Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Surprise! I had my 3rd round of Rituxan infusions!

Thanks to my insurance approving me for one year of infusions, my recent infusion request went right through!

First infusion on 2/20/17 went very well, and fast – just over 3 hours. I had a pretty bad headache for the next 2 days and after about a week and a half of laying low, felt back to normal.

Second infusion on 3/9/17 went great, too. I did get a blown vein in my left arm though. That sucked.

The infusion center nurse tried to get my one vein twice, on my left arm. Eventually I just couldn’t take how uncomfortable it was, so we switched to my right arm and everything was fine.
The left arm had a blown vein though, which is something new to me.

The day after the infusion, my left arm was a little tender but just felt like a bruise. As the evening approached, my left hand started to feel like pressure was building, and it got really painful. 

After an hour of Googling, I called a nurse line and they wanted me to get to the ER.

I took their advice and headed in (it’s now about 12:45 at night). They did an ultrasound on my neck and arm to look for blood clots.
All was clear, except for a “small non-occlusive focus of thrombus is seen in a superficial tributary of the basilic vein near IV site” in layman’s terms – a clot at the IV site that isn’t cause for concern – other than creating throbbing pain in my hand.

The doctor was a little concerned about any Rituxan being infused outside of the vein. Although – since that infusion site was uncomfortable for me, we switched to my other arm after only a few minutes of the actual infusion. I did message my rheumatologist this morning however, to let her know.

My homework is to alternate hot and cold packs (to help break up the hematoma/bruise), ibuprofen and to elevate my arm. Other than a sore arm, I'm fine - just exhausted from my wild night.

I’m not going to lie though, I’m really wiped out in general and feeling overwhelmed.
I had gotten my life back to a level that I was happy with, and being down for the count for an extended period just highlights what I can’t do without being healthy. It’s a scary feeling to me.

Thankfully, this infusion round is over and I hope to be getting my energy back in the coming weeks. It’s important to me to be able to focus on things other than my disease right now.

My sweet Teddy has cancer and we don’t know how much time we’ll have left with him. The Oncology team at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center doesn’t think that it will be very long, which breaks my heart.
It’s my goal to help him with his “bucket list” and keep him as happy and comfortable as possible.

So, I hope that I will not need to check in for a while, and that I’ll be able to focus on spending time with my family.

Thank you all so much for your continued support of me and my family. I do gather great strength from your notes and comments. It really warms my heart to hear that you read this blog and that you care.

Thank you,


  1. Thanks for the update Maren! I'm thinking about you often! Hope you enjoy your time with Teddy! Love you!!

  2. I am so sorry about your arm! How scary. If you need any back up at work, let me know. And as usual, Teddy is in my thoughts and prayers. He couldn't have a better mama! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah - you're the sweetest. XO