Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nothing Normal 'Bout Me

I often wonder if my body will ever get used to chemo.  I suspect the answer is, "no," and to the contrary, it keeps getting worse.  The day before we left for Hawaii, I had chemo (as originally scheduled).  About an hour into my infusion, I noticed that my vision became severely impaired.  I alerted my nurse, Meg, about what was happening.  To try to figure out a possible cause, she ran another blood test.  Turns out that once again, my red blood cell count had plummeted and the test results showed that I was "critically low."  My case manager/patient advocate, Bridget,  who knew I was leaving for Hawaii, promptly scheduled me for an emergency blood transfusion. 

I was admitted to the hospital immediately after chemo.  I insisted to the hospital staff that I had a plane to catch the following morning so they needed to get me outta there.  I laid there in my bed for about 8 hours, tethered to an IV while waiting for two units of blood to drain into me.  The upside was that I got to order whatever I wanted for dinner.  I had trouble deciding on chocolate pudding or strawberry shortcake for dessert, so I didn't get either.  I don't remember what I ate for the main course. Too bad, because it was the highlight of my day.

They finally let me go at midnight.  I went home and slept for a couple of hours, got up at 4am and arrived at the airport around 7am.  Thereafter, we spent a grueling12 hours in the air.  There was also a 6 hour time difference, so by 8pm Hawaii time, it felt like 2am hit-by-a-truck body time.  I was exhausted and didn't care if I was in paradise.  I rationalized that with an emergency trip to the hospital less than 24 hours prior and barely any sleep since then, I had a valid excuse for my lacklustre enthusiasm.  I went to bed sensing that that was NOT how normal people start their vacations.

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