As it turns out, this latest scheduled hospital admission has not been entirely uneventful. Jeff developed this rash on his upper arm where his PICC line had been during his first hospital admission last Saturday. It itches and is annoying, but he was never running a fever or experiencing any symptoms other than itchiness, so none of the doctors on call with whom he spoke on Saturday or Monday advised coming in to get checked out. Instead, as directed, he just took Benadryl as needed.
Yesterday, when the oncologist actually looked at the rash, it appeared to her that it may be "zoster," aka chicken pox, or in Jeff's case, shingles. Other people at UCSF think it's simply a skin irritation. On the one hand, fortunately, Jeff is not experiencing pain, and shingles is usually quite painful. Let's hope he stays pain free. On the other hand, shingles flares up when your immune system is compromised, so maybe it is "zoster?" And it is only presenting on one side of his body (or "dermatome" - new word for me), as is true of shingles. So, the jury is still out and we should know tomorrow after the results of a lab culture are complete.
If you'd like to send "innocuous arm-irritation from original PICC line" vibrations to the pesky rash, that would be most welcome. Until we know what it is, Jeff is in semi-quarantine and not allowed to leave his room. The room - on the plus side - is a single room, and it has a large TV, but I have to imagine that it feels a bit like a jail cell. And, also, until we know what it is, I am keeping Lydia away since she is too young to have been vaccinated for chicken pox. Consequently, since I am tethered to Lydia as her sole food source, I am also unable to see Jeff. It's a bummer.
All this said, chemo is proceeding as scheduled. And they are treating Jeff, essentially, for either skin condition. He's getting extra anti-viral meds - if it's shingles - and lots of Benadryl if it's just a rash. So, we'll see.
I'll close out with two photos of the chicas. Stella is on the left, Lydia is on the right. Lydia is just learning the trick of bringing her hands (and toys) up to her mouth. That nom nom nom reflex, displayed by Stella here, is really coming into full effect. I'm struck by the similarities of both girls at approximately this age. Of course, the single-minded obsession with this particular toy does heighten the likeness.
Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.