Monday, April 6, 2009

Breathing is a Very Good Thing

I'm not going to lie. Today was sort of a rough one.

Nick and I went to the cancer center this morning for his scheduled infusions of Gemzar and Taxotere. We met with Dr. Jafari first to discuss Nick's energy level and a few other things. He agreed that adding the prednisone back into the mix would be a good idea. We also were given a beta blocker for Nick's heart rate, as he's been clipping along at a rate of ~ 120 for well over a week now.

Blood was drawn, and his labs still appeared steady... for the most part!

So, we settled into our spot and started with the Gemzar. Aside from sweating from his brow at an impressive rate, Nick seemed to be doing fairly okay.

But around noon, the Taxotere was turned on. Within 10 seconds, Nick instantly looked wide-eyed and said: I can't breathe. In a few more seconds, he was beet red from head to toe, and was starting to squirm in his chair. His lips turned blue and his arms were shaking. I can't even explain how immediate it all happened. It was a matter of seconds.

My mom, who had just stopped by with lunch, ran to get one of the nurses. They placed oxygen on him, and immediately stopped the Taxotere...

He was pretty confused for a bit and couldn't really speak. But as he slowly improved, his breathing deepened, his normal color returned and he started recognizing who we were... "Whaaaat haaaappened?" he asked in this hoarse, sweet little voice. He didn't remember much of it except the immediate feeling of chest tightness.

This is what they call an infusion reaction. I had never seen one before. And it was scary to witness it... with Nick.

The amazing thing is that after an infusion reaction like this, you STILL get your Taxotere! Shocking, yes. They tank you up with steroids and benadryl and xanax, and then start the Taxotere again, at a much slower rate.

And they watch you like a hawk...

Nick was pretty exhausted at the end of the day, and climbed right into bed after we returned home. His forehead was still a fountain of little sweat beads. But, he was so happy to be done. And we were so happy to have him out of that chair.

We had to say our goodbyes tonight. I am leaving early tomorrow morning to return to Philadelphia. Words cannot really describe how sad it makes me to leave. But, I know these next few weeks will go quickly, and I will be back before you can say.... Taxotere!

It's just very hard to go. Especially after today. Ugh.

Maybe I will pretend that I slept through my alarm, or couldn't find the airport... or got distracted by tulips blooming?

See you all again very soon.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, you're getting beaten up a little bit along with the cancer, Nick. So sorry to hear it, but I guess it's a good indication of what's happening to those lesions. Keep up the good fight.