6/30/15 – My chemotherapy days for cycle 3 (June 17-19) seemed to move well. We had a planned follow-up on June 30th but this ended up being too long a span of time to wait to check my counts. The good news is that I have not run a fever but I started to feel weak and tired around June 25. By the time June 27th came around I was also very light headed. On June 28th I could hardly stand up. My wife took my blood pressure and it was 67/45. This definitely explained my lightheadedness. We decided to call the Cancer Center and was told to get into the ER. It was very likely that I needed blood and platelets. Going to the ER at Hackensack University Medical Center always stresses me out a little. It’s not because you get bad treatment there… because you do. They even have a separate Oncology ER and they have private rooms…… it is because the hospital usually does not have hospital rooms available in the oncology section and you end up being in the ER for many hours and sometimes days. This ended up ne the case with me. I never made it to a hospital room. All my treatment this go around would be in the ER.
My treatment in the ER began with checking my counts and confirming that I was running a very low blood pressure. My counts were very low across the board. As luck would have it, my favorite infectious disease doctor was in the ER (Dr. Sebti) and he stopped in to see me and reviewed my counts. He and my oncology team collaborated on a plan which was to give me bags of platelets, 2 bags of blood and precautionary antibiotics due to my 0.6 white blood cell count.
Over the course of Sunday, June 28th and into the early hours on Monday, the 29th I received all the prescribed treatments. When my counts were rechecked they were all back at safe levels. My WBC was now 1.6. I was released later in the day on Monday because the ER was able to give all the treatment I needed. Also, my blood pressure recovered a little. I was running about 95/55. I typically run low. As my counts raise over the next week the thought is that my blood pressure will go to normal levels. I have a follow-up scheduled at the Cancer Center on Thursday, July 2nd.
So… this whole hospital visit could have been avoided if my follow-up appointment was scheduled earlier. I am going to have to pay closer attention to this. I am pretty sure a follow-up should happen no later than the 10th day of the cycle.
I am feeling much better today and looking forward to a great month of July.
Here is a link to a great new song by Third Day. It is called “Soul on Fire”. I sure hope I can carry the words and energy of this song into July and to my daughter’s wedding.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
More to come…