Well it has certainly been an eventful 10 days since my first chemo. It all started with a fever on Thursday night (the chemo day) which turned out to be something that was as a result of the chemo. Friday was fine, temp normal and energy returning during the day. Saturday morning at 5am everything changed.
When I had gone to bed on Friday night my temp was normal, when I woke it was 38.9. So it was time to wake up my wife and go off to Frankston emergency. This time they put me straight through instead of leaving me in the waiting area with people vomiting and coughing all around me. I spent 9 hours at Frankston getting pumped full of saline and an assortment of antibiotics. The temp eventually dropped back down to 37.2 and they gave me the choice of going home or getting transferred to Peninsula Private Hospital. Only one option really, last thing I wanted to do was end up back in Frankston Emergency if my temperature spiked again. So I transferred and this was when the fun started. Thankfully Pen Priv has an oncology ward.
By Monday my left leg had swollen up and it turned out to be a blood clot behind the knee. My temp went up on Tuesday so they put me on a second lot of IV antibiotics. My oncologist saw me on Tuesday and booked me in for an ultrasound of the bile duct (I had started to turn yellow). Wednesday morning I had a stent put in the central bile duct and things started to settle down.
These were the good things. The bad things included:
- getting plugged into the IV for upto 4 or 5 hours at a time. This happened every 12 hours, in between I was hooked up to it for an hour or so.
-getting woken up every 2 hours to get my temp taken. this went on for three nights
-sleeping on a very uncomfortable bed and being forced to lie on my back while the IV was connected. This ended up giving me back problems with the muscles down my right side cramping up
- Tuesday night letting the nurse know that my back was sore and asking for a heat pack
- Wednesday afternoon getting told that because I had a sore back I had been booked in for a bone density scan on Thursday. This really confused me. I have a history of minor back issues (and had chiro for almost 20 years). Nobody had bothered to ask me about what the problem was (it was muscular) and they just assumed that this was something that was brand new and had only just happened. My wife managed to get them to hold the scan until I had spoken with the doctor. After I had, he cancelled the scan completely.
-Thursday evening I was told by two of the nurses that I would not be out by Christmas and that I should expect to be in hospital for weeks. After all, it was in my best interest to be kept in a 4x4 room on an uncomfortable bed and have my life completely taken away from me. I spoke with doctor on Friday (and my wife spoke with the head nurse) - between us we found out that there was never any intention for me to be in on Sunday. My temp was mostly normal (the daily spike to 37.6 and then quickly returning to normal-according to my oncologist, this was insignificant) My energy was returning as was my appetite. My blood markers were returning to normal very, very quickly. Basically, the stent was working and doing everything that I should.
It was a very frustrating week, but also one that had to happen and I was glad that it happened while I was hospital.
The best part about it all is that I am home for Christmas and can spend it with family and friends. I am up and about, active, eating to much and am now ready to start the next part of the journey. Not sure where it will take me, but I look forward to finding out.
Back to the chemo program on Thursday.
Merry Christmas all. Take care and remember that life is what you make it.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.