Admission and Stuff
I’m admitted and all settled in. It’s interesting, because I just got a PICC a month ago, but when I got another one today, they had some new technology to use. Typically when you get a PICC, they take an x-ray afterwards to confirm the line is in the correct proximity to your heart. Today they used a probe and some leads to confirm the placement. As they insert the probe, it measures blood flow and my heart rhythm. The computer then tells them where the “bulls eye” is. Basically the bulls eye is the best place for the tip of the PICC line to be. My bulls eye was 5 cm shorter than where they would have placed it. It’s interesting that before this technology, they would have measure and placed my PICC 5 cm further in. They say there is no big difference in the effectiveness. The main use of this technology will be to eliminate the x-ray at the end. This will save money and save patients from being exposed to radiation.
No Side Effects So Far
So far I’ve had zero side effects. That might be because I haven’t received the blinatumomab yet. But I’m not doctor, so who knows. They didn’t want to start the med in the afternoon. They will begin administering it tomorrow at 8:00 am. They are waiting until tomorrow so that the full team can be here to monitor me and they have a full day of people here in case something is needed. I’m really thinking/hoping this will be a non-event. However since the drug has some serious side effects and has to be administered in a very specific way, they wanted to start early in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon. So today has kind of been a false start. I’m not even hooked up to a pump. I’ve just been hanging out on the unit and enjoying a day of feeling well before the fun begins.
Like a Virgin
I’ve been told that tomorrow morning, I will be the first person in Indiana to receive Blinatumomab. As one of the nurses put it, I’m the Blinatumomab virgin. Now there is some debate as to whether or not a patient got Blinatumomab while at Riley. But I’m most definitely the first Simon Cancer Center patient to be getting it. I think that’s part of the cautious approach. Since it hasn’t been given here before, everyone is double checking procedures and planning every little detail. I even have a separate Alaris pump solely for the Blinatumomab. Tomorrow they will put a sign on it to the effect of “DO NOT TOUCH”. That way no one accidentally stops my infusion 🙂
Long Bone Pain
I’ve been having some pain in my lower legs. It’s like an aching sensation in the bone. I took some Oxycontin but it didn’t really help. The pain is caused by leukemia. The leukemia blasts fill my bone marrow to capacity and the marrow expands to fit more cells. Since the bone marrow is expanding, it causes pain in the bone. It’s expected and there isn’t much to do about it. Well, cure the leukemia and the pain will go away.
Speaking of Oxycontin
When I was admitted for neutropenic fever, I spent the first day of admission laying on the couch in my room. It was comfortable and I wanted to be somewhere other than the bed. Unfortunately I must have laid kind of funny, because I had neck pain the very next day. I did exercises and used hot packs, but the pain still persisted. I told the medical team about it and they said the best thing to take was Tylenol. The problem though is Tylenol will hide a fever and we needed to know if I was getting fevers or not. So since Tylenol wasn’t an option, we went with the next best thing. Which of course is Oxycontin. So yes, I got Oxycontin for a little neck pain. I still have a lot left and am running a special of $4.99 a pill if you are interested. Got to pay those bills somehow.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, I am ready to start and I place this treatment in your hands. Please be with my medical team tomorrow. I pray for mild side effects and for the drug to be effective. Let the drug kill my B cells. Please let me achieve remission. All these things I ask in your name. Thank you for another day.