Saturday, March 19, 2011

I got to see Demetri today!...and then the inside of the ER

My mom and I ran some errands this morning before a friend I have known since I was 5 was coming up to visit.  It was a little chilly this morning so I put my blue jeans on, but they are soooooo tight.  How could I have put that much weight on?  I am hardly eating anything.

Demetri's mom and my mom worked together at the elementary school we attended.  We became friends quickly, and even though we lost contact with each other after middle school we finally reconnected.  He brought his son Jackson, a.k.a. Deuce, to visit as well.  Demetri, thank you for understanding that I am so devoid of energy and it was hard for me to stay awake.  Your visit really lifted my spirits.  I hope you don't mind me borrowing your picture from your Facebook page.  The one I took of the both of you didn't come out well.

About an hour after Demetri left, I discovered that my legs were extremely swollen.  I called the on call line with my oncologist office.  The doctor asked me if I have had trouble breathing as well.  I never really paid attention, but I have been pretty winded when I walk even short distances.  They told me to go straight to the ER.
 When I got there, the nurse gave me a mask immediately and took me to the back because of me being exposed to everyone who is sick while my white blood count is low.  Duh, Dana!

I had an EKG, CT scan, ultrasound, and chest x-rays done.  Everything came out ok with the tests, with the exception of me having my lungs full of fluid.  Oh, so that's why I haven't been able to breathe well when doing anything other than lying in bed.  They think it is from all of the iv fluids and antibiotics.  All I needed was a shot of Lasix.  They made sure I knew where the bathroom was because I would be getting rid of the fluid through my kidneys.  Translation....LOTS of trips to the bathroom.  The nurse wasn't kidding.  I barely made it to the restroom.  After about 6 trips, I started to feel a bit better.  I knew I had to be in the outpatient area of the same hospital in about 5 hours for the iv fluid and antibiotic (ha!  that's what sent me to the e.r.), so I asked if I could just stay there and then walk over to the outpatient area.    They said that was fine, so I watched a little television and then fell asleep.

And the fun continues......I begged the nurse at the ER to leave the i.v. in so I wouldn't have to be stuck again.  We can't use my left arm anymore due to danger of blood clots after my lymph node biopsy.  My doctors used my port a lot, but I don't have it anymore, remember?

So the veins in my right arm are pretty much shot.  When I woke up my upper right arm (where the i.v. was) was hurting badly.  Looks like it blew the vein...the third one since I had been there tonight.  So I do have to be stuck again.  The nurses in the outpatient area had to use ultrasound to find a vein

My arm bruised pretty badly from the first two veins that blew.

Using ultrasound to find one good vein.  They had to look for a deep one.
It was very painful after they found one.

I treated myself to a little breakfast while getting my infusions.
I haven't had a cinnamon roll and bacon in MONTHS!
Fighting cancer is soooooo hard, but no one said it would be easy.  I'm just so glad I have the Lord on my side.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The pathology from my port removal has come back.  The culprit?  MRSA.  YIKES!  If you don't know what it is, it is the worse staph infection you can get.  It is vicious.  From what they can tell, it stayed in the area where the port is.  Whew!

I am on daily IV fluid and vancomycin antibiotics.  The oncologist's office will be where you will find me 5 days a week, and the hospital on the weekend.  Yeah?!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from some of the staff at my oncologist's office.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Encouraging words

Cameron, you have always been a great friend.  Thank you for your encouraging words.  I have wanted to be inspiring to someone through this journey.  Thank you for letting me know my fight is not in vain.. 

Follow-up with doc, ultrasound, and CLEAN HOUSE!

 I have a follow-up appointment to have my neck and chest checked.
Here is a pic of the incision where they took my port out.

 Dr. Volas-Redd wants to have an ultra-sound of my neck to make sure I don't have a blood clot.  My dear friend, Jessie, is giving me one of the best gifts EVER.  She is cleaning the house.  Jessie is Type A like me.  So having a clean and tidy house is a blessing.  Thank you so much!

My ultrasound is scheduled for 3:00 today.  Jeremiah needed to go to the office but didn't want me driving.  He stayed with me at the out patient facility until they took me back.  Our friend Jimmy drives by the facility on his way home, so he will stop and pick me up in Juanita.  Believe it or not, the ultrasound really hurt.  There is a lot of inflammation in my neck and she had to push on it to get the images they needed.

When I got home, Jessie had left me two little gerber daisies and a little something else on top of the television.  Sorry I can't post a picture of her 2nd gift.  Just know I laughed so hard when I saw it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Port from ****

Remember how I said I didn't feel good but couldn't put my finger on it?  Well, we discovered what it was.  Around 7:00 Sunday evening I was in our driveway when our neighbors stopped to check on me.  They could tell I was not feeling well.  I wasn't able to stand up straight, walking very slow, and my neck was very sore where the catheter "was".  I was down in the dumps and had said some pretty awful things shortly after out of frustration.

Around midnight on Sunday, I woke up with my neck on fire.  It hurt worse than when I woke up in the ER after having the port and catheter put in.  I was in tears and went to the bathroom to look at it in the mirror.  I had the reddest line from my port up my neck tracing the path of the catheter.  All I could do was sob.  Jeremiah wanted to take me to the ER, but I wouldn't let him.  I knew I had my standing appointment with the oncologist the next day (Monday) for my iv fluids.  I decided to just show up there when they first opened.

At 8:30 am on Monday morning, I walked into their office in tears.  I told whoever was at the front desk that I was in so much pain, and could I please see one of the doctors.  Patty, one of the nurses, immediately knew something bad was happening with my port.  She took me to a room and had the doctor who was in the office come in and check my neck.  They knew I had a bad infection, but what kind...they didn't know.

I was sent to the infusion room and hooked up to an iv bag of vancomycin while they called Dr. Johnson (my breast surgeon who put my port in).  They needed to get the port out pronto.  Luckily, Dr. Johnson was at the local Northside Hospital near our house, and they scheduled me for surgery at 2:00 pm to remove it.

I can no longer have my blood pressure or blood drawn from my left arm
I woke up to this wonderful man
Jessie sent me a text while in recovery to see if I'm o.k..  I posed for my reply.  :)
 I was kept in the hospital over night for more iv antibiotics and to be monitored.

Breakfast of champions
Miah still has to work
My mom the morning after surgery
Beautiful flowers from a sweet friend

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What a beautiful day...

I am having a difficult day emotionally and physically.  Something just doesn't feel right with my body, but I can't put my finger on it.  I am going to focus on the little things that bring joy into my life.

 Gerber Daisies

 Lying in the hammock with Miah and the girls

Looking at the clouds above us that the Lord has created