The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Joyce and I have both been feeling run down for the past couple of weeks, her much more than I. 

But on Tuesday of this week she went in for her 4th round of chemotherapy. We had thought it would the 4th and final I-V drip of what the patients call Big Red, but her doctor said he frequently gives only 3 doses of BR and that in Joyce's case, because she was anemic (the reason she's felt so weak), he thought it best to move on to the next phase of the chemotherapy involving the drug Paclitaxol (commonly referred to as Taxol). It is thought by many to be "easier" to deal with than the BR but others have had difficulties with it. Side effects include reducing the immune system's abilities to fight off infection and joint and bone pain.

Joyce felt pretty bad Wednesday after the treatment with aches and pains most of the day. We were monitoring her temp all along, and on Friday she woke to a temp of 103.7. We double checked it and then  immediately called in. The doctor's nurse said to get her to the ER, which we did very quickly.

After a couple of hours in ER they determined that besides the high temp, she was anemic, had a very low Blood Pressure reading of 77 over 43, and had pneumonia. They gave her something for the fever, put her on 2 antibiotics immediately, and a Dopamine drip for the low BP. Wikipedia says, 

Dopamine is available as an intravenous medication acting on the sympathetic nervous system, producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

The drug worked effectively (Joyce said she her heart sped up so fast that she felt like she was having a heart attack), but because she needed to stay on the dopamine for awhile, they put her in the critical care area of the hospital (apparently it's the only area besides the ER where they can administer dopamine). The nurses and others responsible for her care there were very, very good. Her BP stabilized, her pneumonia improved and  so yesterday evening (Saturday) around supper time they moved her out of critical care and up to another area of the hospital She ate a good supper and was doing much, much better when I left last night. She's continuing to receive an antibiotic IV and her other regular meds.

The nurses think she'll be in the hospital until Monday at least, possibly Tuesday, which is her next scheduled chemotherapy day. We're not sure about exactly what will happen with that or for how much longer she'll remain in the hospital, but she is doing much, much better. 

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


  1. Y'all can have the blessings that I was going to get this week. You need them more that I do.

    Prayers to y'all.

  2. My best thoughts and prayers to Joyce, Dan. And yourself, as well. I know the feeling of standing by and feeling helpless to do anything other than offer love and support. This is hard for you, too.

    I hope Joyce comes home soon.

  3. Dan, thank you for keeping us in the loop. I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you both.

    Man, I'm with Paul, and Buck on this one. I'll forfeit any good I've got coming, if the Good Lord will allow.

    Praying. Please tell Joyce that we love her, even though we've never met.

  4. As above Dan. My best to you both. (I hope you got rid of that dang car!)
    On another completely unrelated note, I went to check out your post on CD about Charlie Sheen and David Allen Coe and it came back to me as 'File not found' or something like that.

  5. I thought something was amiss Dan when I didn't see any new posts from you or E-mail responces and I was hoping that it wasn't something like this.

    Both you and Joyce have our prayers and best wishes.

    BTW, an old adage; "Joy shared is Joy doubled. Pain shared is pain cut in half." Keep sharing with us my friend.