I’m officially a lab rat
Yesterday, just before dinner I had chills and a low grade (100.8) fever. I ate and my mom and I left for Indy (a two hour drive). Thankfully ibuprofen took care of the fever, but about half way into our trip I experienced a burning pain in my axilla (armpit). It became so intense that I was in tears and moaning. The pain would go in waves in intensity and I was unable to get comfortable. I looked and there wasn’t a rash or streaking or anything showing any kind of infection. I tried to convince myself that once we got to the hotel and put ice on it, the pain would go away. Except it didn’t.
About midnight we got back in the car and headed to the Emergency Department. While they weren’t sure why I was in so much pain from my axilla, they were able to treat it with morphine.
We finally got back to the hotel at 2 am, and got a few hours sleep before heading back to the hospital for the trial.
I was really worried that between the fever and the ER trip that I would somehow disqualify for the trial. When I told the research nurse about the ER trip, she said, “That’s exactly what you should have done, we don’t want you suffering.” Whew. She then walked my mom and I to the research unit.
While it looked like typical hospital rooms, it was run with precision, down to the minute. They accessed my port and drew blood work when I arrived. Then I had to eat breakfast and take the medicine within 30 minutes of eating. This is a dose escalation trial, so I had to take 2 pills of Xeloda, then 8 (!) of the experimental drug. Yep, a total of 10 pills twice a day. Once I took the first dose, the timer started. Blood work was drawn 30, 60, 90 minutes, then every 2 hours for a total of 8 hours.
The awesome research oncologist stopped by in the afternoon. She explained that since my lymph nodes are so enlarged with cancer, they’ve started to press on the nerves in that area which causes a burning or tingling sensation.
My mom and I remained in the room for the rest of the 8 hour observation period and then headed home.
I’m physically and emotionally worn out and heading to bed soon.