Saturday, June 24, 2006

Another drug reaction? Can it really be happening? Oh and the kids are both sick!

Didnt sleep much last night due to the "itch" and the heat and humidity. We had a power failure at around 4am and that woke me up because I heard the AC shut down and everything else that runs on electricity shut down also. All I kept thinking about was the food in the fridge going bad and I cringed

I did get back to sleep for a few hours but then had to get up to be at an OT appointment at 10:30am. I decided to stop at the oncologists office first so he could take a look at the rash on my neck again because it had gotten worse. I also had the rash located around my female regions and it looked bad, thats all I'll say. Sorry to gross anyone out. My Dr wasnt in so I saw one of his associates (a woman that I dont like). She brought me into an exam room and looked at my neck. I asked her if she wanted to see the other parts of my body that contained the rash. She said, no thats OK. OK, well, I would feel better if you looked at it, I said. She insisted that she didnt need to see it and that it was a drug rash from the Taxotere. She continued to ask me what I was doing for it and I told her about the benadryl and atarax for the itch and also the creams I had been using on it. I used an antibiotic, hydrocortisone, antifungal cream and powder and not all at the same time. None of them worked too well so then I was just using plain cornstarch to stop the itch and absorb the moisture. I asked her about my throat because I have no voice at the moment and both my kids are being treated for strep throats with antibiotics. Do you think she did a throat culture or blood cultures? NO, and that surprised me because my WBC count was extremely low a few days ago when I came in to have it checked. She looked down my throat and said it looked fine. Funny, when I looked down my throat WITH A FLASHLIGHT SO I COULD SEE, it was RED and had striations typical of a strep infection. So, no culture, no blood tests, no meds, nothing. This was turning into a supreme waste of my time and I was late for my OT appointment! She told me as I was leaving that I might want to see a dermatologist. Maybe my regular oncologist should have mentioned this to me the other day before he said that HE wanted to see me again if it got worse.

I post on a breast cancer board and another woman had the same skin breakout as me with the same chemo drug, Taxotere. She said the Dr had never seen anyone with those type of blisters/rash and that it must be herpes. To make a long story short the woman insisted she never had herpes and they ran a test because the Dr was an asshole and didnt listen to his patient. The tests showed that she was negative for the herpes virus and the Dr was WRONG. I wonder if he apologized to her over that? Most of these Dr's get tunnel vision and only see the part of the picture that they want to see instead of the WHOLE picture.

After that fiasco I went to my OT appointment and had my fluid filled arm wrapped because yet again my compression garment is not in (she said today it would probably be in later in the day WHOOPIE! later in the day when I am HOME where it can do me a whole lot of good)

We left the hospital just in time to make it to the counciling place where we live. I was a bit nervous about this entire thing but knew that it was something we have to do before we rip each others eyes out. The kids had to come with us because school is out and camp hasnt started yet. They were very accomadating to us with having another councilor to watch the kids while we were with the other. I cant say she watched them very well though because they were running up and down the stairs of the old colonial the counciling place is in and they are quite steep. I was silently biting my tongue inside the room as I heard their shennanigans from there. God forbid my kids behave for a moment that I REALLY need them to! The world would stop rotating on its axis. Yup, I have a great sense of humor which gets me through the hard times. I dont know what I would do without it.

The session went well and I cried a lot but that was to be expected. I wonder sometimes if my husband has any emotions because I never see them. Maybe he hides them well but I would like to see him express more of them so I can learn to understand him better.

I was totally drained when we got home and laid down for a little bit. I fell asleep for a few minutes but I needed to sleep hours to make up for the lack of sleep in my life lately. My throat was hurting more and the rash was getting worse with the increasing temperatures. I found some Zovirax cream (anti-viral) and used that on the rash to see if it would help. Heck it couldnt hurt me could it! Might as well give it a shot. I was concerned with the lack of attention the Dr gave my throat and my slight temperature I had. She asked me if I had a fever and I told her that I honestly didnt know and probably wouldnt be able to tell because I am on Oxycontin, oxycodone, Tylenol at times alternated with Motrin. If I had pain or fever from an infection it would be masked by these drugs. All the more reason she should have done a culture.

This evening at 8pm I called my regular internist who was on call to see if he could help me. He didnt call me back until after 10 because the pagers were down at the hospital. I am just glad he returned my call. I told him what happened at my oncologists office today and the rash and my throat and he felt very bad for me. He told me to start taking the Zithromax antibiotic I had in the house tonight and see if that would help to clear up my throat and also maybe help with the rashes which he thinks is a secondary infection. He thinks everything is related in some way to one another. I hope he is right. He also wants me to come down to his office tomorrow so he could get a look at the rash. I am not sure I could get to his office tomorrow because of the heavy, torrential rains we are going to be getting (starting tonight). They are predicting 5 inches of rain this weekend! Thats a lot of rain and flooding on the highways here which wont make it easy for me to get to the Dr's office.

I am so glad that I have such a wonderful Dr who genuinely cares about me as a person and not just as his patient who pays him to take care of me. He would go out of his way to help me or my DH and has many times in the past, not only for me but my parents and grandparents.

On the topic of HAIR~I have notices lots of fuzz and baby hairs all over my head. I am excited over this new discovery but a little disappointed over my eyebrows and eyelashes being totally gone. I just want my hair back so I can use hair products again. I know it sounds funny but I miss the smell of all that stuff
When my hair starts to fill in a little bit more I am going to use the Morocco Method products I bought right before my diagnosis. I read on their message boards that many people who lose their hair and undergo chemo use it with good results growing new, stronger, healthier hair. Plus, I wont have to use a lot like I did when my hair was 31" so thats a positive. The Zen Detox is something that looks spectacular for use after I finish my last round of chemo to make sure its out of my hair follicles and nothing is their to hinder the growth of new baby hairs.

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