Here I sit with my laptop balanced carefully on my book bag that is resting on my knees. My iPad is to my left on the arm of this over-sized chair and my iPhone is on the other arm. The combination nurse call button/TV remote lies on my lap for when my IV pump malfunctions and I need to alert the staff for help. The Chemo Clinic has become a comfortable place for me, although everyone sitting in similar over-sized chairs is a cancer patient. I’m on a first name basis with the staff. Each visit gives me an opportunity to catch up on the latest family news from nurses who have poked my hands, arms, and shoulders with needles for years to give me the drugs that have extended my life.
Every four weeks I come here to receive Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg). This therapy is necessary because I have a weakened immune system. The body’s immune system normally makes enough antibodies to fight germs that cause infections. But since I have an immune deficiency because of the treatment I received for lymphoma, my body can’t make enough of them. This puts me at greater risk for infections that could make me very sick. IVIg gives me antibodies that my body is not making on its own so I can fight infections.
The treatment for most people takes about an hour. However, I discovered with the first IVIg treatment that I have a bad reaction to this medication when I became extremely cold, and shook uncontrollably. To avoid complications, my IVIg is slowly administered, so I spend at least five hours in this chair with my “electronic toys” gathered around me. With an hour drive to and from the clinic, much of the day is over before I get home.
But that’s not the end of the story. The day after treatment I feel like I ate a plate of leftovers that spoiled three days earlier. I’ve learned that it is best to work from home if possible or if I need to be in the office, rest often and do not make any big decisions.
Once a month this is how I spend a day off. It may not be ideal, but it is certainly better than the alternative. I’ll keep visiting with my friends here in the Chemo Clinic and I’ll see you church next weekend.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
See you in Church,
September 2015 Health Update
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Another Cancer Patient: May 2015 Health Update
Health Update March 2015
Days of Anxiety, Then Sweet News – January 2015
Only Ten Months
Boring and Grateful: A Lymphoma Update – September 2014
A Year of Remission – July 2014
Lymphoma Update: “Let’s Just Wait and See” – June 2014
From Lymphoma to San Joaquin Valley Fever May 2014
A Heart-Stopping Moment – April 2014
Lymphoma Update – February 2014: Back to the New Normal…Remission
Lymphoma Update – January 2014: When Routine Becomes Exciting
Lymphoma Update – November 2013
Lymphoma Update – September 2013
Lymphoma Update – July 2013
Lymphoma Update: A New Normal – June 2013
Lymphoma Update – May 2013
Lymphoma Update – April 2013
Lymphoma Update – March 2013
Lymphoma Update – February 2013
Lymphoma – January 2013