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veins too damaged for peripheral blood draw at home

Posted Oct 16 2012 9:14pm

My veins are so pathetic from the past chemo I received during my primary treatment that most people having to get a peripheral blood sample from me either cannot do it or need to call for backup. Such was the case with my home health care nurse. When I tell anyone I’m a hard stick, they seem to think I might be exaggerating. Today she tried and tried, but there were no good veins that she could access to draw blood for the cultures she needed to submit. On a high note she changed my port needle back to the single line, so I will not be fumbling with the two lines that were really giving me trouble. I have enough neuropathy in my fingers to make me clumsy when it comes to dexterity for fine-tuned tasks.

I called my oncology nurse to report that and my ongoing fever, and they scheduled me to come in tomorrow to have my blood drawn there at the infusion center. Danika is by far one of the best in finding obscure veins, so I  hope she is in and can take care of this with her usual magic. Lauren also told me that my oncologist wants to start my chemotherapy, but she is reluctant to do it if the infection I have is still raging. We are hoping that by the time the blood culture results are in next week, we will know whether I will be able to get my first Doxil® treatment on that Friday. I am certainly anxious to get started with it, though I hate the way this infection keeps making me feel so lethargic and sick. My fever continues midday, and I am just hoping that any day now it will start dropping to reflect that the medication is doing its job.

The blood cultures drawn from my port indicate that my Vancomycin® levels are high, so the home health care office called me this afternoon to tell me to cut back to once a day, just in the morning, my administration of the antibiotic. Maybe the reduction in dosage will help restore some of my energy.

Thank you for all the patience that so many sent. It really helped. In fact, I think it made a difference overall as I seemed to have a tiny bit of reserve that has been missing lately. You all give me a lot of strength with your support, and I really appreciate all of your  notes and stories, photos and other graphics. Love and hugs.

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© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.
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