After receiving Docetaxel on Tuesday 18th May..
Thursday evening as you know I felt on top of the chemo, and was feeling okay, apart from my taste buds had started to deteriorate and my tongue started to get furry (yak)..
Thursday night is also when my injections started, and something I don't look forward too, neither does Phil as he has to administer them, these injections are given to boost my blood cell count.
As you may be aware Chemo has a massive effect on the immune system, and chemo has decided that its really going to affect my white blood count and has dropped to 0.1 in recent months, which makes me very vulnerable to infection.
Well Friday morning this drug hit me like a tonne of bricks.. I woke Pixie up about 7am, after shouting for ten minutes.. you know how it is and went down stairs to do her breakfast.
After a few minutes of doing breakfast and packing lunches, I felt so unwell, not sickness, or headache.. just that feeling of.. I need to lie down before I collapse.
I spent all of Friday and Saturday in bed, and battled on hoping this will pass!
Sunday I tried to sit around the lounge, watched some television, moaned at Phil for trying to sort out my kitchen drawers (haha) poor Phil, it was a case of "go and tidy your own crap" not mine.. especially my kitchen..
Sunday around 6.30pm I started to have chest pains, straight in the middle of my chest bone and with the feeling of being unwell I decided it was time to call the emergency number that every chemotherapy patient is given.
I called the number, asked the nurse if she needed my number and she said "whats your name"? when I gave her my name she said hello Jo its Sue.. and that eased me straight away that it was someone who knew me, and knew what I was going through.
Sue advised me to take paracetemol and I promised to call her back at 9pm to update her on how I was feeling.
By 9pm the pain had dulled, so I called Sue and updated her on how I was feeling and she advised that Lauren would be calling me at 9am in the morning to take necessary action.
At 10.30pm the pain returned, so decided to take some paracetemol and call it a night at around 11.15pm.
Lauren called me at 9am as promised, and I explained all my symptoms.
The pain in my chest was obviously a concern, but she was concerned that I had been so unwell that I had been in bed for 3 days too.
I explained that the pain in my chest was in the centre, it didn't radiate anywhere, I had no pins and needles, but on a pain threshold it was about a 6!
Lauren explained that she would consult with another doctor and retuned to the call, and advised that she wanted me to go straight to hospital and that I should report to the Emergency Department at Burton and asked if my (husband) would be driving me.. me being me.. told Lauren "I will drive myself" this was a definite NO obviously and she advised me that I should get an ambulance or Taxi..
I advised I will get there, and sort out transport.. but I am not going in an Ambulance..
First thing I did was call Phil and then my mom...
It doesn't matter what age you are.. when you ring mom and your not well especially going through chemo it ends in tears.. we ended the call so that I could make arrangements.
Phil told me to call my sister in law Jackie.. someone who knows the A38, and could probably drive down it with her eyes shut, someone I trust driving and I don't trust many.. ask Britney.
Jackie luckily had finished work and picked me up in Style... we chatted about the children on the way, how their growing up.. and my beautiful niece doing her CBT which is just amazing...
We arrived at the Emergency Department and I asked the receptionist if Jackie could stay, but was advised that this isn't possible... so Jackie left and did some shopping and said she would wait around until 2pm, as she would have to pick the children up from school.
After telling the receptionist that I had chest pains and seeing that I am a Chemo patient I was taken in straight away.
Wrist band was put on, and ECG taken by Katie the nurse and my bloods taken, all so fast.
Liz and Jayne were also assisting, such a breathe of fresh air, making light of the situation, which is something you need when your in hospital, Jayne your not having my handbag or engagement ring.. (haha)
I then had to wait for the doctor, the doctor was Umar, such a lovely man.. caring and asked how I was coping, he also asked how the family were coping and my parents, which was so lovely of him.
At around 1.30 I had a canula fitted and was given morphine for the pain and antibiotics as a back up precaution.
Umar returned to advise that my ECG readings were high, but they were also concerned that the pain may be from my liver, so advised he had booked a CT Scan for me.
In between all my waiting, I was checked on by Cath Bushall, what a lovely nurse.. had her eyebrows tattooed too! Cath came in and checked my blood pressure and made sure I was comfortable. Cath was wearing the most beautiful fob watch that she was bought from her daughter too.. the inscription was perfect, thanks for the tea and biscuits too Cath. xx
At around 4.30 I went down for my CT Scan, wheeled down by Georgia and Liz.. with a giggle on the way.. and thanks to Georgia was taken in straight away.... every Hospital needs a Georgia..
I was hooked up to medication in my canula and asked to lie down..
I was advised that I would move back and fourth through the machine and I would be asked to hold my breath at intervals.
I was also advised that I would receive an injection whilst in the machine and that I would have a warm feeling and a feeling that I have "wet myself" but this wouldn't be the case..
True as they said I entered the machine, the machine isn't loud like an MRI machine so feels a lot calmer.
For me, I close my eyes... you don't have to.. but I find it easier to cope with and as instructed held my breath when asked to do so.. and the feeling of wetting yourself... really happens.. strangest thing...
At around 5pm Umar came to see me to advise that my CT scan was all fine, which was such a relief as the worry of my heart and liver being affected by chemo was obviously a concern, especially knowing I have two of these treatments left... but what is my pain?
I was advised that I should take a course of antibiotics, drink lots of water and to contact my chemo nurse when arriving home.
I called Phil to collect me and he arrived with all three girls in the back of the car..I'm sure Mcdonalds food was involved somewhere.. and what a relief to be finally on my way home..
I called the hospital and spoke to Mel, who knew about what had happened in the day and said they had discussed what may be happening. The injections that I receive affect your bone marrow and the pain may well be from my sternum.. I was advised that if my pain could not be controlled with over the counter pain killers to contact the hospital and they would prescribe a stronger pain releif.
This morning - Tuesday 25 May..
I'm feeling ok, the pain is there but a 2/10.. and I feel better in myself.
I've just received a call from Lauren at Burton, checking to see how I am, and that if my pain increases they will prescribe Codeine for me, so we have agreed I will have this for next time, as I am sure this may happen again, at least I will be prepared.
Phil has had the day off today, which is lovely.. I feel better when he is around (medicine in itself as a friend said this morning)
The only way is up now...
Before I end my update. I have just seen on the Television how patients receiving Cancer Care have been delayed due to Covid.
I want to reassure you I haven't experienced any of this!
Since being diagnosed in November, Burton/Derby Hospital have been amazing. They have seen me in the time they have stated, they have called me to update me or called me to check up how I am..
I have had the best care I could of wished for, I am grateful to every Nurse and Doctor whose path I have crossed.
Burton Hospital you are amazing... the best in fact, Nurses and Doctors that care!