Posted by: janedb | April 16, 2013

4th Cycle of Treatment


Cannula (Photo credit: Boccaccio1)

I had the bone marrow aspirate done and was still in remission so although I kept having other medical problems the actual treatment for leukemia was still working. It seemed I was needing more treatment for complications than I was  for the leukemia. None of my friends or family could be leave the journey I had been on and it still had not ended.

My fourth round of treatment was just one IV of chemo via a vein. Due to my veins now collapsing when they tried to insert a cannula, they went for the best vein in the crook of my arm. Unfortunately this was so scarred they had to stop the infusion and find another vein as the infusion was going in so slow. They were worried that it could damage my vein and I could loose half my arm. They tried to find another vein but after several tries decided they needed to get a doctor. The doctor came one who knew my veins and she got one in my hand. The rest of the chemo went in with no problems.

I then had to take ATRA for 15 days at home. I took the anti sickness pills for the first two days then stopped as after reading the leaflet in the packet realized that these were what had made me so ill before. The complications described were the symptoms I got. I felt sick and could not each much but I felt better than I did when taking them, as I was not having rigors. I normally read all medication leaflets before taking them, but as they were given by the hospital I just took them.

I must have known that despite what they said at the hospital, that they doubted I would be in again, that problems would arise as I went out on more trips. After being in hospital and only having the shop inside to visit, I wanted to see more. I was still careful, but wanted to feel I was back to normal. Unfortunately I still suffered exhaustion if I did too much. One day I would go out and walk all day, then the next day I would be able to do very little. I was still determined not to be an invalid.

Unfortunately for me although there was less chemo going in to me I still was ill and was admitted on the evening of  a clinic appointment on the 21st February. The consultant said I was out on licence due to my neutrophil count being so low.  I had been sent home being told to take my temperature night and evening, unfortunately when I took it that night it was 38.5, so when I rang in I was told to go  straight in. The only benefit was that I was able to pack the rest of my case myself and say goodbye to my boys. I just told them I was going in as a precaution which I was. As mum had not gone home she was able to take me in then go back and get her own case.

I was admitted to the assessment unit and treated with antibiotics, though not penicillin as I was now allergic after my treatment in January. It had given me an all over very itchy rash. Getting the cannula in proved a problem and one was put in the back of my wrist, it did not go in fully as it hit a junction in the vein. It was strapped in so it could be used for the next dose. The doctor who did said I made her feel she had achieved something as it had been a very difficult shift and she had managed to cannulate a patient with very poor veins.

I spent one night on the assessment unit before I was moved to Ward 41 my second home. I was greeted like a long lost friend as I had been in so often. Nurses hugged me and told other patients you have someone nice to talk to now. I was still having temperatures but the blood cultures showed nothing so I was released on the Sunday. As my blood was not showing any infection markers I was not given oral antibiotics. I still felt ill and was eating little. I spent most of the next two days in bed. As I had to go to clinic on the Thursday I got up on the Wednesday, much to the shock of my youngest who said what are you doing up.

On the Thursday 28th we took my case with us,and I am glad I did as I was admitted from clinic. Little did I know what I now had or how ill I was to become.


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