Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10/4/11 Joe is GOOD!

Joe's blood counts continue to be in the normal range where his germ fighting antibodies are low. He received his first infusion of Immunoglobulin at Winship at Emory on Monday that took a half a day for a stupid reason. The Infusion Department never got the doctor orders from Dr Winton so we sat around from 7:30 till 9:30 until the orders were received. Naturally I rolled into action trying to figure out the bottleneck. The Infusion RN paged Jessica, the PA, and Sylvia, the RN but got no replies so I decided to take a walk up to the Hematology Department to untangle the bottleneck. The other person I could see that I knew behind the closed doors was the clerk who sets the appointments. I told her that I had a problem at about 8:35AM. She stated that the staff did not arrive till about 9AM. She promised to alert either Jessica or Sylvia or Dr Winton when they came in. Jessica came in first and by 9:30 found another doctor to write the order and fax it down to the Infusion Department. Now that I found the break down, I reminded Jessica in a diplomatic manner that a doctor order needs to be faxed to the Infusion department for Joe's next Immunoglobulin infusion at the end of October. I must give thanks to my mentor at Bank of America, Leslie Kozicki, who taught me the art of diplomacy. I was a slow learner but it finally caught on into my brain.

The Infusion of the Immunoglobulin was done slowly at first and would build up. It is similar to how the first dose of Rituxan was administered at MDACC. The reason for that is to assure no adverse reactions. Before the Infusion the RN administered a cocktail of Tylenol and benedryl that put Joe in twilight zone where he dosed away for three hours. While he slept, I drove down the block to get my blood test drawn so it will be ready for my follow up appointment with Dr Shah on Thursday. On the way back to Winship I stopped by Panera to have a bagel and bring Joe his favorite cinnamon roll which he devoured. I rolled over to the Pharmacy to pick up one of Joe's prescrptions for his ongoing cough from the acute sinusitis. He has finished taking Avelox for the infection and has been doing the irrigation of his sinuses which makes him feel like he is drowning. He still suffers with it and it is a never ending story that he would like to end that chapter.

Joe did not get the boost of feeling better after the Immunoglobulin Infusion as some patients mentioned. In fact he felt not as good until this evening which is only a day after the treatment.

We are heading to Florida shortly to drop off Max with my son, Mike and our granddaughters. They are going to dog sit for us while we are on a 10 day cruise on the Emerald Princess to the Southern Caribbean. Joe really wanted to go on a cruise but I did not want to go to the same places we had been before and also not to be too far from the USA. The ship departs from Fort Lauderdale and has several days at sea that Joe loves. The new islands we will visit will be Antigua, Barbados, St Kitts and St Lucia. I always wanted to go to St Kitts and St Lucia so now I will. Through Cruise Critic website there are about 90 of us who have communicated over several months. We booked some private tours together that look like will be mighty fine. The group is from all over the US, Canada and the United Kingdom. Some are seasoned cruisers and some are first timers. The private booked tours cost about 70% of the cruise ship sponsored tours, much smaller groups, one sees more sights, do more adventures, and learn more about the culture of the islands. You make new friends and learn about other places. The group gave me a good tip to park just outside the cruise terminal gates at a Park N Go for half what Princess charges plus they pick you up where you park, load your luggage and drop you off at the front door of the cruise terminal. When you come back, they do the same thing. You go on line and reserve the days you need and you get the $5.99 day fee whereas it is $12 a day with Princess. I love to save some bucks to be used for new experiences.

I was able to give blood today at Bank of America Northeast Center location. I used to have issues in years past, where my iron levels were too low. I started taking Iron supplements several years ago and have not had an issue since. I did find out that Kingston, Jamaica had an outbreak of Malaria several years ago and if you stayed in Kingston, you could not give blood. Joe and I had flown into Montego Bay and spent a week on Negril Beach where there was no Malaria so I was cleared to give blood. After visiting Southern Africa and Argentina in the past, I had to wait for a certain period where I could give blood again. With Joe getting so much units of blood and platelets when he was getting chemotherapy, I really wanted to make sure that I donate my blood every 8 weeks. I am so thankful for the blood donors who take the time to do this. You really are saving lives. It is easy to do and I was done in 30 minutes! A sight prick on the skin that hardly hurts so do not worry about that part if that has stopped you from giving blood.

Joe's weight was 184 yesterday and his blood pressure was super. I scanned the blood reports and attached them to an email to send to Joe's two doctors at MDACC in Houston. No surprise that Dr Romaguera e-mailed me back in a few hours where he stated Joe's blood counts were good. He wanted Joe to have Emory to get his blood also tested for Lymphoma markers. Dr Romaguera is so pro-active in keeping Joe in remission but I do wonder why he wants Joe to have that done whether he saw something that deserved a closer look. Jessica at Emory added the order for Friday to have Joe's blood also tested for Lymphoma markers.


1 comment:

  1. Have a ton of fun on your cruise, Bonnie and Joe!

    Barbara Beckman