Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Live! From the Infusion Center!

Right, so, I'm about to head over to the infusion center to start pouring Rituxan into my veins. As I said yesterday, I'm going to live blog my very long, hopefully boring (because if nothing exciting happens, that means things go smoothly) treatment.

Here's how this is going to happen: I'm just going to periodically update this post here. I'll include the time, and my blood pressure - because I'm sure they're going to be monitoring that because that's what they do when you do stuff like this- and any other information I think needs to be included. So, to follow my progress, just hit refresh. Also, if you want to make this an interactive blog party, contact me via social media of some kind, or leave a comment on this blog. It occurs to me that I could do all this on Twitter and it might be easier. I even have a Twitter. Maybe I'll be redundant and live tweet my live blogs. You can tweet me @CassieTheGreat. Anyway, stay tuned. 

9:03 - Waiting in the waiting room. Turns out infusion services is in the cancer center if this hospital. I had assumed it would be in outpatient services, although is makes sense for it to be here because most infusions are probably cancer related. I walked in to the building with two women in turbans. I irrationally felt like I was being because I'm wearing my hair down and curled. 

9:12 - bp 119/78 - I have good blood pressures. 

9:48 - I have a tube in my arm. It's not hooked up to anything yet. Also in prep for the rituxan, I've been given Tylenol and benedryl and a steroid. Benedryl may either make these updates extra fun, or put me to sleep. Maybe Matt can take over if that happens. He's here to keep me company and hand me things. 

10:00 - I have a bag of stuff. Matt is helping by poking my face. I don't really know how that is helpful, but he insists. 

10:35 - bp 112/70 - still have a tube in my arm. The way this infusion works is called a slow ramp. So they start out dripping in just a tiny bit at a time, then up the flow every half hour or so. I started out going at 50 ml/hr. Now I'm up to 100 ml/hr. Very exciting. I'm watching Netflix and knitting. And I'm a little sleepy. 

11:04 - they're not checking my blood pressure very often, which is fine. I'm up to 150 ml/hr. Moving right along. 

11:39 - We're at 200 ml/hr, cruisin' right along. Here is a picture of my ring if power: 
Isn't it pretty? Can't you just see the magic healing juju radiating off of it? No? Huh. Must be something wrong with my camera. 

I brought all sorts of entertainment with me but I can't decide what if anything I want to do now. I might nap. Or I might send Matt away for some food. Lunch is entertaining, right? I'm actually not all that hungry though. I think napping might be the way to go. The IV drip thing makes for good white noise. 

11:55 - nap times 

12:00 - just kidding. Lunch time 

12:30 - 300 ml/hr. Two more ramps to go; the final stage is 400 ml/hr. I am sharing the room now with a very nice older couple. He has leukemia, which is sad, but today is his last chemo session for a while, which is good for him. Big bad sicks are horrible. I wish no one ever got any of them. 

12:50 - The bag is visibly emptier, and I guess it's emptying faster and faster now. Matt asked if I could feel it, and the answer is no. That reminded me of when I was in the hospital with this before and had to have a blood transfusion because I was so anemic.

 It was near the end of my 10 day stay and they basically came in and said "oh you can't go home because you don't have enough blood." And then they came in 20 minutes later to draw some blood. I remember thinking "what are you doing? You just told me I don't have enough of that!"

Anyway, the blood transfusion was one of the more uncomfortable experiences of my life because the blood is cold when it goes in your veins. Imagine getting brain-freeze but having that feeling fill up your entire forearm. And you can't warm it up really because it's inside your arm. It was not fun. Also, the blood in the IV tube looked like black cherry soda. I do think I've drunk that since. 

Hey, we just jumped up to 350 ml/hr. Almost done!

1:15 - bp 126/78 - the nurse said it will probably just be another 20 minutes. See my almost empty bag: 

1:33 - We're at 400 ml/hr. The last of the bag should be gone any minute now. Then I can go home and sit around err for a while. But there I won't have to unplug a machine and roll it with me when I go to the bathroom. That is a somewhat awkward thing to do. 

1:40 - boom. Done. The bag is empty and the machine is beeping at me. Time get untubed and go home. 

1:56 - final bp 116/78 - I am unhooked and done. But I'll be back again next week. I'm pretty tired, but no more so than most days. Maybe I can nap at home and then have spoons enough to pick up the house a bit. 

2:10 - Matt seems to think it's important that I tell you that he is incredibly handsome. Even though you already automatically associate him with incredible handsomeness. He's also very nice and I love him and I was glad to have him there while I had a tube in my arm. 


  1. Wow! Impressive BP throughout! Your house looked fantastic (you should probably not come see my house), why would you think you needed to pick up your house? But you are a clean and tidy person so it is understandable. Hopefully there is some sleep involved somewhere and yes, good for Matt to be there for support, care, comfort, and handsomeness.

    1. In fairness, the house has gotten messier since you stopped by. But, it's true, I really like things to be clean and tidy, and it kind of stresses me out a little when they're not.

      I took an hour long nap this afternoon and it was glorious. But as of yet I have not cleaned anything.