Friday, January 22, 2010

1-22-10 today's events

  I spent last night in and out but building up strength. This morning Bill and Charlie came back here when it was time to leave and helped me get to Denise's car. On the way down after a few sips of water I would throw up (but uncontrollably), bile. I had to sip the water to keep my throat from cracking where it was so dry, so it was one of those catch 21 things. Charlie followed us down to UT. The parking lot was full so Denise dropped me off at the elevators and helped me to the bench. After she parked the car she went to Panella's and borrowed a wheelchair and came and got me. Ruth got her one extremely quick. I had always turned down a wheelchair, even when I was admitted so I guess that must have set off some alarms.

  I had a tad more strength and balance but not enough to make it. They drew blood work but we never got the results, they were extremely busy in the Chemo Hut today. They took us back into a small room close to a bathroom that only had 2 chairs for patients and 2 for company. Ruth had already started an IV and was running fluid and some kind of medicine to settle my stomach. When it came time for the second bag of fluid they brought a needle in with some kind of new drug that started with an R that was a laxative type shot given sub-Q. In about 20 minutes I went to the bathroom. I noticed by the end of the 1st bag of fluid that my thick secretions had actually thinned and I began making saliva a little. By the second bag, I had real saliva.

  Panella sent me to X-Ray and they shot a couple on my abdomen. It showed no blockage but still some poop way up high in my intestines. By tonight my saliva is thickening. The first time I went prepared to stay and offered no resistance to staying, but they sent me home. He wrote a script for some kind of laxative but also told me tonight to get some kind of liquid laxative to drink. It comes in Lemon flavor and after just two sips I was pretty much in tears from the pain. Shame though, it did work a little with just two sips. It must be acidic and anything acidic is not doable for a throat cancer patient who's throat is burnt up from radiation.

  We're trying to figure out what to eat. It can't be too small or it gets stuck in the sores inside my throat. Too large and it can get stuck due to the swelling inside. Too stringy and it stands a chance of ending up choking from the compromised gag reflex. Needs to be easily digestible and soft. So far I've ate three puddings.

  Here is a bit of information that we were told today that would have come in handy earlier. A bowel movement should be everyday when taking chemo, radiation, especially with all the meds. How much information have we been told AFTER the fact or from other patients. Not only would it be nice to be told up front but it might also be nice to be handed a sheet with a few facts and possibilities because when you are told you have cancer, will be taking chemo and/or radiation, you can not comprehend all that is hitting you at once. I think I read the average human retains about 25% of verbal information on the average. Now imagine the horror, fear, and shock and try and get a decent factor out of that. Even with at least two other people in there, the odds aren't good because more than likely the people accompanying the afflicted are emotionally attached. Little stuff like using lotions or mouth sprays to help the moisture in the mouth, not eating with metal after Taxotere, all this came from other patients. Why? OK, so maybe not everybody has this happen but as long as there is the possibility, and you hear it from many patients, why not pass along the information? Why not have a printed sheet so they can reflect back when the shock factor is lower? At the least they will be informed and if they escape these things they are better off, but I haven't spoken to even one that has escaped these things yet.

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