RSS

Category Archives: unknown

Liar liar brain on fire

I’ve been struggling with my health anxiety for over a week. As per usual, it’s pretty centered around my heart. I’ve made an appointment to see my cardiologist, but the online scheduler only had an appointment for NEXT Monday. I’m going to call in the morning to see if they have anything sooner, whether it’s a cancellation or what. If they can’t fit me in sooner, I might also check with my regular doctor–but getting in to see them is pretty difficult these days.

I keep trying to tell myself that if I’m still alive after this week of potential heart pain, then it’s likely just anxiety plaguing me and not a “real” issue. It’s my anxiety lying to me. My left arm hurts, my back hurts, my jaw hurts, I feel slightly off-balance, I’m nauseated. All those things could mean a heart issue…and all those things could be just my daily life. I can’t get around my lying anxiety brain to figure it out. I’m both hot and cold, sometimes feeling sweaty when there’s no sweat there. Right now my palms are warm and feel like they’re sticking to my laptop, but my feet are freezing cold and clammy.

I’ve had a pain in my lower right back today. I always have pain in my back, but this feels different. Is it real or anxiety? I hate that I can’t tell. I don’t understand how I’m supposed to know what is real and what isn’t. I don’t know when to seek emergency treatment and when not to. I don’t want to spend my life in the emergency waiting room…our local ER is terrible and our trips tend to last no less than 6-12 hours there. Most of that in the waiting room trying to get a bed to be seen (usually by a dismissive physician or physician’s assistant).

I’ve been depressed and not acting normal, not moving around much, not eating well, not drinking my water. I know this is all contributing to the fact that everything hurts me, but I can’t seem to get around it. I’m sitting poorly, also contributing to my pain. I’m not sleeping, some of which from pain, some because of the fear of having a heart attack.

I can’t even tell you how many good-bye letters I’ve written. In my previous house, I used to have them scattered around in weird places. Mostly hand-written in the dark of night when I was sure I wouldn’t make it through the night. Sometimes I write them on my computer and drop them into weird folders. Am I the only one? Does anyone else do this? I so wanted to write one the other night because it was that bad. I didn’t do it. I wanted to wake Hub and tell him good-bye, just in case. I wanted to do it before he went to sleep. I write the notes because I don’t want to frighten my wonderful husband…I can’t stand keeping him awake when he’s the one getting up early every morning to take care of the dogs and then go to work to support both of us.

I was sitting here earlier, just waiting for the time to go by. And I started wondering WHY I was hoping for the time to go by more quickly. I know I want to get up first thing and make calls to the doctor, but really, what is that going to solve? I’m not likely to get an appointment right away, so I’m still stuck in this anxiety limbo.

As I type, I’m restless. My jaw is hurting again. My back. My arm. I want to sob, but crying only makes me feel worse. I want to curl into a ball, but it hurts too much. I want to lie down and go to sleep but I’m afraid. I heard once that there are more heart attacks in the early morning hours, so I’m afraid to go to sleep because I’m afraid to have a heart attack overnight or in the early morning hours. For some reason my brain thinks that if I’m awake, I won’t have a heart attack. Or maybe I think if I’m awake, I’ll be able to get help if I start having a heart attack. Probably the latter.

This sucks so much. I hate this health anxiety. I hate that this is one of the few things that I’ve not been able to conquer. Sometimes I do so well, but other times I’m just so suffocated by it.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The bad news continues

It has been too long. I know it. I’m struggling hard on this roller coaster. I spent today’s session with T crying.

Mom just hasn’t recovered from being in the wheelchair…from the pelvic fracture and the deep muscle spasm. For a few weeks she was moving around better, walking more but still sitting to take breaks. But she was still pressing on, doing what she could. We tried a new medication, but it gave her problems with her fingers and toes. Numbness and tingling. That started with her first chemo, but the recent medication made it worse. The doctor stopped the medication because it was a high likelihood that the numbness and tingling would progress to painful neuropathy.

The nurses at the oncology center noticed that both Mom’s legs were swelling. It was decided that she lymphedema–swelling from water and “stuff” that wasn’t being filtered from her body by her damaged lymph system–and that she needed to go to physical therapy to get manual massage and compression wraps to help move the water up her body to parts of her lymph system that was working. That took some time to get set up, but we finally got it scheduled to start after Christmas.

We were expecting to go to a local research hospital to see if they had a trial, but with the holidays coming their response was a bit slow. Then they said they had no room for her in the trial until the end of January, so we decided to pursue the next option with her regular oncologist. Only…something happened and we’re not sure what.

Christmas day she wasn’t feeling so great. Then the weekend, she continued to feel “yucky.” She was starting to feel lethargic, tired, not really interested in eating. But she was forcing herself to eat to keep her energy up. The Monday following she was due to go to the physical therapist for the lymphedema evaluation. When I went to meet them at their house, I could see she wasn’t feeling well. She was exhausted and hardly interested in moving. She was using the wheelchair again. But she persisted and made it to the appointment. The physical therapist did the evaluation but only wrapped one of her legs, so as not to tax her body too much. We made it home and just inside the house, Mom threw up. And that’s where the downhill slide really began. We had another appointment the next day to go back to the physical therapist, but just minutes inside the offices, I had to race her wheelchair into the restroom so she could throw up again. I could see she was getting more dehydrated and weak, but she wanted to go through with the second appointment. They wrapped her again and instead of leaving it on for six or seven hours like the day before, this time she was supposed to leave the wrap on for two days. We got Mom home and she just kind of collapsed into her recliner.

The next morning my father called to say she wouldn’t get out of bed. She was too exhausted and weak. They’d spent the night getting up every ninety minutes to get her into the bathroom to pee…a result of her leg being wrapped and the fluid being expelled from her system. We called the physical therapist who told us to immediately remove the wraps and consider going to the ER for dehydration. We ended up taking her to the urgent care for her HMO (where she threw up again in the car), where they kind of pushed us around. She wasn’t really dehydrated, but her blood work said she was malnourished (from throwing up and not eating for fear of throwing up). It also came back with an elevated liver enzyme called Bilirubin. They did an ultrasound of her liver then basically said they saw nothing “remarkable” and sent her home.

The next day was New Years eve day. She wouldn’t get out of bed. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to drink. She barely sat up. She didn’t open her eyes. We called the oncologist’s office but he was out for the day and the on-call oncologist only said to put her on the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet and keep hydrating. If it got critical, to go back to the urgent care again. So we pushed Mom to eat. We got her anti-nausea medication (different from the stuff the urgent care gave her because that didn’t work) and antacid for what we thought might be acid reflux. We encouraged her to get out of bed. To try to eat. To keep her eyes open. She would do so for a little bit, then revert back into sitting slumped in her recliner in her robe, eyes closed. No energy, just looking like she was suffering from so much discomfort and distress.

I’ve been spending as much time at their house as possible, trying to keep her going, trying to give my dad and brother a break. Finding foods for her to try to eat, distracting her, encouraging her. She’s tired, I can see it. She doesn’t want to feel this way. It’s not pain, but she feels like she wants to throw up every time she moves. It was a very long weekend. I spent much of my days there, leaving my husband at home with the dogs.

This morning we took her to her oncologist’s office to get her port flushed (it was put in when she was first going for chemo and they left it in just in case she needed to use it again). While we were in the waiting room, I was trying to chat with her, but she just waved her hand and said, “I’m not talking.” So I stopped. When we got into the exam room, we saw the oncologist and I asked him to come speak with us if he could. When he saw mom in the chair, head resting on her hand, eyes closed, he nodded.

A few minutes later, he came in to ask what was happening, and we filled him in. His first step was to get repeat blood work, especially for the high liver enzyme from the urgent care visit–a liver issue could cause the nausea. Then he ordered an MRI for her brain to see if there was spread of the cancer, which could also possibly explain the nausea. Tomorrow is the MRI. If the liver enzyme is still elevated, he’ll want a CT to see if the cancer has grown in her liver, causing a blockage or possibly shut down.

I helped my parents get settled in at home after the appointment, where my mother threw up shortly thereafter. They’ve got her going on steroids to help the nausea and stimulate appetite, and zantac for the acid reflux. After I confirmed the medications with my dad, and their schedule, I left to go see T because that appointment was previously scheduled. I made the drive there, got through the front desk check-in and the wait to get into T’s office. By the time she walked in from her bathroom break between clients, I was already crying. And I cried through the whole appointment. I’m not ready for this…whatever it is. I’m not ready to see her suffer like this. I’m not ready to see her go downhill. I hope this is a blip, something weird, and she’ll perk back up again. I hope. Goddammit I hope. I want to hope.

My brother (who lives with my parents) and I are trying to handle her business. Bills, insurance issues, investment issues, a few business issues. I’m trying to help handle the medical appointments, like canceling the upcoming physical therapy appointment that she can’t get to tomorrow. I’m afraid I can’t keep up with everything.

Butthead started limping again last week, for no reason. We put her on pain medication, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much. We’re supposed to leave her on it for 7 days, which would be tomorrow. I can’t even take her to my parents’ house when I go over because she’ll want to play with their dog and that could cause problems with Butthead’s already bad recovery. So I’m pulled in the different directions. My husband, my parents, the dogs. And I feel guilty for thinking about the dogs when my mother is suffering and struggling.

My husband understands. He has told me multiple times over the last week that he understand that I need to be with my mom and help them. That doesn’t mean it isn’t on my mind that I’ve been leaving him to fend for himself day after day. He’s leaving work at lunch to come home and take care of the dogs while I’m running around with my parents and my own appointments. The dogs are getting left home alone more and more as I’m running in and out to my parents and all the appointments. I’m constantly sending out emails to update my uncle and brother. I’m constantly answering their questions via email. I’m responding to queries from relatives. I’m taking notes at the doctor’s.

It’s not that I resent any of this. I don’t. I just feel pulled. I feel strained. And this is only the beginning of the terrible journey. And I know I won’t be able to keep this pace up for any length of time. I don’t know when to find help. If this is some kind of virus or something “minor” and not the cancer, then I don’t want to rush out to find help/caregivers for my mom. If it IS time to find assistance, I’m not even sure where to start.

I’m both exhausted and frozen. I’m both terrified and overwhelmed. I keep trying to push away the emotions to stay on task, with T’s voice in my head telling me to take time to feel the emotions. To let them come, to nurture them and let the “child” feel the pain of this situation. I told her I’m afraid if I do that, I won’t be able to pull it back together to do the things that need to be done.

It’s too much. It’s so much.

I keep trying to stay in the moment. I can’t control what is happening. Every plan I make will be blown away by whatever is coming next. Why waste my time planning?

My own six month post-cancer diagnosis checkup is in two weeks. I can’t even…there’s no room for it in my head. I also have an abnormal blood work follow-up for high calcium in February. I’m also seeing second therapist specializing in EMDR and hypnotherapy, to try to work on some other issues. That’s another post.

I’m sorry, after all that babble and blather, I feel I’m leaving this post incomplete. A long sentence without a period. I just have nothing.

 

Tags: , , ,

Here’s where I wait

I had my doctor’s appointment with the gyn/onc surgeon. My parents came with us to try to help me listen, but in the end there wasn’t much new to learn at that point. He had no further information on the cancer, because he didn’t have enough information from surgery as cancer was not the expected outcome. Mostly what the doctor wanted to talk about were options for next steps. They were:
Do nothing…wait and watch — not really much of an option for me. There’s cancer, it has to be addressed somehow.
Go for treatment…radiation and chemo — with the hopes that whatever is in there would be killed by the treatments. But the exact treatment would be a guess, since we really have no idea what’s left inside me.
Go back into surgery…take out ovaries and tubes, sample lymph nodes, do a pelvic wash — only this option allows him to stage the cancer and plan an appropriate treatment.

Without hesitation, I took the surgical option (DaVinci robot assisted laprascopic). As much as I don’t want to go back into surgery and/or deal with (bowel prep again!) recovery, I also don’t relish the idea of going through treatments that might not really target whatever is going on. Fumbling around blindly does not sound smart to me. So surgery it is going to be…but they won’t do surgery for six weeks after the last surgery. And on top of that, when I went to schedule it, they wanted to wait until AFTER six weeks. Which meant from the time I went into the appointment until the new surgery date, it’s over four weeks.

Four weeks to sit and wait…and do absolutely nothing. Well, now it’s three, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction.

The cancer is grade 2. I asked for and got a CT scan on Friday that showed “no evidence of metastatic disease” so that’s also good news. Bad news was that because they didn’t expect to find cancer, they cut up the uterus inside me (in a bag to keep any potentially errant cells contained) so identifying how far the cancer might have gotten into the uterine wall was difficult for the pathologist. The report says “superficial” advance into the wall, but then goes on to state specifically that it was hard to determine because the uterus had been cut up. I don’t know how they will properly stage the cancer if they don’t have that information, and I forgot to ask.

As I said in my previous post, I don’t really know how to trust the things being said at this point. I heard all those nicey nicey things during my mother’s early appointments, but once she got her surgery and the cancer was staged, it was much more advanced (and more aggressive) than they had first anticipated. So I don’t want to get my hopes up, and that leaves me in a low spot…worrying.

The first couple of days I cried myself to sleep. Hell, the first week I spent crying on and off, and crying myself to sleep. There are things going on around here that I want to be present for, but the cancer and the surgeries are messing stuff up. My niece is getting married in the fall, and her bridal shower is in July. Unfortunately, with the next surgery scheduled, I’m already having to decline the invitation to the shower because it will be just over a week after my surgery. Based on my first recovery, there is no way I’d be able to handle that, physically or mentally. And as my mother pointed out, I might not be able to make it to the wedding in the fall (out of state and a looooong trip) if I’ll be needing treatment. I don’t think she was thinking when she said it, but she kind of blurted it out and that sent me into a spiral of crying again.

I just want to know what I’m facing. And in the meantime, I don’t know how to be normal and do normal stuff. I just feel afraid and lost and helpless. I’m still spending time doing much of nothing…staring out the window, staring at the television. I read a book the other day, but no crocheting. I just sit and zone out…and try not to wonder and try not to what if…

I’m still not sleeping well, so I’m tired all the time. I’m having terrible nightmares when I do sleep. My body hurts so much…my legs, my back, my neck, my arms. Every part of me is so tired and so achy and so painful, tense, sore. It’s a struggle to move around, it’s a struggle to do much.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s not good

When your gynecological oncology surgeon calls you at noon on a Sunday. It just isn’t. And even when he’s being kind and asking you how you’re feeling and how’s that incision doing, you just know it isn’t.

At this moment, I know very  little, except that he tried to reassure me that the prognosis is good. Despite the word CANCER coming out of his mouth. He tried to speak calmly and kindly, telling me it was a surprise to him, too, based on my hysteroscopy results, but that treatment will likely only be surgery to remove my ovaries, because it’s hormone fed cancer. But he gave me so little information, and I was so unprepared for this call that I asked him almost nothing. Despite all the knowledge I have from my mother’s uterine cancer, I basically asked him what the stage was, but he seemed unwilling to give me too much information at that point. Low grade, early stage. Those are the words I wrote down, among a few others. Then he told me we would talk all about it at my appointment on Tuesday.

I’d been just sitting down to have lunch when he called. There was food on the table, not much on my plate yet. I wanted to throw up. Instead, I bawled. I put my head down on the kitchen table and I bawled. Hub tried to comfort me, to tell me we’d tackle whatever it was together. But all I could hear in my head was the conversation at my mother’s first appointments. “Caught it early” they told her. “We got it all in surgery” they told her. “Early stage” they told her. Later, they ended up telling her it was a higher stage and higher grade because it was an aggressive and fairly rare type of cancer. The initial conversations were before the pathology came in about the type of cancer after surgery (they’d gotten cancer results in the initial pathology from her hysteroscopy). I’ve already had my surgery, but it seemed like he was telling me he couldn’t stage my cancer until after my ovaries were removed. I asked about lymph nodes, but I honestly have no recollection of how he responded. I’m sure they’ll take lymph nodes for testing. I’m sure I’ll get more information tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be overwhelmed. I suspect I will cry, though I might be able to hold that until I’m home and can cloister myself away.

I waited more than four hours to tell my parents. I pretty much cried on and off those four hours. I called my mother–I couldn’t tell her face to face–and I told her. It was a terrible terrible moment to say it out loud. To say it to the woman who has been living it for over a year. To say it to the woman who had ONE DAY left on her radiation treatments, with the hopes of not thinking about cancer until her next PET scan. To the woman whom I’ve been cheering for for over a year. To the woman who is strong and has handled every single bit of her journey with such strength and such acceptance…and with an ability to live with so much unknown.

I’ve told no one else in my family. What’s the point when I have no information? I don’t even know what kind of surgery he’ll want to do or how quickly. I know that my mother had an abdominal surgery because they wanted to look around and do a pelvic wash to check for any bad cells floating around. But I just have no clue. I have no clue whether he’ll talk chemo or radiation or potential for …I don’t even know what.

I emailed T to see if she could spare some time for me. She’s leaving on vacation for a week, but I wanted to get some words of wisdom from her. She generously called me from home and spent about a half an hour talking to me. I told her I didn’t really expect to hear some great miraculous words from her, but I felt it was the right thing to do…to seek support from her. Especially since she’s going to be gone during this difficult week. She’s supposed to be sending me someone else I can call while she’s gone, but I haven’t gotten that yet. I’m not sure I’d go talk to a stranger at this point, but T assures me that this person would be a good fit for me. And as expected, I spent the thirty minutes on the phone just telling her I didn’t know what to do or how to act. That I didn’t know what I wanted people to say to me or to do for me. That I have no idea what to do with myself.

I cried on and off the whole of yesterday. Last night I had a vicious headache from the crying. When we turned off the lights to go to sleep, I did go to sleep. I was up early and the thoughts started racing right away. I want to be strong, but right now I feel weak. I am so fucking scared of what is to come. I’m so fucking scared.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surgical consult conclusion

I had my surgical consult. I’m sort of feeling odd about the whole ordeal, because in effect, it was not much of an ordeal.

We waited over half an hour for my appointment. They had signs all over the office saying, “We apologize for the delay, but we are giving our patients our utmost attention. When you are in your appointment with us, you will appreciate that we are doing the same for you.” I was actually doing pretty well this morning before the appointment, and even on the way (which took over an hour because of traffic and Hub missed a turn that required us to squirrel around to get back to the right street). I didn’t feel jittery or anxious. While we were waiting in the doctor’s waiting room, I also felt okay. The place was mobbed…I’ve never seen a doctor’s office like that before. Later we heard there were four doctors seeing patients that day, so I guess that’s why there were so many people. Plus, almost no one came alone, so for every one patient there was a second person with them.

We were finally called in to an exam room and I got the interview with the nurse. My BP wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t normal either. I’ve seen worse for damn sure, so I was okay with it. The nurse asked a couple of questions, then told me to undress from the waist down and wait for the doctor. It was probably another ten minutes before the doctor came in.

We met this doctor before and I knew what he looked like and what his mannerisms were. I like him a lot because his bedside manner is very mellow and when he asks you a question, he seems to really listen to the answer. If I were to try to give you an image for the doctor, it would be this:

Dr Surgeon

Dr Surgeon

The funny thing is, he’s really really tall, but he kind of has this long, droopy face. I totally told Hub afterward “he’s Droopy the Dog, isn’t he?” and Hub laughed and agreed.

Anyway, what was odd was that after I explained why I was there and why I wanted the hysterectomy, there was no conversation about other options. He didn’t try to talk me out of it or suggest waiting any further. I told him about my mother’s history and about how I had gone the conservative route two years prior after consulting with him. But that it was time to get the surgery because I didn’t want this getting any more advanced–either in size or in potential cancer. After a brief exam, during which he noted that we really were talking about big uterus and fibroids, he began talking about being able to do the surgery laproscopically. I was actually rather surprised considering the size of the uterus and large fibroid (I have 2 fibroids, one as big as the enlarged uterus and one smaller), so I said as much. He indicated that it wasn’t about the size so much as how available they were and if the uterus was “mobile” enough to be removed. He said there’s always a chance to have to convert to an abdominal incision, but most of the time that they start laproscopically, they are able to finish it that way. He said conversion rates are really really low. So that’s good, because recovery is more like 2-4 weeks for a laproscipc surgery and 6-8 weeks for an abdominal. And when I went to schedule the surgery (yep, I did it before I even left his offices), the scheduler said that I might not even have to stay in the hospital overnight, depending on what time the surgery starts. Whoa.

Anyway, after my asking a couple of questions (like how do they make sure there’s no possible spread of any microscopic cancers if there might be something hiding somewhere–they bag the organs INSIDE the body before removing them through the tiny incisions…so weird!), I asked if Hub had Qs. He asked something (I don’t remember what it was) and then we were on our way down the hall to the scheduler’s office. When we sat down, she wanted to know what our preference was for a surgery date, and I said “not next week” as a joke. So she said, “Okay how about the week after.” I sort of swallowed and squeaked, “Okay.” She wanted to know if we preferred to wait until after Memorial Day, but we don’t travel on holidays, so I said it didn’t matter.

So, I’m scheduled for two weeks. When we were done and on our way out, I asked Hub if he felt okay about all this. I told him I felt sort of numb, and I felt like I didn’t ask enough questions of the doctor or spend enough time. I mean, I did my research so I knew my options and I knew what the different surgery options were. I knew I wanted the hysterectomy, so I wasn’t looking for other options. I knew I wanted this doctor to do the surgery, and since he said YES to laprcoscopy, I was all good. So why did I feel the need to spend more time in the doctor’s office? Why did I feel like I was missing something? Hub had no answers. He felt like we got the information we needed and did what we went to do.

I came home and told my mother about the date. I emailed my brother to see if he’d come to the hospital to sit with Hub during surgery, since I don’t want my mother doing that and I don’t want Hub sitting alone. I looked up on the HysterSisters website as to what to bring with me to the hospital and how to prepare for after surgery. I got all the paperwork for my pre-op appointment with my primary (they don’t have any appointments for me so they have to talk to the doctors and see how they can fit me in), I got my pre-op bowel clean-out (fun times) instructions and I got my pre-op instructions. I won’t know what time my surgery is until the day before (WTF), and I won’t know if I have to stay overnight until after surgery.

I’m not obsessing over researching stuff on the internet. I’m trying to be INFORMED with enough information but not over-inundated to the point where I’m freaking out. Somewhere in here, in me, is some kind of emotion…but still I feel numb. So much so fast, even though I wanted it over with. And to some extent I’m GLAD it’s going to be over fast because I won’t have a ton of time to obsess and freak out. We’re doing mother’s day brunch here for 14 people, so this week is going to be cleaning and cooking. Next week I hope to be prepping my house and my household for post-surgery…and getting myself gathered to be in the hospital.

I feel it, though. The fear. The thoughts that I need to do a living will. The thoughts that I need to write my husband a letter saying all the things I would want him to know if I die. The thoughts that I want to leave notes for my parents and brothers and my long-time friend (whom I see very infrequently). The thoughts that there are things I want to do before the surgery because I might never be able to do them. The thoughts of how my loved ones will be without me. Who will take care of my parents. Who will love my husband. Who will take care of my dogs. It’s there, deep down below the surface, waiting to find a crack or crevice to slip through and get me…

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surgical consult tomorrow

Today was my mom’s first day of radiation. Beyond the fact that we arrived 20 minutes early (they were worried about traffic) and they took her 20 minutes late, it went okay. She was nervous, which I knew, and which my father reiterated to me after they took her back. I spent the weekend before thinking about how I could help her. She had her “dry run” on Friday, and she told me on the way out that she was more distressed about the radiation than the chemo. She couldn’t verbalize why. At some point in speaking to my brother about it, I realized that she was going to be alone in the treatment room. When we went to her chemo appointments, not only did she have my father there, but me and also the nurses! And she was in a room full of people. Now granted, the appointments lasted 8 hours each, six times, and they stretched out over about six months. Her radiation appointments are about 20 minutes and should be over in five weeks. But they’re EVERY SINGLE DAY (sans weekends) and she’s in a room all alone.

So over the weekend I started thinking about what I could do to help her. I had shared with her (a couple of weeks ago) about the gratitude list that T suggested I do every morning. First thing, before getting out of bed, she suggested I come up with 3-5 things that I’m grateful for. It’s supposed to change your chemistry to start off your day. Mom said she was going to start doing it, and the last time we talked about it, she was doing it. So building on that, I came up with about 25 (or 26 or 27) things to be thankful for, and I typed them up. Then I put them on little strips of paper, folded the papers, and put them in a little bag. This morning, before she went in to change her clothes into a hospital gown (she had to wait for the changing room), I told her to pick from the bag. And I said it was a “prompt” on something she could think about and/or be thankful for in the treatment room. Afterward, I gave her the bag to keep with her because I won’t be with her every single day for treatments. I’ll go as often as I can (and as often as she’ll let me), and make sure my father gets a break from having to take her. But some days I won’t be able to go and/or won’t be going, so she’ll still have the bag and she’ll be able to take good thoughts in with her (and know I’m thinking of her!).

So it’s been six hours since we got home from the treatment. At the doctor’s recommendation, Mom took anti-nausea meds she had leftover from chemo treatment (she never took them, but they gave her anti-nausea meds in her IV) before her treatment. They said that nausea could occur every single day, 2-4 hours after treatment. I think she was really worried about that, hence her taking the medication. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to be getting nauseous…I’ve spoken to her several times and she ate lunch, did her exercises, and has been taking care of some other things. She even sounded chipper the last time I spoke to her. I hope it continues.

Look, I title this about my surgical consultation tomorrow and yet I’ve written more about her appointment than mine. Mostly because mine is the day before and I have nothing to report. I’m getting a bit nervous, but nothing overwhelming. I went to a website I knew about called HysterSisters to read a little information about what to ask. And to be informed on the different options available, and what the terminology means. I want to be knowledgeable but too much information for me causes me anxiety. It’s a difficult balance to maintain. I also did some research about whether the hospital I’m expecting to be in has any gluten-free food options. I found NO information and so I’m assuming that Hub will have to keep me fed. Or I’ll be eating a lot of yogurt and salad. I have no idea how long I’ll have to be in the hospital, but we’ll have to figure something out. I’m really hoping that my parents will be up to dog-sitting for us because I suspect Hub will be staying with me at the hospital while I’m there. That means my parents (and brother) will have our dogs days AND nights, which we’ve only done once before when Hub and I went out of town on vacation. And at that point my mother wasn’t dealing with fatigue from the radiation (which they say could be pretty bad…).

But there’s time to work that out. And we’ll do what we have to in order to work it out. The gluten-free issue as well. We’ll see how I feel about all of it tomorrow after the doctor’s appointment. My mother has her treatment, so she won’t be able to go with us to listen in on the appointment. I had considering asking my brother to go with us, but he’s going to be with Mom because Tuesdays are the days she meets with her doctor…and we have questions. And we have to have someone other than my father asking questions and listening to answers because he’s not reliable for either. So it’ll be Hub and me tomorrow. Fortunately, this is only a consult, and I know I’ll have more times to ask questions before any surgery happens. UNfortunately, this particular doctor is over an hour away. The hospital is 45 minutes away from our house. But I think the doctor is worth it (at least at the moment), and the hospital is the closer of the two he works with. And if Hub is staying with me, it won’t matter how far away it is from home. If this happens in the next six weeks, it won’t matter how far away it is from my parents because I won’t expect them to come visit in the hospital because I suspect Mom will be too tired. And that’s okay. She’ll be doing me more help by taking care of our dogs and relieving me of that concern than if she traipsed an hour there and back to the hospital to see me lying in bed doing nothing.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pills a poppin’

So follow-up to my poppin’ pills post, I popped the first pill. I SKIMMED the leaflet that came with the pills, then made Hub read it, because even skimming it upset me. Then Hub came up to the bedroom (which is where I retire to after dinner most nights) to stay with me while I started my pill escapade. That was 2 1/2 hours ago. He left me here alone (he went downstairs) about an hour ago. I’m sitting with my heating pad because all my muscles hurt. I’m sure it’s not the pills, it’s how I handled the stress of taking the pills. My entire body was tense, I can feel the after-affects of it. Everything hurts. About an hour in, I couldn’t take it anymore and I asked Hub to retrieve the heating pad from the family room because my arms and shoulder and neck were all killing me (and I cried at this point, too). I was shifting around a lot on the mattress, which I do when I’m anxious. And I was putting weight on my arms and shoulders to do that….and I was sitting hunched over which hurt my back and neck and shoulders.

I’m still in pain. I still feel restless and anxious. I tried to use the techniques I know to keep myself from going over the edge, but I don’t think they were entirely successful. Especially considering the shifting and the pain. My hands really hurt, too, which I’m noticing as I’m typing. Hands and arms. I’m not sure how I’m going to sleep, as I’m still feeling somewhat edgy. And of course the pain isn’t helping. I’ve already asked Hub if there was muscle pain on the leaflet, but he said not general muscle pain. More to the tune of leg pain, which I would assume is liken to blood clot type pain. See, even now I can feel my legs tensing. It sucks. I’m stuffy from crying, my whole body hurts, and I’m warm from the heating pad and edgy from anxiety. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep. I still feel like any minute I could have some kind of adverse reaction or side effect. I’m still anxious.

For some stupid-ass pills. Stupid-ass pills that hundreds of thousands of probably millions of women have taken and survived without injury or harm. And right at this moment, at least I can count myself among those who have taken the pills and come out the other side.

At least, the first of ten times. Ugh.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,