“Hey honey, hey, hey” I say to Kendra as I try to gently wake her up on what is setup to be a very crappy Monday. “Please don’t roll over, don’t lay in this” I’m trying to be gentle by alerting Kendra that there is a pool of chemotherapy in our bed. This is not a pool she wants to go swimming in.
October 2014 – My first chemo outpatient experience came with a chemotherapy spill kit. That was right before Halloween and there was a lot of joking about me wearing it as a costume. Its a full blue gown with face mask and 2 sets of gloves. We passed due to the Ebola scare and the fact we might need it one day. Today is the day.
When I was getting my first bag exchange on round 2 the nurse jumped my ass saying
Don’t pull to hard, we want the chemotherapy in you and not on you. That would be a very bad thing to happen!
Now Time 2014 – All joking aside Its Monday morning and I have been laying in chemo for over 2 hours. We scramble to crack open the Halloween chemo spill kit and find out what can be done to stop today. We looked long and hard for the mini time machine but neither one of us found it. That is really what we need right now is a time machine so we could step back and stop the spill before it starts. Damn, no time machine. Next step, read the instructions and find out what we have gotten our-self into. In the chemo spill kit there were bags for the bags that your contaminated gear goes in. Those two bags fit into another large bag. The large bag is yellow and has scary looking logos on it. These are the type of bags that would be fun to fill with leaves and leave on your neighbors front porch for April Fools day. This is not a bag you want to fill up with your bedding and chemo pumps and head to the hospital with. This is a bag you want to burn in a bonfire.
I have ran these drugs for over 300 hours. Same bags, same drugs, same sleeping arrangement… Why did my system leak today?
So I head out to the hospital with my yellow Santa bag and am very surprised by my access to walking through the entire complex with a contaminated bag. They check me in, hand me my pager and let me sit in the main lobby for 30 minutes. Once the pager rings I’m escorted to a door I didn’t know existed. I’m placed in a room down the hall behind the door I didn’t know existed. I’m escorted to a room with a bed and a chair. I’m instructed to not sit on the bed.
So here I am sitting in the chemo-spill-chair waiting.
While I wait there is an 8 year old girl crying down the hall. She is hooked up and not happy. Well little girl I’m about to be hooked back up and not happy either. I say a little prayer for you and your family. It hurts like hell to see something like cancer happen to folks that are so young. I’m quickly reminded I have it a lot better than she does. Although this morning sucks ass I’m going back to my beautiful family, home, and business in the next 48 hours. I have a clean pet scan and life is good. I have not seen a unicorn or a rainbow today but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stop looking for them. God got me up early today for a reason. I’ve got to find out what I can do with this beautiful day.
So my nurse is at communication central talking to my doctor, a pharmacist, the nurse and the nurse’s nurse to see what we can do. Since the “time machine” and the “loss of chemo measurement device” were not present in the chemotherapy spill kit we don’t really know how much chemo was pumped into my bed and not me. So we will restart my chemotherapy bag soon and reset the time to when I found out it was leaking. I was scheduled to complete this round of chemotherapy at 11pm tonight. The post-spill schedule has me ending this bag at 6am in the morning and then taking an hour and a half break before I get my last 1 hour bag. This is bad, really really bad. This protocol runs for 101 hours beginning to end…. but not this time. with my 2 breaks we are looking at a 109 hour run with breaks of potency. The concept here was to run a high potency for a length of time so it kills cells over that length of time without wavering. Solid poison over a solid amount of time and not ups and downs. That is what I signed up for but will not be getting. Side note: the chemo left in the bags will need to be tossed out. That is over $800 of drugs down the drain due to a faulty $3 rubber tube connector.
So Thanksgiving week is off to a rough start. By the end of the week I will celebrate my 37th birthday and follow up the next day by videotaping a beautiful wedding. Things are looking to get better and better. Hell they have to after a morning like this. As I complete this post I’m laughing at the situation. It was laugh or cry and laughing just felt better.
Take care, & thanks for your prayers