Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lots to report...

Yesterday was Cam's 4th of 6 chemos.  Just before Cam's 3rd chemo, he caught a cold and along with struggling through the challenge of chemo, also struggled with feeling crappy with a cold as well.  Lots of coughing & generally feeling awful.  He turned a corner around Wednesday-ish last week - but then the dread was setting in for the next upcoming chemo.

We met with the oncologist on Friday (normal pre-chemo appointment).  Everything seemed good to go.  Cam is participating in a clinical trial where they will do another PET scan after 4 treatments & use that scan to determine if treatment can proceed as planned (2 more on the current protocol), or switch to a heavier duty protocol & go for 4 more.  We, of course, are hoping for the former.

Unbeknownst to me until Monday morning, Sunday evening Cam developed a pain in his left ribcage area.  He had no trouble breathing normally but if he took a deep breath or moved in just the wrong way, it hurt a lot.

So off we went to chemo yesterday and in the pre-chemo check of symptoms, he dutifully reported that ribcage pain.  Everyone was interested in the minute details of this, and then the oncologist was called in to examine Cam.  The onc explained that it is not uncommon for cancer patients to develop blood clots and that the pain he was presenting is a symptom of a pulmonary embolism (PE for short) which is a blood clot in the lung.  Although he felt it was extremely unlikely to actually be a PE, he said he wanted Cam to proceed with chemo and then proceed to the ER afterward to investigate the pain.

The 'better safe than sorry' route in this case - so we resigned ourselves to a lengthy ER stay with the thought it would likely show nothing in the end, but in the interest of caution, away we went.

So, after an ECG, blood tests, chest x-ray and then a CT scan, at 11:20pm (yup, that's right) we were informed that Cam indeed does have a pulmonary embolism - thankfully a small one.  It is unusual for it to present with no other symptoms than the pain, but there it is.

Cam was admitted to hospital (at 12:30am) and given a bloodthinner shot, and informed that he will now need to be on bloodthinners ongoingly.  That news sucks unto itself, however, we also learned that these bloodthinners are administered via needle (as opposed to pills) and he has to give himself a shot every day from now on.  And these suckers aren't cheap either.  A 30-day supply is $1260!  Thankfully we have coverage for this.

Cam sent me home at 12:15, then I was able to pick him up this morning.  He basically had no sleep all night but seems to be doing ok now - just resting & grateful to be able to lay down without pain.

So now that the 4th chemo is done (despite the PE drama), he is now booked to have new scans to see how well the chemo has worked on the lymphoma.  So we will know around the 19th of Feb whether he continues on current protocol or switches to the harsher one.  I suspect that will be a stressful day or so....

So likely I won't make another post until we know what the frack is going on after the tests.

There's the latest!