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Afintor Chronicles, Ch. 2

Posted May 14 2010 12:00am
Man, what a week this has been. The cough was wreaking havoc by not letting us relax. Every time I moved, it was as if something inside my lungs shifted and it would set me off for the next five minutes. This bothered Glenda because she has zero patience with things that can disturb her TV watching activities.

I have been feeling weak as a kitten lately and sleeping a lot. That bothers me because I don't want to feel like this. I have always been an active man and not being able to do things like going for walks or riding bother me terribly. Still, one has to cope and do the best one can, doesn't one?

I had an early morning appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist on Wednesday so I got up at 7:30 to prepare.

The shower water was very warm and chased the chills away quickly. I didn't feel 100% but didn't think there was anything out of the ordinary. The shower was uneventful. Until I turned off the water.

As I straightened up from the faucet, I suddenly felt strange. Not dizzy yet not quite right. Our tub is equipped for handicapped so we have bars in the shower and I grabbed hold of one and put my head against the cool wall. "Oh no," I said as I felt myself getting weaker by the second. I closed my eyes hoping it would pass as every other thing has before.

I stood there clinging to the bar. The cold air chilled my body and I thought it felt uncomfortable. I dislike the cold, you know.

Suddenly, I opened my eyes to find myself sitting on the tub floor. My left arm hurt slightly and my right hand held a firm grip on the bar. I must have hit the faucet on my way down because the water trickled from the spout.

The door opened. "Was that you?" asked Glenda.

"Yeah," I mumbled.

"What happened?"

"I fell"

Glenda was there in an instant and slid the shower curtain aside to find me slumped over, holding the bar.

"Help me dry off Hun," I said.

She said, "Okay. Stay there."

I tried to reach for the faucet to shut off the water but lacking flexibility, I was unable to reach. "Leave it," she told me."I'll get it."

She turned off the water, covered me with the towel and began rubbing me dry. I was on the verge of tears at the idea that I had come to this. I am not supposed to faint dammit!

I am the man and I am not allowed to faint. I am supposed to be the strong one. Here I am now, sitting in the tub being dried off like a child. I was afraid to release the bar. Glenda kept rubbing me down.

After she toweled off my torso, I slowly moved to get up. My left upper arm hurt but there was no blood or bruise so we knew it was okay.

"Come out of the tub, or sit on the side so I can dry you off," Glenda ordered. I made my way to the side where I sat as she dried my legs and feet.

"Get my pajamas please," I said. She handed them to me and threw the towel over my head to dry my hair more. I put my pajamas back on, slipped my tee shirt back on and slowly got to my feet. Glenda stood close by less I fell again.

"Go back to bed," she told me. "You're not going anywhere. I'll call and cancel the appointment."

I managed to get back into bed and went back to sleep. Eventually, I would sleep another two hours. I woke up at nine when Glenda called the doctor to cancel then knocked out again.

Apparently, my BP dropped too low and I fainted.

I rested the rest of the day but still felt weak.

Thursday afternoon, I was seriously fatigued and lay down a while. I felt hot so I had Glenda take my temp. It was 99 and change. Not bad. I asked her to take my bp.

It was low. Low enough that we felt it needed medical attention.

Doc Benzor told us that if anything else like the shower thing happened again, we were to call 911. The paramedics arrived about 15 minutes later. When they checked my bp, they said it was fine. My oxygen exchange was 100% and they didn't see anything wrong with me. They reassured us and left.

After the paramedics left, Glenda and I were talking and it occurred to me that I am taking medications to counter SE's caused by the Sutent. High BP, hypothyroidism among them.

I have been taking Atenolol for the high BP. Afinitor does not elevate your bp so any bp meds I take will lower my bp more than it should be. Fainting and fatigue are the result.

Hypothyroidism will lower your hormones and fatigue will also result. The roid med I take is to increase my hormone secretion which could be a bad thing.

If you have recently changed from say Sutent to Afinitor or Nexavar, or some other med, have your onc check to see if you still have to take the meds to treat the SE's

We checked the information for Afinitor and found no effects to the thyroid or blood pressure. They do share fatigue as a side effect but neither says it is from an underactive thyroid.

I stopped taking the Big A for a week hoping the cough will clear up. I don't cough as often as before but when I do, the intensity is still there. A pec muscle in my left breast hurts from straining.

And I am sleeping like crazy. Glenda is listening and checking on me when I shower less I fall again. I notice that I keep a firm grip on the bar as I shower.

A friend advised bubble baths with candles and soft music. He also warned me that if I outed him, he would kill me.

Your secret's safe with me Buddy as long as you don't tell anyone about the submarine I want to get.
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