Sunday, September 11, 2011

And now a word from the star of our show

Much like a hostage poses with a newspaper to show the world a photo is new and legit,
yesterday we adorned Joe's shoulder with Elvis' cancer crab...his guardian angel.
Now that Joe is home and feeling better, he wanted to update you all with his most recent adventures:
The week that should not have been. 
Thursday, September 1, was one of my best days - good energy, easy breathing and enough energy to work from home. I walked 8 blocks to the bus to get to my radiation treatment, visited with Tina that afternoon, called Herb and Alan in NYC, had a pizza dinner with Sally and then a late call to Aunt Jane in Colorado - I felt great! 
Eight hours later I had a temperature of 102.4, fever and chills and felt just awful - I am rarely sick and had no idea what to do about it. Luckily I had an early visit from my home nurse for my scheduled draining - one look at me and she was on the phone with the Oncologist who wanted me into ER STAT (I think that is the phrase). The bad news as you now know was that visit ended up becoming 8 days in the hospital. They needed to ID and fight the infection and get my white blood cell count from .5 (should be a minimum of 2.0) back up to 12.0. After way too many attempts to draw blood and locate a vein for an IV the doctor also wanted to check the catheter in my chest and found it to be infected so he just yanked the sucker out - very strange feeling.
The GOOD news is that I got to visit with Tina, Doug and Debbie and Thompson was able to come up for a number of days to help get me back to good health. AND there is no current plan to replace the catheter, instead monitoring fluid levels and performing a Thoracentesis as necessary which thankfully eliminates the need for home nurse visits - so I am currently plumbing, bandage and dressing free.
Now I'm back home getting my land legs and back to daily radiation with chemo next Friday. Just taking it easy this weekend, reminding myself that I am not currently the old me, but a new me with radiation and chemo in my system.

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