Hello Cruel World
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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A discussion related in some ways to thoughts about humanity I've discussed with close friends. So the internet becomes our living rooms ...
Monday, June 26, 2006
Third Time Lucky?
Well, Friday was the third dose of Adjuvant FEC chemotherapy. The dose has been slightly changed because of the problems the first two times (see previous entries).
This time they did have problems with my blood vessels. I'd been worried that might happen because of the amount of punishment they're taking with the treatment for the immune suppression, and only being able to use the one arm because of the damage from the original operation on the other arm. It took six goes to get a cannula in, but not too much bruising thank goodness. It was one of the worst parts of the previous chemotherapy. Am trying to work on the mental part there, with assorted things to promote calm, lack of stress, lower pain & distress, &c, &c.
But if all goes well, with taking extra care and the changed dosage, I won't need to be put on drips of antibiotics and fluids to help me through an episode of febrile neutropenia, and that will give my body time to heal up. After the first episode, they were able to prescribe me Granulocyte Stimulating injections — subcutaneous, so no vein problens — which is supposed to help my bone marrow to start producing white blood cells. It didn't seem to go that well, because I had a second lot of infection, fever & low white count, but maybe this one will 'take' better. Perhaps a little more exercise to help the blood flow too? And keeping up the healthy diet, plenty of fluids, &c.
In the afternoon I had an appointment for a fitting to get a prosthesis, which I brought home with a new special pocketed brassiere, kind of exciting. Will have to get used to wearing them both.
I felt strong enough the next day to go over and get some of my other prostheses, which were running low, from my previous place of habitation. Found several changes around the place, including one flat being sold, but don't know the circumstances fully. Also ordered furniture from a local second-hand place, but arrangements for delivery are still to be done. That will give me some places to put clothes and other things, and also get a few other things, like my stereo, off the floor. Still don't have a hanging-up wardrobe-type thing arranged, though.
Also used the available energy & momentum to do a bit of cleaning around the flat, and try hanging up sheer curtains over the bay window, to give me a better feeling of privacy in my main room. Works OK in daylight. Still a bit uncertain about night-time. Because I didn't want to drill holes, I'm experimenting with adhesive velcro-like stuff, designed to hang pictures on a wall. Will see how it lasts.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Febrile Neutropenia (2) June 2006
Second cycle of chemotherapy, second multi-day stay in hospital. Dammit.
The Augmentin Duo Forte is slightly alarming, but not outrageously large. There is a strict thing about taking it with a bite of food or between bites. This has to be co-ordinated with the restrictions on the other antibiotic.
Na 143, K 4.5, U 4.7, Cr 84, Hb 98, Plt 94, WBC 4.3, Neut 2.9
Finger swab - mixed growth
Patient presented 8/7 post 2nd cycle of chemotherapy. She had a 1/7 history of fever & painful fifth digit on (R) finger, graze 3/7 prior. Swelling, erythrema - wound not open. Her bloods revealed neutropenia and she was treated with IV gentamicin + cafepime. Her blood results responded and was changed to oral Augmentin Duo Forte + Ciprofloxacin.
There are three bright fluoro warnings on the Ciprofloxacin box: one common one about drowsiness & driving or operating machinery; one about photo-sensitivity (i.e. avoiding exposure to sun & using sunblock — lucky it's midwinter); and one alarming one about avoiding a bunch of types of food within two hours (that's 4 hrs each dose, twice a day), and the Augmentin has to be taken with food.
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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.