Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary
Back at Duke
To: wellness <
Subject: Back at Duke
From: Harry Patterson <
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 23:58:23 -0500
Well we are back at Duke, but not quite ready for HDC. Karen developed a blood clot near the new catheter and it affected her overall health as well as giving her problems with her left arm due to the lack of blood flow. She has been on medication for the blood clot (I believe Heparin - an anti clotting agent) for two days.
This morning it didn't sound like we were going to be able to check in to Duke due to a scheduling problem and after talking with the nurse decided to come up to see the doctor about Karen's condition today even if her admittance was put off a day. We got on the road late and had to stop by her local oncologist for her blood clot medication. She slept most of the way up and we didn't arrive until 5:50. The clinic was closing up, but Dr. Chao said he would see her anyway. Karen hadn't gotten out of the car yet and Dr. Chao came out to greet her (he's very thoughtful). After seeing Karen's arm and the trauma from her catheter operation he decided to have her go in tomorrow and remove the catheter. He thought the clot was causing problems and didn't think it would go away with the catheter in. He wants her to rest a couple of days, let the clot clear up and then put a different kind of catheter in under her skin. That will be the fourth now in 2 years and hopefully that won't cause her any trouble. She can only have it in her left side due to the axillary dissection (lymph node removal) under her right arm. In her words "It looks like she was on the losing end of a knife fight".
Karen needs her rest and wants to be strong going in to the HDC. Looks like we will be staying a few more days in the Brookwood Inn than we thought. At least the Brookwood gave us a room with a fridge and a microwave which is much more convenient on longer stays. We will probably get some time on Thursday, while Karen is recovering, to venture around the area for the first time . Driving by some of the Duke Campus has looked very pretty. We will give you the travelogue from our tour.