I am not invincible- Hospital adventures
Rationally, I know I am not invincible, but when I read these other blogs and recommendations from other cancer patients about always being prepared to go to the hospital, I thought, that will never be me! I've made it this far and never had to do that. I think of it like when someone is close to their pregnancy due date and they have a bag all set to go to the hospital, well I have never done that. And I felt like it was bad luck to be prepared for something like that. Well, last night I had to hastily pack a hospital bag...and for a brief moment I thought how nice it would have been to just have it sitting there ready to go.
Yesterday I started out the day feeling my normal self. Andy and I checked off one of my stomach bucket list items the night before and I was feeling good after a four course meal with perfect wine pairings (I know, I am writing up that "stomach bucket list" blog post piece by piece and will post it soon). I was not feeling excited about starting my seventh cycle of Xeloda, but I sucked it up and drank my coffee, ate my granola bar and took the pills like a good cancer patient. I sat down and started editing/writing my master's project paper and within a couple hours I began feeling that all too familiar nauseated feeling. I thought it was weird since I have never felt nauseous from Xeloda, but I took one of the numerous anti-nausea pills I have stashed all around the house like a drug addict and started feeling slightly better. Andy came home early and I went to bed because I felt tired and achey. I woke up shortly thereafter with chills and figured I should probably take my temperature. It was over 100 degrees. About a half hour later it was even higher, so Andy called the oncology clinic and they said to go in if it reached 101. Well, it did, so I reluctantly packed a bag, put on my comfiest clothes, bundled up because I was shaking from the chills and we drove to the hospital.
Another benefit of having cancer, they bumped me to the front of the already short line at the emergency department because of my infection risk and current active treatment status. All I had to say was, I am being treated for breast cancer and boom, I was in. Within a short amount of time, I had many vials of blood drawn, an IV in pumping fluids, a chest xray, and a VERY uncomfortable nasal flu swab test. The doctor came in and said my neutrophil count had plummeted since it was tested yesterday at my regular 3 week oncology check up, and that indicated some sort of infection going on. She told me my chest xray was clear, my flu swab was negative, and my other blood counts were not too bad. I was checked over for rashes, wounds, asked a bunch of questions, with nothing pointing to a particular cause for infection. I was admitted to the hospital for "septic rule out." My blood is being cultured in a lab as I write this to see if I have a blood infection. I have been pumped full of antibiotics and fluids, and am still waiting on results. Today, the doctor said even though I am feeling better and my fever went down, I need to stay until they rule out sepsis. Once that happens, then I can go home. So, I have officially spent more time in the hospital than I ever have before, except for when I was working in one of course. I lucked out and got a big private room with a 10th floor view of the city. I also have a direct view of the helipad so I got to see a helicopter land today. I have been napping, watching TV, visiting with Andy, eating not very tasty hospital food, and walking the halls all day. I am ready to get the heck out of here! But, I will stay as long as they say it is necessary. I guess I am glad they are taking my health very seriously, but I still don't want to be here!
So, I thought I would update you all, and let you know it is not all sunshine and rainbows over here. I wouldn't want to paint a false picture about cancer being fun and stuff 😂 Happy Valentines Day All! Hope you spent it someplace more fun than Andy and I!