Thank you to everyone who prayed for us yesterday (Monday) and today! Not exactly the day we expected, but that seems to be par for the course now.
So, the “feeling really tired” I mentioned in the previous post? And the “resting and taking it easy”? Apparently there was too much of the one and not enough of the other going on, and yesterday around lunchtime I started feeling faint, shaky, and hot (which is when I stopped working on my blog post and went straight to flat on the sofa). I had felt it a little bit right after breakfast that morning, but it went away fairly quickly when I laid down. This time, though, it just stayed–strange feeling like you’re going to faint if you don’t get down, but you are already down! On top of that, my left arm felt achy and…well, not hard to see where I went with it, right? I’ve been told to watch for cardiac symptoms, as well as chemo side effects, oh and also general pregnancy stuff. Yeah.
I called my oncologist’s office and they wanted me to go in and get checked. So, back to the hospital I just came home from (further from home than where I will normally get treatments, but where the high-risk OB group is located), this time to the ER just for kicks. Monitoring, blood work (after a few anxious minutes of the PICC line not giving, the nurse finally got it going–good thing, I do NOT want to get that replaced anytime soon!), EKG, ultrasound on my legs to look for clots (risk factor with both pregnancy and cancer), and checking on baby. Everything came back clear, but I was admitted for overnight monitoring and IV hydration. Happily, they put me in maternity, not oncology or cardiology (always a toss-up as to who gets me!) and they have the best beds of the three floors. 😉
So I got really good sleep, really good hydration, and a very hearty breakfast (which I can now order without the printed menu in front of me). I hadn’t taken my iPad with me yesterday, so while it meant I couldn’t update here, it also meant I turned out the lights sooner. Which was good.
Overall it was good to go in–reassurance, extra rest–but it was still a difficult episode. It was a little scary just feeling that bad and knowing it COULD be something serious, knowing I had to make the call and let the chips fall because I couldn’t take a chance. Chris had to leave work unexpectedly and rearrange his whole week to make up for it. My mom got a call from me as she was coming back from taking the boys to lunch (which seemed like a good idea earlier that morning when I was feeling okay!) saying “Come home, I have to go to the hospital.” A friend got a call asking for a ride to the hospital since I didn’t know when Mom would get back. It’s just…hard…to have to put the people I love through all of this. Yes, not by choice, but it’s still because of me. They worry and rush into action and deal with the upheaval because they love me. I am very blessed, but I still had to cry a little when they first said to go in, and then when the ER doc said I would be staying overnight. The silver lining is that originally they said it could be for 2-3 nights, so getting out the next day was a plus!
We had some interesting encounters this time. One of the ER techs was a Hodgkin’s survivor, diagnosed at 18 years old and now older than I am. Then, the supervising doctor came in (after the resident had done his thing) mainly to check in with us. First thing he said: “You have a lot going on. How are you doing?” Hah! Hard to answer that other than “Well, we’re here!” And overwhelmed, and tired, and scared and discouraged by this unexpected turn. The next thing he said: “My wife had Hodgkin’s, diagnosed when I was in my residency. Of course, she wasn’t pregnant, so we only had a single-whammy instead of a double-whammy.” Wow! Hodgkin’s isn’t incredibly rare, but it felt like a little moment of blessing to have someone who understood–not just for me, but for Chris. When he said we have a lot going on, he KNEW. It was a gift to us that he shared his experience and offered some empathy in addition to the medical care I was getting.
Of course, then there was getting back to the maternity floor and having a nurse and OB say, “Hi, remember me from last week?” And I mostly did…I have never been good with names and faces, and there have been a few new ones this week! There was also the OB doing rounds this morning who came in to check on me and tell me I was officially released…I mean, discharged. He came in with three people following him, and the spiel was, “Hi, I’m Dr. (I forget) with maternal-fetal medicine. I haven’t met you before but I’ve heard a lot about you…you never want to be the patient everyone’s heard about, right?” LOL Very true, but that seems to be happening a lot lately. Like when I was getting transferred from oncology to maternity last week and there was a gathering around my room–“this woman could be having a baby!” is not the kind of excitement the oncology floor usually sees. Hah.
So now, I am home. I took a nap, ate a snack, drank water like crazy (and at 7 months pregnant THAT is an on-going process) and started resting as much as possible. Doing okay tonight.
Upcoming events: Tomorrow morning I have a “nadir visit” at the oncology office to go over everything a week post-treatment, so called because my immune system is at a low by this point. I also have PICC maintenance and blood work. And I still need that haircut! On Thursday we are back to the high-risk OB for a growth scan (4-week follow-up) and now-weekly non-stress test (baby and contraction monitoring). After that the next scheduled appointment is the weekly PICC check and blood work the following Wednesday, and then the next treatment next Thursday. Lather, rinse, repeat.