found that it was 100.6deg - fever!  My oncologist and all the oncology nurses have constantly reminded us that if I ever had a fever we had to rush to the ER because chemo patients are immuno suppresed and even a minor cold can be dangerous for us.

We put shoes on, grabbed the diaper bag and headed out the door.  On the way there, I called the on-call number for onco office, and doc said since it was a low fever, we could afford to wait the 45 minutes while driving to UCLA, so off we went.  We also called my father in law and asked him to also drive North so he could pick up my daughter (we really didn't want her hanging out in the Emergency Room, especially because last time we spent hours in a hallway!)

Well, it was very much like a scene in a movie - I walked up to the triage nurses at the ER and said I was a chemo patient with a fever (by then it had reached 100.9deg), and they made things happen!  The waiting area was almost empty, but within minutes they were checking my vitals, and then moved me to a bed.  It took about another 15 minutes and they got us into a room in the ER.  They started me on fluids and antibiotics pretty much right away, and they also took blood samples from my arm, and from my port a cath.  It seems one of the first things they worry about is that my port a cath might be infected, so they treat it as suspect and give me the medicine through the vein in the arm...  During this craziness a very sympathetic young female doctor walked over and told me that I was being admitted - and that pretty much if I ever walk into ER again while still wearing the port they will admit me for at least 24 hours.  So, I figured one night might not be too bad and we already had the baby covered.

I won't bore you with all the details, but at 10:30ish that night I was finally wheeled into a room in the hospital's oncology ward.  During my time in the hospital, I initially got worse (fever hit 101.3deg and resting heart rate was in the 120s - which is pretty high).  My throat hurt so much it hurt to talk, and the nausea/motion sickness made it very difficult to even read/respond to text messages.  So, I took lots of naps and watched a lot of bad TV.  By Monday the doctors were saying it might take up to 7 days for them to release me, so we asked my Mom to fly out and help too.  There's only so much time my husband can take off from work...  The suspected diagnosis was pneumonia, even though they weren't able to prove it.  Actually, none of the cultures they took came back positive, so doctors suspect it might have just been a virus that got me.  Unsurprisingly, my daughter is sick too - no way to know whether I got her sick or vice versa...

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon when the doctors were starting to say I might go home soon, and they finally released me wednesday evening.  Got to hang out at home on Thursday, 2 doctor appointments on Friday, and now home trying to take it easy so I can kick whatever is making me sick!  When we saw the oncologist on Friday, he decided that we should delay chemo by a week.  He says I've made incredible process and have tolerated chemo well, he thinks it would be a mistake to do chemo while I'm feeling so under the weather already.  My husband and I had very mixed feelings about this, because we both can't wait to be DONE.  My Mom had *just* been telling me earlier in the day how we would be done in 4 weeks (although I always count the next week since it takes that long to feel like myself).  I had *just* added chemo week 6 to the calendar, which I had been hesitant to do before because I didn't want to be disappointed.  Oh well, if this what I'm complaining about, then I am one lucky girl.

So.... In approximately 6 weeks I hope to be done with this treatment!  Between now and then, I have to do a better job of steering clear of sickness.  Don't worry, I will still have to find fun things for us to do, it is part of my emotional therapy to go out and enjoy life. :)


  1. Wow! Definitely you are a very lucky girl. Don't dispair. Same thing happened to me when they told me that I needed 6 more months of chemo! I was reluctant, mad, furious, but at the end was the best thing. I also had to stoped the treatment a few times to give my body and defenses a chance to recuperate and fight the fight. You will be fine, take the time to heal and don't feel guilty for it. Love & prayers your way.

  2. So glad that the countdown is no longer months but weeks. You have been amazing throughout. If there is a way that we can help pass the time from across the country, just say so. Much love! ~T

  3. I'm so glad to hear you are out of the hospital. You are so strong! Love you :)

  4. Continua la pelea sobrinita mia. Voy A ti. Estas en nuestro pensamiento y oraciones, siempre!!! Dile a tu mami que todavia le debo los Sandiwches de churrasco.. :-)

  5. Yo se que esta batalla la vas a ganar y tendras una historia de superacion que ayudara a muchos en un futuro. Siempre hay algunas piedras en e camino pero son ellas las que nos ayudan a volver a levantarnos y retomar la perspectiva de hacia donde vamos y a donde queremos llegar. La mente y el espiritu son bien fuertes y nos pueden llevar hacer cosas extraordinarias. Sigue ahi que voy a ti 100%

  6. " In approximately 6 weeks I hope to be done with this treatment!" --> we hope so too!
    You're such a ROCKSTAR! 6 weeks will go by in no time, you'll see! *hugs*


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31 year old navigating life with husband and almost-2-years-old daughter :)