This morning we started a little shaky but nothing to write home about. But things got worse unexpectedly fast.
We spent the morning studying (Maggie in the coffee shop and me at home). We were looking forward to lunch, a little shopping, and then some house cleaning, specifically in my train-wreck of an office. Best laid plans….
So, remember those unexpected head-snapping curves I mentioned? Well, we didn’t see this one coming either. And it came up fast. Maggie started feeling pretty rotten as we drove to lunch. I ran into a convenience store to get her something cold to sip on but I missed my chance. She got sick while I was out of the car. She never really recovered from that.
Not to be deterred, Maggie insisted that we continue with our plans. I believe she said “I can feel bad at home in bed or I can feel bad shopping. Let’s go shopping!” So we pushed onward. After lunch and a very brief trip to the mall, Maggie just dropped off. She was really feeling rough by now, maybe even running a temperature, she thought. A thermometer at the house proved she was right – 100.6 degrees. I called The Spa to talk with Nurse Mary who said to head on in. She didn’t have to tell me twice!
Once we got to The Spa the blood tests told the rest of the story. Maggie was badly neutropenic and in a very high risk situation. Her poor little abused body had absolutely no defense against infection. Apparently, like seemingly everything else with The Cancer, they’ve developed a scale to summarize the situation. This one ranges from one to four, four being as bad as it can get. Never to pass up an opportunity to excel, Maggie is a four. And that’s bad – wear a surgical mask, stay away from people, don’t eat raw fruits and vegi’s bad.
So, they sent us straight to the hospital. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. So here we are in Seton in room 714, the same floor as last time but on the other end of the hall. It was really tough heading up here. There’s a lot of memories up here preferably left in the past. Maggie really, really, really didn’t want to come to the hospital. Neither did I. But it’s best, that’s for sure, compared to a whole lot of other options.
Dr. Loukas came to the hospital when he heard about Maggie’s situation. He was pretty concerned and quite surprised. But he was also quite confident that her situation can be remedied easily with a few days of careful drug administration and rest. He prescribed strong antibiotics, fluids and bed rest. He was also clear that we’d stay in the hospital until at least Thursday.
Basically, we’ve got a really bad situation that’s been averted. Thankfully. Yeah, this sucks but the more worrisome bit is why did this happen? We’ve been through chemo a number of months now with no problems so what gives this time? She got her Neulasta shot a little late but well within the time frame to have prevented this exact situation. I even verified that even though we were late giving the shot it was no biggie. Even Dr. Loukas was mystified.
Dr. Loukas thinks that tomorrow she’ll be 100% better. They’ve given her a shot of Neupogin to rocket up her white blood cell count. They’ll be giving her very strong antibiotics every six hours to clear up her infection. Regardless, he’s not letting her go until Thursday.
Mom Valente, Lori, Denise and Florencia rushed to the hospital, of course. I made the requisite phone calls, killing the cell phone battery, and headed to the house to collect our overnight gear. Now, we’ve settled in for our stay.