Friday, August 1, 2008

We Were Even Allowed to Pick Our Own Noses!

It is Friday, August 1st. Where did July go?

I am not supposed to be home today. I am supposed to be at Lehigh Valley Hospital receiving chemotherapy. But that was part of my plan. Part of my oncologist's plan.

Not God's plan. Because here I am, sitting at home.

On Tuesday afternoon, I was running a fever of 102 and had severe pain in both hips and upper thighs. The pain was so bad that I could not stand. My wife called the doctor and the doctor said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" No, that's what we used to sing with our children at bedtime. The doctor told my wife to take me down to Allentown to see him. So that's what we did. Only by God's grace was my wife able to get me into the car without both of us falling to the ground.

At 4:30, we saw the oncologist and he decided to admit me for some tests. That evening I had an MRI of my spine and x-rays of both hips and thighs. I also had additional bloodwork done. That night I was given IV fluids, two units of blood, and medication for the pain in my hips and thighs.

The next morning I had another two units of blood. When the doctor came through on his rounds, he reported that the MRI and x-rays were normal and that the pain was probably a side effect of the injections I received two weeks ago to stimulate white blood cell production. The pain was consistent with what one could expect from that type of injection, but late in appearing. There was no other explanation for the pain, though. I was told that I would be monitored for another 24 hours and a decision whether to proceed with the chemotherapy would be made on Thursday morning.

By Thursday morning I was feeling much better - my blood counts were much improved and the pain medications were taking care of the pain - but my oncologist decided that it would be best for me to go home, rest for a week, and continue my chemotherapy treatments next week. Yesterday afternoon I was discharged and here I am at home.

I do have to mention that the highlight of my visit to Lehigh Valley Hospital this week, other than than the excellent care I always receive from the doctors and nurses there on 7c, was a visit from two clowns my wife met in the elevator. I'm not kidding, two clowns - Dr. Bandaides and Nonnie Doe, RN (Really Nutz) - from Bumper "T" Caring Clowns. They were funny. They made me laugh. They were delightful visitors.

Here is a picture of me and my wife, along with Dr. Bandaides and Nonnie Doe, RN, taken right after we received our free nose jobs. We were even allowed to pick our own noses!


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