Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Treating the Symptoms

Yesterday (Tuesday) was exhausting (for both of us.) A nurse at the infusion clinic called at 8:30am and told Dave to come down right away for some blood. We were both up, dressed, done with breakfast, and waiting for the call. But due to transportation problems, we didn't get there until 10:30am. Which means, the blood didn't actually get started until nearly noon. Which means, it didn't finish until almost 3pm. Which means, we got home about 4pm (later for me, since I had some errands to finish.)

Dave was so weak, he was barely upright. When the infusion nurse saw him, she said, "Hmm, you do look a bit pasty - do you need to lay down?" Luckily, he was able to spend most of the day in a soft chair with his head back and his feet elevated, dozing off & on. After he got settled at the infusion clinic, I took off to look for soft bland foods that would not hurt his mouth or stomach but would provide him with some electrolytes and protein. Plus it had to be low fat, and vegan. And I had to find some pain meds and other odds & ends, from several different sources. It was a challenge, but I think we're stocked up pretty well, now.

Dave is finally reaching the threshold of his needle-stick tolerance. He's been stuck 15 to 18 times per month for the last 6 months and at least 3 of those times each month he gets IV chemo through that vein. He's had more hematomas on his arms than we can count, and the pain is getting worse. He's starting to have nightmares about needlesticks.

He's spending today in bed. He's still weak, lethargic, and got a killer headache. He actually looks feverish, but he doesn't have a fever. He might have a sinus infection. He might be having a mild blood reaction. It's hard to tell what's going on - with a trashed immune system, the usual signs don't apply. So for now, we're just treating the symptoms.

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