Friday was quite interesting. Interesting from an odd perspective. Let me replay the day for you.
We had planned to go to the hospital for my 2nd maintenance treatment. As usual, Mom called the hospital in the morning and was told there weren’t any beds just yet, but call back in a while and we’ll see if there are any folks being discharged. Keep in mind that when they say this, I always wonder if the doctors are walking into patients rooms, taking a look at them and saying…”Yeah, you look pretty good. You can go home”.
Anyway, we got there and were promptly sent to the lobby for the next hour or so. Picture me, Becka, and Dad sitting in the lobby with all of our luggage and food for the weekend, watching people walk by us from the front door of the hospital heading for the elevators. My oncologist even walked by and asked, “No room at the Inn”? Ha ha…very funny. Everybody’s a comedian.
After about an hour, I had decided that we’d waited quite long enough. We’d finished off all of the lame jokes we could exchange with the nice volunteer lady at the front desk and I started to walk back to the ONC unit. As I was walking down the hall, my nurse was walking towards us coming to let us know the room was ready. We grabbed our stuff and headed to the room.
We got unpacked and settled in as the nurses were coming in and out of the room, setting up the supplies. My nurse, Diamond, let me know it was time to access my port. I’ve got a Port-A-Cath that was surgically placed on Dec. 19th. It’s located on the upper left side of my chest about 3 fingers below my clavicle. We’ve learned some neat tricks over the last six months that have to do with hospitalizations. My favorite is the little 1 1/2 inch slit that we have cut into old t-shirts. Whenever my port is accessed a 1 inch needle is inserted into each “lumen” (an oval receptacle) and there are two catheters that are about 4 inches long that extend from each needle. Each of these catheters can slide through the slit in my t-shirt which allows me to wear my own shirts and not have to put up with hospital gowns. By now, Dad had to go feed the meter so he made his exit.
Diamond was only able to get one port accessed and had to call the Charge Nurse. The Charge Nurse couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my port so she suggested they remove the needles and re-insert them. UGH! They already stabbed me once and now they wanted to do it again! Not only that, I have a cream that I can use to numb my skin. Because we were rushed into the room and hurried into the port access, I wasn’t able to use the cream (it takes 30-45 minutes to become active). So they stuck me again. This time they realized the port wasn’t working correctly and they needed to TPA the port. This is a process similar to using Drain-O in a clogged drain but takes anywhere from 1-2 hours to work. Lucky me, this time it took 2 hours. So I took a little nap.
Finally, with the port working, they tell me it’s ok to start the treatment process. First, they start with the anti-nausea meds, then we move to the Benedryl, then one more medication, then we can move to the IL-2. For some reason, Dad had decided to wait before leaving. He didn’t feel like sitting in traffic and just wanted to wait it out. This ended up being a really good thing. Keep in mind, we’ve been at the hospital for almost 5 hours now and they still haven’t started my treatment. Then my oncologist came into the room. He started to check me, we started chatting about nothing, he started talking with Dad, blah blah blah and then I did it. I moved his hand over the lump in my neck. His response wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
He basically told me that he was going to have to discharge me. He wants to get a CT scan before we move on. If this is new disease, then we treat it as such. If it’s not, then we biopsy it and find out what it is. I’ll go into his office tomorrow for the scan and we’ll go grab lunch and wait for the scan results.
On the upside… I got to enjoy a great weekend that I was sure I was going to have to spend in the hospital! Not such a great weekend for my Angels, though.