After a relaxo Sunday, I woke up on Labor Day Monday with the chills – exactly what my new doc, Dr. P, of City of Hope told us was the worst possible thing for me at this time. We headed to the Hoag Cancer Center for AFBT (Another F-ing Blood Test) and possible transfusions early in the morning, and when my temperature was taken upon arrival, it was very nearly 100 degrees, the point at which Dr. P said I needed to go to the ER immediately. The nurses at Hoag told us that because it was a holiday, the ER was infested with tons of sick people and they were grossly understaffed with a very long wait. That didn’t sound like a place where an extremely immune-compromised person with a fever should be hanging out. Todd contacted several members of our team, and they agreed to let me stay at my HAFH (Hoag Away From Home) in my private room, as long as we kept a very careful watch on my temperature. My blood test revealed that I had developed an antibody in my blood that needed further testing, so they took 2 huge vials of blood and made me pee in a cup and they sent it all out to the lab to get cultures started. In addition to that, my white cells, which were on an upward climb, had slid back down to record lows, and my red cells and platelets were once again tanking. I needed 1 unit of platelets and 2 units of blood to be transfused. We were in for the full day. I was so stoked that I had KK as my nurse for the entire 8 1/2 hours! She is WONDERFUL! My temperature flirted with that 100-degree mark, but never quite made it there. We determined that while we were at home earlier that morning, I had probably been at that mark when I had the chills, so my docs decided to order an infusion of Invanz, an antibiotic, to try to ward off whatever was trying to invade my weak bod. So there was the winning trifecta: platelet transfusion, blood transfusion, Invanz infusion. It was a great pay off, because my fever has not raised its ugly head (see below) since.
I like to ask from where the blood products that are about to become part of me have hailed. The platelets were donated in Pomona and the blood was donated in Newport Beach (aka “beach blood”). I was conflicted. Should I drive home, directly onto the front lawn, jack up the car on blocks, open the hood, and start working on the carburetors -OR- grab some champagne and caviar then head directly to the yacht club for a highly civilized cruise around the harbor?
I’ve got to tell you, this Prednisone is really the sh*ts. I am now sporting a mustache and beard to rival that of my great grandmother’s. No, I take that back – I would kick her a$$ in a facial hair-off. I remember running from the room, horrified as a young tike. In addition to the whiskers, my skin could be used for any shop project requiring coarse grit sandpaper. Furthermore, my cheeks have puffed up beyond the chipmunk look – now I resemble a hippopotamus. Yes, PAB (Prednisone’s A Bitch).