Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ups and Downs

This is Thierry. We had a few turbulent days. Thursday was supposed to be Mary’s third chemo day in this series. When her blood work came back it showed a low white blood cell count and for that reason she was not given the Taxol and Carboplatin chemo infusions. They did give her a dose of Avastin, and two shots to raise her red and white blood counts. She’s had all this before, except the Neupogen shot, which is supposed to increase white blood cell production.

Thursday afternoon Mary “volunteered” me to hang a cabinet in her sister Jean’s kitchen and then have dinner there, so off we went to Jean’s house in Havertown. On the way up Mary started to feel unwell, and when we arrived at Jean’s house she went almost straight to bed. While I was hanging the cabinet, what was supposed to be dinner for just the three of us, ended up dinner for ten. Lauren and Mike went out to buy more food. When they came back, Mary was feeling worse, and she had a temperature of 102F. We gave her two Tylenols and I called the doctor who told me to take her to the emergency room at Jefferson. Lauren, Mike and I took her there, where she was almost immediately put in quarantine. They don’t take risks when someone has a fever and has a low blood count. We all had to wash our hands every time we entered or left her room, and we had to wear facemasks. They gave her an IV with anti-biotics and after a little while Mary started to feel better, and her temperature was down. Initial testing did not show signs of infection, and she was put on the list to be moved to a regular hospital room, once one became available. Mike and Lauren left around 9:30 and I went home an hour later.

Friday morning I went back to the hospital and Lauren joined us later. More testing, doctors visits, but nothing was found that could explain the fever. The oncologist did not believe that it was a reaction to the Neupogen but was more likely the result of her low white blood cell count.. As all her tests were negative and her fever down, she was released at 2:00 PM. Later that afternoon she started to feel unwell again, and her temp went up a bit, but not as high as the day before. She took some more Tylenol and later in the evening her temp was down to normal levels again, but she had no energy. I did some research on Neupogen and several sites listed fever as a possible side-effect.

This morning, Saturday, did not start well. She has no energy at all and feels somewhat nauseous. So I fill-in as reporter of the events of the last few days. I hope she will be back soon.


annod2 said...

See, if you weren't such a "jack of all trades" Mary would have been home even though the chain of events would have been the same. And you know how we Italians are when it comes to family dinners. I love you for the way you love and care for my sister and the rest of our family. She is a lucky woman!

Karen Kron said...

You are a great team!!! Hope Mary is feeling better soon. Thierry, you did a fantastic job filling in and keeping us all up-to-date. Love you both!

ann mcn said...


Thx for filling in for Mary and for keeping us all up to speed on things. Both of your are in our thoughts and prayers. As Karen said, you two make a great team. Pls give Mary an extra hug from me.

jeannine said...

We do hope that Mary is very soon feeling UP!With love to you both!Jeannine&Carl

jeannine said...

We do hope, that Mary is very soon feeling UP!
Love to you both! Jeannine and Carl