Home again with PICC line, IV pump

by | Saturday, April 12th, 2014 | Breast Cancer | 14 comments

It’s great to be home again. Mark brought me back from the hospital on Tuesday, and as each day goes by I am doing better and better. We had a nurse coming to the house the first two days to show us how to set up and run my IV infusion pump. We have been on our own with it since Thursday and we both feel pretty comfortable. I have figured out how to cope with having this attached to me 24 hours a day. It will be a part of me until May 19th.

I have been out for daily walks since it’s been so nice this past couple of days. Instead of wearing the pump slung over my shoulder, I have it hooked around my waist. It kind of makes me feel like a meter maid or delivery truck driver with their handheld devices strapped to their hips.

Nafcillin is the antibiotic that we are pumping into my PICC line, and I also have to take two capsules of Rifampin every morning. On the morning of the day I left the hospital, I was visited by Dr. Acharya (who I have a little crush on) telling me that in addition to the IV, they want me to take Rifampin once a day. One of the first things Dr. Acharya told me about taking the Rifampin is that it may cause my tears to turn orange. I said it’s a good thing he warned me, because I have been crying a lot lately and I probably would have freaked out. The bottle also indicates that if I wear contact lens that those may be permanently stained. So far I have been sticking to wearing my glasses.



Mark asked Dr. Wainaina, the head of the infectious disease team, if there was anything that I should eat or take while on these antibiotics. She said yes — yogurt and a good probiotic. Yogurt is something that we already eat regularly, and I have added Florajen3 to my daily pill taking. Mark’s sister Colette called as soon as she heard I would be on these heavy duty antibiotics to recommend I take Florajen3. It has 15 billion live cultures in each capsule. She swears by it, and said it helped her while she was recently on antibiotics. I just want to do anything I can to make sure I get better and back on track.

Since being on the antibiotics, I have noticed a small rash on my chest and neck area. My medical people told me to keep an eye on it, and if I have any change in my breathing, I should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Dr. Acharya said I can take Benadryl to stop the itching along with using a hydrocortisone cream. So far it seems like it’s not getting any worse, and my breathing does not seem to be affected.

Yesterday I was able to get 12 hours of sleep. I can’t remember ever sleeping that long. It felt great! I keep hearing how sleep is such a great healer and I have to keep reminding myself that I  just had surgery — not just once, but again last week, and I can’t feel guilty sleeping. As I was getting further away from my first surgery on March 10th, I kept thinking I should get out there and I maybe kept pushing myself. I will now make sure to give myself a break and slow down and make sure to rest.

I want to thank everyone for all of the comments, prayers, texts, emails, cards, and well-wishes. The other day, on my birthday, I was sitting alone looking at all of the messages that I have received over the past couple of days. I had just hung up from a call from Melissa, the nurse at Dr. Hijjawi’s office, wishing me a happy birthday and checking in to see how I was. I had such a strong feeling come over me. All I could think of was how blessed I am to have so many people around me caring for me. Whether it’s a family member, friend or my medical team, I truly feel blessed. This too, I know is helping me to heal. I love all of you!



14 Comments
  1. cindy

    Angie’s friend had this happen prayers with you

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Thanks Cindy, I guess there is always the chance for infection by just having surgery.

      Reply
  2. Linda Serpe

    So glad you are home and and doing so good.
    Yes sleep is the best healer, when I went to the hospital during chemo, I slept 2 days and 2 nights, I did not eat, never woke up, and I stayed another 5 more days, had to get my white cells up and needed blood tranfusion.
    Prayers are with you, keep up your positive thinking.
    Love, Linda

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Oh Linda you poor little angel. I am so glad that you got the attention you needed and healed properly. I feel so fortunate to have you as one of my mentors during this time in my life.

      Thanks for all of your prayers.

      Reply
  3. Julia

    You rock it girl!! Bumps in the road or good day, I love reading about your journey. You have no idea how much you mean to the friends of mine that have been recently diagnosed or waiting to be diagnosed. I thank you for all of them :) Hugs and a belated happy birthday!

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      You’re so sweet Julia. I am glad that you are following along with us. I sure hope I can and do help other women facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

      Thanks for the hugs and well wishes. :)

      Reply
  4. Erik Germinaro

    Still pretty as can be in your glasses Aunt Amy. Happy you’re back at home.

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Aw my sweet little Erik. What a wonderful thoughtful young man you have turned out to be.

      I am so proud of you and love you so very much!

      Reply
  5. Elliot

    I am glad you are back at home and seem to continue to have such a great attitude as well as exercise.

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Elliot I am feeling better and refreshed after my long nights of sleep and afternoon walks. I can’t wait till someday soon, when uncle Mark and I are able to take a trip down to see you. :)

      Reply
  6. Jeff n jodi

    So glad you are so positive. I love that about you. Praying for a speedy recovery. Yes get plenty of rest. Chat soon.
    Love. Jeff n Jodi

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Thanks for all of your support and prayers through all of this Jodi. It really makes me feel good and loved.

      Reply
  7. Katie Delany

    Amy, so glad your home and looking forward to the sunshine. Well it will come out soon :) and warm you up.
    My mom was asking about you today and I will let her know your back home. Bonnie and I are taking her to see Heaven is for Real on Friday. The last movie she saw in the theater was ET, I think It’s time to get her out again.
    Enjoy Easter with your family. love you

    Reply
    • Amy Czerniec

      Thanks Katie for checking in. I am feeling better as each day goes by. I was able to get out for a 2 mile walk today.
      Say hi to aunt Evie and Bonnie. Wow ET huh? Yeah I would say it’s about time she got out to see something on the big screen. :)

      Reply

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