Monday, 9 August 2010

Chemo cycle 2: Day 4-7

The moral of my story is - if you have issues after chemo, phone the hospital where you get chemo straight away and if they want you to be seen, go to them rather than the local A&E.  Soooo....

Day 4:  I woke up pretty positive, the blotches on my arm had gone down and it seemed ok.  No temperature or anything.  But as the morning wore on, I felt pretty awful, tired and blergh.  DH took the girls out to give me some time to rest.  But at about 4pm I just felt wrong, my arm had gone up again and I felt even worse despite relaxing most of the afternoon.  I took my temperature and it was 38.8, waited a while and then it was 38.3.  So I phoned the hospital who said come in, we've got a bed.  Argh!!  DH was still out and when I phoned it would take him about 45mins to get home.  So I faffed around getting a bag packed, getting more and more panicky and ended up phoning a close friend, asking if I could just talk to her to calm down.  And bless her, she said she was coming over (bearing in mind she has her own family to worry about) and when she was here said she was taking me in.  DH met us at the hospital with the girls, and then she took them back to hers.

DH and I went in and I got my bed, then we waited for about 4 hours to be seen.  They put a cannula in my arm which hurt like anything so I could get IV antibiotics; they also took blood.  Eventually the doctor confirmed that I would be staying overnight and DH left about 9.30.  Still didn't know what was wrong, but it was a suspected infection and/or chemo leak I think.

Day 5:  I love the way they let you rest and sleep in in hospital (haha).  So after a terrible night's sleep and a cup of tea at some stupid hour of the morning, I got to see my oncologist.  She came in right when they were draining my cannula and I was in massive tears of pain, took one look at me and told them to take it out.  She inspected my arm which was now totally swollen as well as blotchy, asked questions about my pain and added blood clot to the list of possibles and put me on Hepacitrin injections immediately.  She asked for me to be booked in for a scan the following day (Day 5 being Sunday).

I was then moved into a private room.  Hurrah!!  Not sure why, but I suspect it's because I didn't need to be observed particularly and I am still mobile etc.  It was also better as then DH could bring the girls to visit without really disturbing anyone.  But it was also pretty boring, I got through 2 books.

Day 6:  So today was my scan day.  No-one knew what time it would be, I was told that the porters just come and get you whenever.  So more books and boredom, although DH came mid morning and brought snacks which was good.  I also managed to have a nap, finally!  The porter came about 3.15 and put me in a chair and I felt such a fraud going down to outpatients in my pajamas, slippers and wheelchair thingy.  I can walk!  But I felt awful and I think I was in tears in the waiting room.  All I could think was, I shouldn't be here, this shouldn't be happening to me, now, it's not fair.  It would have been so much better if I could have been given a time, I could have got dressed, gone down myself and preferably asked DH to be with me.  Never mind.
So after about 30 mins wait I was seen.  And yes, I have a blood clot in the arm where the chemo goes in, the upper bit.  It could have been the chemo, but from what I can see loads of things can cause blood clots.  I'm being referred to a blood department to investigate why.  And I get to inject myself every day for at least the next 3 months, the joy.  I hate needles, but I've done it now.

By the time I got back to my room, it was kind of too late to get all the drugs sorted and go home so I got to stay another night.

Day 7:  Got woken up at the crack of dawn again!  But I had slept better so that was good.  The doctor came in pretty early to confirm about the blood clot, what drugs I would need etc and then said once I got the drugs I could go home.  Yay!!  Phoned DH to come and get me then went to get a towel for a shower, when the nurse said to me 'don't think the drugs will come quickly'!  But I didn't care.  And DH got there, I was ready to go, I was taking a bed when I didn't need to but there were no drugs.  So I checked out haha!  They said we could come back for the drugs.  DH and I went for a fabulous lunch and then I went home to the sofa.  I was exhausted yesterday, but so happy to be home.

My arm is still swollen and sore, but I can see my knuckles for the first time in a few days, so I presume that means the Hepactrin is working.  But I have learnt my lesson.  Phone at the first sign of wrongness and go to the hospital where they know about chemo.  I don't think I would have avoided the blood clot, but it could have all been done before the weekend if I had, I suspect.

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