Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary
3rd Day at Duke
To: wellness <mailto:
Subject: 3rd Day at Duke
From: Harry Patterson <mailto:
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 20:30:40 -0500
The doctor in charge of the Pheresis area, the lab and for this week all patient
calls was Dr. Vredenburgh. He called our hotel at 9:15PM (does he ever sleep?) to
let us know that Karen had collected .6 of her required 2 units of stem cells and
that she would have to go through pheresis today.
What a difference a day makes.
While sporting a large bruise from the operation, Karen had a much better day. The
machines were still awnry, (we've dubbed them Hewy, Dewy, Lewy, Moe, Larry and
Curly) but Karen learned how to get the better of them by quickly taking deep
breaths when they yelled. She still couldn't move much, but when she did move and
the alarm went off Karen quickly took care of all the scratches she had been saving
up. When the machine really yelled Karen threw one of those slammer dolls at it (the
kind that yell sayings when slammed against something). She thinks she will provide
several slammer dolls to the clinic as standard issue to new patients.
We also took advantage of getting to meet some of the people going through the
same experience. We met Mike and Linda Eagen from Concord, NC, (Mike is an FDIC bank
examiner which reminded me of my old Bank Auditor days), Hank and Debbie LuEllen
from Virginia Beach (Hank is a salesman for a steamship line), Sharon and Les
Cloninger, and Sharon from Alabama (hope we came close to the correct names). We had
enjoyable conversations and shared battle stories of what the women had gone through
so far. At one point a gentleman came in that had just completed HDC and looked
better than most of the husbands who weren't going through treatment. We'll have to
find out his secret before the month is over.
The nurses have been especially nice. Each one of them puts in long hours and are
extremely pleasant and efficient. We have met Susan, Jackie, Lorolyn, Patty,
Christy, Deborah and of course our own nurse Martha. They set-up and break down the
machinery, change dressings, give shots, dispense medication and chase husbands out
of the way when they cause too much trouble.
We will be waiting to hear from the good doctor at around 9:00 tonight to
determine how much was collected today. Karen's blood counts were very good today
and the machine was able to collect more today with slightly less swelling from the
catheter operation (she packs ice on it each night). If they weren't able to collect
at least .8 today she will more than likely be back for a fourth day.
We'll hopefully get more input, and maybe even list participation from the others
going through the process. until then, thanks again for your support.