Dec 16, 2011 - 12:33 am
Monday we went to a different hospital (MDA has a 4 week wait to get an EUS done)for what we thought was going to be just a preop visit before the EUS and ended up being whisked off to the ER as the EKG indicated a heart attack. Spent 8 hours in the ER before being admitted. Spent 2 nights there. The cardiologist says Bill has definitely had a heart attack (silent as he was unaware of it and had no symptoms) at some time but that it did not seem to have just happened. Recommended an angiogram to check for blockages. That was clear so they don't know why he had a heart attack. Also had the EUS and was finally staged is a T3N1Mx. Missed the wednesday appt we were supposed to have with the oncologist at MDA and rescheduled for friday.
Today (thursday) we thought we had a hospital free day. Then my cell phone rang at 9.30a.m. and it was the oncologist calling to say that the CT scan from last week showed a small blood clot in the lungs and he wanted to see Bill today to get him started on blood thinners. Went in and while we were waiting for the doctor my phone rang again and it was the pharmacy calling to say they were filling our prescription for blood thinners (a different one to coumadin as this clot appeared while he was on coumadin) and wanted to make sure we knew our co pay was $2150 for a month supply (Bill is retired and on medicare D and was in the dreaded donut hole - out of it now!). About had a stroke. Met the doc and had a good meeting with him. Still does not recommend surgery because of the other health risks but will go with a 2 month chemo followed by 6 week chemo/radiation combo. Decided to start chemo tomorrow and they went over the chemo drugs and protocol (every 2 weeks = 3 different chemo drugs - 2 infused at the hospital over 5-6 hours, the third through a pump he will wear for 48 hours, then after 2 months he will be restaged and the next step will begin - 5 days a week radiation and also more chemo). Were relieved that we were finally starting.
Then went to get the PICC line checked as I thought there was some redness and wanted to make sure everything was ok. The nurse took off the dressing and discovered he has a rash under the dressing and is allergic to it. So now we have to use a different dressing (and will have to get new supplies of sterile packs as we can't use the ones we have - can't switch them out of course). Then she commented his arm looked swollen - compared it to the other arm and took measurements and sure enough it was way bigger than the other. A senior nurse came in to look and we realized his whole arm and his hand were swollen. She asked how long it had been like that. We honestly had not noticed - so much has happened this week we are just running on fumes. They called the oncologist and he wanted them to put a new line in the other arm but they refused until a venous flow test is done to check the blood flow. it was already late afternoon so that is tomorrow. The best case scenario seems to be that the current PICC line will have to come out and a new one will be put in the other arm. And hopefully in time for the first chemo to start tomorrow.
It just seems to be one thing after another. I think the PICC line business was the last straw for my poor Bill - it's the first time I've seen him really break down in tears since all this started. He is feeling really discouraged and said perhaps it's just not meant to work out (very very unlike him). He seems better this evening. Went out for a nice steak dinner with the friend we have been staying with (what a blessing she has been). So off to bed and up at 5.30. Really hope things start to look up a bit soon. This week has just been unbelievable.
Sorry this is so long - I just need to unload.