Saturday, June 25, 2011

Afib, Colitis & dehydration

I was scheduled for a clinic appt on June 14th, but had to go to the ER at 5am.  I woke up with more atrial fibrillation but by the time I made it to the ER, it had disappeared.  I was also having loose stools so they gave me fluids.  My clinic appt was postponed until the next day when the Dr said that that I had chemo induced colitis.  My white cell count was also low so I got shots of Neupogen.  I had a hard time sleeping since the Neupogen stimulates cell growth and pain in the bones.  I was into the clinic again on Thurs and Fri to get fluids and more Neupogen.  My white cell count recovered and on Monday when I went in again, I felt a lot better.

All this time they are using my new dual Power-port to take blood and give fluids.  On Monday, since I was in and out with just a blood test and no fluids, we forgot that I still had the IV lumen connected to the port.  It wasn't until about 3:30pm when I realized this tube hanging under my shirt.  Luckily, I was able to get back to the clinic before it closed to have the lumen removed so they could also flush the port with heparin.

This week, I have been feeling pretty good since my next chemo was delayed until Wed, June 29.  I see the Dr on Tues to check blood counts again and confirm the chemo appt. We will see what the next week brings.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hair & Mouth

Well, the chemo is finally taking it toll on my hair.  Every time I brush more comes out.  Four years ago only the dark hairs fell out and I was left with wispy grey hairs, but I never lost it all or shaved it off.  Just waiting to see how it looks.

My other complication is mouth sores primarily on my tongue and front lip.  My sister recommended a combination of 1 Tbsp molasses and 1/2 an orange.  I tried that last night but didn't taste too good and not sure how to take it.  Today, my neighbor mentioned Tea Tree Oil which seems to be an Australian cure for everything.  This afternoon I tried a mouthwash of the stuff and will see if it helps tonight.

Otherwise, I seem to be doing fine.  I will back to the clinic on Tues to check how my blood counts are holding up.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Chemo #2

I had my second round of chemo this morning and am feeling fine.  Only slept 4 hours last night and needed a nap this afternoon.  The last of the superglue came off my incision with a little encouragement last night.  I was there at 8:30 am and started with premeds, Benedryl and Tylenol and vital signs.  They used the new ports for which I was glad are dual ported.  The first try could flush but not withdraw blood so they put heparin in and used the second port which worked well.  They later were able to clear the first port later.  The infusion of the four drugs, ABVD, took about 2 hours.  We stayed a little while to see if I would have any reaction like the first time, but lucked out and we were back home by 4:30 pm.  It was good to have my wife along for support, but I should be able to drive myself next time.

The new meds are affecting my sleep, averaging about 4 hrs at night with a one hr nap during the day.  I am up before my wife and working around the house.  I pretty much have the routine of testing my blood, counting carbs and giving my insulin and Lovenox injections.  Have to take a couple of extra drugs at home over the next three days.

Keep looking up!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Blood counts back up

I have had 2 clinic appointments this week and can report that I am feeling much better.  I was dragging on Tuesday morning but perked up after my appt.  My white cell and platelet counts were down so I had another appt on Thursday where both were going back up.  Did not need a platelet transfusion as I had feared.

I still have a lot of bruising from all the needle pricks at the hospital and subsequent injections that I give myself.  I check my blood glucose 4 times a day and give myself an insulin shot at least 4 times.  I also need a daily injection of Lovenox to thin my blood following the Atrial Fibrillation last month. Hopefully, I can get back on Coumadin soon.

The incision from my dual port is healing well, but the superglue still hinders its use. Hopefully, the glue will continue to come off so that the ports can be used for my second round of chemo on Monday.

In the meantime, I am gaining strength.  I have worked in the yard and garage, shopped for groceries, recycled fluorescent light bulbs, fixing stuff around the house and generally doing everything I could a couple of months ago.  My son has been great in getting the lawn mowed and helping with any heavy lifting.

Your prayers are valued as I have the next round of chemo.