Well, I’ve had a few interesting days. While I expected I may experience a few side effects, I was not expecting what happened to me post-IV chemo on Day 8.
Actually, it started during the night. I had to go out and poop, really bad, so I woke up dad. He took me out about 4 AM. I pooped a few times but still did not feel too well.
Mom got up about 6:30 AM but I was too tired to get up and follow her into the bathroom as I typically do each morning. Once she went into the kitchen I got up and went in there with her. I had to poop again so she took me outside. I was feeling really tired and weak and didn’t want to walk back in too quickly. I could barely take a couple steps and then had to stop and rest.
When I came back inside I didn’t want to eat, nor did I want to drink any water, so mom was rightfully concerned. She cancelled her clients for the day and took me outside again when I asked to go. I had really bad diarrhea and mom had to clean my backside when we got back inside the house. I was really sorry and tried to tell her, but she said to not worry about it and that she would take care of everything.
She called my oncologist in Scottsdale. Who would have thought that I’d have an oncologist? I also have a cardiologist and a board-certified surgeon. I have more doctors than my mom has. Anyway, after talking with the oncologist she said I had to go to Kachina Animal Hospital.
I arrived at Kachina at about 11 AM. They took me in the back immediately and gave me an anti-nausea shot. They also inserted an IV port in my front left leg and started me on IV fluids. Apparently, I had a really high temperature, 105. Also, the results from my blood tests showed that my white blood cell count was precipitously low. They also put some antibiotics in the IV. My mom was not able to come in the back with me and I didn’t want to go without her. It was tough, but once I was all set up I realized they were going to take really good care of me and I tried to settle down.
I ended up staying in the hospital all day. Mom came to get me about 5:30 PM and I was discharged shortly after she arrived. I was so happy to see her. I was already feeling better now that she was there and especially when she told me we were going home. Dr. Lynn came in to talk about all that had been done to me while I was there as well as what to watch for overnight. I was confident my mom could handle it, she’s really attentive. We made an appointment for the next day at 8:30 AM so they could check my temperature and see how I did overnight. Mom took home some antibiotics for me to start taking in the morning.
When I got home I went straight for my water dish; I was really thirsty. I ate a little bit too. Mom got some Trufood envelopes from her best friend and that’s what I ate. Mom said I could only have one envelope at first, to see how my stomach did since I hadn’t had anything to eat all day. I held it down and felt pretty good so mom gave me another envelope of Trufood about an hour later. I drank more water a few more times. Mom stayed up with me until about 10:30 PM when we went out for our last walk.
I knew I was low on energy because when mom went out to photograph the sunset, I decided to stay inside. Typically, I go out on the front porch with her and then walk around out front while she photographs the sunset. She does that as often as possible, as long as there are clouds in the west and the colors show up. We have some beautiful sunsets out here in N. AZ. I decided to use one of her panoramic shots for this post. I hope you like it.
I slept through the night, only getting up twice to reposition myself. I got up about 7 AM with mom and we went outside. I felt a lot better and was moving OK, not too fast but at least I was now able to walk continuously. I ate a little dry food mixed with Trufood and took my meds. When we went back to Kachina Animal Hospital I was happy to discover that my temperature was normal. Since I was eating and drinking Dr. Lynn said I didn’t have to stay. YIPPEE, I got to go home with mom!
I ate a little at lunchtime and then again at dinnertime. I’m still sleeping a lot and moving slow, but that’s because my white blood cell count is still really low. Mom asked about that but there is nothing we can do to raise that count. I just have to ride it out. Mom is making sure I have plenty of good food and she’s spacing it out throughout the day.
I’ve improved over the past few days and am almost back to my regular energy level. I’m still a little picky about what, and how much, I eat, but mom is being exceptionally patient with me as we work through this stage. At least now we have an idea what to expect the next time, just hoping it won’t hit me as hard. Mom will talk with my oncologist so I can have my next IV chemo dose adjusted since it appears the first one may have been too strong. Oh well, that’s life, always an adjustment.
Mom’s absolute favorite poem is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. The last stanza of the poem is as follows:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
So together, mom and I will be traveling this road, the road less traveled.