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Novocaine, Lanacaine or Michael Caine

Posted Feb 21 2009 11:37pm
Day 70

Sorry everyone for the late update today. We had a busy day today that started with lab work in the wee hours of the morning--the only surprise we had was the amount of people that the clinic was trying to process this morning. There had to be over 100 people all waiting to have blood drawn and vitals taken.

The backlog was so great that we got bumped from our 7:30 am appointment to see the eye doctor. When we did get to see Dr. Kim she told us that Ann's eyes are looking better and in a few days we will be past any serious chance of Cytarabine tearing her eyes up. So thats good news, although she still has to keep doing steroid drops in her eyes every few hours to make sure it stays that way.

After that we had to go back to the leukemia lab for a review of Ann's blood work. In the process we ran into a woman who started her treatment the same night as Ann 70 days ago. I'll call her Betty because I didn't get her permission to use her real name. Betty has ALL like Ann, but unlike Ann she is PH+ (Philadelphia Chromosome positive), she is my age (36) and on the same chemo protocol as Ann. On her 1st round of chemo she got an infection from her CVC and contracted pneumonia, then she went into renal failure. Her kidneys did not recover for two and a half weeks! Her condition got so bad that the Doctors considered aborting her off of chemotherapy all together!

Luckily Betty did make a recovery and she is now preparing for her second round of chemo. Her second round in more than a month, that kind of set back could mean that her battle with leukemia is now in serious doubt. Betty may be an example from the extreme end of the spectrum of patient's reactions to chemo, but she serves as an example that this is not a game. Ann's life is at stake, and every day that delays us moving to a Transplant is one more day of treatment that may overload her internal organs and potentially kill her.

At the lab review we were informed that true to form Ann's blood work continues to drop like a rock after the chemo from round 4. This is expected to be the norm until the neupogen shots spur the production of new healthy bone marrow. The other thing we found out was that Ann's platelet count was so low that she would require a transfusion of two bags of platelets.

After which we returned back to our apartment and had a pleasant surprise. The Blockbuster Total Access that I signed us up for finally shipped our 1st selection of movies. Casino Royal, Talledega Nights and The Man Who Would be King. The last one was one of my favorites and stars Sean Connery and Michael Caine and has inspired one of our favorite inside jokes while we are here. It goes something like this:

If you need a shot for pain they start by giving you Novacaine...

If it's still bad next is a shot of Lanacaine...

But if things are really, really bad you get Michael Caine.

It's always fun to get a good conspiratorial chuckle between us while the nurses and PA's wonder what the heck we are snickering about! It also helps me to remember why I love my Wife so much...she shares my warped sense of obsure humor.
Good night everyone.
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