Today was supposed to be a chemotherapy day. Instead I am kicking back at home, so I do not die. I know I am a little (okay, a lot) dramatic, but Dr. Doom and Gloom has told me in no uncertain terms, the hospital is my enemy. With my compromised immunity, any issue that could land me in the hospital could kill me. that is why I have been very vigilant treating the chest cold that has been plaguing me since November. If it turns to pneumonia, I could be a goner.
Since December 11, 2019, I have been sweating profusely. I have written that it could be the beginning of my end. I contacted Dr. Doom and Gloom’s office about ten days after the extreme sweating started to voice my concerns. Since I did not have any other “bad” symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or decreased appetite, I was told to keep on keeping on.
Yesterday morning I had my pre-chemotherapy appointment with Candice the PA. I told her I was still a member of the extreme sweating team, but it was not every single day (and, of course, not yesterday), simply most days. I told Candice the PA my appetite had decreased, but I was still not having any fevers or vomiting. I mentioned off hand that I had some undigested tomatoes in my poop on Wednesday that had freaked me out because they looked like blood, and I knew blood in the stool was bad.
I mentioned the color of the tomatoes stood out so well because my poop had been more clear liquid looking than poop looking for the past two days. Who knew clear liquid looking poop was an important observation? The nurses and doctors never ask me if my poop is clear; they only ask if there is any blood. How am I supposed to know clear liquid looking poop is important?
Candice the PA ordered a stool sample to be collected with my blood draw after our appointment. All was right with the world, until 4:30 p.m. Candace the PA called me at home. Candace the PA does not call me at home. If there is an issue with my lab results, one of the office staff calls to tell me to take more magnesium or stay away from people or I need a blood transfusion. You know it is bad news when someone who can actually answer your medical questions completely calls you.
Honestly, I feel fine so I do not know how bad it could actually be. Candice the PA told me my stool tested positive for C. diff (Clostridium difficile (klos-TRID-e-um dif-uh-SEEL)). She then told me I could not have chemotherapy treatment today because the treatment would allow the C. diff to get worse and I could end up in the hospital. The hospital is my enemy so I agreed I should skip my chemotherapy today and start antibiotics instead (at least the antibiotics are oral and do not require me to go to the hospital).
Today I am kicking back torn between two thoughts. On one side, I am happy they caught the infection and it did not get bad enough to put me in the hospital (at this point). I have had two chemotherapy treatments since the sweating manifested and did not end up in the hospital. However, if the infection is the cause of my extreme sweating why was the sweating less on my respite week? On the other side, this delay pushes my treatment schedule another week into June when my seven-year-old will be out of school and I want to run the streets with her. The worst part of my cancer is still the time commitment.
My piece of advice to you is keep digging until you find the positive. Yes, I think Dr. Doom and Gloom and Candice the PA are overreacting, but they do it because they care. Yes, part of another two days in June will be spent at the hospital, but if I do not take that extra week off now, I might not be around for any days at all in June.
Until next time,
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