Too close for comfort.

If this were not my life, I would believe someone made it up! What more can possibly happen?

It’s nearly two weeks ago, now, that when I went for chemo, we noticed my right leg being really swollen. All the way up to the groin and down to the toes. Immediately an Ultra Sound was ordered and performed to check on blood clots. I could hear the return ‘swooshing’ of the blood. NO obstruction, they said.

By the time I got home, it was worse and I was in a LOT of pain and could hardly lift that leg. I called twice on that Thursday, needing help and asking what to do?

They said, it was ‘probably’ lymphatic blockage and I needed to go have it ‘drained.’First, there was this thorough process of marking and measuring certain points, up and down the leg. By the time it reached the groin, we had 68cm. (Used to be almost my waist size.)

The massage felt rather pleasant and I was happy that finally something that didn’t hurt. Came home and was miserable.

I cannot move. Cannot walk. Two steps and I’m done for. The skin is so very tight that I’m afraid it may just crack open. I was to have another massage on Friday. Cameron took me there. When the Therapist saw the leg, which now sported a huge, red-hot area of 20″ inches, she became very concerned. Thought it might be cellulitis. (I thought that meant ‘fat-handles’.) Absolutely no massage. I was so worried and requested that this leg should be seen  by a doctor. Easter was coming up and people go out of town and help may be scarce.

She called over to the E.R and then wheeled me over. They inserted an IV. (They did not access the port as that may bring a different problem.) My ‘old’ doc came and I sure was glad to see him. He just knows my whole history. They decided I should be admitted and stay for observation overnight. They were not sure whether this red area was an infection. The Ultra Sound showed at least 3 blood clots. What? Where do they come from? Well, that’s the $64,000 dollar question. Could be from chemo. Could be from the port. Could be from not being able to move a lot. Could be that when I stopped the Ibuprofen, the blood thickened? Well, just a guess. I feel ‘betrayed’. I was soo good to my body the last few years and this is how it pays me back? Childish outcry.

I felt so removed from reality. This is now my LIFE!! A leg that is the size of small tree.  Luckily, cellulitis was ruled out. (Staff and hopsital were great.)

A friend, who is a retired nurse had agreed to stay with me, so I could have help. That fell through. Cameron had already left for Telluride. He has to find a new apartment since winter season is over. We were supposed to fly to New York for a dear friends’ wedding. Certainly I can’t go.

As I layed there, leg way up and in white TED hose, totally feeling sorry for myself, the thought came to me HOW VERY LUCKY I WAS! Yes.  In all of that, I was so very close to disaster. IF she would have massaged the leg, the blood clots could’ve been set loose and traveled to lungs, heart, brain. BOOM!

Had I ignored all the little signs, at that point and went to Germany, this could have turned into a full blown disaster. So, even in all of that, I was protected. Now, all I want, is to just walk again. Do all of the mundane chores. I would LOVE to clean the toilet.

Friends have been a big, big help. Sending food and coming by. But, there are many hours in the day to fill. I have never been so ‘still’ in all of my life. Whole different reality. Having a problem adjusting to these blows, one after another. Back on pain pills. Of course, there’s MJ. My good buddy. Have very little appetite but this could be because I am not busy enough.

I had to give myself shots. Twice a day, in the abdomen.  There were 8 shots in all. That cost? $611.00.  There’s nothing generic or anything else. Either that or you could die! Also taking Warfarin to help thin the blood. It did come up from 1.1 to 2.8.

I think, somewhere along the lines, I lost a portion of my positivity and good humor. I am cranky and whiney. I am in pain and general discomfort. Now, I have to deal with constipation from the darn pain med. (I don’t know me like that either!!)

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7 thoughts on “Too close for comfort.

  1. My Dear friend, even though you have been throu so much and the road is still long to travel I feel that you are still a trooper and taking this with the glass half full, I know it does not help much but you are in my thoughts EVERYDAY and I just know you will get through this. aside from all the bad stuff I have to wonder if you know what a good writer you are? My goodness you could write a book and it would be interesting, maybe its your calling in life to write one…give it some thought. xoxo

    • Thank you, Evelina. You are one of my best cheer leaders. (Did you know that my son is turning this long ‘saga’ into a book?) Who knows what all can happen. 🙂

  2. OMG! I hope things are going better!!! Chemo is enough to go through! But didn’t you have this pain in your legs before you started chemo.
    Hang in there girl!!!!!! You (we) can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! He is by your side fighting with you.
    I pray you are feeling better and will have a pleasant wonderful weekend. There should be some spring showers this weekend to bring those May flowers! Try to get outside & enjoy some of God’s wonderful sunshine. That always made me feel so much better! And since I had chemo in winter there wasn’t much sunshine. Godspeed!!! Love & hugs!

    • Thanks Sue. Things are unchanged here. Home Health never called, never showed up. Goes to show you what type of ‘CARE” there is! Yes. I did have leg problems before chemo and am wondering if there’s a possibility of 2 things going on? If I could have some help, I could go outside. Maybe I can manage with crutches today.

  3. In Europe they use bromelain and papain (with coated vitamin C) on an empty stomach twice or 3 times/day for blood thinning (cannot be taken for over 2 months without breaks due to the fact that they make the blood very thin). Unfortunately they cannot be mixed with any antibiotic or blood thinning drugs due to their strong natural properties. Also red beet juice (fresh squeeze) it’s known as a natural and very strong remedy to dissolve the blood cloths. One of my friends -breast cancer surgeon in France- recommends red beet juice at least twice a day for his patients undergoing chemo therapy.
    I experimented the bromelain and papain with coated C on an empty stomach for one month and i stopped about 3 weeks before undergoing breast surgery (experimental surgery for breast cancer research); after the surgery I developed broken capillaries and the doctor said that it was due to the fact that my blood was too thin. I made a habit for taking these enzymes at least twice a year for about 2-3 weeks.

  4. Sorry I just forgotten to mention -I cannot remember exactly the terminology and the processes that are happening but in a nutshell my friend said that the chemo technically slows down the thyroid and in turn that causes blood clots. Red beets are high in something that stimulates the thyroid. Most problems he said arrive from the fact that thyroid test is highly misleading (shows okay levels although they are not).

  5. Thank you, Marianne for all that great information. I like the idea of ‘natural beet juice’. I will bring it up to my Oncologist this Tuesday. Thyroid levels were checked a few days ago. Not sure what the number is. I am aware that a lot of Doc’s still use the outdated 4.5 scale. So many things to watch for.

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