Thursday, 3 March 2016

Hospital Stay for Cycle #5

Fever watch cycle #5 has ended as the fever arrived early Tuesday morning, right on schedule. I was up most of the night paranoid about getting a fever and then I started wondering if my paranoia would create a false fever somehow. That is what I told myself at 4am when the temperature hit above 38 degrees. But by the time 6am rolled around and my temp was still rising, I figured even if it was a result of my paranoia, I needed to get to the hospital.

At least there wasn't a giant snowstorm this time so we were able to drive to emerg where I was quickly processed and into a room. I usually only take my list of medication and the cancer card with me but this time I wrote down everything I thought they needed on a separate paper (last chemo dose, recent hospitalizations, next chemo dose, allergies, etc...) to see if that would reduce all the questions. I think it helped. I mean, I still had to see every level of doctor including a third year med student who seemed to think checking my muscle flexibility was related to my fever, but it cut down on the questions from the nurses. I'll be doing that again for the next time.

Literally playing the cancer card.
The emergency doctor was super efficient and actually listened to me. Most of them just glance at the cancer card even though it lists exactly what they should do, and do their own thing anyway but he was on the ball. I had also written what they should do on my own piece of paper so maybe reading it twice was what it took. Or maybe he is generally just a good doctor.  He saw to all of my demands. Demands like "pain medication" and "anti nauseant" after I threw up in the trash can. I have high demands.

I spent most of Tuesday in emerg waiting for a bed at the VG in a bit of a haze. I would try to read and instantly fall asleep. Or start a podcast and instantly fall asleep. Or stare at the wall and instantly fall asleep. You get the picture. But I would only sleep for 20 minutes at a time and I would wake up disappointed that it hadn't been longer. It was a weird day of very short naps. Eventually, I was transferred over to the VG by two lovey paramedics and not by zip line which would be my preferred method of travel and I think could totally be installed between the two hospitals and would save the government lots in transporting fees, I'm sure.

Yesterday, someone important actually looked at my bloodwork and noticed my low hemoglobin and ordered me immediately two units of blood. I felt much better after that and was able to stay up for most of the day and eat actual food. My body is always happier with blood and hydration.

Sweet blood. It's unbelievable how much it helps. Thank you donors!
Today hasn't been too bad. My energy level is up, my pain and nausea are both being controlled with strong medication which is wonderful for my body but is making my brain a bit fuzzy (forgive any missing words or nonsensical sentences). I napped off most of the fuzz this afternoon but there is some remaining this evening. At least I'm not in pain and hopefully it means I'll sleep okay.

I've been sleeping as well as can be expected considering I get woken up every 4 hours for vitals.  However, since as of this afternoon, I'm no longer considered neutropenic (scary low white count)  that should stop tonight. Maybe I can sleep straight through until my bloodwork at 4am.

I haven't had a fever since Tuesday morning and although my blood cultures were positive, it's the same one that that keeps popping up every other cycle and probably not from a source (like my PICC line).  The infection is a bit different this time though as it's responsive to an oral antibiotic that it was previously resistant to. Hurray! That means I should be okay to go home on an oral antibiotic as soon as the infection disease doctors agree with me. Hopefully tomorrow....?

I also have my second (since starting chemo) CT scan tomorrow morning and I'm anxious for the results already.  I know it hasn't even been done yet but I want the results now. What is happening?! Hopefully I can find out before discharge and I won't have to wait for cycle #6 to find out.

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