Rough times

So it feels like its been a while since my last update. Which it has, I suppose! It's been a bit of a journey so far, so here goes...

I started my second cycle of chemo last Wednesday. This involves me going into hospital for a few hours to have an infusion of just one drug. I am then hooked up on the Thursday for 4 reminding bags that run continuous until the Monday, where then they come and give me a little 30 minute infusion and I'm supposedly done. All at home, which is nice. On that initial Wednesday I had a PICC line inserted, which was all good. I could carry my infusion around with me in a handbag and all was well.

This all ran smoothly until Monday (yesterday) when I got up and had breakfast, then whilst watching my morning tv of McLeod's Daughters, I noticed my arm was wet. Panic set in. Chemo is not supposed to get on your skin, on anything really. I immediately stopped the pump (as I had been taught buy the nurses) and rang the hospital for advice. They go through with you before you even start chemo at home as to what to do if there is a spill. It's pretty intense stuff, but I was assured multiple times that it wouldn't happen and it's so rare. Well it happened to me. I was devastated. I rang Brett to come home. By this point I had to get in the shower and wash off as much chemo as I could and try not to contaminate all this other stuff I was touching. We went in to hospital where we spent the next 9 hours. My PICC line was removed and they had to treat me as a risk that the chemo had gone into my skin and surrounding tissues rather than my vein. Which can be quite serious. It could eat my skin from the inside out. Bad times! Thankfully I had no pain and I only really received minor burn marks on my arm from the chemo. I did, however receive lots of subcutaneous injections of other things around the site to prevent any further damage. Painful.
The doctors then arranged for me to have another chemo access line inserted. My case seems to be a difficult one because of the obstruction in my chest so another PICC line in my arm is a no go. I was also prodded 6 times whilst trying to get a cannula in my other arm. All failed. 6 times!! Stupid veins! I fasted for a bit then I was sent off for the insertion of a femoral Hickman line. This is a bigger line that basically goes into my groin and up into the inferior vena cava of the heart. Procedure went well. By this point Brett and I were so eager to leave the hospital it wasn't funny! We left to go to family dinner, but within the hour were back at the hospital because my new line was bleeding. Gravity took hold and walking around and back to the car didn't help. It was finally reinforced and I was sent with a cold compress and a heavy weight to press down to hopefully help my new insertion site clot.

Today, Tuesday. My Hickman is still causing grief. It is bleeding when I stand up and is just in a plain annoying spot! I have rested today, in bed and on the couch. I got to have my final 30 minute bag of chemo which was nice to finish. So now we just have to wait for this thing to heal, so I can enjoy my 2 weeks without chemo.

I don't want to start a countdown, but I will. Only 6 cycles to go....if all goes according to plan. Which seems to be that it's not. I am incredibly frustrated and upset that it can't be easier. I wish it was simple. I wish the PICC line just worked, and the bags all finished as per plan. But it's not happening for me. I would really appreciate any amount of prayer that you can muster. For me to not dwell on the down side of things, to be able to tolerate the nitty gritty stuff. I just don't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, which is fine because it is a long way away. I need a positive attitude and mind set on things above. Pray hard!

Also..I shaved my hair off. I wish I was in more of a fun mood to post pictures and be excited and happy. But unfortunately it may have to wait until next time. I had great support that night and it was a fun experience. Totally rocking my beanie at home. My head is incredibly cold without hair! I also have a wig to wear, so that will get a gig soon too.

Thanks for listening again to my troubles. Most depressing post yet? Sorry and not sorry at the same time. This is all truth and honesty...


1 comment:

  1. hi Kendall
    a friend linked me to your blog and so i don't know you and this is the first post i have read but i do want to thank you for sharing and hope that you have a strong family and friend network to stand by you at this time... my best friend was cleared of cancer in January after two different rounds of chemo [they found a spot on his liver after the first one] and he goes for his first checkup since being cleared on Thursday and so much prayer heading his way...

    i just want to add love and encouragement and i will say some prayers for you, especially will be reminded to when i remember him...

    this post is not depressing. it's real and painful to read and horrible to imagine but it is so good that you have been able to write this and i hope the people that love you are reading it to understand better what you are going through - i am so sorry for the hecticness of your day and week and trust for better times ahead.

    psalm 34.18 says 'the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit' which has always said to me that no matter how bad it gets we can rest assured that God is there and so i hope you are aware of His presence.

    i hope my words have been an encouragement and not added more burden to you - please forgive me if i have spoken anything out of line or that comes across as insensitive.

    strength in Him
    love brett fish


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