continued Vancomycin and farewells

The home health care delivery of the remainder of my Vancomycin® arrived with a ring of the doorbell at eight o’clock this morning. Getting myself into a presentable state to open the door took me over five minutes and then another few to get to the door. The delivery person was long gone, but the box was there, which I was able to scoot inside by kicking it. I had thought that my Vanco treatment would end with the last infusion ball in my current stash until my nurse told me I will be on this until December 4. I cannot even remember when I was not taking an antibiotic, and I will be happy to be finished with all of them. I am still taking two Vanco antibiotics: one by infusion and one oral, which will be completed in another two days. I am eating yogurt regularly in the hope that it will help repopulate my stores of good bacteria.

The bruising and soreness in my PICC line arm are finally receding. When I went to have the port-a-cath removed on that Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they also placed a PICC line in my right upper arm. It became an ordeal, however, when the technician performing the procedure ran into difficulties with the placement. He tried the first location and could not get the line to run through my squiggly vein, apparently. Again, he tried in a second location and then a third. It all failed, and after more than an hour he said he was giving up and would place just an IV line and leave the PICC to the port doctor to insert. At the last moment, however, he was able to run the PICC line through the vein he had chosen for the IV line. I was almost at the point that I wanted to halt the entire procedure as it was getting a bit stressful.

I don’t mind needle sticks too much, generally, but this last hospitalization came with more failed and painful attempts than I want to remember. I have decided that when I am outside the cancer center, I will insist on a phlebotomist to do any peripheral sticking in my veins. I also had arterial punctures, but because the two people who did those were skilled, it was not even painful. I know the people who try to stick me get very stressed when they realize how bad my veins really are, but I am becoming less sympathetic for them and more for me. In the past I have encouraged them to keep trying at the expense of my own comfort. Maybe I will recover from it, but I think I will be considering my own comfort a bit more now.

It was a sad moment this morning when my sister and brother-in-law came to say goodbye before returning home. It was a wonderful visit, so I will focus not on how much I miss my family but on how much fun we have when we are together.

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© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

9 responses to “continued Vancomycin and farewells

  1. Finally she’s got it! It’s DONNA TIME! Make it easy on you, not them. You are the one who is suffering for their inability to do the job…so they need to find people who CAN do the job. Bad veins are something they should all be aware of in a cancer patient who has been thru what you have gone thru already! I am so glad you had family there for the holidays. I am hoping you will have some over Christmas, too. i sent you a message on FB…Please let me know. Thanks. hugs and love…

  2. Absolutely, make sure you have people who can skillfully navigate veins compromised by chemo. You are not fair game for the inexperienced. It sounds as though the visit from your family gave you a much needed boost, so focus on that and not that they’ve gone home.
    Sending love & hugs,

  3. It is time for YOU to come first!! Not someone practicing on you. I remember getting a PICC line. Tried the first time for 1/2 hour and gave up. Went back the next day, and they got one in my left arm. It worked out good because I am right handed, and had in it almost 2 months. I did all the cleaning and infusions myself. I hope you continue to feel better with no or little fever. Sending my love and prayers! ♥

  4. What an ordeal. At least you got to see family. I hope you had good times together.

  5. Every day seems to bring a new challenge for you, and you always seem to excel. Your comfort truly is the top priority and if they can’t make it that way you definitely need to make sure they do.I wish your family could have stayed longer, so nice for them to come and for you to be home to visit.
    Love and Hug’s

  6. I agree that you need to stand your ground when it comes to these sticks and that you have had quite a time of it with your port getting an infection and their inability to find a way to get it in again. It really is “Donna time” and I know how strong you are and why it is so important that you get the right person when it comes time for any more stcks. I am so glad you had such a lovely visit with your family. I am sure the farewells are hard as I know how special this visit was and how these moments need to be treasured. I continue to hope that you are getting the best care possible as you have truly had a time with it. Your beautiful spirit continues to shine through so much. I send you extra hugs and prayers. XoXoXo-Susan

  7. You’re the one going through everything, not them, so speak up.
    I’m so glad that you got to see your family.
    I’m sending {{{HUGS}}} your way.

  8. Hugs and Blessing to you, Donna. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this. My sister had the same thing, and I know what she went through. God Bless, and be strong! {{{{HUGS}}}}
    Nancy-VA (avatar name on Decorah)

  9. I know what you mean about those veins I have to drink water and lots of it
    for them to find mine ..glad you had a great family visit. calling out your name love you peachy lady RUTH .

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