Chemo and blood clots

JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

Hi everyone! Sorry I was gone for so long. I've been in the hospatal from Dec 9 until the other day. If anyone remembers, I'd been asking about blood clots and chemo because I'd had 3 superficial blood clots and was worried. I completed 8 of the 12 suggested rounds of chemo and was miserable with fatigue and neuropathy. Every time I went in with a new blood clot they just said to take adult aspirin every day, which I did.

On Dec 8th I was fine and the morning of Dec 9 I felt like I was going to faint and asked my husband to get me to the hospital. He called 911 and by the time they got there I was in cardiac arrest and no longer breathing. A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) blood clot had gone to my lung. The EMTs revived me but I had 7 more cardiac arrests during the ambulance ride to the city for a total of 8 times they revived me. I was told this when the EMTs came to visit me recently. I then arrested again in emergency. One of the doctors spoke to me husband and daughter about not reviving me again. He figured with the cancer ir might be kinder and he was quite positive I'd have brain damage. Since all of this theyve tested me s few times and can find no trace of cancer.

During the next few days I had a stroke, my kidneys failed due to all the medications I was on and I had to have dialysis. I swelled up with fluid so badly my friends were scared my skin was going to rip open. I was on 19 IV lines. I had what they call a catastrophic brain bleed between the hemispheres. Apparently I was still sometimes somewhat awake and trying to pull IVs and tubes in my throat out so they sedated me for a week. I don't remember any of this. After a week they stopped sedating me but I'd gone into a coma so I still didn't wake up.

Once I woke up from the coma I was totally unable to move due to what they call critical illness polyneuromyopathy. Basically, the brain tries to save itself and tells the rest of the body's nerves and muscles they're no longer needed. I've had to totally relearn how to walk or do anything again. At the beginning I had to ask my husband to scratch my nose. I couldn't even turn my head to the side. It was scary and horrible. I could feel everything, however. I was always hurting due to how I was positioned in bed but could do nothing to help myself. At first I couldn't talk, either.

My arms and hands came back first and I'm still working on my legs. Of course, I'm now deconditioned as well. I can walk very short distances but it's not pretty (think of how the apes walked in Planet of the Apes) and it's exhausting. I use a wheelchair much of the time when I'm not in bed.

The main doctor in ICU told me I shouldn't be alive and he figured my odds had been about one in a thousand of surviving at all let alone with my brain intact. Mentally, I'm exactly the same as I was before. Two other doctors in ICU very seriously asked me if I realized that I'd received a miracle. They have no explanation for my survival and recovery other than I was otherwise healthy enough and tough enough. One of my rehab therapists told me one day that I had grit. True grit. I don't know why I survived but I am so grateful that I received such a gift and I credit God with that. Now I feel like I want to do something with me life but I don't know what it will be.

My most important thing in life is to help animals and I still feel the same. My horse was brought to the hospital in January and there's a magazine article about it. The writer told me they've received lots of emails telling them I've given them hope or made a crappy day brighter. But I feel like I have to do something more with this gift of life I've been given.

Another thing I'm so grateful for is the support I've received from people that I thought were just acquaintances. I can't believe some of the people who've come to visit me. The farrier we use for our horse's feet, a horse show judge, customers from when I owned my doggie daycare. Many people have prayed for me. And supported my husband and daughter. My daughter is 26 and she and I are more like friends than mother and daughter. She collapsed whenshe first saw me in emergency but she's been strong ever since. One of my close friends came and complately cleaned the bedroom, she washed walls and evrything.

Anyway, more than enough about me. I want this to be a warning about blood clots and chemo. Two days after I collapsed I had an appointment with my oncologist and I was going to tell her I wasn't completing my chemo. I had a bad feeling from the beginning, particularly when I had the three blood clots. I'm not saying don't do mop up chemo after your surgery, my situation was rare. I'm just saying that if you start getting some adverse reactions that concern you, don't let them brush you off like I did.


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Oh my goodness!

    That is truly awful! 

    I am so very sorry that you have had such a hard expreince, and for so many months. Wow! Your list is incredible. 

    sometimes I can imagine things, but this time, I really can't imagine the horror, especially of not being able to move. So frightening! 

    I am happy to hear that you are on the road to recovery, and especially that you are NED. Darn, you deserve it after all that you have been through. 

    I hope that your recovery comes in leaps and bounds, maybe one day soon you can leap and bound. 

    Sue - Trubrit

  • Easyflip
    Easyflip Member Posts: 588 Member
    Wow wow wow

    That is one of the most amazing things I have ever read! I remember you were not a big fan of chemo, your intuition was right on in that it almost killed you. Good luck in your recovery and keep posting here even though you're cancer free. I think the animals in this world just got another guardian angel. Wow just wow.


  • LivinginNH
    LivinginNH Member Posts: 1,456 Member


    Well now, that certainly explains your sudden departure my friend!  You've really been through the wringer, but made it out by some miracle, it's unbelieveable really.  I don't think I've ever heard of anyone ever surviving NINE cardiac episodes at once. I'm rather stunned actually, you are quite the fighter dear, and welcome back!  :)

    Hugs (()),


  • lilacbrroller
    lilacbrroller Member Posts: 412 Member



    Well now, that certainly explains your sudden departure my friend!  You've really been through the wringer, but made it out by some miracle, it's unbelieveable really.  I don't think I've ever heard of anyone ever surviving NINE cardiac episodes at once. I'm rather stunned actually, you are quite the fighter dear, and welcome back!  :)

    Hugs (()),


    good lord!

    Wow. What an ordeal. Glad you made it through to the other side.  

    I got a blood clot also, a pulmonary embolism which luckily for me was discovered during a routine scan.  Thank goodness the scan reader was paying attention. They put me on lovenox, 60mg twice a day, which I took for about three months til another scan revealed that the PE had disappeared. Now I take a prophylactic dose of lovenox of 40g only once a day.  Scary things those blood clots.

    glad you're OK and hope you don't have anymore. Do you take any sort of blood thinner now?



  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,427 Member
    At A Loss For Words

    So sorry to hear you went through all of that.

    It is great though to how you made it through.  FWIW, your story (the end) is something that I paying attention to.  I am probably too quick to blow the symptoms off to something else and try to think it is not the chemo yet (sescond session yesterday) but there were some things that have started I will pay attention to.

  • TheLadySkye
    TheLadySkye Member Posts: 203 Member
    What a scary ordeal!  I am

    What a scary ordeal!  I am wishing you a peaceful and full recovery <3

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member

    Reading your post was so unbelievable.  I'm so sorry that you have been through all that and still are able to be here to post and give us a greater update than when you last posted.  My goodness, you have been through everything and back.  I'm so glad that you are feeling better and that you have struggled through ALL those hurdles to go beyond.  I'm so glad that you have such wonderful support.  Thank you for the warning about the clots - it's a terrible thing to have and much more to deal with.  Thank you for your post and I'm praying that you continue to improve daily.


  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Karin, I'll likely be on

    Karin, I'll likely be on blood thinners the rest of my life. I got very lucky and they approved an oral blood thinner a week before I got out of the hospital so I don't have to do shots every day.

    They'd inserted a filter in one of my main veins? arteries? at the beginning as well in case there were more blood clots and sure enough, when they went to take the filter out there was a huge one sitting there waiting on the other side of the filter so they had to leave it in. The surgeon said it was about the size of the end of his thumb.

    To my knowledge I've never had an issue with blood clots in my life before now.