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Friday, January 23, 2009

Chemo Day -- no more short days?

This past Thursday:

Got there before 9:30.

Didn't start treatment until at least 12:30.

Didn't leave until after 4:30.

It was no one's fault.

There is something wrong with my port -- it is supposed to support "two way traffic," but is currently working "one way only."

For several weeks now, the nurses have not been able to draw blood from my port. That means that every time I go for chemo, I get stuck with needles twice -- once to open my port, and a second time on my arm.

In the past, I did not mind so much, because the person who took blood was expert and did not hurt me. But he recently suffered a heart attack and, though he is doing well, he is still on leave. I am always anxious about new people drawing blood from me. I have difficult veins, and often suffer from pain and buising if the person who draws blood is not really good.

The woman who manages data from the bone study research arranged for me to seen by a doctor who, she assured me, was also good at drawing blood. The doctor drew blood (painlessly!) and also injected half a dose of urokinase into my port. Urokinase, a blood thinner to dissolves clots that might be in the port, has to be approved and administered by a physician.

The protocol is to wait at least an hour after the injection before using the port. It also takes about an hour for the results of the blood test to come back. That day's treatments (in this case the Taxol and the Zomera/Denosumab) are only ordered AFTER the blood tests come back okay.

Everything takes time.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Engineering Goddess said...

I guess I won't grouse about the extra trips I had to make to the lab the day before my Taxol treatments for blood work after hearing how your long day went! This saved me the time for them to run the blood test before my chemo. Sorry to hear about your port - I didn't know they were two way. I learn something new every day about cancer treatments. I hope and pray that the medicine that you received today did the trick to open it up.

Anonymous said...

I went to get blood drawn once for a cholesterol test, and the nurse who initially attempted it couldn't get the needle in right. Finally, another nurse came in who did a better job, but not until my arm had turned purple.