Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary
To: wellness <
Subject: Day 0
From: Harry Patterson <
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 10:41:54 -0500
Karen was at Day 0 yesterday. What is Day 0? It's the day that her stem cells are reintroduced and the days start going Day +1 on up. Her day of first chemo was Day -5. Technicalities aside, her day went fairly well with only occasional nausea. Every person we ran in to (front desk, lab nurse, care nurse) all commented on how up and talkative she was (who Karen?). She was at the clinic from 7:30-1:00PM and only received a minor lecture on trying to get more fluids in to reduce the chance of another hospital visit for dehydration. I had left her in the clinic at about 9:00 so that I could head back to the hotel to get some laundry done and try to work out in the weight room to try and get some of the extra pounds I put on sitting around so much. By the time I got back at 12:15 she had already received her stem cells and had taken on the odor of creamed corn that the nurse said she would from the substance that keeps the cells from being damaged in the freezing process.
After leaving the clinic, the rest of the day went fairly well. She was able to start keeping down some liquids and get some rest without the constant interruptions she had incurred in the hospital. She is a little annoyed at the hip pouch that contains the IV system. She has about 4 feet of tubing that attaches to the catheter in her chest. She takes the pouch off to sleep and rest in bed and has to remember to take it with her every time she gets up or it will tug her back. This morning she mentioned her dissatisfaction about it and ht the nurse classified it as her "friend". Since adding these dispensers of Heparin, no patients had come down with VOD (Vascular O? Disease) which is a deadly build up of clots in the liver. Suddenly Karen was not so irritated by the hip pouch.
We've already praised the nurses and the doctors, but now it's time to praise the patients. It's incredible what these people have to endure. Each one of them reacts a bit different ... some cranky, some lively, all exhausted. All of them have gone through years of chemo and surgery and are looking at this as a hopeful final step in their battle against cancer. We've met some incredibly brave and strong individuals and wish them all well.