First, I must give a shout out to my Lion that was with me all day and night Friday. She was amazing and such a trooper.
Friday was the day the port was to go in. This is the mechanism that the infusions of chemo are administered. It started early at the hospital and the first step was talking to the Anesthesiologist and the Doctor that would perform the procedure. The first challenge was the antibiotics they wanted to administer that I had no experience – (potential for allergic reaction high). We went to the alternative, a central picc line that would ostensibly go the same place but would be outside the body. But I would not have to have antibiotics during the procedure. I opted for that option. Good thing too, read on.
The procedure went well, and we were out of the hospital by 1:15pm and home by 2:30 after making a stop for a few things. We hung out for a few hours and just talked. Then about 5pm went to dinner at a neighbor's. At 5:30 I started experiencing a swelling in my throat. It persisted all through dinner and beyond. When I lay down at 8pm, I started feeling a tingling sensation and decided to call the number I was given when discharged from the hospital. The recommendation was to go to the ER. We arrived at the ER and was taken immediately. After going through the procedures to register and provide information, the doctor examine me. It was determined it was likely an allergic reaction and recommended Benadryl and Prednisone to calm down the inflammation.
Miracles do happen! I did not have an allergic reaction to the Benadryl and Prednisone combination, and it started working within 12 minutes. They continued to monitor me for about 45 minutes and although the swelling did not go away, it was substantially relieved and clear that the drugs were working appropriately. They discharged me, and I started getting my clothes on. That was when I noticed red marks on my right breast. We had to get the Doctor back to make sure it was a rash and not signs of pending infection. All good, it was a rash and would go away as the Benadryl and Prednisone did its job. We got home at 1:30am.
My motto is Silver Linings this year. Some good came from this adventure; (1) By selecting the Picc Line I get a visiting nurse once a week to change the bandages and flush the appliance. This means there is another medical professional looking in on me every week. (2) I now know that the Benadryl and steroid combination will work for me without adverse effects. (3) If this does not put my medical team on notice that I need to be watched extra carefully, I am not sure what will.
My sister is going with me for the first infusion on Wednesday March 21st. She will be staying overnight as well. Depending on how things go, I may need to change some of the plans for the days of infusion. I may not be able to be alone. I may need to hang out with each lion (at a place of their choosing) and then have my sister come and stay overnight if she is not already able to come with me. Let’s hope this is the most excitement I have all year.