Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Everything is Normal

Given the situation, "everything is normal" is not a phrase that seems to apply. However, that is how I have felt. Going to the hospital every three weeks or so and staying for 6-9 days is normal. Flushing my permanent IV every night with blood thinner to prevent clots is normal. Being stuck in the house, unable to drive for up to a week at a time is normal. Re-acquainting myself with my family when I get home from a treatment is normal. Forcing myself to eat and a few days later eating all day is normal. In short, I live a normal life.

Jen and I are getting to be pros at fighting cancer.

People have been asking about the new treatments. If you recall, I have been switched to the "High -Dose Interleukin II" treatments, which require me to be in the ICU.

Basically, I go into the hospital on Monday, and get admitted to the ICU. There, they hook me up to all sorts of machines. These machines monitor my heart rate, heart activity, oxygen absorption, breathing, blood pressure, etc... For about 24 hours they hydrate me with fluids, then on Tuesday the fun begins.

Starting on Tuesday, they give me a dose of Interleukin-II every 8 hours until my body gives out or I crack. The drugs don't have an immediate effect, I can't tell when they go in except that the nurse tells me they are starting a dose. The doctor has to approve each dose. They even call him to wake him up in the middle of the night to ask him about my 1 am dose.

About 2 hours after the dose gets into me, I get cold and start to shiver. It happens very quickly, going from normal to flapping like a fish on the docks in about 5 minutes. The nurses come and wrap me in these nice heated blankets and give me a dose of Demerol. The shivering can last up to an hour. Then I throw up. Dose complete. Repeat.

The first time I had this treatment it wasn't very bad. My resting heart rate tripled after 8 doses and the doctor quit. The second time, I was able to go 7 doses, and I cried uncle. It was the first time I asked the doctors to stop giving me cancer drugs, and I regret it somewhat. Even though the doctor said he was ready to stop them on me anyway, the fact that I was going to quit represents a failure of will that I didn't like. I guess I am not Superman (note: I really am Superman).

I am home now, recovering. I am out of the hospital until the new year (yippee!) and am going to try to stay busy. I have been doing alot of cooking and plan to take a few 1 day cooking classes soon.

I hope everybody is having a great holiday season!


lapazk said...

Way to go Superman!
Hang in there and enjoy Christmas with your family.

Scagnetti said...

who am I wonderwoman?
when are yer sessions scheduled after the new year?
visitors in ICU?
am i gonna arrive in houston and not be able to see you?
ok, fine, thats all well and good...
I'll just go to new orleans...
fine, go then!!!

lilbro77 said...

Ho Ho Ho
Here come the holidays.

I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!