Monday, November 16, 2009

Induction Treatment, Day 26 and a Missed Opportunity

Well, I made it through round 2 of chemotherapy, which ended yesterday. It was harder than the first round because I barely started to recover my blood counts before my system was blasted again. I was weaker and the side effects were creepier. Today I began to brace myself for the next 7-10 days, which may be the roughest part of this mountainous climb. My bone marrow will fully crash this week, leaving me at risk for infection, bleeding and fevers. My goal was to stay off any antibiotics because the side effects made me sicker than the chemo. One day at a time, right?

This morning I discovered some tummy tenderness that concerned Dr. Forte. After x-rays, a CT scan for a better look-see and a consult with a surgeon, I sit here getting, not one, but two IV antibiotic drips. Ugh. I have been having fevers the past few nights, and with my tummy issues, I had no choice in this decision. It seems that all hell breaks loose the day after I finish chemo. I am reminded that complications are "normal" after chemo for leukemia. It makes sense. The bone marrow is assaulted 24 hours a day, and once the attacks stop, the body then realizes that it survived. It then tries to recover, but it takes a while to break through scorched terrain. I'm told that I have persevered "much better than most." Hmmm. I hate to think of what "most" go through.

Why the consult with a surgeon? To rule out any possibility that I may have an infected appendix. I know, crazy, right? The possibility of having any kind of surgery when I have no ability to heal or clot, is laughable. Thankfully, I just heard that the CT was negative and there is no indication that surgery is needed at all. That was a close one... Besides, I can't believe there is anything left to remove. Between all the surgical procedures I've had to my lungs and my abdomen since moving to New Jersey 10 years ago (wonder what that means), I could fit a Buick inside me!

The other day I had just taken a shower and was not yet hooked back up to my IV. Transport arrived to take me for a set of x-rays, so I went without the IV pump or pole. As I lay on the stretcher in the hallway outside of x-ray, I suddenly realized that no one was watching me. I was on the first floor, not far from the entrance. I could totally make a break for it! I had on my Lowenstein Sandler fleece, which covered up all my hospital wrist bands. I had a cap on my head, which is a dead giveaway that I'm a cancer patient, but it wasn't as bad as not having a cap. I gave this situation some serious thought. Of course I'd have to ditch the mask. The next issue was the slippers. Another giveaway. The biggest problem was the lack of cash for a taxi. If only I had my ATM card! I know I could have made it. I considered running away from home one time as a kid, after a fight with my parents. The lack of cash stopped me then too. I wish I didn't have so much Virgo in my chart...

I would have come back, once I visited my kitten (oh, wait, I forgot my house key too). But the disappointment and shock my escape would have caused Dr. Forte, when he is working so hard to cure me, kept me on my stretcher. A missed opportunity perhaps, but reason got the best of me.

I hoping for a less dramatic day tomorrow.



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