Rachana’s PICC line was removed from her arm about three weeks ago and the nurses are now using the port in her chest to draw blood for tests and give any IV transfusions, including chemo. Accessing the port is essentially a procedure of firmly pushing a 1-1.5 inch needle into her chest i.e. into the port which was surgically placed in her chest a few months ago. Here is a video of how they access the port about twice a week. This perhaps sounds and looks more scary than it actually is. Yes, easy for me to say, I’m just the guy recording the video, but Rachana told me that it hurts a little but not that much. The needle looks much more menacing though as the port is embedded in the chest and from the outside it looks like the nurse is just pushing a long needle into the chest!
Monday Aug 1st was supposed to be day 21 of phase 3 but her platelets were at 37 and they wanted it to be at 50 to proceed with chemo. Her hemoglobin was at a healthy 11.1, WBC was good at 4.3 and ANC was also high at 3.1, but because of low platelets the doctor decided to push this chemo out till Thursday. Rachana is looking forward to completing all scheduled chemos ASAP so these few days of delay was a bummer.
On Thursday her platelets were at 49 and the doctor was comfortable to proceed with day 21 chemos. Rachana was very tired by the end of the long 5 hours at the clinic. The clinic is usually cold and the IV fluids make it even worse; and she is basically sitting on a recliner chair for many hours. By the time we reached home she felt terrible, was having slight fever and shivering. A tylenol and a couple of hours of rest made her better but still not great. On Friday she received the day 22 chemo but mostly slept through this process because they also gave tylenol + benadryl to manage reactions that usually happen with this particular dose of chemo.
The kids had a great week; they spent 4 days at my sister’s place having summer fun with their cousins, attended a ‘kids workshop’ at Home Depot
On Saturday we went to a birthday party. Rachana was feeling good enough to join the party and surprised her friends