Every Wednesday I wait patiently for the results of my blood that are taken earlier that day. If don’t receive a phone call by 2000hr in the evening it means that my blood was good and the chemo treatment that is planned the day after can proceed. So I always anxiously wait and than I am happy if I didn’t receive a phone call. I can’t remember being happy not receiving a phone call before, but then again, that had to do with my boyfriends. (yes plural 🙂 and ex-) But anyways, this meant a third treatment in a row and also after this one only five to go. Yes I am doing the countdown.
Since I am now on an allergic schedule I had to be in the hospital early in the morning because it would take all day to get the chemo. By the time I was well settled with the cooling cap, cooling mittens and now also cooling shoes, it was about ten AM. Imagine my mood: minus four hundred degrees! My head cold, my hands cold and now also my feet cold. There are no photos of me dressed like an Inuit, because at that moment I just wanted to smash the camera and the designated photographer of that moment. Erica 🙂 But it is important to avoid getting the tingling in your fingers and feet. This is a side effect of the chemo. It never goes away they say and can cause problems with walking or manipulating things with your hands. I have it already in my toes and a bit all over my feet but not in my fingers yet.
The first bag of chemo I get every week runs over about an hour. Since I have to wear the cap, the mittens and shoes for one hour and fifteen minutes, this bag passes without many words coming from my side. I am like a menopauze woman during that period. This time Erica was with me and she continued to talk to me anyway. After a while I became less of an ice queen and started talking again. And surprisingly it seemed that the hour and fifteen minutes went faster then usual. Well done Erica!!
The second bag, my allergic-reaction-bag was set up to run very slowly over thirty minutes where they administer it drup by drup, only ten milliliters in total to avoid that the body reacts to it. That went smoothly. So they started the next thirty minutes a little bit faster and then another bag of the chemo would be administered over a period of four hours after this one. Unfortunately we never got to that point because I again had an allergic reaction to it.
The second part was only running for about five minutes when I started having a cramped feeling in my chest. I started getting hot again and decided to call the nurse. Now I know how an allergic reaction feels so I knew that again, I had one.
So I called the nurse a little bit quicker then the first time. Fortunately I did that because from then on, everything went very fast. I guess there were about three nurses and two doctors already around my bed dealing with me. I remember I had to puke and felt so hot that I threw off the cooling cap. My body felt so awful, I couldn’t control what was happening to it so I asked the nurse to please give me something. Then I puked and I was gone. Just gone, I remember closing my eyes while they were taking my blood pressure which was non existing. Erica told me I was laying there with my eyes open and I thought my eyes were closed almost the whole time. Due to the allergic reaction I had a blood pressure fall. I woke up again seeing the doctor lifting my legs. Then I had to throw up again and go to the toilet. The day before Saar send me a message saying that the next time something like that (allergic reaction) happens I am not supposed to go shit calmly before, like I did the past week. 🙂 According to Erica I did that this time again. The next thing I felt was my body having all these reactions and I had to run to the bathroom. Seriously people, puke and shit all over the place!! I kid you not 🙂 But believe me, a person in that situation has few or no scruple left. The shit was everywhere but I didn’t give a shit 🙂 (Yes I might exaggerate a bit while telling this but still there was a lot :-)) Erica went inside the bathroom with me to help. I was in there hanging on the thing where they connect the baxters and the bags of chemo because of course I was still attached with my portacath. They had given me cortisone again and anti-allergic stuff but it took about 45 minutes before I was getting a bit better again. The trashcan in the bathroom had transformed into the puke-bin and the toilet continued to have the foreseen purpose as it normally has. Erica was baptized by me, to my personal shitcleaner. 🙂 She was so sweet and helpful and stayed by my side the whole time. She also remained very calm during the whole crisis. Can anyone desire a better sister? After the 45 minutes I saw that my face and my hands returned to a more or less normal colour (I don’t know if there is a colour that exists that is more red then red) and I was able to return to the bed. Almost immediately I fell asleep. Getting such a crisis takes so much of your energy. I do never EVER want to experience that again! Els, the nurse whom I got to know the weeks before during my previous visits was also there for me the whole time. She also stayed very calm. I remember her saying: ” Stay here Nele.” She is also so sweet. Afterwards she sat with me and told me that she thought I was going to die. She had seen allergic reactions before but not very often as sudden as mine. Usually it comes up slowly.
But by now I know, it can never just be normal when it comes to me. I always have to exaggerate or go into the extremes. Jesus Christ!!
But of course I was not going to die. I am not going to die. That is not the plan. Not over a stupid allergic reaction. Not over nothing actually, besides old age. 🙂
Els had told me I was going to feel very energetic because they gave me so much cortisone. I immediately felt it because as Erica and I were driving home, I felt that I was not ready to be in my couch again. The weather was so nice so I asked her to drive to Leuven and have something to eat. I was starving because off curse I had puked out everything that was in my stomach. So we did. It gave me even more energy because it was the first time in a long time that I was outside amongst other people. I felt alive again and enjoyed it so much. I was so happy, you have no clue. After a year of seeing my living room, it was very nice to change decor and see the Big Market of Leuven. Saar said that she found it amazing that after such a crisis it looked like I just came back from a holiday. 🙂 As for me, I just forgot about what happened as quickly as possible and just enjoyed…. the atmosphere, the people and ……. my water 🙂
Off course there is a consequence again. They can not administer me that specific kind of chemo anymore because that would be way too dangerous. They have some other options of chemo that have the same goal, so next week I have t undergo allergic tests to see which one they can use for the next five times so I don’t shock everybody anymore. :-).