Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Two incidents of acute discomfort, or, OWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! *!*#*!&*@**#!!!!!!! (and a Velcade schedule comment)

Hello folks.

Well, sadly the old portacath pains are back, entirely as a function of poor technique on the part of this nurse at GD's place. The great and painless nurse that quit assured me that her colleagues were capable, but they are not. I was searching for a comical descriptor..."merciless witch" was one that came to mind but she is too sweet to be called that. Likewise, "vicious, needle-wielding harpy" is also probably a little over the top. "Nurse with poor technique" is accurate but not very spunky as far as names go. C'est la vie.

Anyhow, accessing the interior portacath wasn't quite as bad as the searing, awful pain that it was three months ago but it certainly hurt like heck...kind of like somebody took an awl and shoved it into my chest half an inch. This was still hurting when I went to bed eight hours later.

It was not, however, hurting at 3AM. At 3AM, I woke up with a stabbing pain in my right calf. It was the worst cramp I'd ever experienced. I'd gotten a couple of these over the past week -- they are quite rare for me, thankfully. And I hadn't thought anything of them, and probably wouldn't have thought anything of this one. Except that at 3:01AM, this became only the SECOND worst cramp I'd ever experienced because I then got a cramp in my left calf, same basic place. These were very bad, people. I got up and found I couldn't put any weight on my legs.

After a minute I shuffled over to the computer and with the help of Wikipedia, ruled out deep vein thrombosis. So that's good. Unfortunately, neuropathy can be associated with these cramps.

Cramps, of course, could be a million other things including side-effects of my meds that have nothing to do with neuropathy. I am mindful of BB's admonition not to overanalyze myself.

Having said that, it's now almost three hours later and my legs are still sore.

Jill observed that I didn't have Velcade last week, so maybe my body just wasn't very happy about it. That's a possibility.

On that topic, I realize that I didn't cover off the issue of whether or not there are any breaks in the Velcade. Here's what BJ said: Velcade interferes with the testing, so no Velcade is given while in Arkansas. This equates to a break about every four months of one week.

In that week, I noticed that my red counts crept up (from 12.9 to 13.2, although this could be noise) and my white counts crept up (they were 3.8 two weeks ago and are at 4.2 now, ignoring the temporary spike to 4.8 in response to my cold). On that note, I have a lingering productive cough (say 10 times a day versus 200 times a day before the Augmentin). Hard to finish these things off with a depressed immune system!

White Blood Count graph is next, with special consideration for my new friend WB who started induction a couple of days ago and will likely be familiarizing himself with neutropenia soon. Hopefully it will reassure him to see the ebb and return of white counts in response to therapy.