After two or three lovely days at home, I am back in the Santa Monica UCLA Hospital for a few days.
This week I used my new Ommaya Reservoir three times. That is the port on my head that drips medication right into my brain and spinal cord. The Monday access worked very well. I experienced no problems or pain and the Herceptin began to do its job immediately.
I was supposed to receive a regular chemo called DepoCyt at the same time of the Herceptin but the Fed Ex did not arrive in time, so we rescheduled for Wednesday. I asked if we could skip the heavy doses of Decadron steroid that made me so miserable toward the end of the summer. He said OK and we would just go slow and watch me.
Big mistake on my part. My doctor knows more about cancer than I do.
About 2pm yesterday I spiked a fever of 101.8, developed chills and a massive headache, violent vomiting and steady nausea. That was 3 of 4 "go to the ER IMMEDIATELY" instructions on the DepoCyt, and by the time we arrived I had all 4. We called our doc and his staff verified, go because these are the same symptoms of Bacterial Menengitis which is REALLY bad. So, they immediately put me on high power antibiotics and are treatment as if I have the worst case scenario until the cultures come back showing otherwise.
I am coming to appreciate the hospital. I felt sicker than I have ever felt in my life yesterday afternoon/evening. As if I had the worst stomach flu you can imagine. That at least put me in a private room quickly because apparently vomiting people in the lobby is not an attractant for new patients. It's the little things that make unbearing situations more bearable. For instance, When we arrived in the ER I ran in and made a general announcement that I was about to vomit and could I please I have a pink bucket. People started running in different directions, the waiting patients starting turning away and covering their mouths. No pink tub was arriving regardless of the scurrying of so many, so I located the nearest triage room sink. About 3 nurses grabbed me and screamed, "Not in the sink!". They practically shoved my head inside the biohazard trash can and not a moment too soon. Needless to say, we found our way to an upstairs, private and fully admitted room in record time.
At any rate, our hope is I will be home by the end of the weekend, infection free, tolerating the Decadron, feeling as well as I am right now. As for future treatment, I am not sure of the details but I am certain I will be continuing Herceptin in both ports. As for the DepoCyt I hope I never again have to experience a time like today again. Today's MRI showed nearly the all the cancer in the brain is gone and now they are keeping an eye on only one receeding spot.
Keep up the prayers--they are working!