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February 24, 1999 - Its great to be home

Karen's High Dose Chemo Diary

Its great to be home

To: "wellness" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: Its great to be home
From: "Karen Patterson" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 16:17:58 -0500


I'm home and feeling pretty well.  I have been surprised through the whole experience at how much better I felt than I had expected to.  A few women had told me it wasn't as bad an experience (HDC) as they expected either.  There is nothing better for complete healing than being home though.  I am still limited in what I can do.  I can not drive and have to have labs in town twice a week so Lynn has stayed on with me a few more weeks.  I can not prepare fresh fruit, meat, and vegetable either, but I can eat them.  I am feeling pretty strong but I am being careful not to overdo.  I rest twice a day.  I am eating pretty well for the most part.  Today was a set back day, but one every now and then is okay.

There are four days to the High Dose Chemo treatment at Duke.  Each day an hour of Cytosine is given and then 24 hours of Cisplatin.  This occurs over three days and is ended on the fourth where BCNU is given.  This I'm told can be rough for some people but I tolerated it pretty well.  I was released on the fifth day to the Hampton Inn.  I had an IV bag with Heperin which they have found prevents clots from forming in the liver.  This you keep until your blood counts come up to normal.

The rest for the most part was just boring.  Go to the clinic everyday at 7 AM and have blood drawn.  Wait around for the blood draw results, the IVs to be precribed and ordered and then to see the doc.  I was there anywhere from 2 hours to 6.  The nurses both at the 9200 unit of the hospital and in the clinic are superb.  I was truly lucky to receive the expert care that I did.  It got me home earlier.  I also owe a great deal to Lynn who not only provided care and moral support, but has the best sense of humor of anyone I know.  Laughter is the best medicine. 

I have a follow up visit on March 22 and will begin Thalidamide then for 6 months.  This is another part of the study to see if it adds better odds also. I will be out of work for another 5 months.  Plenty of time to get strong again.

Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement.  I will be a more prominent presence now.

My best to all,



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