October 14, 2021 - Surprises Around Every Corner
I’m not sure where to begin, so I suppose the best way to start is at the beginning. In this case, the beginning was last Saturday, October 9th.
Jamie flew to Buffalo on Friday to see his Dad for his birthday weekend. Jamie hadn’t seen him since COVID, so the timing made sense. Due to COVID, Mason and I stayed back in Florida.
Our plans were minimal, as we were looking forward to pajama plagued days and lots of doing nothing. That is not something we get away with with Daddy’s home - at least not often. I was feeling fine on Friday, but when I awoke Saturday, I had the most painful backpain.
It was in my tailbone and radiating down my legs. I was hobbling around the house all day. In fact, I was bedridden most of the day. The only relief that I felt was lying horizontal on the bed. I just couldn’t get comfortable. NOW, before you ask, I have done NOTHING strenuous that would tweak my back. I couldn’t pinpoint it. There was no “event” that triggered this pain.
When I awoke Sunday, the pain was not better. In fact, when I looked at my legs, I was shocked to see my left leg visibly swollen, from my ankle to my thigh. My calf, knee, and thigh had the most swelling. When I measured it, my left leg was at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches larger than my right leg. I panicked inside. After speaking to a close friend, who happens to be a nurse, she convinced me to visit the ER as a precaution. I’m so glad I did.
My sweet neighbor took Mason to play with her boys while she took me to the hospital. Side note: When we moved to Ponte Vedra 1 1/2 years ago, we knew no one. I am so blessed and fortunate to have a village of wonderful friends who are willing to help at the drop of the hat!
Going to the ER is always unsettling. Is it necessary? Am I overreacting? It was NOT a false alarm. After an ultrasound and then a CT Scan with Contrast, it was confirmed that I had TWO blood clots in my left leg. One was above my knee and the other was in my groin. According the docs, and I saw many, it is a large clot that extends down my legs. Luckily, it was below my kidneys.
I was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis. Mayo admitted me that afternoon. PSA: If you notice swelling in your limbs, don’t ignore it! It is a scary ticking time bomb if left untreated.
Luckily, Jamie was flying home from Buffalo Sunday night. My brother also made the trip down that afternoon, so Mason and I were well taken care of. It was a very different hospital experience then I had my craniotomy. Due to recent COVID, I was not allowed any visitors. At least this week, both Jamie and Rick could visit. Mason was too young, but I had Facetime. Blessings.
After much consult, they put me on blood thinners. There are surgical options, but my case wasn’t there yet due to the complications and risks of those procedures. Blood thinners were necessary to keep the blood clots from growing.
It took the docs a little time to determine what blood thinners were best due to my chemo meds and possible interactions. Unfortunately or fortunately (it really comes down to how you look at it), they put me on Lovenox, which is well-known blood thinner. The kicker is that it must be given via an injection twice a day. It works fast and does not interact with my current meds. There is a chance I will be on this blood thinner for the rest of my life. Silver lining: I will become an expert at giving injections!
They released me on Tuesday, with instructions to take it easy, with no strenuous activities. I guess I have to give up my 6 mile daily runs - JUST kidding! I haven’t run 6 miles in years. I think I can handle the “take it easy” instructions.
Timing was also on our side. My PET SCAN was scheduled for Monday, but they moved it to Wednesday. Scananxiety only heightened. Even my oncologist expected to see activity due to the blood clots. Miraculously, and with a humble heart, I am happy to report that I had a clean scan! Praise God!
It has been a crazy week at the Kranking household. Mason has been a sweetheart through this. The blood clot diagnosis scared him, as he remembered his Aunt Jackie having a blood clot with COVID, and it ultimately led to her death. We talked openly about it with him and he is back on track motoring along. Kids are amazingly resilient.
As usual, Jamie has been my Rock during this. I truly don’t know how I could have survived the last 2 years without him by my side. During the mastectomy, he was my nurse tending to my drains. During my craniotomy, he kept ice packs on my incision around the lock. Now, I need to work on him with the Lovenox injections. He wants no part of sticking me with a needle. He is so squeamish. He almost passes out when he has to get a shot, much less stick someone with a needle.
Surprises are around every corner. I think it’s only a matter of time, before he surprises me with his courage. My butt will abhor him, but my thighs and belly will thank him. They will need relief! I know he can do it!
P.S. With everything going on, I missed posting yesterday, October 13th. October 13th was designated by Congress as “National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day”. With the month of pink October being about Breast Cancer, at least we have a day within the month acknowledging when breast cancer goes from “race to the cure” to “terminal”.