As the Polka turns
Cody Lee is a WHUS family member who was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma. He has decided to keep everyone up-to-date with his experience by occasional postings on WHUS.org. Cody joined WHUS in the summer of 2010 and is currently a sophomore at UConn. If you'd like to get in touch with him, you can email him here. Follow Cody's posts here.
I haven’t written yet this week for 2 reasons. The first is that I’ve been in the hospital all week and nothing exciting has happened. The second is I haven’t really had the energy. But all that changed yesterday! Massage therapy came in and got rid of all my aches, and then I went in for my fourth spinal tap. I’ll give a brief summary of my first three spinal taps. The first time I went in, I had the expectation of it hurting a lot from what I had heard, and I had no drugs beforehand. However, the only pain I felt was when they put the first needle in to numb me, and I felt fine throughout the whole procedure. The second time I went in, they hit a nerve once. I was not a fan of this, so I requested drugs for the third time. They hit a nerve, but because of the drugs, I didn’t really care. Then yesterday came. I got the drugs again and was ready for the procedure. The needle went in, and hit a nerve. The surgeon repositioned, and hit another nerve. By the third nerve, I was completely sober. I don’t know how long this went on, but it felt like at least 30 minutes before he stopped. The needle was still in my back, and he had made little to no headway getting to my spinal fluid. He was extremely surprised by all this. Apparently, he has never had a patient feel every single movement of the needle, and would have thought it was all in my head if not for the fact that the pain occurred in perfect sync with his attempts at my spinal fluid. So now we had to decide between just ramming through to the fluid, or trying another spot. So he took out the needle, and tried again lower in my back. Again, it was the same thing. At this point, I was really getting a little frustrated. Every time he moved, pain shot down my legs, and most of the time it made my legs twitch, and the nurse had to hold them down. I told him that there was obviously no comfortable way to do this, so he should just make a beeline for the fluid and get it over with. Then came the fun of getting the chemo into the fluid. That part never hurt before, but with the way my day was going, I should have seen it coming. Normally, they inject the chemo and I don’t feel a thing. Yesterday, I instantly felt tremendous pressure shooting through my lower back and legs, as if they were filled with balloon and inflated to the brink of explosion. But that was the end of the discomfort, and he pulled out the needle and sent me back to my room. His best guess is that my treatment has made my spinal nerves hypersensitive, because normally I wouldn’t have been able to feel any of it. Next time, I think I’ll go in sedated.
On a lighter note, I feel great today, and I get to go home tomorrow. I’m done with chemo until the first of next month, and if my white counts go up again, I should be able to go to UConn.
It’s that time of week when I post the journal again. Not much going on, but my platelets are low and I have to stay here for the weekend.