Last week I was in a bad way –  feeling really bloated in my abdomen, swelling in my toes/feet/ankles/shins, all the way up to my trunk. So I called my oncologist last Thursday and he asked me to come in for an ultrasound to see whether this might be due to clots or something. Turns out I didn’t even get to the ultrasound, as the blood panel they took when I arrived showed I was low on hemoglobin levels, so they admitted me to the hospital for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I was there from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, as they kept hooking me up to units of B+ blood.

Once I got settled in, one of the doctors from the hospital came in and we talked about what meds I’m currently taking and what seems to be conflicting. She was excellent in helping me see what the hell is really going on, which turns out to be a number of imbalances that needed to be straightened out, not the least of which was the bleeding in my upper GI tract that accounted for the low hemoglobin levels. And I was taking anti-coagulants which didn’t help things at all. I don’t blame my regular oncologist because I realize he has to see a lot of patients in a day and he can’t really step back and look at ‘the big picture’ as someone coming in cold, looking at the facts. I’ll probably be holding regular meetings with the good doctor and get her input when things seem wonky. Just not so wonky that I have to be admitted again.

And to be honest, the hospital stay was fine; I felt good for the most part – though after they drained 900ml of abdominal fluid I felt even better – but I equate it to basically having a sleepover with blood and drugs. There was a cool TV channel I had never seen before that played all the cool retro shows (Cannon, Mannix, Twilight Zone, old westerns, etc) that I had on 24/7. The food was passable, you could order from a limited menu (their side Caesar salad was tasty), and the nurses………..

I cannot say enough about the quality of care I got. Each nurse assigned to me (both day / night shifts) was engaging, friendly, and sweet to me. After I came home I tried to design some sort of card for them, but had lost all of my work on it; I was despondent. Perhaps it’s because my mother is a retired nurse but I have a soft spot for them. A week later, I still can’t think of any of them who helped me last weekend without tearing up.  I have a tough time still feeling like I deserve help, I guess.

Anyhow, I was finally released on Monday, only to go across the street to get my next round of chemo before returning home. I’ve been put on a low maintenance chemo dose now, and mo more Xarelto for me. That stuff makes me bleed in the WRONG places. Right now, I’m okay, feeling the fatigue from the Neulasta injection (which is also on its way out soon) and generally pretending I have the flu, even though I got my shot in October. bleah.

Onward and Upward. FWIW, once they took me off of a couple conflicting drugs, my hair is starting to grow back. Like, in a hurry. I love it. Can’t wait for Spring to finally warm up. Much love to you with hopes that your Spring is good as well.

8 thoughts on “Sleepover”

  1. Glad you’re back to your writings, you do it well!! Not that you are a ‘guinea pig’, but maybe this happened for a reason? It opened up eyes and ears to be aware of any thing and every thing, to stay on top of your progress, ya think? Love you!

  2. Eric
    It was good seeing you back in your home environment however, it sounds like you kinda enjoyed your forced vacation! And those nurses!! Most importantly though is this new doctor brought new eyes to your situation and good things may come from that! Keep the spirits up!

  3. Eric, great news. Matt said you’d found out some of your meds were fighting each other.

    Xarelto … tell me about it. After dealing with my atrial heart flutter, when I had my heart shocked back into rhythm … they prescribed Xarelto.

    Result: hemoglobins posed up all over my body. Ugly. Bad. So we forgot Xarelto.


  4. So happy to hear you have been feeling better overall and are sorting out the details of your treatment. You were meant to cross paths with that particular doctor last weekend. 😉
    Sending our love your way.

  5. Eric, so glad you got straightened out on your therapy and meds! Sometimes having a new clinical perspective is a good thing. Lots of love and support to an awesome dude!Jo

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