Sunday, November 14, 2010

Footloose and Fever Free

I hope everyone has had a great weekend! 

So far so good since discharge on this past Tuesday.  If you recall it was the weekend after cycle 3 in which I came down with a fever and thus had to spend 4 nights in the hospital rather unexpectedly.  It appears as if I have made it through the weekend fever free and at home thankfully.  I became sick late Wednesday night and into Thursday midday.  I had a noon appointment for blood work and fluids on Thursday, so as the hour approached I became very worried that should my temperature show I had a fever then I might be going in for an appointment on Thursday only to finally leave on Monday.  I probably took my temperature 20 times between 10 am and 11:30, hoping that it would remain below 100.  It was ranging from 99.1-99.9 so I was literally freaking out because as I have made it clear, I do not want to spend extra days in the hospital.  It became time to go and once I arrived they took my temperature and it came through at 99.4, whew, no fever.  They next said I had to get set up for a fluid IV for about 3 hours.  By this point I had recovered from my headache and nausea that visited me during the night, so I asked if it was really necessary.  Thankfully I asked because I believe they would have put me on the bag without looking at the labs otherwise.  My labs came back good, which was what I expected, I was sent home.

One thing I have learned through this experience is that the medical profession bases care on standards and averages.  This allows for consistent care for those that are handling treatment below average and also for those that are handling it well above average.  In my case, through 4 cycles it is clear that I am handling the medicine well above average, so it comes across to me at times as I am receiving too much care.  This is a good problem to have, trust me, as when I was waiting for my labs to come back the other day there was a guy in his 40's who was also waiting on his labs.  I overheard his wife on the phone talking about how weak he was and how they were hoping his labs would show he needed a blood transfusion.  Contrast that with me who worked out right after leaving the doctor that afternoon.  In the end I don't hold it against the doctors for being careful and cautious, because there are many many chemo recipients that don't handle the treatments as well as I have.  I have learned though that I must continue to question certain aspects of my treatment to ensure that it is being catered to my individual needs and that I am not receiving unnecessary medicine or wasting the time of great nurses/doctors that need to be caring for people that really need the attention.

Now that I have made it through my low period for cycle four, I am turning my attention to my 2nd MRI and first CT Scan since treatments began, which are scheduled for this coming Tuesday.  I expect continued shrinkage in the size of my tumor, as well as a clear report from my chest CT.  I asked the doctor if there was a chance of any surprises on these scans, and she said that most likely everything should be fine, especially given how responsive my tumor was to the treatment per the first MRI.

After Tuesday's scans I will have a nice break from treatment until the 29th, right after Thanksgiving, so I look forward to a normal week and then a nice holiday!



  1. We are so happy that things are going well. Of course what is "well" for you now is no where near what you would have considered "average" in the past. It is amazing how ones perspective changes.

    We realize that going through what you are is tough, and we are so proud of how you have handled it.

    Lets hope the fever stays away, and we can look forward to setting around the Thanksgiving table instead the hospital bed!!!

  2. i'm looking forward to our hot date with harry potter!

  3. WOW! All this is great news! I am sure your positive attitude and listening to your body and communicating your needs is a big plus in this whole experience! I delight in reading your blog ,,your sense of humor and by far, making the best of whatever cards you are dealt!


  4. Praying for good results tomorrow! Looking forward to seeing you soon, Michael.

  5. I believe you willed your fever down to the good range. A shame college and pro athletes can't will their blood alcohol content below .08! For that matter, many of us wish that!

    Uncle Dave

  6. Here's to hoping there's lots of shrinkage!!! Good luck with the tests, and have a wonderful Turkey Day (you deserve it)!!


  7. did u ever know that ur my heeeeroooo