Thursday, January 12, 2012


Month 5- August

For my third lovely trip to the blood suckers and chemo suite Joe was able to come with us and finally experience all the FUN first hand. It started off ok with the blood suckers, they took the blood from the top of my hand, which turns out to have my best vein! Then during the 3 hour wait for the mixture I finally got a chance to meet my friend Chelsea, whom I have talked about. Since she is from a different state this was the first time we had a chance to meet in person. She happened to be getting her scans done at a near by Sloan center, yeah not the most fun place to have our first "date" but as I tell my kids.. you get what you get and you don't get upset! And upset we were NOT, it was like we had known each other for years. We talked non-stop with her and her mom(because we both are lucky enough to have amazing Mommas who wouldn't even think of having us go to any of these appts. without them!). It was just so nice to finally be able to talk to someone face to face that can relate to exactly what I am going through and feeling. Plus we got to help distract her from the nasty scan juice that you need to drink before your scans. Even though we only had an hour to talk, it was by far the best hour I have had at Sloan EVER!

And thats were the fun ended.. after that we went back to the chemo suite for my treatment. Since the blood test was taken from my hand I was very happy to inform the nurse that I saved my arm vein all for her, however, she insisted on trying to put the IV in the side of my wrist. Well lets just say that didn't work out so great, as soon as she put in the needle I felt a pain like I have never experienced before(and I have been through ALOT of pain). I immediately started screaming on the top of my lungs "GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT," the entire chemo suite heard me but all the "not so bright" nurse said was its ok I have good blood return. It was so painful that I couldn't even talk to tell her what was happening so I tried to point at my hand. As soon as I started to point the assistant nurse came flying over and grabbed my hand down, thinking I was reaching to try and to put out the IV on my own. I was finally able to explain through tears of pain that my hand was pounding and blowing up(which no one could see because it was still wrapped from the blood test). OMG what a scene it was, nurses rushing in, Joe and my mom thinking I lost my mind, me screaming bloody murder! As it turns out she went through the same vein as the blood suckers did and hit a nerve.. I ended up having all the nurses in the chemo suite calling me "The Wolverine" and maybe permit nerve damage to my wrist and hand...ooh the FUN just never ends! 

Fourth Treatment
Three weeks later me and mom are back again for the fourth treatment round. After the drama last week AK(dr. assistant), told us to try and see if we can get an IV line put in before the blood test so that we can use the same vein for blood and treatment. What a great idea because there was no way anyone was going near my hand or wrist, which was still in severe pain from the last time. The nurse's said they would do it and this time I only had to give 4 vial's of blood, yes I asked them if there was so mistake, but they say thats what the order read and I was NOT arguing. I had actually been up all night with really bad stomach pains and diarrhea and was still having it that day so was unable to eat or drink the massive amount of water and gatorade I usually need to drink before a blood test. It was all going so smoothly, I was so happy! So when I went in to meet with Dr. Magical I was in a pretty good mood, and after a little chit chat I told It was that I only had to give 4 vials today and good thing because of the diarrhea I have been having.. AND at the word "diarrhea" she was like what Diarrhea!! And then at that second the research nurse walked in and Dr. Magical was like oh you just came in for the good part she was just telling us about her diarrhea. I thought ok haha funny, but then the research nurse was like, Diarrhea!!! And im just sitting there like what is so friggin exciting about my Diarrhea, then it clicked, Diarrhea was the main side effect of the wonder drug....which meant I was probably getting the GOOD STUFF, and not the placebo!!! However, it also meant I was unable to get my 4th and last intensive treatment because it would make me really sick and it could cause colon disease. It was very bitter sweet, happy that there was a good chance I was getting the drugs, but not good because I didn't want to miss a round of treatment of something that may help me live longer. I didn't have a say in it either way so after taking my wonderfully placed IV line I was sent on my way..though not without A LOT of meds..ugh! AND I was put on a BLAND and I mean BLAND diet of only bread, dry pasta, bananas, plain chicken, and plain potatoes for 3weeks, along with two types of steriods and about three other stomach medicines. They said without all that the diarrhea would continue and get worse and worse. Yup another delightful trip!!

A week later, I'm back for my scheduled organ scans, the first one since I began the treatment. AND I was so frigging nervous, not only was I getting my scans done, I was meeting with my head Oncologist a few hours after to get a physical and the scan results. Usually you don't get your results that same day, and you would think it would be better not to have to wait overnight or a few days for the results but I tell you those few hours waiting were HORRIBLE. Just knowing that the Dr. would be looking you in the eyes in just a couple of hours and tell you your faith is just completely nerve-racking. All I could think about was how he would do it, would he come in and examine me first and then put out the 'terrible news file' like my last Dr. did. Would I be able to hear it in his voice or read it on his face, would he look at me with pity, etc., etc. 
Ok I getting ahead of myself let me first explain what happens during a scan: you can't eat or drink anything for a few hours before the scan and then you have an hour to drink this large delightful "cocktail" that tastes awful, then you need an IV line put in for the contrast dye, and lastly you get to lay still in a tube and feel like you peed yourself when the dye flows through your veins. So this experience to begin with is not so pleasant. After all that fun stuff we waited extremely impatiently, I might add, for the results. And they ended up taking much longer than expected, so of course I immediately thought it meant bad news. When they finally called us in I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint(it didn't help that I had nothing to eat all day because of the scan drink and my stupid bland diet). After what felt like HOURS sitting on the table, though probably only five minutes, Dr. Magical(my most favorite Dr) walked through the door  and immediately gave a THUMBS UP! Honestly what at a great way to give results, I didn't even have time to read her voice or her face or stare at that file wondering what was in it..We were so happy and relieved that we all started hugging and crying!! But of course I cannot have a trip to Sloan without some sort of drama, so then she says well the wonderful news is there is no sign of Melanoma and, of course there's a AND, the small tiny not so good news is that the scans showed a possible blood clot in my groin area. Huh? A blood clot seriously? Well good thing she and Dr. Wonder thought the same thing, that it was very weird and extremely unlikely that I could have a blood clot there because I am young and very active. That they think it is just a mistake on the scan..pheww, However, she said since we are not completely sure you need to stay and have a full MRI with dye contrast done, and the earliest we could get you in is 6pm, mind you it is only 3:30pm and we have already been there since 8am! So back to the waiting room we go with still no food because now I couldn't eat anything again for the new scan. There was also another huge problem.. where in the heck were they going to put this new IV line, hand and wrist still a big no, I had to take blood that morning through my arm and had the first IV in another vein in the arm. So they decided to call in the head chemo nurse to do the IV instead of one of the scan nurses. Ok Im thinking well she my best option lets do this, of course she could not get the IV in and after MANY tries she ended up putting a smaller butterfly or something line in, now off for the scan I go. But when I get there the technician tells me that there is no way that they can get the dye into that IV and I need a bigger one.. umm what.. they just got the best nurse to put this in and there is ABSOLUTELY no veins left! After him yelling a bunch they decide that they are going to hand pump the dye in, I still don't even know what that meant, I was so out of it and drained at this point.. I go in for the MRI and it was looongest scan I have ever had, it look almost two hours. And if any of you know about MRI's they are terrible because of the pounding noises and the constant.. deep breathe.. hold it..breath..crap you have to do over and over and over. I really thought I was going to pass out laying down. Finally the scan is over and NOW, duh why didn't I think of this, we have to wait for the results before they would let me leave. It's about 8:00pm at this point and pretty much EVERYONE at Sloan is gone, just me, mom my and my amazing team of Dr.'s. Picture me and mom just sitting with these Dr.'s eating crackers just waiting and waiting. FINALLY at around 10:00pm the scan comes back... yet this time is shows I have two blood clots one in both sides of my groin. Ok pretty much IMPOSSIBLE.. So Dr. Wonder says I can go and he will have to scan re-read tomorrow just to give me the definite ok, but he is about 99percent sure I am fine. And tired as tired could be but HAPPY as ANYTHING that there was NO SIGN OF MELANOMA, mom and I get on the subway and head HOME!!

Never a dull moment in my journey.. love you all!!   

1 comment:

  1. Yaaaaaaaay for diarrhea! Yaaaaaaaay for docs with thumbs up! Is having a mediport implanted an option? Glad you finally met a friend, even if it were only for one hour. Groin blood clots! Oh no!