Fifth in-patient chemo experience

10/9/02:

I'm back on the McKeen Pavilion, with morning breads, and afternoon tea. More importantly, a single room configured so that I don't have to unplug my IV pole to go to the bathroom.

Tom brought me in around 12; it took quite a while before things started to happen. Fluids started a 4, and chemo at 6:30. Hopefully, we can shift it earlier so that I still can leave Sunday evening. We spent a bit of the morning finishing up the Pergo floor; it looks nice, but will look wonderful with molding and freshly painted walls.

Tom left after afternoon tea and two chemo nurses trapped me for treatment. I watched a little bedtime SciFi and crashed for the night.

10/10/02:

Mom visited and we went to the physical therapy room. I biked for about 45 minutes while Mom used the treadmill. When we got back to my room, Dina was here. (Dina's notes on our visit.) Mom, Dina and myself had an enjoyable cancer visit. After afternoon tea, Mom went home and Dina stayed for a couple of hours. Tom visited after work and we checked Home Depot's website for lighting fixtures for the basement apartment. Dina went home, Tom ate my dinner and waited for Juan Carlos to arrive so Tom could go home.

10/11/02:
I got out of bed at around 10:00 a.m. for radiation. Everyone assured me that I would not be able to get a weekend radiation date, but the radiation oncologist was very sweet and gave me a 10:30 a.m. radiation slot. This will be my last radiation slot; it cannot be too soon!! All the nurses were commenting on how angry and nasty my leg was looking.

After radiation I went to the fifth floor to try to find the young adult support group. After finding that I was an hour early, I came back to my room, biked for about 30 minutes, bathed and went to my meeting. The meeting consisted of two facilitators and myself; it was all about Liddy!! Upon returning to my room, I went to afternoon tea for some goodies for Karen and Tom, and took a nap. Karen came for a visit at 4pm with cheddar on a bagel in hand. We visited and spoke about Luke's inability to stay awake for class (i.e., play group and music together). Tom arrived at 4:45 ready to eat my lunch.

I told Karen and Tom about some of my hallucinations. This time the top of two neighboring buildings are moving side to side, not very much more than an inch.

10/12/02:

I got my last radiation treatment today. It was anticlimactic; the place was empty. In fact, the only guy there was the tech who gave me my treatment. It was a little eerie since there are normally quite a few people.

I biked 40 minutes.

Bruce and Isabel came to visit. (Bruce's notes on our visit.) Soon, Mom, Dad, and Hakoon followed. Tom came in the evening, after he did some work on the vacant apartment. He ate my dinner, and watched a Star Trek episode with me.

My experiment with decreasing the side-effect meds has decreased my dopiness, but it has also decreased the effects of the meds. The bed feels like it is spinning.

10/13/02:

I get to go home today!

Yeap, the effects definitely decreased with the decreased meds! It's a trade-off, and I'm not sure where to make it. I was vomiting the last two days if I ate anything, but then I was able to talk to people and feel somewhat coherent.

In the morning, I was passing much less urine than normal, and it really stung in passing. The nurse found blood in my urine, which is one of the signs of toxicity of ifosfamide. At this time, I didn't know if this would limit me receiving more ifosfamide forever, or just for today. I felt very alone; more so since I knew that my oncologist would be coming by soon and I had to be coherent. I couldn't call out (something wrong with the calling card), so I sent an email to Mom, Dad, and Tom that felt frantic, but which has a chance of not seeming frantic. Mom and Dad called, and Mom came down and spent time with me. (Mom's notes on our visit.) When my oncologist came by, she explained that my bladder was spasming, and that causes the blood. She gave me a prescription to help with the spasms. She decided that I shouldn't have the last ifosfamide treatment.

I biked 30 minutes today.

Mom brought me home early.

Copyright 2003 The Shriver Family: Last modified: 01/06/04.