Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Maybe I had some underlying hint of what was to come. As Jim said in the car, I had never been as anxious and nervous. How could I be nervous since I was armed with the cutest pumpkin cupcakes, yummy cookies, brownies and layer bars. I tried to get into a state of calm, but nothing was working. I knew that my blood counts taken the day before were just 1/10 of a point for the “go zone” for chemo. Who knows if it was the fact that I had been sick since last chemo and did not have the full strength like I usually did.

Traffic was horrible as usual, but we made it in time for delivery of all treats and greeted with friendly smiles and excitement. I did get one of favorite nurses and the top VIP seat with most window view. My weight wasn’t down as much as I thought it would be, so my plan of just eating when I could seemed to be working. Yes, I know I should work harder on that, but last time much effort was spent on getting well.

I guess one hint could have been the IV issue.  Since the first attempt for getting my IV line was not successful, I hoped the second would be. All was ok when we started to try for the other arm. The order was fixed correctly for a reduced dose in order that I can get my next infusion on Oct31st. I met my pod neighbor who has had more breaks with her cancer (years in between) and we both decided costumes are necessary for next infusion on Halloween.

All seemed like we were on tract until the second drug was administered. All of a sudden, I felt a tightness in my chest, heart racing, and was unable to catch my breath. The voice in my head kept telling me to remain calm, but this was unlike anything I felt before. I asked Jim to get the nurse, but instead all the nurses arrived,plus the charge nurse and other doc. They gave me oxygen, a giant boost of Benadryl plus steroids. After some minutes, I gained back my breathing. All nurses and doc remained calm and asked questions which I was unsure I answered. Poor Jim, this was just what he didn’t need to see. The doc told me it would be fine and they were going to try to finish this infusion in 3 hours (instead of the norm 30 minutes), so much for getting out of here early. He also said there were other alternatives if I couldn’t take this. He is the one who tells it like it is, so I felt reassured that he seemed confident and even smiled. I passed out from so much Benadryl and was able to complete the cycle.

In the meantime, I came home to Alex having a minor breakdown and needing me to be there, but I was so drugged that it took everything for me to focus on his concerns. Of course, it was more middle school normal drama along with his continuing saga with one of his teachers. I told him not to worry and as soon a I was out of my fog, we could have a meeting at school. He seemed fine with the plan. Always good to have a plan for him (and for me too).

Today, I woke up to the fog and feeling very drugged. I know it will pass, but now have to make efforts for getting my shot at my internist today. Plus, the next new plan in 3 weeks which include most likely a transfusion and much drugs to get through next cycle. Plus, my main doc is out of town working on funding for research, so how can I bug him now? Just one day at a time. Hoping to think or find something fun for the weekend for my boys to do….if anyone has any fun ideas, just email me.

Always excitement, never a dull moment. The thunder and rain is a nice change from the heat. I will be enjoying it from my bed with a few mindless tv shows all the time taking my anti nausea pills. Enjoy your day and try to avoid the crazy drivers who drive 15 mph in the rain.



2 Responses to “Only the unknown frightens men. But once a man has faced the unknown, that terror becomes the known. Antoine de Saint-Exupery”

  1. Tanya Fessenmaier Says:

    God bless you Joanie, that is a scary one. This reminds me of my most recent teeth cleaning experience, although mine wasn’t as scary. I get topical numbing gel on some of my teeth before cleaning to help with sensitive spots. Well, I’m in the cleaning and start to choke because the hygienist, a new one, isn’t aspirating me enough. I sit bolt upright and told her I’ve lost muscle control in my throat and cannot swallow. She runs over to the office manager who I see mouthing ‘tell the doctor’. I’m wondering if I’m going to need the paramedics. Anyway, all ended up being ok. Took me 20 min to be able to swallow again. I’m never using that topical again!

    I’ve been a naughty girl and skipping getting my blood tested…

    Hope you feel better soon-


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. margie Says:

    Thinking of you! That must have been frightening today, but sounds like our nurses and docs had you covered. They’re angels.

    Love you!!!

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