Mobilization Chemo

hickman jr, hickman sr, hickman wha?

I had the wrong catheter placed, so they couldn't use it for apheresis. They could still use it for chemo, and will be able to use it for my transplant, so who gives?!? Still, it would have been nice to have the right one.

going for some chemo, gonna eat me a lot of peaches...

Peaches come from a can. They were put there by a man. Well, I didn't have peaches. I had pineapple chunks. And lots of them. But only after I stopped feeling pukey. I don't care what your English teacher says. Pukey is the official spelling of "the mood of pukiness", when you feel liking puking a lot. If they want to disagree, that's their problem. I'm right damnit.

free local calls, a T1, private bath -- if it wasn't for that IV bag, I'd swear I was in a hotel!

Why is it that your insurance company only pays for you to be at the hospital when your sick? I've been there quite a bit, I should get a frequent stayer coupon. Like a free week for every month you stay. It would be fun!

When I got to the hospital on March 2nd, almost exactly a year from my initial diagnosis, I didn't want to eat. I knew I was going to get some awful chemo, and I didn't feel like puking up that first day. I guess I should've eaten, but I didn't. I was scared.

This was my first inpatient stay. I learned to really hate IVs. And get annoyed with anything going through it. Especially chemo. I hate chemo. I really hate chemo. My Cytoxan was a 24 hour drip. The first 6 hours were fine, after that I felt horrible. I felt like I was dying inside. And eventually it was over, I counted the hours.

Oh My, Another Gift for Me?

I was very proud of my urination, they ran a lot of fluid through me. I'd press the nurse button and say there was a present for them in the bathroom. They collected all my pee to measure it, in Metric. How fun!

As soon as I was relieved my Cytoxan was done, I got the VP-16. Awful stuff too. Really awful. I felt so very very dead. I had to remember that if I felt really shitty I still had to be alive. And I was. Every time I puked I remembered I was alive. I was alive, and I was going to beat this little booger.

Gatorade posts 200% revenue increase...

I was overstocked on Gatorade over the next month. They let me out of the hospital Thursday evening, I had arrived Monday morning. It was a hell of a long week, and I hated every minute of it. Except for using the T1 internet connection, that was pretty fun!

When I got home I could barely move. For days I could barely move. I could drink, but barely eat. I could breathe, but barely walk. But I felt pain, and I was alive. I kept temperature of around 99 constantly for the next week, and had to blow my nose every 10 minutes. My white count went down to .05k, up to .1k, and back down to .05k. And I felt awful.

101.5, you've bought yourself a stay at the hospital!

Thursday morning at 3AM, one week after I had left the hospital for my mobilization, I was right back there with a fever that wouldn't go away. I puked when I spiked a fever, and they gave me Tylenol to keep it down -- both the fever and my food. And I was on antibiotics. Oral ones, IV ones. And it was no fun at all. But I felt awful, and I was alive. I just had to find a way to kill the time.

I was scared, with all the antibiotics I was on. Then I realized, as long as I maintain homeostasis -- I'm not going anywhere. So I made a checklist in my head...

  • Am I breathing
  • Is my heart beating
  • Do I feel any real pain, or do I just feel like shit
  • Am I capable of telling someone I feel like shit

If those are true, I am alive. And I'm fighting. And I knew I was going to make it.

My platelets went all the way down to 2, but the doc I had was cool and said I shouldn't get platelets unless I was bleeding or it was some type of life-threatening situation. And he was right, my platelets recovered up to 110 within a week, without any tranfusions. And it's kind of hard to cut yourself in a hospital!

No fever? ANC recovering? WOOHOO!

Saturday my white count was .3. Sunday I was 1.1, and I started growing some 'phils. Monday was 4.5, and it was time to start collecting some stem cells! And to get me some Taco Bell!

Oh, Did I mention my mobilization chemo alone cost over $15,000? I wonder how much they charged for those antibiotics, should know in a week or two... now it's time to prepare myself for transplant...

[ go to top of page ]

[ next -> order dave's book for the rest ]

[ relapse <- prev ]

Order The Crumpled Note Now! play the cancer game now!

Copyright © 1997-2000 Dave Kristula. All Rights Reserved.