Saturday, March 7, 2009

Week 3 Update - Easy Street No Mo

Me and my big mouth. On Tuesday, which is my long day, between my RT and chemo infusions I met with one of my doctors about noon and he asked me how I was doing. I said "great - if this is bad as it gets I feel very fortunate." He responded by saying "beware, it can change quickly." Wow, it turns out he was a prophet! Because six hours later I hit a brick wall on our stoll down Treatment Alley and Easy Street.

At 6 pm, or about 1.5 hours after I finished my infusion of two chemo drugs in the afternoon, while we were at the motel, I started to get cold. First I put on a sweater, than turned up the heat, and then jumped under all the covers in bed with my clothes on. Nothing helped. I developed a serious case of rigors, (violent chills) and couldn't stop shaking. It went on for over an hour and then I started to vomit violently too. Then Annette noticed I had a fire engine red rash over my back and chest. Oh fun. Annette promptly, and fortunately, called my chemo oncologist and she had me admitted to the hospital promptly. I was running a fever of 102, my blood pressure was up, I vomitted twice more, the rash spread over my entire body head to toe, and I was generally feeling like hell.

Well, it turns out I had an allergic reaction to one of the drugs, my research one, the panitumumab. They hooked me up to IVs of a variety of stuff over the next two days, mostly IV benadryl that night, and then potassium and magnesium due to an electrolite embalance, drew tons of blood for lab and culture testing, and poked and prodded me until it wasn't fun any more. Doctors were coming out of the woodwork to see my amazing rash as it was so impressive (red & white blotches that looked like sun poisioning all over). My blood pressure got dangerously low (70/30) at one point but after two days I was finally discharged. I am better but pretty well worn out. I learned two valuable lessons, be thankful to God for the good days because there may be some bad ones coming, and, oh yeah, keep my big mouth shut!

I resumed RT on Thursday and Friday and we came home early Friday for the weekend. The doctors will have to put their heads together to decide if I continue in the research study or not. I only have one more application but they would need to do something to prevent a reoccurrance. I'm not going through that again. We are in a wait and see period right now as I'm not scheduled for that drug again for about 10 more days.

The weather is beautiful, 75-80 this weekend and my brother and his wife are coming up from Myrtle Beach to visit. We plan to get some sun and if I feel up to it maybe play 9 holes - we shall see. Feeling better but still kind of weak. My appetite is also off. Well, guess that is it for now. Please continue to send your prayers my way. After a week like this one they become ever more welcomed and needed.

God Bless you all and Thank God for Annette's support throughout.



  1. Hey there Drew...I just figured out what I needed to do in order to post on a blog. Cool. Give our regards to Rock and Cherry. Know that we're pulling for you. One day at a time, bro.

  2. Thank God you are feeling better! I know from experience this all can be quite scary. A nice weekend with family sounds like just the right medicine for the next few days!! Thoughts and prayers are with you.