So, I’m staring at this ever-growing mass of pill bottles and ever-expanding list of procedures, and I’m starting to wonder about all of the combined potential side effects I may have the pleasure of experiencing due to all this sh*t I’m exposing my body to. Don’t be alarmed, I won’t list all 2,361 here, just the most interesting/alarming ones:
Prednisone: Bleeding of stomach – (yes), Extreme sense of well being (not so much), Complete stoppage of heart – (holy sh*t!), Hives, Delirium, Hallucination, Paranoia – (My heart is going to completely stop! When is my heart going to completely stop?), Acne – (yes), Confusion – (not sure what they mean by this), Impaired wound healing – (yes), Feel like throwing up, Hiccups, Excessive hairiness – (actually, Ringling Bros. called and they said if this professional patient thing doesn’t work out, I could go on the road with them)
Cyclosporine: Lymphoma – (narrowly escaped that one), Confusion – (wait, what?), Vomit that looks like coffee grounds – (can’t wait for this), Loss of consciousness, Night sweats, Swollen gums, tongue or throat, Nausea, Tremor, Acne – (again, yes)
Solumedrol: Seizures, Slow wound healing – (yes), Dizziness, Vomiting – (just plain old fashioned vomiting I assume), Personality changes, Unusual bruising – (yes)
IVIG: Stroke, Heart attack, Kidney failure, Meningitis, Encephalitis – (any of these would really throw a wrench in my healing plans)
Neupogen: Hair loss – (yes, I’m resembling Mr. Magoo more and more each day), Eye swelling, Bone pain, Nosebleeds, Bloody vomit – (these vomit side effects are pretty colorful), Easy bruising – (yes), Spleen rupture – (sounds like a blast!)
Amitriptyline: Rash, Hives, Nausea, Trouble sleeping – (huh? This is a SLEEPING pill!), Delusions (What was that?), Hallucinations (Did you see that?), Panic attacks (OMG, what WAS that?), Exaggerated feeling of well being, Yellowing of eyes (only when I can’t get the IV pump to unplug in a timely manner, so I can take it with me down the Hoag hallway to the little girls’ room)
Omeprazole: Seizures, Choking feeling, Jerking muscle movements, Hives, Swelling of lips, tongue or throat, White patches inside mouth
Open Muscle Biopsy: Bleeding (yes), Bruising (yes), Nerve damage (yes), Hematoma (yes) Looks like I get an A+ on this one!
Blood Transfusion: HIV infection, Hepatitis infection – (both get my attention)
With all of these possibilities, I’m amazed: 1. None of my organs have exploded. 2. No men sporting white coats have come to take me away. 3. Not one mention of my radical increase in swearing like a f-ing sailor.
It seems all of my docs and nurses have input on my diet. I’ve been told by various members of my team to avoid:
all wheat products
all dairy products
all soy products
all red meat
all spicy foods
all unpeeled fruits
all lettuces and sprouts
all uncooked, unpeeled veggies
all acidic foods
all salty foods
WT(EF) am I supposed to eat? Being that I am on a very tight pill-popping schedule, I am forced to eat at specific times of day with no snacks in between meals. I lied. (Must be those Amitriptyline delusions setting in.) I get snacks. My snacks consist of gallons of water – mandatory for keeping my veins nice and hydrated for the constant pokes. Needles, I mean needless to say, my meals are VERY important to me. My secret weapon is my personal master chef, Todd, who last night prepared a sumptuous red sauce with lobster, served over a delicious asparagus risotto with a wonderful, delicately seasoned pea soup starter. I’m serious.
Today’s field trips included an early morning meeting with Dr. A (oncologist/hematologist) for AFBT (Another F-ing Blood Test), which was not very encouraging on all battle fronts: white cells, red cells and platelets– we’re hoping the new drugs just haven’t had enough time to show improvement yet. I also had my second Neupogen injection, which, frankly, stings a little more than I would like. From there, I visited Dr. S2 (surgeon) to see about my wound swelling. I have a sizeable hematoma under my incision now, which my docs want to just let go away on its own rather than try to aspirate or drain it at this point. With the meds I am on, combined with the low blood counts, an infection would be likely, disastrous and not worth the risk. I was thrilled to learn that I have dodged an additional procedure – for now. The tour ended at my HAFH (Hoag Away From Home) for platelet transfusion #9. I took in a larger amount than usual, which hopefully will last a little longer than the previous 8. I received a call from Dr. M2 (gastroenterologist), confirming that the results from my recent 6 biopsies of my esophagus and stomach came back without cancer or bacteria. Yay! Some good news!
My 1″ high thigh hematoma – notice FUSUOLS (F-ed Up Super Ugly Old Lady Skin)
Arriving for platelet transfusion #9, not to be confused with the famous love potion