Monday, August 16, 2010

Prep Work: Day 1

What a day this has turned out to be! Jacob started the 8th grade this morning.  So even though I was NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight, I got up at 6:15 a.m. and made breakfast for him. Torture to the self is good smelling coffee, wonderful coffee creamer, awesome breakfast burritos, and yummy fruit smoothies and not being able to eat any of it!

Mom left home around 5:30 and arrived before 7:00. Mom, Jackie and I got to North Kansas City Hospital at 8:30 a.m. I had three procedures today.

Procedure 1: Lab Work. Pain Level: 0, Days tunil Chemo: 6
  It is always nice to start off on a good foot. Most of the blood test were your standard test: CBC, WBC (white blood  cell count), HCT (red blood cell count), PTT (Prothrombin Time). The fourth test was a Beta Globuline (which I belive is testing for Iron in the blood).

Procedure 2: Bilateral Bone Marrow Biopsy.  Pain Level: 4. Emotional Stablity: Total Wreck!!

This was the big scary test of the day. I was given an IV, wheeled into a very cold room with lots of activity. It is a CT guided procedure, so it took place inside a CT room. I laid on the CT table with my back up, they taped a grid sticker to my lower back/buttocks area and took a CT of it. They used the grids to determine where exactly the doctor should insert the needle.

 The Doctor gave me 2 injections of Lidocaine. The first one on the skin, then he went further down and gave me another injection. The first one felt like a bee sting. The second one hurt for about six seconds, then the pain went away. At the same time the Doc is giving me the Lidocaine, the nurse is giving me happy drugs through my IV. To be honest, after the second shot of Lidocaine, I barely remember the procedure because the happy drugs kicked in.

I was so freaked about this procedure, I kid you not, I was a crying mess! I could not talk, I could only shake my head. So thankful it went much better than my brain thought it was going to go.

It takes 2 days to get the results of the bone marrow biopsy back. 

Procedure 3:  MUGA (Multiple Gated Acquisition Scan)  Pain Level: 0

The Doc took 3 cc of my blood. He then added some radioactive material to it. He added a chemical to my blood which changes the number of electrons that circle each red blood cell in order to allow the radio active material attach to the blood. Then he injects my blood (now 4 cc's ) back into my body. It goes straight to the heart and allows the gamma camera to detect the radio active red blood cells. WHY?? They want to measure the left ventricle's ejection fraction (how much blood from the left ventricle is pumped with each squeeze to the rest of the body.) 

This procedure will serve as my baseline throughout my chemo treatment. One of the chemo drugs is known to cause heart damage. I will have to have this one repeated several times throughout Chemo to see how the heart is doing. The Doc said they often see Chemo patients after every round of Chemo (remember I am doing 3-4 rounds of chemo).

After that, we were discharged and got to come home.  Unfortunately because of the MUGA test, I am dangerous to Miss Olivia. So she is spending the night with her Nana and Papa because for the next 24 hours I can not hold her, kiss her, or sleep next to her. I am home, in bed, resting and sleeping. I will say my current pain level is probably ranking around a 5/6. Thank goodness I have left over drugs from the biopsy surgery.  You know that feeling you get when you are sick and your bones ache. That is what I feel like, or at least what I felt like 2 hours ago. Now, it down right hurts.

We are doing well. Jackie is here with us till Wednesday morning and doing a great job of explaining the medical stuff to me. Shoot, I might even learn more than I thought possible! Tomorrow, she and I will head to the PET scan and meet with the surgeon who will insert the catheter later on this week.

Disclaimer: Do not expect my knowledge of medical procedures to continue to be this good. Jackie has been sitting next to me spelling words and providing explainations.


  1. I thought of you today and said a prayer! Tell Jackie thanks for the explanations. It helps. You are going to rise above all this.

  2. Pam, it was great seeing you today - I wasn't up-to-date on EVERYTHING you had done yesterday :( I will keep praying and thinking about you through all of this! You are a trooper - seriously!