So, it’s been awhile. . .

Summer has been very busy. Between tutoring, church, school work, and doctor appointments, the summer has just gone by so quickly. To pick up where I left off, I was having chest pain that was not going away. That led to the doctor calling his “favorite” cardiologist and made an appointment for the next day.

The next day at the cardiologist, I was nervous because I never really expected to go to this particular doctor. We waited a while for insurance approval for the stress test ordered. Thankfully, those results came back fine. They did an ECHO test and that came back great as well. My chest pains were puzzling, but  by now, nothing was really surprising me. My main doctor was stumped, though as to why the pain was happening when all the tests came back fine.

Two weeks later I returned for a followup appointment. By that time, I was really not feeling better. My energy levels were not improving. During my appointment, the doctor was rereading my reports, specifically the blood levels and realized that no one had taken a panel for my iron levels. After the appointment, I went downstairs to the labs and had the normal panel taken.

Following the next week, I got my labs back and saw that my iron levels were practically nonexistent and my iron saturation was the same. This probably explained a lot of things, along with my anemia. At this point, after  two chemo infusions, my symptoms seemed to be getting worse again instead of getting better. My dad and I emailed the doctor to ask what could be done to  get my energy levels and blood levels back up.

So, yet again instead of hearing the words I read the words, via email, “. . .how about we admit you to the hospital to have some iron infusions and blood infusions. . .” These are not the words I really wanted to hear again. . .

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Brokenness: That’s When We Grow

After my first infusion, I went back to my doctor for a chemo follow-up. There was no real noticeable difference between my symptoms from before the chemo. My chest pain was the only real concern the doctor had this visit which was really good. He really didn’t have anything else to say except that I would have my next treatment in four days and then we would see how I am doing.

Chemo # 2

That next Tuesday, I went to UNC for my second infusion. The day started off like any other really. My grandparents came to pick me up so they could take me to my infusion. I always have fun with them. They have been so gracious to take me to different appointments and infusions while my parents are at work. IMG_1495

As we were almost to the hospital, the car starts making funny noises. We thought we were going to have one of the tires blow, but fortunately, it was just a piece of plastic stuck to the car. In my life right now, if it’s not one thing it is definitely another. Life is just never dull!

We finally got to Chapel Hill, I got registered and went up to the fourth floor where the infusion/transplant clinic is. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long because I was getting anxious. My nurse was really nice. I brought my pillow because that is always a good idea. We got started, except first we had to find a good vein for my IV. My veins and IVs really don’t go well together. Seriously. But thankfully, this time it didn’t take too long to find a good vein for the IV.

As I sat in the infusion clinic, I looked around at the people in the room with me. You realize that people don’t just come there to have fun or because they choose to. The people are there because they too are hurting from something. It may be cancer, some autoimmune disease, or a nutrient deficiency. Regardless, they are there. My grandpa said something to me as he sat in the waiting room. I can’t remember the exact words but it was something like this: People in here are here for a reason. Most likely it is not a good reason. Everyone looks at each other with understanding eyes and faces. Everyone is looking to see how we respond.

The rest of the time was really uneventful, thankfully! I will say this, once the chemo actually starts, it is really weird. After about thirty minutes, I can feel all my energy just leaving and I honestly feel like my battery was drained. Following the infusion, the rest of the day was okay. I went to a function at my brother’s school and enjoyed the evening. The days that followed were pretty dark. Continue reading