Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

March 16 - 17, 2009

This round of chemo was better than the last. I received my treatment on Thursday and went to work on Friday. On Saturday about 2pm it hit me. My body and bones just ached Saturday evening and all day Sunday. Monday I had to wake up early and then went to work. No matter how much I tried to push through the day, I couldn't make it. I called Chris about 2:30 to come pick me up. My stomach hurt, my breathing seemed labored and I was getting dizzy.

Tuesday, I called in to work from home. I called the nurses at my Dr. office because it just seemed like my heart was beating was really hard. I felt as though I had to consciously breathe to get in enough oxygen. They told me that I was probably dehydrated. Which makes sense since I was having digestive issues too. Okay, so I drank more... a lot more. By 8pm that night, my breathing hadn't gotten any better. I asked Chris to listen to my heart and listen to my pulse. He did and said that my heartbeat was irregular. It would beat too fast and then skip a beat. He told me to call the Dr. K's office and tell her. I did, she told me that the chemo drugs I was on could cause blood clots and arrhythmia, then she told me the last thing I wanted to hear... I needed to go to the emergency room.

Chris' parents drove up and stayed with the kids while we went to the E.R. I cried the entire time in the car. Between my sobs, I kept apologizing to Chris for having to go. Of course he told me don't be silly, but as it was getting harder to breathe, I just kept thinking, "I'm going to die from this. Maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow, but in the end... I'm going to die from this."

As soon as we walked in, I was swept back to triage and they set me up with an EKG and I thought, this is going to be quick. Well, I guess once they figured out that I wasn't having a stroke they could drop me in the waiting room and left me there until 1:30am. When I was finally brought back to the E.R. I was exhausted (hadn't anyone ever told the ER docs that you cannot keep a chemo patient up that long)? The doctor came in and said that she wanted to order some tests to rule out blood clots, not long after she left the nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitors and got my IV (on the first shot no less). After finally taking my pulse (nobody had until then) said that I had a "skip in my giddy-up". I think Chris felt vindicated! I DID have an irregular heartbeat.

I was in the ER until 4:45am when they decided to keep me for a 24 hour observation. In the mean time, I had x-rays, lung tests, and blood tests. I think they wanted to let me go, but Dr. K said that they needed to keep me because of the chance of arrhythmia due to the chemo drugs. At 5:45am I was finally moved into my room in the IMCU (Immediate Care Unit). I was so tired, poor Chris still had to drive home. Once settled he left me to go home and try to get some sleep. I fell asleep and between 5:45 and 8am, I was woke up 4 times for blood pressure and blood work. By 8am I just decided to stay up, oh my gosh it was SO FRUSTRATING!!!

I was taken for a chest CT and that was the weirdest test! The tech explained that they were going to have to push the contrast very fast and could hurt (it did). But instead of being cold like the other contrasts I have had, it was warm/hot. The tech told me that it would warm me all over and I would feel like I would pee my pants. WHAT?? Don't worry, he told me, nobody has... Yet. Oh that makes me feel better. And oh my goodness, it does make you feel like you are going to pee all over the place, it only lasted for a few minutes, but talk about uncomfortable!!

I also had an heart echo done. That wasn't as uncomfortable, but my heart was so erratic while they were doing the test. Even my nurse came in to see what I was doing because my heart rate was so high. My blood pressure would go from 150 to really low at 90. Finally about noon, my pressure finally leveled out to my normal 110.

Chris' parents came to visit me at about noon, and Chris came around 1pm. The attending physician came into see me and pretty told me that I either have diabetes or anxiety. Uh... Okay, well I don't have diabetes, so anxiety?? That was just crap. He returned only a few minutes after leaving and said that there were some abnormal spikes in my heartbeats and requested a cardiologist to come see me. The cardiologist came in, maybe stayed a whole 5 minutes (please note that my words are dripping with sarcasm). He was there long enough to basically say that there is nothing wrong with me (of course other than the cancer). He said that people get heart palpitations all the time, yes they can even last for a few days.

I really think that because I am so young (I was the youngest one in the IMCU, every other person was over 76 years old) nobody took me seriously. It really pissed me off. They still wanted me to stay overnight again, so after Chris and I talked about it, he went out to the nurses station and told them that there was no reason for us to stay here. He told them to get my discharge papers ready because he IS taking his wife home. Sabrina (my nurse) was awesome and got all my paper work ready for my release.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with Dr. K. After reviewing all of my tests (and there were a lot), she said that some people react to chemo with heavy heart palpitations. Guess that would be me, crap!!

Chris took a few pics of my while I was in the my hospital room. I didn't look at the pics until I got home and it was so hard. I just cried, how do you go from this...
To that... in just three months?
It is just not fair.


  1. You are right Laurie Jo, it is just not fair! Pisses me off. Still think that if anyone is running this show they should have those of us who are just filling up time on this planet, are satisfied with our lives and are willing to take these things on for our young ones, so there God! You would probably shoot me if you were close, but like Chris and the kids you are still as beautiful as ever to me. And I just still might shave my head in support. Don't be surprised if you get a picture pretty soon of your Aunt Judy totally bald.

    Only Love Hon

  2. I see hot and sexy with hair on the left and hot and sexy without hair on the right.
    I do not have your fantastic head shape so I will NOT be shaving my head, but I am jealous that you look good either way. Chin up baby. Think about the dark curly romance novel cover locks that are going to be growing in soon....
    big hugs -