Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Day - Another Heprin Injection

I hate heprin injections. Heprin is to prevent blood clots for people spending a lot of time in bed. I'm pretty mobile in that I get up a lot to go to the bathroom, I get up to do things like adjust the blinds, plug in my intravenous machine when the battery is low, and so forth so I tried to get out my heprin injection today. But no, they came back and said that some of the drugs I'm on can cause little blood clots so I need it anyway so another heprin shot it was. I hate them. Darrel was here to see me through this one and, in fact, he suggested I ice it afterwards, which was BRILLIANT! Darrel got me some ice and I think it made a great difference. Thanks, Darrel. If you've ever had a Heprin shot, you're probably thinking, "what's the big deal?", and I understand why you would feel that way but for some reason I dread them.

Well, that was the worst thing of my morning and it's done. Done. Done.

Darrel visited before he left the city to get home and see how things are after the wonderful rain he got. I hope his crops are looking happy and green!

Eileen stopped by briefly, too, which was wonderful. She told me her Mom went through this exact thing. I'm sorry her Mom went through it, too, but it is a comfort to know that others experience this.

My oncologist was by and he said that my white blood cells are up a little more. Still 1.?. He couldn't remember what exactly. He was even more happy about my neutrofils (forgive me if I've spelled it wrong - these are new terms for me). My neutrofils were almost at zero when I came in and now they're at .44. He thought that was good. I need to do a little research to better understand what the terms and numbers mean. More good news is that the blister/boil on my arm is looking much better. The infection is much diminished. YEAH! If it's what's causing the fevers, those should diminish now, too, I would expect. I was told that I can expect to be here for a couple of more days at least. That means 2 more Heprin injections. Steel yourself, Heather. Steel yourself.

My night was a little restless. Headaches and fever. My fever wasn't as high as other nights, though, so progress is being made. It only got to 37.4 (36.6 being my normal) before we knocked it down with some tylenol. I didn't actually sleep much until about 3:00 a.m. but I was able to sleep after that until 8:00 with few minor interruptions.

I opted for a bath today instead of a shower. I couldn't deal with that mess of wet hair all over the place again. It falls out steadily enough dry. It's pretty thin right now. I got cleaned up and went for a little walk around the ward with my companion, the intravenous pole (it should have a hat when it accompanies me). I can't say we got a lot of exercise but we moved. And now I'm sitting in a chair instead of a bed. Those are all good signs of improved well-being, I think.

One other side effect I'm starting to notice is hardened, brittle nails, with increasing vertical ridges.

It looks like a beautiful day out there. I'm enjoying the view from my room.


  1. A good cry is probably the best medicine for you right now, glad you had one. We know in the long run things will work out but you do need to greive for some of these losses you are having before you can emerge as the new you! I hope the cry was cathartic...better than telling some random person to F Off or over reacting to a normal situation. You are allowed to be sad, angry, grateful and any other emotions that bring you to tears any time you want. The one thing cancer will do is give you license to behave anyway you damn well please and no one but your bestest of friends and family will call you on it. Or they'll just think your a bit wingy. And don't forget theres always the cancer card, don't hesitate to use it when necessary, it takes awhile for the family to catch on and defy your many whims for quite awhile....suckers!! (just kidding) But really, try it it works! Either way hang in there. Did you ask your Doc about neupogen(sp). I'll send you some info if I find it. Also, its neutrophils not neutrofils. A librarian that can't spell who would have thunk it. Maybe that boil thingy was a bug bite? If it was shingles you would have heard by now. Doesn't your scalp feel weird? As much as I hated loosing the hair it felt better on the scalp once it was gone. Did you ever get a wig? Or are you trying Au natural for the summer? Take care. Your kindred cancer sister Anne

  2. Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your first-hand knowledge ... and for telling me how to spell neutrophils. I've never seen the word written so was guessing. Plus, I'm finding that during the last few days I've lost some of my basic spelling skills. If you find some of my writing a little odd, it's because I'm switching out all kinds of words I've forgotten how to spell for words I know. Even then, I still throw in some doozies, I've noticed.

    My little cry the other day was just enough. All I needed for the time being. So far I've been lucky in that I haven't felt any need to pull "the cancer card" and I hope I never do. I have a pretty level temperament for the most part though this experience is putting that to the test. I'm rarely bitchy (at least I don't think so ... tee hee). I'm more likely to get whiny and wimpy such as today when I had to have that Heprin (or whatever that is - see? I'm already forgetting) injection. My brother was here to witness me in fine form for that one this morning but he knows me well enough and he got me through it like a big brother can.

    The bug bite idea has been pondered but I don't think so. I have about 5 little blisters like that in various places on my body but only the one on my arm became infected. Strange things come with chemo, don't they?

    My scalp feels just fine for the moment but there have been times when parts of it have felt very sore. In fact, one night for about an hour a place at the back of my head felt as though someone had buried a hatchet in it. I fully expected to wake up with that section of hair stuck on my pillow but it didn't happen that way. When I have scalp pain, that's usually the only place I really get it ... right around the crown and the pain comes and goes. When it's painful, I can't sleep on my back because it hurts to have even the pressure of the pillow on it.

    I have a couple of wigs picked out but our family was hoping to make an event out of the wig selection together. There are now a few kinks in that plan so we'll see what happens. I'll want a wig, I think. And hats. I'll have to go to that hat store on Broadway and look for some nice summer hats. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF BEING OUT IN THE WORLD BALD!! We'll see what I say about that after wigdom becomes a reality.

    I did ask one of the oncologists about Neupogen as well as Aranesp and Neulasta but that was a few days ago and I had a hard time understanding his English when he was responding but my sense from him was that they would wait before considering those things because of the way they interact with the other drugs and because of effects on other organs, etc. I intend to ask my own oncologist about it again later. Thanks for reminding me, though.

    It's so helpful for me, Anne, to have you coaching me! Even though everyone's experiences are slightly different, your knowledge and experience is so helpful to me. Thanks for that.


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