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,
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.