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August 15, 2003


We have made it through another day! It wasn't very much fun. I closed my update last night by saying how I wasn't going to have much fun during the night. Boy was I right! Once they finished with the Fresh Frozen Plasma (FPP), they had to check my INR to see if it was low enough to allow the catheter to be put in. The phlebotomist from the black lagoon was brought in to try to get blood out of me. She tried in my arm, and kind of stirred up all the tissue in there. She should get a job as a food processor, or maybe a spider. I think she was trying to liquify my arm. After a few minutes of that, and me writhing in pain, I suggested that she might try the back of my hand. So she tried to liquify the back of my hand, scraping the needle over muscles, bones and ligaments in search of any vein. The pain was excruciating. It was so intense, that after a short while, Menchie stepped in and told her to stop. Then she tried a superficial vein above the elbow. I told her it was too small, and would collapse even if she hit it. She wanted to try anyway. She hit it, it collapsed, so she tried to dig around again to get some blood out of me. There is now a hematoma about an inch and a half across there. She finally switched to the battered back of the left hand, where she fortunately got some blood out. The result of all this was that my INR was 1.9. So they gave me more FPP. Another phlebotomist arrived to draw blood about 5:00am! Oh joy! He looked around and decided to draw blood from my wrist. He got it the first time! It was still very painful. The INR was 1.7. Bring on another FFP and some more Vitamin K! Oh by the way, postpone my catheter installation to 10:30! That meant another blood draw. AAAaaaaarrrrrggggg!!!! The same guy came up for this one, but I was running out of veins that hadn't been riddled with holes. He decided to dig around in the same superficial vein for a while, that hadn't worked earlier, even though I told him not to. Gosh! It didn't work! Then he found an innocent vein at the base of my thumb, and got me there. It worked fine. After all that my INR was 1.6. My arms and hands were pincushions, and I had rescinded my authorization for any more blood drawing. Seriously, people just touching my arms was painful. My arms were so sensitive the slightest touch was painful. They were hoping for an INR of 1.5, but this was close enough. I went to the operating room, where they sedated me to sleep, and I spent a blissful hour sleeping while they installed the catheter. My shoulder hurts when I move my arm, but it is not too bad. After getting back to my room, I fell asleep again. Menchie had to force me to wake up for lunch. I read and watched TV for a while, but fell back to sleep. The nurses let me go to the cafeteria for dinner. I had pizza and a huge tostada. It was great!!! The chemo was started at 6pm. It now has about an hour to go. The next dose will be tomorrow morning at 6am. After that I get to go home again. YEAAAHHHHH!!!!! I will come back to the hospital for the next course on Sunday afternoon.

On the medical front, I am receiving High Dose ARA-C. This takes about 3 hours. In addition, I took some anti-nausea pills, and some eye drops to protect my eyes from the ARA-C. There was also medicine to help protect my kidneys from cell lysis products, as well as bicarbonate by IV to make my blood more basic to help protect it from cell lysis products. No lab results today. I will try to report on that next time.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low




WBC 4.5 3.0 2.6 nr
RBC 4.30 3.50 3.57 nr
HGB 13.9 11.8 11.7 nr
PLT 130 213 204 nr

Have a great weekend!


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