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Posts Tagged ‘allergies’


Another scan: All seats taken.
September 3, 2014

All the seats were taken, all 18 of them. Some had blank stares in their eyes probably because they are hungry. You are not allowed to eat anything before your test. There we were, me included, waiting for our turn to have a CT or PET scan performed. In the background, the Price is Right show was showing and all were glued to the TV watching to see if the lady is going to win the brand new Porshe 911 Carrera.  The car would surely turn heads and fits into the category of a chick (or guy) magnet car.

Earlier I had already checked in and I am just waiting for them to call my name to have my CT scan done. The scan is one of those test I have to do to see if my tumor shrank again after two rounds of chemo.

“Oh no!” A collective sigh of regret filled the waiting room.  “She should have not taken the $3000 money. Oh my god, she guessed all the numbers and could have won the Porshe!” That is easy for us to say watching in the waiting room.  The car was worth $92K.  Ooopps.

Price is Right is an appropriate TV show for waiting rooms. That and People’s Court or Judge Judy.  It is neutral and entertaining enough to distract you from all your medical problems.  CNN is depressing.  Soap opera: nausea.  Sports: drama

“Alvarez.” The technician calls my name and puts me back to reality.  He hands me a big glass of clear liquid. “Finish the drink in an hour and I will be back so we can do the test.” He goes on and calls other three names and gives them same drink and instructions.

I asked for a straw.  The tech gives me one, then I realize it was a mistake.  The others were all drinking it straight up from the cup, including the lady in the far corner.  Damm people: This is not a beer cup and we are not in a bar.  Whatever.  I might as well drink, er..rather sip, this tasteless concoction with my pinky finger raised.

Raising the cup I start sipping.  The drink is not bad, I have had better prep drinks before.  The best one is from MD Anderson, which comes in different flavors and a choice of sugar-free or not. (I posted a picture of the drink in my previous post in June.  Check that out).  I was the last one to finish which made me think if the straw was a good idea.  It didn’t matter we all waited and try to get distracted.  Gone are the hunger pangs only to be replaced by bloatedness from the drink.  I am hoping for good results like the one last August 8th.  We will see.

CT scan prep drink... burp!

CT scan prep drink… burp!

Ding…ding…ding. Come on down!

Cheers.

P.S.  I drafted the post before being called for the scan.  The scan calls for a dye being infused during the procedure so your organs will light up.  Your body will have this warm and hot feeling when the dye is infused.  Right after the infusion and scan things got dicey: I had an allergic reaction to the dye they gave me.  I was flushed, itchy, palpating, and full of rashes and hives.  I called for my wife and when she saw me she had the look of concern.  A doctor was attending to me and I was red like a lobster.  They gave me benedryl and put me in a room for observation.  I have had these procedures many times but this is the first time I had an allergic reaction.  The medicine took effect and slowly my allergies cleared but it left me groggy and sleepy.  All is fine now.  Am back to normal.  Just another excitement to spice up my life.  Ha!

What happened?  S**t happens.

 

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It happened again: Fourth cycle

March 26, 2013

It started with an itch, then hives in face to down my body, which was noticed by the nursing assistant.  She stopped the chemo pump and called my nurse, Edith.  Then everybody was all over me.  I was having an allergic reaction to one of my chemo drug, oxalyplatin.  The last time this happened was in 2008 as I was starting my fourth cycle also.

Like last time: it happened on the fourth cycle, itchiness in body, severe hives and I ended up in the ER.  This time around they caught it early and I did not end up in the ER.  They gave me oxygen, hooked me to a monitor to watch my palpitating heart, and gave me more steroids to stop the allergies.

I looked to my wife to see if my wife is worried but none showed in her face.  Instead, she asked the nurse to give the steroids to take its full effect before moving me.  She is my rock.  However, deep inside me I was disappointed.  My life-extending drug turned against me.  It was  the last drug available to me.  I told my wife I want to continue; I don’t know how when I am allergic to this drug, but all I know is I want to continue.  It is like in a marathon when the only thing in your mind is to cross that finish line even if you crawl.  I will not be denied.

Fortunately, I have a very understanding and innovative oncologist.  After seeing my allergies had subsided, he asked the nurse to start me up on oxalyplatin again.  He told her to use a different drug manufacturer, Teva, instead of the usual Pfizer.  It worked!  I could not hide my anxiousness as each cc of chemo is infused; 100 cc, then 200 cc, and so on but no hives appearing.  My wife was always on the look out for any changes but nothing happened until I finished the bag.

After completing the whole four chemo regiment, I was wasted: physically and mentally.  It was a long day at the hospital and my ordeal is not yet finished.  I still my portable chemo pump with me to finish.  What a way to earn a day but I am very thankful; I still have the Teva oxalyplatin to use.  Thank you.

I have two more cycles to go to complete the treatment plan and then we re-stage again.  Slowly, I am recovering but I still have to have my abdomen of fluids (parenthesis) drained periodically.  I had one done last Monday, March 18, and they took out 2.3 liters of fluids, which was after 19-days from the last procedure.  But all is good.

I just to got to keep on earning each day for me to spend it with you.

Cheers.

P.S. Easter is coming up or Passover for others.  Spend it with meaning.  As for me, I start chemo on Holy Thursday and hopefully finish before Easter.  Happy Easter or Passover.

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