Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Anticipation - March 18, 2014

When you have injection treatments one week out of every month it takes getting used to the waiting between these chemo sessions. Monday began my second round of treatment. I'm hoping it goes smoothly with little if any side affects. Monday was also a full Complete Blood Count (CBC) test and an appointment with Dr. Young, my Oncologist. This will be our 2nd full month under her care.

The more time I have the more I spend reading.  Unfortunately, reading about MDS has been a frequent subject. The more I read the more I shouldn't.  Being informed is a good thing. When the information is not easy to digest, is not good news but rather bad news, being informed is still good. This condition, in my case, is not good.  It seams to be something that usually leads to much worse consequences. Apparently, most of the treatment options, to include the current course prescribed for me, attempt to slow down the progression of the disease. The goal is to give me a prolonged life expectancy as well as to hopefully have my blood levels return to a more acceptable condition.  While a cure is not in the plans, we are hopeful it will get better.

The current chemo treatment is intended to kill the bad blood cell "blasts" and to help my bone marrow to manufacture more healthy blood cells.  While its too soon to tell if the treatments are working Dr. Young appears encouraged, so far since my blood levels are not getting much worse and a few indicators have improved, slightly.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blood Platelets

Today, Wednesday, March 5th, was my weekly blood tests (CBC).  We got to the clinic about 15 minutes earlier than my 11:00 am appointment time.  That worked out well as I was in and out before 11:00 am. While we were on our way home and to pick up a lunch carryout from McAlister's Deli, someone from Dr. Young's office called to say I needed to come back for platelets infusion because my count was very, very low. So we headed back to the JOA clinic after eating our lunch. The whole process to infuse me with a large bag of blood platelets took about 3 hours. Hopefully, that will do the trick and my platelets counts will stay at a better level. While in the hospital last week Dr. Young had me get a blood infusion of 2 units of blood with Red Cells as those counts had gotten too low.

I shouldn't be surprised that I've had to have more blood and platelets because Dr. Young said the chemotherapy injections would cause things to get out of whack for awhile.  I'm told to take all of this in stride as it's normal.  Being sick sure takes getting used to.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hospital Stay

For three days and two nights we were imprisoned at Baptist Hospital, at least that is how it felt.

Everyone has always said that the worst place to get any rest is in the hospital. They are so right. For me the most interesting thing is how easily the hospital staff can ignore you when you are under their care.  Don't get me wrong, they were very delightful people and were always nice and respectful to us. It's just they operate on a completely different time clock.  In the Army, we called it "hurry up and wait".  It seems that is how they operate, as well.  When a staff person tells you something will happen at a specific time, she is lying and knows it.  Rarely did anything ever happen when they said it would. Even our discharge was delayed a day due to their lack of attention.

Hospitals are huge businesses, but with the advantage of having you in a prone position, with your ass exposed to their overpriced, form of terror.  I can't wait for the bills to come rolling in for this experience.
I guess $15,000 to $20,000.  We'll see.

Anyway, I guess I can mark this one off my "bucket list".  Not that I put it on my list, but this was the first time in my 65 years on this earth that I have spent the night in the hospital.  Well, maybe I did when I was born, but otherwise this was it.  Unfortunately, it probably want be my last.