18 5 / 2011
The last two days were full days at Moffitt. Monday consisted of lab work (white blood cell counts back up - pain was worth it)? Then a long infusion of mouse antibodies. Because this infusion was going to be so long the nurses put me in my own room with a bed and sheets and everything! I even had my own bathroom right next to the bed (fabulous…I don’t think anyone realized how much this meant to me). I put in a permanent “request” to have my own room. The nurses said “Ok Shea, whatever you say. Feel free to request it - whether or not you’ll get it is another story”. I also loved this particular room because we were across the hall from the snack room. Needless to say I sent poor Chris out for graham crackers, apple juice, and grape juice about 20 times. About an hour into the infusion I started to have one of the “common” negative reactions, my throat got very dry, itchy, scratchy and swollen up. They removed the meds, flushed the port, and gave me some benadryl and another med to combat the reaction. Dr. Chris sprung into action googling side effects of Rituxan and immediately told me “not to worry…common reaction”. I honestly thought the feeling would never leave then BAM, it’s gone! Guess they might have dealt with this before. They continue the meds more slowly this time and I don’t have another reaction, everything is “great”. Chris tells me to pick out a movie to watch together and I pick out “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”. Chris notes that the only time I will ever get away with a choice like that is while going through chemo. At least it’s good for something! After the infusion we pack up and head out, only to come back the next day for ABVD since we didn’t have enough time. By now I feel like we are close friends with all of the chemo nurses. We went back yesterday and signed in at the desk. The receptionist and I have a nice chat about her mastiffs who are pictured all over her wall. Chris and I sit down and we start a 550 piece puzzle that has safari animals pictured all over it. To give you an idea of how long the wait was - we were almost finished with it by the time they called us back. Chris worked the outside of the puzzle and I got the inside. Go team. Next is 4 hours of ABVD. I pass out about 2 hours in because of a hefty dose of Benadryl. Chris ends up having a nice chat with our chemo chair neighbor, Robert, who is telling us his life’s story. He was a nice guy and I feel slightly guilty for passing out in the middle of it, hope he didn’t take it the wrong way. We pack up and head out of there. Last night was tougher than last time in regards to nausea and fatigue. I have anti nausea meds but was told not to take them until this morning (which I did at 6:30). I slept a total of 3 hours last night - woke up drenched in sweat after about 30 minutes which was lovely. The house was at 70 degrees. Felt nauseated and so exhausted. After that I checked on Cole (he had been crying earlier) and his bright little eyes were peeking over the crib bumper in the dark, so I held and squeezed him for a long time and gave him a bottle. I miss him - I feel like I barely get to see him anymore. He was more cuddly than usual (and he is usually VERY cuddly, we call him a colewalla bear). Chris comes out after waking up this morning and I am feverishly reading my anti nausea medication guide. I am completely freaked out about how many drugs are going to be in my system. Four chemo drugs..Rituxan..two other typical meds I always take..plus two anti nausea meds..and morphine. Today I am very scared because I have to go in to Moffitt for a third day in a row to get a neulasta shot. This shot is very similar to the neupogen shots I had recently, except I have heard that they have a higher incidence of causing pain than the neupogen. Lovely. Cried all morning over that one because I’m scared to death of re-living that pain, and scared to death of the solution (morphine). The morphine is a replacement for the last pain killer (oxycodone) which had given me some strange side effects. On top of that I am starting to lose my hair at a more rapid pace than usual. We are going to need to buy stock in drano, our shower has turned into a bath. Thank you everyone for the meals! They’re sooo appreciated. Even if I am unable to eat - knowing that Chris is taken care of means more than anything to me. The poor guy would be eating frozen pizza/bananas every night if it weren’t for all of our awesome friends and family. Right now I’m just apprehensively laying in bed waiting for Chris to pick me up to go get the shot. Pray for me…I haven’t been this afraid since starting treatment. Thank you! P.s. I will most likely be in hiding/out of commission for about 4 or 5 days - so please don’t be offended if I don’t answer calls/texts/messages. Love all of you though, SO MUCH.