Here’s what’s going on

As suggested in the previous post, I have an infected portacath. The line has to come out, which will happen at 3 p.m. after I have been given enough sedation that I either don’t know or care that a long tube that runs up my neck and down to just over my heart is being slowly threaded back out of my body.

After that, I will have to continue i.v. antibiotics for another one or two days. Some people have said one, some people have said two, yet others have said one or two. The bacteria I have is close to resistant to vancomycin, the antibiotic I currently am on. Until yesterday, my oncologist thought that was the only antibiotic it responded to because that was what was stated on the report written after the cultures were grown. Turns out there is an oral antibiotic that is so new it is not even listed in many of the places doctors would go to look at lists of antibiotics and it has been referred to by my Infectious Disease doctors as The Most Powerful Antibiotic in the World. They like to use it sparingly, and at $700 a pop, it probably isn’t hard to make that decision. Thank the gods for my excellent drug coverage.

I jokingly said to my oncologist when she told me about this brand new ultrastrong antibiotic that maybe I should take the first dose in the hospital and she seriously replied, That’s a good idea, which is how I unintentionally may have moved my going home date from Thursday to Friday. I’d feel cross about that if it wasn’t for the fact that if anyone was going to have an allergic reaction to this drug (and there are already a bunch of adverse reactions we already have to look out for) it would be me. I’m not superstitious, but saying that still makes me feel a little bit like I’m inviting the devil in.

I know that it’s just Pavlovian training. I have absolutely no expectations that anything will ever happen in an uncomplicated manner. It’s probably what has kept me from crumpling into a nervous ball of incapacitating tears and anxiety over the last couple of months. Nearly every step in my treatment over the last year has been riddled with complication and upset. You come to expect it. How could you not?

That said, it looks like I will most likely be able to continue the trial as my doctors can argue that my problems did not stem from the trial drugs themselves, but from an improperly treated infection. So that’s good news. However, I think I’ll hold off on celebratory dancing until I’m back to popping those pills.


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.
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2 Responses to Here’s what’s going on

  1. Steph says:

    I feel you on always feeling like the weird shit will happen to you even when the odds are low. Every time my doctor is like “very rarely, X might happen”, I figure it will happen to me because the rare things always happen to me. I am already in a pretty rare situation to begin with. And he always replies, “your bad luck will have to run out at some point”… logical, I guess, but hard to accept when you’re always that one out of whatever with the weird crap happening to them. Anyway, hope your bad luck does run out this time, fingers crossed!

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