This poor man seems to get every possible side effect going. Today started off with his left leg completely swollen right from his ankle up into his groin. Badly swollen. It was shiny, warm and hurt when he stood on it. The visiting nurse conferred with GP and determined we needed to get to Emergency as soon as possible. So off we went. It took about five hours but we got some answers.
After an ECG and ultrasound we were told he has a blood clot basically the entire length of his leg. The Emergency Room physician indicated that this is not rare among cancer patients. Nobody told us about this as something “not rare”. I will give credit to our GP though, on one of her visits she encouraged my husband to curl and stretch his toes and do as many leg movements as he could even when he felt unwell. She told him this in relation to clots and that he needed to try and keep moving his legs and feet. It’s a hard thing to do, think about exercising, when you feel awful and consequently it appears that he didn’t do enough, or maybe it is just plain bad luck. Since his second chemo treatment he has been too dizzy to do his Tai Chi Dan Yus and walking became quite difficult since he constantly felt like he would fall on his face. He tried to do the toe curls and toe points, and did do some everyday, but it just wasn’t enough.
His treatment today consisted of an injection into his stomach to stop the clot from getting any larger and prevent more clots from forming. He will continue to need a daily injection for the next couple of months at minimum. He was prescribed Dalteparin a subcutaneous injection based on his weight. The local pharmacy will order in a supply for us and the visiting nurse will train us on how to administer the injection. He is not out of the woods yet, the clot may still be an issue should any of it break off and head on up to his lungs. We were instructed that should he experience a sharp pain anywhere above his navel he was to call an ambulance immediately, and the ER physician stressed the need to travel by ambulance.
It has been one giant battle so far and I constantly worry how psychologically he is holding up. We talked a little bit about it, I mean this cycle of chemo has been very hard on him physically and I know he is feeling down. He’s tired, “beat up” as he puts it, and questions what is going on, but he doesn’t question why he is doing it. He is in it for the long haul though, despite the fact that we don’t have any idea what the “long haul” will be.