Sunday, April 8, 2012

The 3rd week in Chicago.

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Chemo mobilization starts today (Monday, April 2nd)! Bright and early, after not sleeping too well (excited to get started) I walked to the hospital and was admitted to my room by 8:00am! IV put in, blood taken out for labs, fluids started and mesna to protect the bladder and kidneys from the chemo started. Then my sister arrived! So nice to see a familiar face! Every one of the nurses and staff are wonderful but they can't take the place of family! Lasix started too, so up and into the bathroom quite often. Then, I got another pleasant surprise! My brother John and his wife Janet came in! They and my sister probably haven't seen each other for I guess about 8 years so that was a great visit! They went out to dinner together and brought me back dessert from The Cheesecake Factory! Yumm-o! 
                              My brother John & his lovely wife Janet
When I went to sleep, they come to check your vitals in the middle of the night, of course. My blood pressure was only 80/44; just a tad low wouldn't you say? So they increased my fluid intake and decreased the lasix. It came up okay through to the morning. Well, I happened to mention to Amy (another one of Dr. Burt's great nurses) that when I receive a lot of fluids, even with my IVIg infusions, I get a "heavy" feeling in my chest and upper back. Which I was feeling at this time because there was A LOT of fluids going in. She told Dr. Burt about this and guess what?! I have to have a chemically induced stress test. Sigh! We go back to the apartment for the night and I wake up at 2:00am to go to the bathroom. I am so dizzy I can hardly stay upright! I try sitting up for a while and thankfully Ruth Ann woke up to give me moral support. I finally did fall back to sleep and woke about 6:30am still dizzy. I called Amy and she told me to take a Zofran which is for nausea but it might help. By that time I had talked to Eddie too, and he posted on facebook for prayer for me. Finally, by about 10:30am my dizziness subsided. 
I had an appointment with the cardiologist at 12:45 where I just answered questions and they (he and a fellow) listened to my lungs and heart. They also looked at my previous EKG and Doppler scan, which looked just fine. However, I still had to have the stress test at 3:45pm. I couldn't eat anything for 5 hours before the test so Ruth Ann and I just hung out at the hospital (she had ice cream!) since there was no use going out to do anything. We like to people watch and chat and share about the Lord with folks, so we were well entertained. 
I got in about 4:00pm for the start of the test, another IV! Oh, joy! Lay down on the bed while some stuff is going in my veins to increase my heart rate, squeeze a rubber ball and move my legs as I can to raise my heart rate. Then another person is taking pictures of my heart while this is going on. I guess it wasn't going up fast enough, so the tech put in another medication to give me a boost which apparently really worked, because I went into tachycardia! She immediately stopped the test but the other tech was able to keep taking pictures while I was having this reaction; it lasted for over a minute!   Whew, glad that was over, it is the weirdest feeling and very uncomfortable. I got calmed down and my heart rate lowered but then got the shivers and they covered me with warm blankets; that felt better. It was now about 5:30pm and I was ready to get out of there and get some food!
Ruth Ann and I went to The Elephant and Castle for dinner and had the Shepard's Pie, tasted soooooo good. 

                                         Elephant and Castle Pub

Thursday lasted about 3 days, I think. It just went on and on...I had to go back to the hospital for labs again, but this time it was a fasting lab since they wanted to check my cholesterol and triglycerides. Ruth Ann and I were going to go do a little shopping at a thrift store we found on the internet that was nearby, but I got about 2 blocks away from the hospital and knew I just couldn't do it! So we turned and walked back to the hotel for a nap and then some lunch. Ruth Ann was having some blood pressure issues of her own for a little while and she was dizzy too (we like to do things together!). After lunch, we did walk to a GNC for some fish oil tablets for her and they seemed to help, thankfully! In the meantime, Paula called with my lab results; cholesterol and triglycerides were not as bad as I thought they might be! Dr. Burt looked at the results of the stress test but wanted to confer with the cardiologist before deciding what to say and the cardiologist needed to look at the results himself before talking to Dr. Burt. I didn't hear anything be end of day Thursday one way or another.  We had another nap after that walk and then some dinner. No wonder that day seemed so long...
                            My two bestest friends, Eddie & Ruth Ann

Friday came and went with no news from Dr. Burt's office, so we are going forward with the "no news is good news" motto! (With Paula's blessing.) Saturday I started the neupogen shots, which will increase my blood growth in the marrow for the harvest this coming Thursday. Also, two antibiotics started at this time. Ruth Ann leaves today and Eddie comes today! They got to be with me at the same time for about a half an hour. So this about catches us up-to-date again!


  1. Oh my! Sorry to hear about the dizziness and tachycardia! I hope things are going alright for you now. Thinking of you and continuing to pray for you!

    1. Thanks Mindy,
      Don't let this discourage you or your Dad! They are just so completely thorough, EVERYTHING gets checked!
      Wendy :)