Hello dear friends and family…
Last week the BFF came into town and I had a decent amount of energy after Day 1 of Round 2. We had lunch with my MIL, bought weird masques that moisturize your face AND make you look like a cat (those crazy Japanese)….
She cooked and cleaned, and all around was delightful to have. Duh. I was sad to see her go Friday night. So sad in fact, I landed myself in the emergency room. (I’m KIDDING Hil. It’s okay that you left when you did!)
Let me back up.
For Day 8 of Round 2, I got the pleasure of a blood transfusion because I was anemic. I received two units, one of O- and one of O+ (I’m O+, anyone who is O- or O+ let me know so you can donate your blood to me should I need another transfusion. They usually require 10 days lead time). Then I received my regular chemo.
The nurse kept going on about how I was going to have all this energy and to take it easy (ha), but when Saturday came, the opposite was true. I spent the day sleeping, getting very angry with Kenji each time he woke me up to eat, or to walk, or to eat some more. In hindsight, this was the best thing for me (yes, Kenji, I admit it) and I felt a bit better on Sunday.
My brother came by to color easter eggs, where we learned it’s far more fun as kids who don’t have to set up and clean up afterward.
Mostly though, I was just cold. I couldn’t get warm. Chills constantly, so much so, that I kept taking hot showers to get my core warm.
So, when it was time for my white blood cell shot at the nurse’s clinic, I went with base layers on and a beanie. And a scarf and a jacket. When the nurse checked my vitals, I had a 103-degree temperature. I blamed the beanie and took it off, waiting 5 minutes and we tried again. Only 102 this time. Protocol dictated that we notify my oncologist and then off to the ER I was to go.
They made me remove my many layers, put on one of those bullshit gowns and gave me a sheet to cover me. Turns out, your body has chills when it has a fever as well as when you’re cold. So I had to lay there shivering, while they took every possible test and bodily fluid from me to see where the fever was coming from. Then, they gave me some Tylenol to bring the fever down, and general antibiotics to start killing whatever may be causing the fever.
After waiting for initial test results, which all came back clear, the on-site doc made the call — they were keeping me overnight for observation. Which technically, wasn’t “being admitted” in Kaiser-land, whatever that means. Some of the cultures that were taken (throat, brain — er, I mean, nose) would take a few days to come back, so I was to be in the hospital until they did so. (All I know, is we only paid $180 for three days at the hospital, so I think “observation” gave us a discount. I’ll take it.)
All that being said, being in the hospital sucks.
Your ass is constantly hanging out of your gown, they’ve got you on an IV for fluids so you have to pee every 2 hours, and the constant machine beeping due to my IV placement was a crazy-making. The nurse on my LAST DAY finally showed me how to reset the IV. Would’ve been helpful two days sooner!
But seriously, the staff at Kaiser are incredible. Every single person I encounter there is courteous, kind, and wants to help in any way they can. They kept apologizing that they couldn’t figure out where the fever was coming from.
They nailed down that everything was clear yesterday (April 18) and spoke with my oncologist, who mentioned that sometimes the chemo itself can cause fevers.
I meet with him tomorrow, so we’ll go over what the plan is moving forward. I’ve already got my trusty thermometer to check my temp daily (98.9 today) and keep a better eye on that.
And now I’ve got 15 days off. Hoping for more energy as the days go by, but I’m glad to have made it through that latest ordeal. Leaving the hospital for home made me SO happy.
Shout out to my mother-in-law for staying with me both nights since Kenji had to be on the road by 5am both days, and that’s hard to do sleeping like shit in a hospital room where you aren’t the one in the bed. My support systems makes my cup runneth over.
So, we’re on our way back up! We’ll see what tomorrow’s appointment brings.
Sidenote: I’ll be adding new chemo times and visitation hours to the schedules soon! Be sure the check in and sign up if you’re able!