Chemo Day 1...and the Hits Just Keep On Coming...
Remember Dr. Cantreadachart? The "infectious diseases" specialist I had to wait 12 hours for him to not be helpful?
The antibiotics he prescribed were some pretty hard core antibiotics. My body no likey. After about 4 days, I woke up with a rash all over my body. AND IT WAS VERY ITCHY. Here's your TMI for the day: itchy nipples are the worst. Arms were bad, neck, under my knees (knee pits?) sucked, but nothing on the nips. They itched the worst because nothing I could wear avoided rubbing the girls, and the skin is so delicate, you just can't scratch. You'll make them bleed or something bad. I don't know but it was a special form of torture.
I tried Benadryl. I tried a Benadryl gel, an epsom salt bath with colloidal oatmeal, I tried Allegra, and a hydrocortisone cream. No dice. I think it made the rash angrier. Finally, when I went to chemo yesterday, the angels gave me steroids with my saline and chemo drugs...AND IT STARTED TO CLEAR UP!!
Now, it also started to come back, but they called in a prescription for more steroids. The steroids seem to be calming the beast. I have a couple more days of doses, so we'll see if it stays away.
Oh, and I stopped taking the unnecessary antibiotics as soon as the rash popped up. No fever. The chemo nurse asked what they were treating me for. I told her the names of the antibiotics and the story about my hospital hostage crisis. She rolled her eyes, and when she retold the story to another nurse later, she sounded more annoyed than I did. Sometimes vindication is nice, albeit a bit itchy.
I opted to spare you guys pictures of my rash. You're welcome. Here is a picture of my chemo bags. I think that might have been the steroids and fluids. Not 100% sure in that.
Chemo update: First round went fine. The anti-nausea drug did its job and aside from the room being cold, things went pretty well...once we found a vein to stick me with. Turns out 3 blood transfusions and a stupid amount of blood work will basically destroy your veins. And since I don't have enough blood at any given time, the veins a lot of people can see in the forearm are completely invisible on me. I have no veins.
That leads us to two things. First, definitely getting a port. I was going to try without it, but that last transfusion did me in. I'm not going to make it 5 treatments plus blood draws with these poor elbow crook veins.
A port is basically a small plastic disc that is installed in your upper chest. They feed it into your main blood vessels, so it's an effective delivery system for the chemo, it can be used to draw blood as well, and no more jabbing my arms. I will have a stupid lump that will be tricky to hide, and I'll have to have it cleaned even when I'm done with treatment. They usually leave it in for around a year after you get the "cancer free" news, just to be safe. The words we all hope for: "cancer free." Even with a good prognosis, it's not a guarantee. I have to remind myself of that.
Anyway, the other news is I was totally right and vindicated again. While my dumbass doctors were looking for imaginary infections and worrying about my fever and heart rate, they completely ignored the blood loss I told them about. WHICH WAS MY WHOLE REASON FOR BEING THERE. So, I get transfusion #4 on Saturday. I'm at 8.1 out of the 12+ goal, but they want me to have enough to get through treatment. 8.1 ain't gonna cut it. Luckily, this will be 2 units outpatient, which means 5 hours and I can GTFO as long as my vitals are as good as when I got there.