Friday, November 12, 2010

Do Not Try This At Home

That's right, you know the disclaimer, Do Not Try This At Home, you must leave it to a professional like me, Donkey Girl.

Sure was good to see Vonda today.  I cried as soon as I saw her, kinda like when you've been holding it in and then you see your Mommy and you break down in her arms.  She was worried about me, and hates to see me cry.  I just had that immediate reaction when I saw her.  I realize most of the time, with all these boys in this house, I tough it out and hide the meltdowns.

I save em up.  I don't know what that is, early training?  A Mother thing?

Anyway, poor Vonda was trying to weigh me and take my blood pressure and my temperature while the tears rolled down my face.  She whispered when she talked to me today.

Vonda, I'm sorry I worried you baby.  I just hit a wall yesterday, the one I put up for myself by not taking any pain meds all day. 

What in the hell was I thinking?

I wasn't.  I was delirious from pain and not pooping.

Wasn't long before The Good Witch entered the room, already prepared.  I emailed her saying she might want to read last night's blog cause she might have to throw me a raw steak to chew on before we even get started.  This morning though my growl had turned into a


As she washed her hands, she said "I got your message, and early this morning I read your blog.  So," and she turns around and looks at me "You decided to stop taking your pain meds for a day."

Um, yes teacher.

Remember when she had to scold me when I had that idea about stopping chemo?

"How did that work for you?"

We laughed.

She knows me.

She gets me.

She knows how to handle me.

"Alright, so what's going on, let's go through each thing."

I explained to her that I felt my three biggest problems were insomnia, for months now, not pooping, so even more full of shit than usual, and pain management.

"I've just had it with this" and started to cry.  "It's just been so long now, and I'm tired and in pain, and I don't want to do this anymore."

I thought about last night.  I worried Husband when he checked on me.  I know I scared him, with some of the stuff I whimpered at a very weak moment, thinking I just couldn't do this anymore, and with a nose so plugged up from crying I was mouth breathing.

The Good Witch looked at me and smiled and said quietly "I know, I know, but you can't stop now" and handed me the tissue box.

"I know" I said half crying, half laughing at myself.

"Remember when you hit a wall with the Taxol, and you kept going, and I know the sleep deprivation was an issue then.  I didn't realize that was still going on.  We need to address that."

She talked for awhile about sleep deprivation, and how serious its affects are, in general for all of us, but specifically when you are healing from surgery, chemo and cancer healing.  She said we'd try a different pain med, and I should try taking an Ativan prior to bed and that might help.  She wanted me to do that over the weekend, and if my sleeping did not improve, to call in to the chemo nurses and they will call in a prescription for something to help me sleep.

Number Two, as in number two.  In addition to the stool softeners, she recommended I take a mild laxative and try to increase my fiber.  She asked if I was skipping meals because of not feeling well.


"When was the last time you had a really big poop?"

About four days ago.

"How often do you usually poop?"

I'm a good pooper, usually a couple times a day.

"So you are behind at least 8 poops."

I thought that was funny.  Yes.

"Ok, we need to get things moving here, so do as I recommend, and if that doesn't work, let me know."


Pain meds.

"What are you on and what kind of pain are you still having?"

Vicoden with acetaminophen.  Oh boy, let's see, inside the boobies big time, at the drain sites, the left arm almost intolerable, a band of tightness around the chest and across my shoulder blades.

"Ok, the Vicodin is fairly mild.  Let's go for straight narcotic.  It's still going to cause constipation and possibly some dizziness and drowsiness, but you need to be able to sleep."

She prescribed Hydromorphone, otherwise known as Dilaudid.

"Let's take a look at the girls."

I carefully removed my clothing for the big reveal of Itsy and Bitsy.

"Wow, that looks great, that is great!  And you've got both your nipples, and no visible scars!  You are going to have such a great cosmetic result, two pockets to fill up, and two nipples!"

She was very pleased with my old lady boobies.

"You think so?"

"Yes, yes, most of the women I see don't get the skin sparing and they have a flat tight chest with a large scar where each breast used to be.  Wow.  Look at you.  You don't even have a visible scar."  Well with the exception of the scar where my damn port used to be.  "They're going to fix that, right?" she said pointing to the spot as I though it.

Yes, well, if I do the reconstruction...

"What?" she exclaimed and laughed.

Well, I never understood why some women choose NOT to go back and get their reconstruction done.  I get it now!

She laughed good at that one.

She took a close look at the incisions under each girl, and the one for the lymph nodes, then looked at my drain holes. 

She noticed the right drain hole looked red.  "This looks a little agitated to me, and I can see a small amount of pus forming there, let's get you an antibiotic, because after chemo like you've had, we don't want any infections."

She didn't seem worried, so I wasn't either.

We discussed the exercises I needed to do, like eency weency spider, to start loosening up that arm, and she asked if anything had been scheduled yet for radiation.

"Not yet, but I was going to stop there after meeting with you."

"Ok, well, I don't really need to see you till after radiation, so let's plan on the first week of January."

Wow.  I am really getting the idea here that I am in the home stretch of my cancer treatment.  Feels weird and a little scary.  So intrusive for so many months and then, Ok, there you go, back into the world.

She held my arms as she talked to me and said "What about the emotional part of this?  What are you going to do to feel better?"

I told her I think my spirits have been very good considering what I've been dealing with, but the sleep deprivation had finally gotten the better of me.

"So you don't feel like you are in any kind of psychic pain?"

Psychic pain.  I had to take that one in for a minute, and thought about the things that plagued me before my cancer diagnosis.  All the things that will be waiting for me when I get done.

I told The Good Witch that I feel more concerned about when will I get my hair back than my boobies, and yes, this whole ordeal has been very very difficult, but I really think if I can start getting some sleep and get my pain under control, I'd feel a whole lot better and my coping ability would bounce back.

"Ok" and she patted me.

I got dressed and we continued to chat as she wrote up my prescriptions; there was a knock at the door.

Vonda poked her head in.  "It's the ER with a call for you, I've got them on hold in your office."

We wrapped it up, she said to call if I needed her, and then she hurried off in her boots.

I'm going to miss her.

I stopped by the Radiation Desk, and found out an appointment had already been scheduled for me for Monday.  I told her I thought that might be too soon, explaining about the stiffness in the left arm and the beginning of an infection.  She said they'd talk to my radiation oncologist and call me.

Driving was not easy today, but I managed, and stopped at the store to get my prescriptions filled.

As I pulled into the parking lot, the Radiation scheduling desk called and had moved my appointment to the following week to allow me more time to recover.  I'll start radiation the week after.  It's not that they were in a rush, but were aware that I was trying to get this finished prior to the first of the year.  Looks like I will go over a bit, and my new calendar year deductible will kick in again.

As soon as I got home, I took the pain med, tiny little thing, and my first antibiotic, which I will be taking three times a day for five days.

I crawled back into bed, made a nest of pillows around me, doggies standing by, and quickly fell asleep.

I woke up almost three hours later, boobs and left arm completely numb, but with a good, good nap under my belt, ready to get back on the Horsey.

I've already had The Bad, and The Ugly.

I'm ready for The Good.

Bring on da Good.

1 comment:

masonmft said...

8 glasses of water - check
8 poops - check
Sorry I couldn't help myself. Elimination problems are the worst. When something is not going well please raise your hand. No the other one. Hope you can do your itsy bitsy spider routine now that you have a different pain med. Love You xoxoxo

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