This has been a pretty remarkable week. So much has happened. I received a phone call from a pharmaceutical company somewhere in Kansas telling me that I had been approved for their “Commitment to Care” program. What that means in a nutshell is that they have agreed to cover my prescription costs for 12 months. That’s no small gesture! The interferon shots that I started yesterday will run approximately $85,000. This is truly an answer to prayer and nothing short of a miracle. I also found out that I was approved for Medicaid, so that should help with the costs of the surgeries.
I have to comment on the election last week. Not a political comment, but a funny anecdote. My first response when the election was called was that I wanted to speak with my Grandmother to see what her perspective was. I asked her if she ever thought she would she would ever see a black President. She responded by telling me that she never knew it was something she could think about. I thought that was a wonderfully insightful response. Then she continued by asking me, “Did you see Reggie Jackson in the audience. He was crying.”
“Um, Grandma….. I think that was Jesse Jackson”.
“Oh… well Opal was crying, too”.
“Yeah, um, Grandma…. her name is Oprah“.
I started the next phase of treatment yesterday. It was kicked off by having some bloodwork done. Evidently, even though most of my bloodwork came back fine last week, for some reason my bilirubin counts continued to climb slightly, so they needed to recheck that. The injection was a piece of cake: a little swab, a little pinch, and a little stick. All done.
The effects came on much quicker than I had anticipated. I had actually sat down to update the journal when around 630pm I started shaking. No little quivers, no tiny chills…. just went right into the shakes. I laid on the recliner for about half an hour trying just to control my breathing to see if I could calm things down. No luck. I had just done laundry so I grabbed my sheets and went to put them on the bed. I got two pillowcases done and realized that it wasn’t happening. I grabbed on of my little blue bags just in case and fell into bed. After another 20 minutes or so, I was still shaking and knew I needed something. Getting out of bed was not an option, I knew this. I started to get a little scared because I was by myself for the first time. During all of my other treatments someone had been with me 24 hours a day. I called a friend from school and asked her to come over for a while, she agreed without hesitation.
I’m really not sure what time it was when things settled down. Sandy was still here when what little fever I had broke, it must have been around 930pm or 10pm, I’m guessing. I woke up once more around 1am and then slept through the night until 930 this morning.
The reaction last night was similar to when I first started treatment at the end of September. The only difference I remember was last time there was more fever and less shakes. I’m hoping it all subsides after the first few treatments.