I ended up in the ER last night with a 39 degree fever. I felt as miserable as I ever have; my throat felt like it was pierced with daggers, my head felt like it’d been bludgeoned, I was chilled and dizzy. I was run through a battery of tests and sent home with an antibiotic.

When I came in to the hospital this morning, I was run through more tests. Apparently I am the first patient on the trial to develop mucositis after one treatment. (In case you’re wondering what that is, it’s inflammation and ulcers through my mouth and throat; my tonsils have it the worst, leaving me to wonder again why I didn’t just bother getting them out after years of infections.) I guess someone has to throw a curve ball in the trial once in awhile, and considering there are only around 20 of us so far, it’s not surprising it would be me.

Oh, and in case the sores in my mouth and throat weren’t enough, I also seem to have strep throat. So I was right the first time when I thought there was something other than side effects going on. To deal with everything, I’ve been prescribed this special mouthwash that I have to swallow and which numbs the pain while helping heal the sores (and tasting awful), codeine, and massive amounts of ibuprofen (which I was just informed I can’t take because my platelets dropped too low).

My sister took the dog last night and is keeping her until Sunday, so I can lay low and recover for a couple days. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that once the mucositis and strep are cleared up, my energy will come back. The first few days after treatment weren’t bad, so maybe this is all an anomaly and not a sign of things to come. I certainly hope so. I can’t imagine feeling like this week in and week out. This trial is supposed to be easier than traditional chemo.

Benadryl drip is about to start, so I better stop writing before I spiral into nonsense. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out the last little while. I’ve been the recipient of a lot of kindness and I really do appreciate it. It’s hard to find the words to say just how much.


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
This entry was posted in chemo days, Clinical trials, Indignities of the human body and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Precocious

  1. Amanda says:

    Just a reminder that if you’re ever laying low and need someone to come over and watch movies with you/play weird boardgames I am always available.

  2. malawson says:

    Love and courage to you Alicia! You are amazing (and a truly great writer)! God’s peace be with you through this course.

  3. Laura says:

    When I started reading this I was gonna say that you don’t know miserable until you’ve had strep throat. So now you know miserable. I’ve had chemo, swine flu, and some weird virus that attacks the thyroid as well as having my boobs sliced and diced twice but nothing compares to strep throat. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

    Oh – and Extra-Strength Tylenol was the pain killer I relied on during my strep infection. I had to keep myself at the maximum dosage for several days, but it did help.

    • Yeah, I’m well-versed in strep. I was getting it every six months like clockwork — I was actually planning on getting my tonsils out (which is where it usually hits me) when I was diagnosed with my recurrence. Tonsils took a back seat. Oddly enough, I stopped getting strep except for one mild infection during my first round of chemo for recurrence. Until now, of course. Combined with the mucositis, it’s agony. But I’ve just had some mouthwash and codeine and vanilla goats’ milk ice cream, and I’m going to break out the Tylenol so hopefully I get a little relief.

      Strep. It really is the worst.

  4. omg feel better soon …

  5. Kim says:

    I get strep a lot myself, but to add it to everything else you’ve got going and this mucositis jazz I’d never even heard of… well, “blows” is not a strong enough word.

    Wishing you some decent rest.

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