Friday, April 8, 2016

It's all uphill from here. Hopefully.

We had that gut feeling again.  
This week was our visit with our old pal Taxotere.  To be honest, I don't think that Denise had really even fully recovered yet from her last Taxotere treatment a couple of weeks ago.  But we went ahead and had the treatment as scheduled and like I stated in the last post, Doctor M said that 5 treatment cycles is what he really wanted.  So all week I worked from home because she was really dragging badly and needed someone to keep an eye on her.  No energy what so ever, dizzy, lightheaded, heart racing like she ran up three flights of stairs and all she did was walk across the room. Basically a mess.  As our history has gone with post-Taxotere weeks, Thursdays are the days when things start to happen.  This week was no different.  I was working in the office and Denise had me put the pup in the kennel so should could go take a nap.  She wasn't asleep too long when she got up and said that she could feel the afib coming on.  As her cardiologist Doctor G had said last time this had occurred, she needed to take her "pill in the pocket" Rythmol.  Two when it first occurs and then two more an hour later.  We took the first two and waited.  Her heart was still acting like Napoleon Dynamite dancing at the talent show. The next hour, the other two. Things started to calm down a bit so we thought that might be that.  So she had a sandwich for dinner.  Then it started up again.  It was time to head down to the hospital again.  By the time we got there however, the heart had gotten itself back into regular rhythm.  The ER staff wanted to play it safe because anytime she got up to move, she was getting super dizzy and very light-headed.  They also drew a bunch of blood and took a urine sample with his history of UTI's that occur these weeks.  After a while they came back with the results.  Major UTI forming and her white blood cell count was really high.  The afib might have been a blessing in disguise actually because she was having none of the normal symptoms that were the "tells" that the infection was coming on.  They started her up with an antibiotic drip and admitted her.  We were both relieved with that.  Last time they sent us home and we didn't want another innocent of having to come back in an ambulance a couple of hours later.  It was after 11 PM at this point and she was settled into her room for the night so I headed home.  
On Friday morning she sent me a text
Her morning blood tests had shown that her hemoglobin level had dropped pretty low.  With her constant fatigue, the afib and the UTI, they felt it was time to do a blood transfusion.   So this afternoon they brought in a bag of packed red blood cells to help to her levels up.
I checked in with the oncology team up at the Clinic and they were cool with the procedure.  It's not uncommon for chemo patients to have to do it.  Only took about two hours for the bag to be drained. Hopefully this will help get her numbers moving in the right direction, but we won't know until tomorrow after her morning blood draw.  
So where does that leave us?  For now, she's where she needs to be.  In the hospital under observation.  If something else goes wonky, she can get someone to help her out and they can address it right then and there.  I'm planning on getting up tomorrow morning and heading down to stay with her.  She at least has a really nice room this time.  Used to be the hospice room but since a local hospice house had opened they never use it anymore except for patients.  It's like a hotel suite in there, except it's in a hospital.
The real silver lining tonight was Molly's friends Noah, Justin, Caitlin and Austin.  They made us a huge rigatoni, garlic bread, salad and cookie feast and brought it down to us.  Those kids are awesome.  Well, they are band kids after all, so, that alone makes them awesome.
I'm hoping that now that the Taxotere is in the rear view mirror, she can start the healing process.  We still have the option of doing just the Gemcitabine treatments, but right now that's not looking too enticing.  Hopefully this is the last of the bumps in the road.  Hopefully the rest of our journey will be all uphill from here.

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