Friday, January 9, 2009

January 9 - The day after

The only thing out of the ordinary I was expecting for the first night was that I'd need to get up every 2 hours to go to the bathroom. The first night was a little more eventful.

I woke up at 1 AM with the sharpest pain I have ever experienced in that area no guy wants to have pain. On a scale of 1-10, this was a 15. The shock of the pain was so great I aggressively vomited. Fortunately, this made the pain miraculously go away completely. Unfortunately, this happened two more times during the night - every two hours.

Lynda talked to the doctor Friday morning and the next thing I knew I was packed and heading into the emergency room. They thought I was dealing with a kidney stone from the treatment. The reason is that the chemo treatment begins working immediately killing cancer cells. The dead cells get flushed thru the kidneys and bladder. One concern is that these cells can crystalize - forming stones. One of the medications I take each day is to keep the crystalization from happening. When I heard kidney stone I just rolled my eyes - that is what we originally thought I had before getting into this cancer journey.

Two or three hours in the emergency room - a blood test and a CT scan and big surprise - no stones. The miracle here - all indications show that my right kidney has started working normally again!!! The first of many expected miracles. My personal belief is that the drugs went to work immediately over night on the Lymphoma that was constraining my right kidney from emptying.

I was incredibly sore all day on Friday in my mid-section and back. I think this was due to my aggressive use of some stomach muscles last night that haven't been used in a long time. The back pain is a left over from Tuesday's bone marrow biopsy.

Interestingly, I have so far had no adverse symptoms yet from the chemo drugs - I'll take that as a mini-miracle! The drugs they gave me to counteract the symptoms and a steriod I am able to take for the first five days after each treatment are doing their jobs.

Before leaving the hospital we had to pay a visit to the Oncology office (where I receive my treatments). I needed to receive an injection that will cause my bone marrow to boost the amount of white blood cells. This is a standard shot that I will receive after each treatment. The chemo drugs are going to do a lot of rough stuff to my blood over the next six months - affecting white and red blood cells and platelets (help stops bleeding). My immunity to colds and other things is going to be dramatically reduced. As such every week - regardless of whether I receive a treatment I will be visiting the doctor to monitor the effects on my blood. The draw-back to this drug is that for the first couple of days while the bones are producing the white cells it creates a bit of a log jam in my bones. I may experience some soreness in many of my bones.

All in all, it was a rough and scary first 24 hours but not at all in the way that I expected.

Tonight, I get to try a sleeping pill to help me sleep. It has been many weeks since I have had a really good night sleep. One thing or another has kept sleep from being pleasant - back pain, stomach pain...

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