Friday, December 2, 2011


You heard me right.
5 flippin' needle sticks today to get my line in.

One was tolerable. Two had me wincing. Three did me in. Four was like watching a horror show gone bad. It took 3 nurses, 5 needles, 5 betadyne wipes, 10 latex gloves, a blood pressure cuff, a rubber rope, a heating pad and a heated blanket to get me going today. An hour and a half just to get in a catheter.

Each stick went in, but each time they pushed the catheter up......number 1 blew up the vein, number 2 hit a vein valve, number 3 started snake-slithering, and number 4 collapsed. At this point, against my better judgement and envisioning needles near my carotid and in my ankle, I asked the million dollar question, "So what is our last resort?" My nurses say that likely we will cancel chemo and I have to come back and I should really consider having a port-a-cath inserted in my chest wall."

I looked into the eyes of my young nurse (#3) and I say to him in no uncertain tone of voice, "I will not leave and I won't come back. And I do not want a catheter in my chest. If you have to stick the needle in my hind end or any other place on my body, do it. Just get the (I wanted a good adjective here, but controlled myself) needle in me. Now."

Number 5 went in......he ended up picking a very sensitive and uncomfortable site......the underside of my wrist. My arm was immobilized for doing anything and it ached, but it was in and I would have sat still as a mummy if that's what was required. 

Nurse number 2 tells me that this is really a blow to an infusion nurse's pride....they really want to get it on the first stick. I was not overly concerned about their pride today!!

My mom has these enormous veins. Unlucky for her, in her medical technology class in college, she was the human pin cushion for her classmates to practice on. I couldn't have inherited JUST ONE of those veins?

Going on less than 2 hours of sleep, yet buzzed from steroids, this was pretty much my worst day in chemo. I was wiped out. Got home and went to the sofa and my eyes were so heavy from sleep deprivation, but I absolutely cannot fall asleep. I HATE these steroids.

Had a really good heart-to-heart with my doc (before all the drama) about my medical-spiritual dilemmas regarding the continuance of the chemo and about staging of cancers. He is so great. From a medical standpoint, even if my lung tumor were to disappear (which I have faith it will do), I will never be considered "cured." They would consider me Stage IV NED (no evidence of disease). Very odd to me. But as my Christian doctor says, "But if that happens, YOU will know you have been healed!"

I was suppose to be scheduled for the next round on Friday Dec. 30 but I just flat out told them I wouldn't ruin my New Year's weekend in a steroid stupor, so please find a slot for me the following week, and they did. This weekend looks to be exactly what I want to avoid then.....nights without sleep and days dragging and buzzed. But I work on Monday, so am praying that Sunday night I can pull out 3-4 hours of shut-eye.

The best part of today? IT. CAN. NOT. GET. ANY. WORSE.!!!!

I have 5 of these over two arms!!


Gretchen said...

Your description of each dud needle's issue made my stomach turn upside down. Good work taking all that, woman! You are one tough cookie!

Cole said...

I understand your vein dilema, I have those same type of veins. I have gotten phyically ill in more than one doctor's trash can by the 4th stick.

I'm so sorry you had such an awful day, but in praying for you I am thankful to hear the candid version of events so I can be specific in times of prayer for you.

Tonight, I will be praying for RESTFUL, RESTORATIVE sleep and that He will go before you tomorrow to give you a day you can handle without more exhaustive effects.

I'm so thankful for the doctor you have found and for being such a wonderful advocate for yourself!!

Love & great big hugs!!
P.S. Get some Arnica cream or gel on those arms stat!!