|Posted by Mark Liederbach on March 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM|
On Saturday, right before attempting to see the Greendale High School Musical “The Pajama Game”, a sharp pain in my left arm appeared. At first I thought it was something to do with my muscles (sleeping the wrong way on it), but then it started to hurt when I inhaled – so I knew something was wrong. From the encouragement of Nicole (once again), I called my oncologist - Dr. Bandealy - who explained that I should go to the ER immediately, because it may be a blood clot. I was taken there via my mom and Nicole and was greeted by awaiting nurses. After multiple attempts at injecting pain medication into me, I was off to the radiology department for several tests. They did CT scans of my chest, abdomen, and brain. They also performed ultrasounds on my arms and legs. The diagnosis was Pulmonary Embolisms – multiple blood clots in the lungs. Apparently this is much more frequent in cancer patients. Dr. Qamar – who was also my hospital physician – said “the tumor markers in the blood stream thicken the blood cells and cause the buildup of clots to become much more likely to occur”.
I was prescribed Lovenox which is injected into the stomach every 12 hours for the next 2-3 weeks. This means I will be injecting myself with this for the next 2-3 weeks … Yikes! Either way I have to man-up and do it (my mom is already calling me very brave!). Tuesday night was when I was released from the hospital, ready to slowly embrace the joys of being done with chemo – which they finally finished earlier that day. The feeling is bitter-sweet. On one hand, I am finally free, there is nowhere to go but improvement; yet now I feel tethered to St. Luke’s, through which I will be receiving blood thinners for likely another year. My warning to people at risk for clots would be to take any necessary precautions, because the consequences of a clot are long-term.
Still, I am glad to finally be home, and preparing for a relaxing week off on Spring Break! Ahhhhh