Ivy 2.0

Posted by raetsel at Friday, May 02, 2008

I was re-united with Ivy yesterday afternoon but my ever faithful drip stand
and pump have had an upgrade.

The stand itself is of slightly lighter and slimmer tubing reducing the
overall weight and best of all she now has 5 wheel drive. The wheels are on
the end of 5 legs that are in a star formation like the base of an office
chair. This greatly improves stability making the bump in the floor between
the day room and the corridor easy to handle.

The pump itself is also improved, it has an electronic eye that attaches to
the drip reservoir to monitor the drops. This means it's more accurate at
assessing the amount of fluid delivered and only alarms when the bag is
empty or the required amount has been infused.

Yesterday afternoon I was given 800mg of rituximab in 500ml of saline. The
infusion is started slowly and gradually increased evey 30 mins. This is
because the only real side effect is some people get an allergic reaction
and the infusion rate has to be reduced to alleviate it. I'm pleased to say
that I didn't have any side effects. The infusion was finished by about
20:00

Rituximab is a mono-clonal antibody that latches on to a part of the
cancerous lymphoma cells ( the CD20 marker as it happens ) and then like a
natural antibody the body's own immune system will be triggered to kill the
cells that have the anti-body.

My PICC line works well for infusions but getting blood out for samples is
a bit more tricky, which is not uncommon for these type of lines. However
deep breathing from me and a bit of jiggling the position of the arm means
eventually we get enough for the usual 3 or 4 phials required.

Today after some fluids with some bicarb of soda to adjust the PH of my
blood a bit I will start on a new drug called methatrexate. This a powerful
systemic chemo that will take my blood counts down again, prolly even
further than last time. I will have lots of fluids to help flush the
methatrexate through. The side effects of this drug, which can appear a
week after it is given, are a sore mouth and throat and a runny bottom. ( I
can't spell diarea [see?] ). However as with most drugs the side effects
are not compulsory, so fingers crossed.

I slept pretty well with just a brief gap around 02:20 but dropped off
again fairly quickly.


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