Day from Hell

Yesterday went so well with chemo. My blood counts were good; my other blood work was incredibly normal; and my CEA is continuing it’s downward trend. I felt good, just a little tired and antsy from the steroids. I was even able to got to sleep at a normal time last night. Then everything changed. If you’re sensitive, you may not want to read the details of this medical issue…

I woke up shortly after midnight with the worst case of acid reflux I’ve ever had. It was so bad that I somehow aspirated into my lungs and was coughing so hard I threw up in spite of having taken my anti-nausea pill before going to bed. I was having a hard time breathing, and felt like my chest was on fire. But I couldn’t stop coughing and trying to clear the junk out of my lungs. This went on for at least half an hour and then subsided enough that I could catch my breath. But I was still coughing. I took cough medicine, Tums, and a different anti-nausea pill. I was finally able to get back into bed as long as I was sitting up and read for a while. Then I had to get up so came and played on the computer for a while. I was able to finally go back to sleep around 3 or 4 and slept until 9. When I woke up, I felt achy and headachy so checked my temperature; it had shot up to 99.8 – normal for me is 97.6 and under.

I was still having breathing issues, so called my onc doc’s office around 11:30ish. When my PA called back,I told her that on exhalation, I sounded like there was a sick cat mewling in my chest; she told me I’d better come in for a ‘cat’ectomy – gotta love that sense of humor!! She told me to come in right away for a CT scan as they were concerned about a blood clot in the lungs. I was sure it was more likely to be aspiration pneumonia from the reflux. The CT scan showed no blood clot, but no pneumonia either, but that wouldn’t be likely to show up for a couple of days anyway. So they gave me more steroids IV and an antibiotic IV. I have to go back daily for the IV antibiotic, and take the steroids orally every day for six days. And the CT scan showed that all but one of the tumors had shrunk – lagniappe!

But wait; there’s more!! In the infusion room, I used my foot to push in the footrest on the chair before I sat down. Except my foot slipped and I managed to rip off about 1/4″ of my big toe nail, which then wouldn’t stop bleeding – probably because of the Avastin and the daily aspirin. So I ended up having to have a compression bandage and an ice pack on my big toe, which continued to bleed for a good half hour. And Steve yelled at me for pushing the footrest in myself instead of asking him to do it. 😀

We were at the onc doc’s office from around 1 until 5:30 – we’re home now and my breathing is a little better. We’re waiting for the pharmacy to call to let me know my prescriptions are ready – more steroids and an inhaler to help my wheezing. And I have to take Tums 3 times a day in addition to the Omeprazole I’m taking twice a day for reflux. My breathing is a little better now, but I’m still coughing and wheezing, and my chest hurts still.

Never a dull moment, right?

22 thoughts on “Day from Hell

  1. saundragoodman says:

    This is a BIG dislike. I’m so very sorry that it was the Night From Hell (I hope I’m allowed to say that here) for you. I’ve never had acid reflux and can only imagine how awful it is. More meds, trouble breathing, AND the toe! I’m crying for your pain and frustration and fear. More prayers than ever before. Love is with you, but it doesn’t always help. ❤

  2. Oh, my gosh. I just was getting ready to post the congrats and “yeas” and all that after your good report. Rather a different scene just now, huh?

    There is good news tucked in here. And you didn’t break your foot. That counts, right? Sure do hope you can rest tonight, and recoup from all that coughing, particularly. I remember bronchitis, and while that’s not as bad as what you had, it was bad enough to whomp up my sympathy for you a few degrees.

  3. It helps more than you know, Saundra. At least the day is over; I have my inhaler; and chocolate (which probably won’t help the acid reflux, but at this point, I don’t care – chocolate is medicine!) ❤

  4. Day from hell indeed! How utterly miserable and frightening!!! I’m so sorry it all hit you with such a wallop!! But glad your team is right on it and taking care. How is your toe now? That’s going to be sore for awhile!!

    I told you I had acid reflux for years…not nearly as bad or frightening as yours, but I used to often cough so hard i would throw up…when I was working in my last job (network admin), I can remember days when I’d be working on someone’s computer in their office and the reflux would hit and I knew it would be one of “those” episodes…I rarely ever made it to the bathroom in time and had to use people’s garbage cans to throw up. It was so embarrassing and painful…my entire system felt like it was on fire. Thankfully, I don’t have it very often anymore…now it usually only gets that bad when I also have a cold, then the PND meets the GERD and, well, not nice.

    I’m really sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else. Keeping you in prayers and wishing I could do more. xoxxoxo

  5. It doesn’t really surprise me, given all the chemo and wide array of medications you’re on. I wonder if it’s hitting extra hard because your system had a nice little break from it all, and now suddenly it has to deal with a huge influx of meds again. Your poor body has so much to deal with, it’s no wonder it’s finding ways to let you know.

  6. More than one person should have to deal with. Except for the GOOD news, of course. Here’s hoping things settle into a bit more of a regimen. Boring is good. I REALLY like boring.

  7. Reading your comments – You’re actually right about chocolate. If I’ve got a bad cough (believe me, I am certainly not comparing my little wheezing fits to yours) I take a spoonful of chocolate topping. I don’t know what it’s got in it, but it’s incredibly good for a chesty cough.

    Anyway, enough of my silly home remedies. What a hideous night you must have had and then the toe! OUCH! Steve sounds like my hubby who would get cranky with me for doing an injury to myself instead of just getting over it and on with the treatment 😉

  8. camp2go says:

    …and I was so happy to chat with you yesterday in various posts. I thought then that you must be feelling so much better. So sorry to hear this,Ruth. I hope you get a good restful sleep today, so that you can catch up from your trip through hell.

  9. Chocolate definitely helps me feel better, although it doesn’t actually cure anything for me. I think chocolate does contain something that opens up the airways, although I would have had to eat enough chocolate to sink a battleship to fix my cough. That would have made me gain even more weight than I already have. 😀

  10. Ruth! I was so shocked by what i read last night, I couldn’t bring myself to answer. I apologize for this, as you deserve all the support we friends of yours can offer. I sincerely hope you have had some good rest since you wrote this, and that all the injured parts of your body are showing some signs of healing.

  11. Ruth … this is really just too much! How do you manage and still keep up your sense of humor? Well, it is the only way to go. Isn’t it? Love. Love. Love. And respect for who you are and what you are doing. You are a trooper. I so hope that you will rest more this night and more comfortably. I suppose you are somewhere at 11 am now. So you have your day before you. And that could mean nap times. Right? Is it sunny where your are? And warm? I believe it is. I will picture this as I think of you going about your day. How is your big toe doing? Does it hurt when you walk on it? I guess thongs will be the thing for awhile. That’s what they are called, right?


  12. Thank you, Anne. I had my IV antibiotic this morning at the onc doc’s office and have slept all day since. My toe will heal and the nail will grow back; my cough is better; me fever is gone. So yes, I’m healing. 😀

  13. Hi, Iva. It’s still warm here so I can at least wear sandals still and not have to worry about crushing my toe more in shoes! I have slept all day since we got home, so I’m feeling better. 😀

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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