The last 2 and a half weeks have been absolutely CRAZY! Life has been an whirlwind and its hard to remember everything that's happened (partially because I was super medicated for some of it), but I'm going to try to fill everyone in on what's been going on.
Since Thanksgiving I have been having some pretty crazy stomach issues, which included some pretty major water retention and the expansion of my belly. The first week of January my belly got huge...I mean I looked 9 months pregnant huge and couldn't fit in any of my clothes. I started having a lot of back pain and was just miserable in general. On January 5, I decided to go to the ER because I was in so much pain and Dr Z wanted me to make sure I didn't have some sort of obstruction causing all the problems.
In the ER, they got my pain to at least a manageable level and did some tests that showed I had mild pancreatitus. The ER doctor decided I should be transferred to the clinic and admitted for pain management. After a long day in the ER, I was finally transferred at 3am to the hospital where Dr H is. We thought this was the best idea considering I was supposed to meet with him the next day and then start the chemo regimen that Dr Z had chosen. Boy were we wrong.
Dr H completely disappointed us and we have since decided not to work with him or the clinic anymore. First off, I was so full of medication that I don't remember much of my hospital stay or even the next few days after I was discharged, but I do remember how upsetting Dr H's conversations were. He refused to do Dr Z's treatment, he wanted to do his own treatment and after 2 weeks if it wasn't working he said we would need to discuss hospice care. WHAT?!?!?! I didn't want his treatment I wanted the one Dr Z had explained to me and I am so not in any shape to discuss hospice care!! I am still quite healthy, you know besides the cancer thing...lol (oh, while there, they did remove almost 2 liters of fluid from my stomach which made a huge difference...we learned the fluid build up is a defense mechanism of my body's against my tumors)
So we said good-bye to Dr H and the Clinic on Friday and on Sunday Joe, my mom, my dad and I flew back to Texas. I only vaguely remember flying down here at all, the Clinic had me on so many drugs while there I still felt the effects days later. We met with Dr Z on Tuesday the 10, and I had my first chemo session that evening. It was a LATE night, I finished my chemo at 1am! On Wednesday, I didn't feel very good at all, but assumed it was the affects of the chemo. I didn't sleep at all on Wednesday night, I was up in a lot of pain (my back again) and my stomach had gotten bloated again. By Thursday morning, I was feeling very short of breath and we all decided I should go to MDA's ER.
I got there at 9am and after a little while they got my pain under control again (and I wasn't out of it) and they did a bunch of tests which determined I had a large amount of fluid built up in my stomach again and that I also had some in my lungs and had pneumonia. So it was decided I would be admitted, I just had to wait for a room. I spent 32 hours in the ER waiting for a room, my mom slept in a chair beside me and Joe and my dad slept in the waiting room. That was an awful night. I was in pain a lot and short of breath and had multiple panic attacks. That was the first time I have ever had a panic attack and wow they are not fun.
On Friday, after I got my room, I had 2.2 more liters removed from my stomach and immediately felt some relief in both my pain and my breathing. I spent the next 5 days in the hospital getting IV antibiotics, adjusting pain meds, trying to get my blood levels under control, getting my crazy high blood pressure controlled, and a few other things including a blood transfusion. I am still trying to recover from the hospital stay, I'm still pretty weak and get tired really easily, but every day I'm a little better. Due to blood counts, I had to skip my second chemo session. I ended up getting another blood transfusion and 3 more nupogen shots (shots to stimulate white blood cells). Hopefully, when they check my counts on Tuesday I'll be able to have my 3rd session.
If I have my 3rd session on Tuesday, then we will hopefully be flying home on Thursday and I won't have to be back here until February 6. We're currently working on trying to find an oncologist back in Ohio that is willing to give me Dr Z's treatments. If we can't find one, then I will be moving back to Texas because my treatments are every week for 3 weeks, then 1 week off (so prayers we find a cooperative oncologist are greatly appreciated!).
So that's how the last few weeks have gone. Crazy. We've cut our ties with my original oncologist and the Clinic, got plane tickets and another apartment and came to Texas with 24 hours notice, I've started my chemo, had pneumonia, was hospitalized twice, had 4 liters of fluid removed from my stomach (its stayed away so far, which is a small sign the chemo is working), and am waiting to find out where I will be getting my chemo from now on. Phew...I think I need a vacation.