Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Follow-up

   It's been a pretty decent day. ok... it has been great! I did learn another lesson though. For the first time in a while I filled the whirlpool tub up (left it turned off) and soaked. I soaked my neck as well. It felt sooooo goood. During the course of the day though I had decided that I was cutting back to the bare minimum on the Morphine, so it was pretty much out of my system. Now it is already past time (hour wise) to change the 3 day pain patch... forgot that too. When I got out and dried off I blotched my neck and put my PJs on.  Went strolling through the house to see when Denise could clean and dress my neck, still feeling good but a breach of pain was slowly beginning to form as my neck got drier. So I use the liquid Morphine as the pain sped up. She is getting the stuff out and all the sudden it was like my neck blew into flames.

   Even the sterile water/hydrogen peroxide soaked Gauze sponges burnt but brought a little relief.The didn't stop the pain but at least kept it from climbing, if indeed it could have climbed higher. The Radiation Lotion hurts when you put it on. For me, worse case scenario or best, the prepping is indeed painful but only precludes the real pain about to start when the lotion is applied. It can be one of the most painful things you will ever experience, and I've seen my share of pain. Heart attack, Gall Bladder stones, Shoulder surgery, Pancreastitus (can't spell that word). This rates right up there with the best.

  Tonight I wonder. We start back Monday, how will I be able to go lotion free? Best I remember, you have to do this without lotion or it amplifies the effect. I am praying that it heals quicker and quicker each day. Denise wanted until after New Years but when Dr Green and I sat down the date on the 28th, we're expecting miracles, and so far God has bestowed plenty of them on us, so I have faith that another one is coming. 

  The Morphine has set in, the moisturizer effect of the lotion has taken effect, the new patch placed on, pain is barely there. My body is kinda rough feeling s the damage scabs over from the chemo. My arms and legs are quickly healing and apparently my back. I'm not sure if it will leave scars but I don't think I even had a modeling deal, lol. Well it's almost bedtime and despite a couple of bumps, it has been a great day. Bumps are ok, they teach us to enjoy the smooth pavement when it gets here.    


Tuesday 22nd

  I slept pretty decent last night awaking only about 3 times briefly. I finally stayed awake about 6:30 and watched Denise as she went up the driveway to work. I had Annie get breakfast at Hardees. I paid, she went and got it, I think a good arrangement.

  I know I've still a ways to go but we've made it this far, maybe it will get easier. I looked over my pills this morning and after a discussion with Denise last night, I've decided to leave off my blood pressure medicines. There were a couple of times at the hospital where I was drifting in and out, Denise and Charlie thought I was fighting sleep and I wasn't for sure what was happening. I'll be sitting or laying, maybe even standing, and all the sudden this blank feeling came over me and I was so tired I couldn't hold my eyes open yet when I close them to sleep, I became awake. It was like the switch to shut down was turned off then on again. Anyway, there were a few times where I got lucky and the nurse would come in to take my blood pressure and one of these episodes occurred. one time my blood pressure was 77 over 57 (or something like that). Once the top number was 87. There were a couple of other times I believe, but I don't remember the numbers. The nurse preforming the check would say that something didn't read right and recheck. As long as the episode wasn't in place, I read a perfect reading, or at last close to perfect. I think this Morphine must be, for whatever reason, causing these on/off switches.

  Now if they are a long episode or a series of them strung together, I have no idea what I write and usually say. Like last night Denise asked me who cleaned and dressed my wounds the night she didn't stay. I told her I did by myself. She asked how and as I was explaining it to her I started one. Now I am laying there with my eyes closed like I usually do from the intense pain as she reapplies the radiation lotion and it goes from the normal darkness to looking as if I opened my eyes and was watching 3 guys on a white beach with a beautiful beach house in the background. White shears gentle blowing from the ocean breeze on the porch. One guy is watching the other two, standing between them and slightly back from them. The other two guys are making beautiful circles in the sand, making sure they are formed perfectly. My conversation fluently rolled straight into reflections what I thought they were doing. "We got all the white stuff off when we did it but the hardest thing was knowing where to start the circles because we weren't sure where they were." Denise said, " What in the Hell are you talking about?" Poof, back to reality I went and I said, "nothing". She kept asking what I was talking about and I finally resolved at telling the truth.

   I was going to write about some of the side effects I've noticed. Morphine seems to have several. I've been up and down all morning. Not sure if they are related, but they seem to have developed at the same time. Like a twitch or a muscle jerk. I'll be sitting holding something, like the mouse for instance. Suddenly it's like I black out, usually one of my arms or hands jerk, something it may be other body parts. Then I am right back awake and alert. That may happen once of many times throughout the day. It is for that reason I have decided to quit driving until this is over. It only takes a second of blackout and a jerk to lose control of you've wrecked. It is a very real possibility. I'm hoping and praying that the pain level will go down enough to where the patch is the only thing I need.

Keeping a train of thought is extremely hard to do. My lips stay numb. It may be from the severe chemo reaction. Who knows. the last 2 fingers of my left hand are numb. Shortness of breath. Whatever this is I just pray that it isn't permanent.

  I've ate a little both meals today but overall not really what would be considered enough. The food still tastes funny or bad, nothing really appealing. I looked and I am as of tomorrow 2 weeks out from the last Chemo so that should change little by little. That's part of the attractiveness of chemo, lol.  I weighed myself last night and I am at the level I desired and prepared for, 200 lbs. I'll get worried if it gets below 195. With 17-18 more radiation treatments to go, it ain't lookin' so good. Plus i've got it a tad bit warm in my room, I'm sweating and so has everybody else who has come in here.

  We spoke with a friend that is a P.A. about the blood pressure medicine and me skipping it and Deb says she thinks that it is a good idea. That was something I had thought about while I was on vacation after seeing the numbers while my vitals were being checked. I am having to drink more water without the IV fluids. I didn't realize just how helpful these things are. I would definitely recommend to anybody who does chemo to go back to the doctor or nurses at their chemo hut and ask for seconds if they feel like they need it. Dr Panella, Ruth, and all the ladies at the chemo hut kept telling me just to ask. I went back after throwing up and got more IV medicine to combat that, later just to rehydrate. I'm not sure if all Oncologists offer this, but Panella and the others at UT Cancer Center do. One has to remember that they are here to help and while I never trust usually, I trust them and the fact that they have my best interest at heart.

  More later on. So far, so good.