Yesterday my medical team informed me around noon that I would be released to home that afternoon. It turned out to be one of the busiest days since I was readmitted. Various physicians and administrators stopped by with instructions and paperwork, and, finally, at six o’clock my husband wheeled me out the door.
The caseworker informed me in one of the meetings that a home health nurse would come to visit me and train Marvin and me how to administer the port lock and antibiotic treatment. I was a bit startled at first that this kind of responsibility was going to be left with me, but my friend stopped by in the afternoon and assured me that it would be a cinch to learn and that it is common practice for patients to perform this kind of task. She is a physician, so I have the utmost confidence in her opinion on such matters. When my husband and I arrived home, the nurse arrived shortly after and proceeded to show us how to unlock the port, administer the antibiotic and lock the port again. I made a few written notes even though I was barely awake; I needed to be able to do this procedure without Marvin’s help because he will be at work when I perform the first of the two daily applications until 10-24-12. This morning another nurse, who will be the ongoing support for me during this process, arrived just before it was time for me to do the first application of the day. With some referral to my notes and a couple of reminders from Marvin and the nurse, I managed to surprise them with how much I remembered from last night when, apparently, all thought I was more asleep than awake. I surprised myself even more. The procedure is simple enough, and I will write up some instructions to keep available just in case I have another day with half a brain off duty.
Meanwhile, today my oncologist called to let me know that we will be using Doxil® (doxorubicin) instead of Halaven® (eribulin). Since I was gone before she came to see me in the hospital room last night, she wanted to let me know of this change. Doxil is an infusion once every four weeks, when I will also continue to receive Xgeva® (denosumab). She said that if the indications are that the vancomycin treatment for the port is working, based on my lack of fever and blood cultures, instead of waiting until I finish the antibiotic treatment, we will forge ahead to the chemotherapy as she prefers not to wait to start treatment since it has been a while since my last treatment date (before my pleurodesis on 9-15-12).
It sure is great to be home and to sleep in my own bed next to my sweetheart. I slept soundly and woke up refreshed for the first time in eons. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the treatment will work and will be especially careful with the port-lock and antibiotic administration to maintain sterility; I don’t need another contamination infection on top of an existing one.
The past week has been exhausting, especially with the new news and the knowledge of the road looming ahead. My family is going to take turns coming out to visit and help me, and that will be a wonderfully welcome event. I don’t know how soon I will recover my endurance, but for now I remain fine enough to manage but not without my walker and remain cautious so that I do not fall. Somehow I have been able to make it up the stairs to our bedroom because I am determined to sleep in my own bed for now even though my family helped to get me a hospital bed and all the accoutrements. I sure do welcome it, however, during the day when I need to take a nap. It’s really convenient and comfortable as it has a Tempur-MED mattress. I am sure there will be nights that I will spend downstairs on my bed and will be grateful to avoid climbing the stairs.
Again, thank you for all the support and cheering you have given me during my hospitalization. It has been a very difficult period for me, and seeing your comments, which I have read multiple times, has helped me more than you can know. I treasure my family and friends and feel so fortunate to have such an incredible support group who stay in touch on a regular basis. Sending you all my love and hugs.5 6 7 8
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