Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Monday, April 4, 2011

From To Be Continued. . .  .

So off to the ER we went, me itching all the way and Dad awake from coffee and adrenaline.

 We were escorted to a room immediately for eval. Even though I was covered in a red rash all over my body it started and spread from the skinfolds, where there is pooling of blood from the veins, and spread from there. 

The providers couldn't grasp the extent of my reaction until I stripped into a johnie, showing my legs, arms, and lower torso covered. 

Having an allergic reaction is scary. 

Having a systemic allergic reaction with no known cause when you take a 100 meds is downright terrifying. 

I wanted to be admitted just to control the damn itching, but none of the docs agreed. The hospital wouldn't have been safer. It would have added new possible allergens and exposed me to infections I didn't need to be exposed to when i didn't really need to be there.

So, to make a long story short, since I've been trying to write this without success since last Weds., I was released from Dartmouth's ER after receiving more Benadryl and 60 mg of prednisone and directions to think about anything new in my environment that may have caused this.

Thurs., despite the 60 mg. of prednisone that usually would have sent me into a crazed tizzy, I took enough Benadryl, tegamet, morphine, ativan, etc. to knock myself into a semi-itchless coma, but every time I woke up it was there again.

I'd just take more meds and go to bed, praying I didn't over do myself on the medications (After 5 years of fighting I don't want my obit to read "accidental overdose."

I was still nervous about the idea that the reaction could extend to my mouth, throat, airway, which is the greatest fear with any allergic reaction, but I never had any rash show up on my face threatening my breathing.

That symptom waited until Friday morning, after I'd suffered, suffered, and suffered some more and couldn't take it anymore.

Of course it was a snow day, so when I woke up itchy and irritable, X was right there ready to be parented. I had a few scattered red spots on my face. I had finally had all I could take.

I not only wanted to die but I was ready to kill myself.

If the reaction did in fact travel to my airway I was considering refusing intubation.

I know this is shocking. I know this is a terrible. But it's the truth.

Nobody goes to sleep thinking I'm going to wake up so miserable I'll want to die, but it happens, and you never know when it's going to sneak up on you.

It was then I finally started to cry. I couldn't take the pain, the itching, the suffering. I couldn't take another day of drugging myself only to wake up to the same problem.

I called the Doc hysterical who, with his nurse, advised me to take my prednisone and benadryl 50 mg every four hours along with tegamet or allegra if needed.

Then, like only a provider who has been with me for the past five years could do, they called my mother.

Yes, the hospital called my mom to come babysit.

Apparently, when the nurse asked "Are you alone?"
And I responded, "No." sniffle, sniffle, sob, sob, "My son is with me." that was not the answer they were looking for.

My dad came over and brought x to my inlaws. 

I sat down and put together a list of everything I had taken since Monday that could have ended up in my blood.

I showered, I washed. When the nurse finally came at 1pm we decided to change everything.

My mediport, which accesses my veins, had been in place since Weds.

It was as I was gathering my supplies to change my dressings, staring in the mirror I realized that on Weds., right before I was stuck with a needle straight to m blood stream, I had rubbed EMLA cream all over my chest.

EMLA is a numbing agent that contains lidocaine. I haven't used it in years, but we finally had one of two suspects, either EMLA or chlorhexadene, a cleaning agent.

The hives finally went away for good yesterday, but they slowly subsided over the weekend, allowing me to enjoy myself a little bit, plan X's 8th bday party and start coaching baseball. 



Loraine Ritchey said...

Bless you heart Hillary and I do know how you feel when you get to the end of your tether ... sometimes you have to hit bottomn to bounce ... but today is a better day all my thoughts are with you .... Loraine

... said...

O Hillary. The rest of us who don't have life threatening conditions have no idea how hard it can be. We watch, but our bodies don't have to go through it. Hugs to you, and to your family who loves you and longs to see your burden eased. Many prayers your way.

Val said...

I wish you didn't have to go through this. Hopefully the source has been found. WHen I was pregnant I had a rash all over my body and nobody could tell what it was. I understand your thoughts that you couldn't go on...I remember screaming in my bathroom. Good luck & God bless.

lanabanana said...

That sounds HORRIBLE!! And, I can totally relate to you thinking you'd rather be dead then to go through that. We can only take so much! You poor thing. I'm so glad that you figured out a potential source for the allergic reaction and I'll pray you never come in contact with it again! Hugs!