More Adventures in Cancerland

Well, the adventures continue. I had a sore spot on my calf for a few days and something about it just nagged at me. It wasn’t horribly painful, but I just KNEW that it was a blood clot or something else bad. By Sunday it started turning red and swelling, looked kind of like a bug bite. Hurt like a bruise, but no big deal. I checked in with my doctor friend Tara, who assured me it was reasonable to call my doc.

I felt ridiculous, but I called the onc who was on call at the hospital Sunday night and asked her if I should come in. She said I should, so I went to the ER which is a sad place to be on a Sunday evening. It’s all the people who don’t have insurance and work all week and need to come into the ER for things like toothaches, rashes, etc. Also plenty of homeless there just looking for a place out of the rain and maybe some food. Oh our system is so f*ed up.

So it turns out that I had a DVT in my leg. Most DVTs are no big deal, but about 3% of them can break off and travel to the brain, heart, or lungs. You sometimes hear about someone dying suddenly from a pulmonary embolism, that’s when one of these clots travels to the lungs and it’s a pretty quick killer. Living alone, I wouldn’t be able to get help fast enough. So, they have to treat. Their first plan was to admit me to the hospital for 5-7 days. Seriously? When I don’t even feel sick? But they got a hold of my regular onc and we agreed that since I am a “compliant” patient and already well-monitored at the SCCA every few weeks, they would let me go home with blood thinner self-injections. So now I give myself a shot in the stomach every night. Not at all a big deal, but it’s one more annoyance and one more thing to bother with. One more medication to manage, to bring along on trips, sharps container to deal with, etc. 

I had my 11th PET scan yesterday and will get the results tomorrow morning. Since there was more activity on my last scans and all we did was up the chemo a bit, I’m not expecting these scan results to be great. I can’t explain it, but the kind of fatigue I’ve been feeling lately reminds me a lot of the way I was feeling before I was diagnosed. Sure, it could be chemo fatigue, and maybe this is just the anxiety talking. The Xeloda has made me pretty sick the last few weeks, which then leaves me dehydrated and tired like when you’ve had the flu. Where do you cross the line between anxious insane thoughts and gut intuition? Well, I’ll find out soon enough tomorrow. I’m ready for a new plan and still hopeful that we can come up with a plan for me to feel as good as I can during the trip to Hawaii. Only a little over two weeks until paradise!!!

After I get my scan results I’ll meet with the anti-coagulant pharmacist to figure out how to manage the blood thinners. Sounds like this is a six-month process, at least. So now I’m up to about 16 pills a day plus one injection. Blech. Hawaii, can I go visit you tomorrow?

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