Thursday, February 18, 2010

02-18-2010 part 1

  I skipped yesterday. Me and Charlie went to UT to get more fluids. I started about 8:30 am and finished a little before 1:00 pm. Usually they add something to relax me but they didn't this time. Actually it usually makes me sleep. I did sleep on and off but mostly I was awake. It wasn't as busy yesterday like it has been being, a good thing to see. They ladies there, especially Ruth, still worked hard. There are volunteers that hang out and come by ever so often to see if you need anything. Warm blankets, ice cream, drinks, and occasionally food.

  I overheard a lady that came in and had a port talk with the nurses, she must have been a nurse that worked with them. They all seemed excited to see her and they sat and discussed on and off what she had been up to. The lady was a very happy person, extremely positive. Before she left, as she was dressing, she looked at the ladies and said something like, "Chemo Brain. There is such a thing you know. I've experienced it and people were right. It is real. We talked about it in my support group." One of the ladies asked if she had experienced it. She said that she had and used an illustration of, "Say I wanted to tell you about a carrot, I might say something like highway instead of carrot and not realize what I said." She then said, "You know, we don't fully understand Chemo yet and I'm finding that out. When people would tell us about crazy side effects, they probably exist but we dismiss them." They chatted a bit more and one of the nurses asked about the Chemo Brain and how long it lasts and that it always isn't an immediate side effect. The lady responded back different times, it can even go on for years... sometimes forever. Whoever this lady is, she had their respect as a fellow worker.

  I haven't researched that yet. Actually I've heard the term Chemo Fog but never heard of Chemo Brain. That is perhaps the second scary part of this, the fact that they don't know all the side effects. Whats the most scary part of this? That those in charge don't listen. Imgine living in a real nightmare, no escape and those that are in charge don't believe you. That would be horrible. You would not be able to get any help, stranded and deserted by those who should be helping. Why is it that nobody listens to the average person? How many people did this lady disbelieve? She now knows and hopefully nobody will turn a deaf ear to her and maybe she can help to change that, but it will only be just one aspect of this unknown treatment.

  The one thing I know for sure is that I don't know everything and I beg I always know this, especially if by my thinking I know everything someone suffers because of my arrogance. I thank God that this isn't one of my side effects and pray that it doesn't come my way. I think I know what the Chemo Fog is, maybe it was just all the drugs for pain in my system, but my thinking is foggy sometimes. Then again, that may be natural, lol. After my heart attack in 2005 I have a hard time with short time memory. Denise says it's selective. lol.

   Anyway, during the time I was there I ran out of water towards the end. Instead of asking for something to drink I decided that I could wait...big mistake. By the time we switched out from Charlie's truck with mom's SUV and made it to Shoney's, I was in misery and it has taken until today to half way recover. My voice is still coarse but the pain finally went back to a tolerable level. I ended up taking pain pills twice yesterday, once when I got home and once before bed. I keep water close by and have since about the tenth session of radiation. This has gotten rather long so I'll do another post for today.      

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