Another virtue of the Dilaudid–aside from its miraculous ability to take my pain away in such a speedy fashion–is that it totally knocks me out. In hospitals, with nurses coming in every few hours, beeping IV pumps, the uncomfortable bed, etc., this is incredibly welcome. My last three stays here, as much as I’ve found this to be one of the nicest hospitals evah, were all punctuated by painfully extreme insomnia. Last night, aided by Dilaudid, I slept a full night, and even when the nurses did come in to check my vitals and change out my IV meds, I just peered groggily up, offered them my arm for the blood pressure cuff, and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. Well rested win.
Today begins Day 2 of my R-ICE infusion. Yesterday was an easy couple hours of Etoposide, a relatively painless and mild chemo drug (comparatively speaking). Today, I’m getting all four: Rituximab, Ifosfamide, Carboplatin, and another dose of Etoposide (R-ICE). I’ve had Rituximab before (the “R” in “R-CHOP”), and after that, the Ifosfamide is the most likely to cause bad reactions upon infusion. It’s the one where I need to be monitored for grade I through IV neurocortical toxicity: lethargy, disorientation, hallucinations/delusions, and coma (respectively). Obviously, we’re hoping for zero grade or low grade. It’s also got some nasty side effects to look forward to, but they’re giving plenty of supplementary meds to hopefully mitigate those.
They installed a temporary PICC line in my arm for this first round of R-ICE infusions. They’ll actually remove it and surgically install a port catheter to replace it after this round, right before I leave the hospital. They would’ve installed the port for this time, except it really should have a couple days to heal before being used. While I’m not thrilled about having a constant line in me, the number of needle jabs the PICC has already saved me–as it can be used for both infusions and to pull blood for labs—really makes it, and ditto the port, I’m assuming, worth it.
Aaand here comes the lovely nurse with my next lovely dose of Dilaudid. Signing off while I can still sit up without listing…