Tuesday, May 20, 2008

98 Degrees in the Shade

May 20, 2008

I won't give you the blow by blow (I'm lying. I really will give you the details), but I will say that even though my van broke down between Navasota and College Station on that very dangerous stretch of Highway 6
  • exactly where there have been numerous fatal accidents in the last few years,
  • during rush hour,
  • right where the traffic speeds up anticipating the speed limit bumping up from 55 mph to 70,
  • when the outdoor thermometer wavered between 98 and 99 degrees
our day went better than I expected.

Erin started the day at 4:00 this morning with complaints that back pain woke her. She couldn't get comfortable. In addition, the new antibiotic (Vantan) meant to control any diarrhea that irinotecan
might generate and the tylenol with codeine I had given her for back pain had clogged up her system and left her constipated and straining to get comfortable. On top of that she started gagging and vomiting (possibly in anticipation of taking nasty oral medicine later in the day, but maybe because she had a bug. I didn't know. What I did know was that if she vomited she couldn't keep down pain medicine or chemo.). Her well of cooperation had run pretty dry, even before we finally got to clinic.

Dr. Russell saw beyond the obvious negatives of Erin's situation to hone in on an explanation I hadn't thought of: tumor growth could explain Erin's deteriorated condition this morning. She sent us for an x-ray
(during the x-ray I didn't even know enough to be worried. I just thought she was looking to see if Erin's poop was backed up). The x-ray came back perfect.

I was still worried about the irinotecan staying down, as it has a reputation of winning the nastiest-tasting-liquid-oral medicine contest. If she couldn't keep it down, Erin would get it as an IV drip (not a big deal), but we would have to keep coming back to clinic every day until she demonstrated she could take it orally and keep it down. I even envisioned a scenario where Erin would get de-hydrated, and we would end up in-patient. With a little help from Mrs. Ativan and Mr. Tylenol with Codeine, Erin managed to take all of her meds successfully, with no back wash or gagging, and slept away most of the afternoon observation periods. This was an ultimate triumph, given the roadblocks of the day. A little car trouble on the hottest recorded May 20th in the history of Brazos County was just a bump in the road.

Now we're home. Erin is happily working on the flag for her class to carry on Field Day on Friday, and I'm going out to walk Willie.


  1. Wow, what a day...
    how did you get out of the van breakdown situation?
    So glad all the meds stayed down and Erin was able to rest comfortably.
    New Jersey

  2. All in all a successful day, I'd say! HUGS to all Buengers and a big thanks for the prompt updates. (And, a big 'sorry' for the van trouble, Mrs. Dr. B!!!)

  3. Glad Erin was able to rally and you kept the right attitude about the van break-down. Hoping the irino/temo works miracles on Erin and that she's back soon to preparing to lead our country :)