(if you only want the funny, skip down to the last paragraph)
One day I noticed my hands seemed red. Like someone who has bad circulation or high blood pressure. I didn’t make a stink about it, because I figured everyone would think I was being a big baby or making something out of nothing…. A couple days latter… well, long story short, something was really wrong (along with numbness on one quarter of my face, down my neck, swollen arm)…. A trip to the hospital revealed my blood clotting. There was at least one at the site of the medi port. (interestingly, I realized later what my platelet count being quite high meant. First time it was 155, the last time it was 499, which means blood thickening. Apparently the person, who drew my blood that last time, didn’t pay attention to that & just tucked it away in my chart. If only we had a jump on the blood thinners & daily shots in my stomach, perhaps I wouldn’t have had to have surgery to remove the port, with still 4 treatments left.) After a week & a half of bringing me up to thinning blood at 2.2 with shots in the stomach (including Saturdays & Sundays at the hospital) and coumadin it dropped down to 0.9 in just 2 days (because I had to stop taking the meds & let it thicken again for surgery). The needle sticking before surgery was nothing to be desired. How many failed pokes in my swollen clot side arm, along with failed attempts to get a line in my foot & ankle (they kept poking THROUGH the vein) I had to let them go in my left arm, which is a huge no no when you’ve had any lymph nodes removed (again, I had 30 taken). WHY? Because then you risk developing swelling in the arm, hands, fingers, that will never go away once it’s there. One nurse almost said elephantitus then changed it to a more technical term. I had to start the shots & orals back up. Now after a week it’s back up to 2.5 (they need it to be between 2-3 so that it’t thin enough & the body can try to dissolve the clot on it’s own.) Now, my left arm is beginning to swell, but I don’t have a good arm to compare to show anyone how much.
So, now the port is gone. They say they will try to get into a vein for the next treatment and after that I need to get a pick-line. HA HA Ha, they really thought (with what little experience they told me in the beginning they have with getting a vein, which is why they prefer ports) they actually thought they’d be better at getting a vein & not collapsing it with pushing treatment when an anesthesiologist couldn’t? Yeah. Ok. Sure. They broke through the same vein a couple times & gave up. I missed my scheduled treatment. Which has repercussions of its own.
But, I’m scheduled for the pick line Tuesday (5/20) and chemo on Wednesday near a week late. I’m guessing this throws of the entire schedule…. Scared again. I know this has great potential to be painful.
In the middle of all of that…..
2nd Chemo, we decide I won’t take Neulasta because of the harsh reaction I had. Right?
So… just when I feel like I can actually get up myself & I gain a little strength, along comes a cold sore, and the red spots on my head start to turn to itchy bumps. White blood cells are declining leaving me with nothing to fight the cold sore with, and they think the bumps on my head are shingles, which could be pretty damn serious without immune systems working. More meds are assigned…. I go pick them up. Now, I know cold sores are one form of Herpies but I didn’t know that about Shingles as well.. so, the new young woman at the pharmacy passing over my medicines in the drive up window is looking at me pretty funny.
Odd looks & sideways too…. I really didn’t understand why she’d be looking at me that way. Until I got home and opened the instruction sheet she folded up. In big huge bold letters it says “this medicine is used for GENITAL HERPIES”…..
funny how that phrase “genital herpies” was in BIG BOLD and CAPITAL LETTERS on that sheet. TWICE! But “shingles” was in regular print. I felt like running back there and telling her "NO! I DON’T HAVE GENITAL HERPIES! JUST a COLD SORE & MAYBE SHINGLES! NO, REALLY!"
Instead, I just had a laugh about it.