5 May, cycle 3A – first day of chemo

The day started with a bang. At 8:15am I was dragged off to the dungeons (actually, Sub Level 2, Radiology) for my spinal tap and chemo. This was probably the least uncomfortable procedure I’ve had to date. The doctor was amiable, kind and chatty and kept me distracted enough that the most discomfort I felt was the needle insertion. I still had to lie flat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours afterward though, so I limited my liquid intake prior to the procedure to avoid having to use the dreaded and reviled bed pan. Once I was carted back to my room I discovered that my breakfast had been waiting for me for close to two hours and I had no easy way to eat it. (Honestly, how does one eat when lying flat in bed?) I was able to lie on my side, tuck a napkin under my chin, and finish off my muffin and bacon without choking but there was no way I could eat my cereal without dribbling milk everywhere. Needless to say, I was ravenous by lunchtime!

Dr. Berkowitz, the infectious diseases specialist, paid me a visit while I was incapacitated to check on the status of my offending bruised digit. His verdict: It didn’t look infected, more like a fairly run-of-the-mill hematoma, the kind a person gets when smacking one’s finger nail with a hammer. He thought it would be a good idea for a podiatrist to look at it and suggested that they might have to remove the nail (??!!!!???) for it to heal properly, but he wasn’t really concerned about it. (His description of the procedure: “Oh, they numb you up, block the toe, and then they just sort of pop the nail off like a bottle cap.”🤢) The hospital internist came by later and offered a similar conclusion except for the nail removal. Also, the cultures came back negative, which means that there isn’t any bacterial growth under the nail. WOOT!!! I still may lose the nail anyway because the nail bed is so damaged but it’ll grow back eventually. It certainly doesn’t look nearly as nasty as it did on Sunday.

Welp, the podiatrist came by to take a look at my toe (at this point, the whole hospital has seen or heard about my offending digit) and the verdict is in: the toe nail gets pulled tomorrow morning. It’s a relatively minor procedure that can be done in my room so I won’t have to be whisked away to the O.R., which is a bit of a relief. There was talk of me wearing an orthopedic boot as well so I may have to clump around in that for a while. Geez, I hope I won’t have to strap the damn thing on every time I have to visit the loo. That could get awkward!

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