Chemo 2 Day 14: ER Visit

31 Jul

Yesterday was a great day.  It was so wonderful to go to church, spend time with friends and we even helped celebrate our music director’s birthday at a Mexican restaurant.  Also, in the middle of the day I had a video chat session with my immediate and extended family.  I miss them so much.  It was nice to see all of their faces.  Once I’m done with treatment I’m hoping to go up for a visit (to Michigan).

Anyway, I said all that to show how great I felt yesterday.  I had no chemo brain fog, I didn’t feel weak and I hadn’t had any bone pain for quite awhile.  Then, on our way home from the Mexican restaurant I started having pain down my life arm.  I tried to blow it off and blame it on the scar banding in my arm.  When I laid down to go to bed I could not get comfortable enough to where my arm didn’t hurt, but I eventually fell asleep.  At about 12:45am I woke up from a bad dream.  I was dreaming I had pneumonia and the doctor’s wanted to do surgery on my lungs!  I realized I really was having pain across my chest.  Pretty bad pain.  I decided to get up and see about a pain killer.  By the time I got into the bathroom it was so bad I was clenching my chest and praying I wasn’t having a heart attack.  It came in waves about every 10 minutes.

Since the beginning of this journey I have had nights where I have to get up from pain, sleeplessness or whatever and I never wake up Kevan.  There isn’t anything he can do for me so I just let him sleep.  Well, last night….I woke him up.  I was scared.  We decided to call the on-call doctor at my oncologist office to find out if this is normal or a side effect from something.  The answering service said we should receive a call back in 30 minutes.  We never received one.  So, we left and went to the hospital.  It was VERY hard for me to make this decision because I really hate being at the hospital…but I really thought it might be a heart attack…it hurt so bad.  In the end, it was determined my heart was just fine.  They discharged me after that finding, but did not give me any diagnosis for my pain.  Great.  I called my oncologist this morning and was informed that this was also a side effect from the Neulasta shot and it was shoulder and sternum bone pain.  So, if it happens again….I’ll know the wave of excruciating pain across my chest is ok.  It’s normal after the Neulasta shot.  Can’t wait for the next one.   Grrr!!

If you want to read about my ER Visit you can keep reading.  Otherwise, know that I’m fine now.  The pain has subsided and I am praying I won’t ever experience it again.  Oh the fun adventures of a cancer patient!


When we arrived, I walked to the counter and told the receptionist that I was having left arm and chest pain.  She asked me for my SS#, name and birth date.  Made a phone call about chest pain and in 1 minute I was in a room changing into a gown.  I couldn’t believe how fast.  We were just driving down the road and the billboard for the hospital said 41 minute wait.  We get there and it was 1 minute.  Once in my gown two male nurses came in and hooked me up to the EKG machine and tested my vitals.  Then, the IV nurse came in.  Oh no!  I told her I didn’t want one.  She told me I had to have one.  I was thinking, “Why did I come here?????  I don’t want an IV”.  Just so you know…I have never minded having blood taken or having IV’s.  But, for some reason it is really painful for me now.  I don’t know if it is the chemo or what, but I hate it now.  I let her give me one, but she dug around 3 times (I have the bruises and marks on my arm to prove it) before getting it in.  Another woman came in with a portable X-ray machine and did an x-ray.  Then, a few minutes later the doctor came in and told me that the EKG was good and the x-ray was fine.

They had me take an aspirin and then they were going to put a shot of Morphine in my IV line.  I refused.  I asked the doctor why I was being given morphine.  He said for the pain and also because if I was having a heart attack it would help.  I asked the doctor why I had to take it if the EKG was fine.  He started to say something about me having an anxiety attack.  Seriously?  I was asleep when the pain started….I wasn’t having any anxiety!  So, he continued to want me to take something.  I asked for something that wasn’t going to knock me out because as soon as I get pain drugs or any strong drug I’m out.  I hate it.  So, he gave me something else and within 3 minutes Kevan had 3 heads, the curtains were coming alive and I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I told you so!  The rest of the visit is a blur.  They asked for a urine sample…..AFTER giving me drugs that make it so I can hardly walk… Kevan had to help me.  Kevan instructed me not to miss the cup because they really needed urine in it.  Because I want to make sure I didn’t “miss” I handed it back to him FILLED to the rim.  “I didn’t miss honey!”  LOL!!!  I was pretty proud of myself.  Now, remember, I’m on drugs.  lol!  I don’t think Kevan thought it was funny….but I did.

Once I got back to the bed I must have fallen asleep for awhile.  I remember some talk about doing a culture because my WBC counts were way too high.  We explained to the doctor again that I was given a shot to pump them up, but he didn’t believe me until after the next nurse tried to stick another hole in my arm to retrieve blood.  OUCH.  They came back to discharge me a little while later.  Kevan was helping me get dressed and I started having the bad chest pain again.  I screamed that I was going to throw up.  He didn’t believe me because I have a tendency to say this a lot (LOL) and not actually do it.  But, I looked at him and said “seriously!”.  He ran for something and got back without a second to spare.  My precious husband held the bucket for me while I threw up over and over.  I think he will believe me now. lol!  Once this happened….I don’t remember anything.  I don’t know how I got to the car, home or changed into my pajamas for bed.  I know my hubby did it all and I am grateful for him.  I love you Babe.  I hated that I messed up our night and that Kevan didn’t get a good night’s sleep.  But, I am glad that if this happens again I know why and I know I’m ok.  It is just my sternum screaming.  It is “normal”.

Have I mentioned how much I hate hospitals.  Please….no more hospitals!  No more needles.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon for a fill….they use little needles and it doesn’t hurt.  I’m excited about going.  I haven’t had a fill since before my 1st chemo treatment and she is going to show us some computer generated “after” pictures.  We finally get to choose the size.

6 Responses to “Chemo 2 Day 14: ER Visit”

  1. willie July 31, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Was this Riverpark or some other hospital?

  2. Anonymous July 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Wow, Jayde. I don't recall your posting any comments about "sternal" pain thus far–it's sort of strange it comes on now. I don't remember patients having pain this far out with Neulasta, so I read up on it a little. MD's now say that it can last a couple of weeks. One of the other things I read in my little "research" session is that some people have used Claritin to successfully combat the pain. Are you able to take that? I seem to have something in the back of my mind that you had a problem with an antihistamine, but I could be wrong. Maybe half a claritin? I would talk w/my MD first, but there were quite a few people posting about success with that–just some thought for next time. In love and prayer, JOY

  3. Rick Beesley August 1, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Hi Jayde,That reminds me: Tom Wolfe related in his book "The Right Stuff" how the early astronauts, fed up with being poked and prodded by doctors, played practical jokes, including what you did: hand over their urine cups full to the very brim. Maybe your next career is in space!Hang in there,Rick Beesley

  4. Jayde August 1, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Willie, yes…it was River Park Hospital. Kevan wanted to drive me to Murfreesboro, but I thought if I was having a heart attack I might not make the 1+ hour drive.

  5. Jayde August 1, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Hi Joy,I was told to take Claritin the day before, the day of and the day after the shot. Once I started having the pelvic pain that night I started taking it again, but because I was feeling better about 5 days later I stopped taking it. You know…I hate meds and I didn't think I needed it anymore. So, I guess after next treatment I will need to take it the entire 21 days. I wasn't sure if you could do that with Claritin or if you should just take it when needed. Love you! Jayde

  6. Anonymous August 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Jayde, Claritin is meant to be taken daily, mostly for allergy symptoms. Claritin-D is a LONGER acting med, but the regular one should be just tine as long as your MD says. JOY

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