Monday, September 30, 2013

Round 5 Chemotherapy I've fallen and I can't get up

"I've fallen… and I can't get up!" was a catchphrase of the late 1980s and early 1990s based upon a line from a television commercial for LifeCall.

Saturday it happened to me as I tripped over a blanket and dove head first into my bedroom carpet. … What do you do? … Cell phone as well as land line was in the next room. Round 5 Chemotherapy plus whomp on the head had so weakened me I was useless.

Laying there I remember a conversation from the chemo lounge about a fellow patient who fell twice … even once having to drive herself to the ER with a bloody towel pressed against her head wound.

Fortunately Megan who had been playing with our cat in the yard arrived to the rescue … weight and strength would negate the one person unassisted transfer I have used for Patti for decades … instead Megan found a trick on Google of positioning a heavy stiff backed chair in front of me for me to pull up on while sliding my wheeled office chair under me.  …. Patti's old wheelchairs unfortunately do not have lateral movement.

Now …. if only I could successfully open bottle tops, cans and medicine bottles … it’s so annoying the little things we take for granted … even trying to plunge a commode with no upper arm strength.

This morning heading in for a saline drip I was feeling good … that was until I started up the accessibility ramp.  An onset of dizziness at first steep grade caused me to grasp the ramp bar and go down to one knee while Megan fetched the oncology cavalry! … Safely transferred to a wheel chair I continued in to the chemo lounge chairs …. 

Given a once over by oncology nurses and one of the two senior partners I was pronounced good to go for saline drip and none the worse for the wear except my cool looking rug burn mark on my head.

The trip was determined to be likely just that … I tripped. The moment of weakness / dizziness this morning was likely dehydration … which I there for anyway.

Good news red blood counts remain high!!!!! … while blood cells were curiously low … infection?  No other signs such as fever … and my vitals have not been better in months.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. When people ask about the rug burn:
    ....... just wink and grin, with a short nod of the head.
    ....... tell them you were practicing your high dive from you bed and came up a little short.
    ....... ask, "What rug burn?" and pretend you can't see it.
    ....... tell them you were playing the new chemo version of "Twister"
    .......tell them it is your new tattoo and ask if they like it
    .......tell them it is your birthmark that just recently appeared.
    .......tell them you were were going to a Indian (from India) and you got carried away when you put your 'dot' on
    ....... tell them your unicorn horn fell off

    Sorry if I offended anyone with any of these.... I got started and couldn't stop!
    Glad to hear your numbers are good (kinda-sorta)... are you taking the vitamin D?
    Keep kickin ass and keep the faith!!
    Jackie aka Bama

    1. ooopppsss..... the Indian one.... insert festival after the parenthesis...

    2. Jackie! ... Megan was quick with the unicorn claiming someone had "scalped my unicorn horn" ,,,oncology nurses think it looks like a tattoo of a Darth Vader helmut :) .... yes, I am doing the Vitamin D and above all keeping the faith

  2. Dearest Patrick,
    Well my wedge resection came back and I have adenocarcinoma. Although I tried to hide this whole thing from my children I am amazed to find their strength now so incredible. Your daughter seems like an angel and special love and prayers to her. I read your posts and am inspired- though I am very afraid. You are my angel now, too. I just don't know if I can do this with the grace and positive outlook you show. You have set the bar for me. With love and gratitude, Gayle Pard Edmonton, Alberta

    1. The lung cancer community is strong. I'm at if you need any entertainment or ever want to know if something you're experiencing is normal. Allow yourself time to ask questions - and time to cry, too.

    2. Thank you Gayle like you I tried to hide my DX from my daughter and again like you I find myself in awe of her ... and by the way it is OK to be afraid and just remember that applies to them too. Bless you all you ALL are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. When is your next PET scan? MRI for your brain? I assume chemo will end or continue depending on the success to date?

    1. Jessica, brain MRI scheduled for Nov 19 .... no PET scheduled yet ... I "pray" chemo wraps up after Round 6 or about another month.

  4. Got a call late today .. oncologist's office wants to MRI. up to this Thursday ...SCANXIETY!!!!!!!!

    1. Wow... good luck with the scan! I'll be waiting to hear the results!!!

      Keep taking the vitamin D!


  5. Did I really read you right.....that YOU are blessing us all and are in YOUR thoughts and prayers!!!?? WOW---I am truly blessed!!! My friend you are sooo much more than a hero to me and if prayers are worth anything (which I have no doubts!) you are in the best of hands!!! Love you and Megan!! MRI is going to show GOOD results!!!!!!!! XXX-OOO

  6. I think Jackie's #1 is the bomb. If I had gotten rug burn when I went through chemo, that is what I would have done. I love your sense of humor Jackie and glad you are here to support Patrick. Hang in there Patrick-you are the coolest and strongest dude I have ever met. Always thinking about you :-)

    1. Thanks, Linda! Patrick will tell you how so very strange I can be! ;)


  7. Patrick,

    I like Jackie's "chemo twister"
    In addition to Vitamin D, I read that B12 also helps. It comes in a sublingual tablet.
    Good luck with the scan.


    1. Thanks, Steve! I thought 'chemo twister' was a good one too....


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