The assault on my body

From my post ‘lymphedema‘, I received the following comment from fellow blogger and friend Osyth from Half Baked In Paradise. –

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Reading your posts I feel I am looking on helplessly watching an unrelenting assault. I cannot imagine what it must be like for Gary and for your close family and friends. And for you …. for you enduring ALL these painful conditions and each time you turn to walk away feeling a little less racked with pain BANG – there’s another thing to start ratcheting it up and remind you. Helpless I am but I have a strong heart and I send you all the strength I have to help you battle on. And soft hugs. As many as you can stand.

My response –

Osyth, I will admit – some days I find difficulty in living. As you indicated in your comment there is an unrelenting assault taking place on my body. The emotional toll it is taking on Gary is evident as he sees me everyday and experiences what I am going through on a daily basis. It is tough on both him and I. I appreciate your strength in helping me battle on and the soft hugs are always welcomed. Hope your day is beautiful and full of sunshine.

At times, there seems to be an unrelenting assault taking place.  Each day I wake, I know what to expect; I am very tired and drowsy and weak.

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The unrelenting assault is coming from cancer waging a war on my body along with the immunotherapy weakening my immune system and the many drugs my body is having to take that help with pain management and other needed reasons, but also come with side effects that negatively affect me.  Then there is the lymphedema that is currently taking place.  The lymphedema causing pain, and causes inconveniences with walking, standing and sleeping.

The assaults on my body some days are difficult to deal with and very time consuming.  It takes me much longer to do daily tasks and much of that requires help from Gary.  Besides needing help with daily tasks, Gary takes on many other responsibilities including picking up my prescriptions, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and this list continues.

Image3The most important item on the list is his never-ending determination to make my life easier.  He is always available for me when I need help.  Some days he struggles watching me as I deal with pain, discomfort and the relentless assaults taking place on my body every day.  Some days he struggles with the idea I may not be here much longer.

Today is not that day

Today is the 26th month of my blog! My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

26 (# of months) + 7 (month) + 13 (day) = 46

If I go back to my 46th post and pick the words corresponding to 26, 7 & 13.

Here are those words –

When, His, Today

Now use these words as the first word of a sentence and write a poem.

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When will the story be told
His story
Today is not that day

When will the truth be revealed
His truth
Today is not that day

When will the experiences be provided
His experiences
Today is not that day

When will the life be exposed
His life
Today is not that day

When will the last breath take place
His breath
Today is not that day

When that day arrives; it being sooner or later
His life will be revealed
Today is not that day

When they read his story; the one being told now
His true self may be shocking, or may be predictable
Today is not that day

When he is gone, never to return
His story will be left here
Today is not that day

Today he continues to write for as long as he can
His thoughts continue to be placed into words
When it is time to say goodbye, you will know

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Today is the 26th month of my blog! My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

lymphedema

Last month in my post ‘My Feet – A Fresh Perspective‘, I concluded with the following –

Much has changed since I wrote that post back in 2015 except, I continue to appreciate my feet.  What has changed?  It was only 6 weeks ago I was walking 1-2 miles per day with some discomfort.  I mentioned in several posts about my increased pain and how it was affecting my walking.  Rapidly the pain increased in my right groin and the walking became worse forcing me to use a cane and now I am using a walker. Image1 Then came reduced physical activity and most recently a 7-day hospital stay where I remained bedridden for most of that time.  This combination has caused severe edema in my feet and ankles.

My feet continue to function and do their job even though they are swollen and tired – I continue to appreciate my feet.

 

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

In the past 2 weeks, my severe edema has become worse and after communications with doctors at Moffitt Cancer Center, it was determined I have lymphedema.  Image2This is common with some cancer patients when the lymph nodes are affected.  Since I have cancer in many of my lymph nodes and with the recent decrease in physical activity; the lymphedema is now another health condition to deal with.

This past Monday, I had a visit from home health care specialist to treat my lymphedema.  My current treatment involves the wrapping of my legs with hopes the fluid will flow back toward the trunk of my body.  With many of my lymph nodes having cancer, this process may be difficult and slow in progression or not work at all.  If this treatment is unsuccessful, then other treatments will be considered.

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Treatment along with exercise hopefully will help reduce the swelling at which time I will wear compression stockings for the unforeseen future.  My understanding is lymphedema can be temporary or permanent, therefore treatment will continue for as long as the lymphedema is present.  I hope I will eventually will reduce the swelling and improve my leg muscles so I have the ability to walk without the aid of a walker or cane.

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My pain level prior to my recent hospital stay was a 10+, and afterwards I felt the level was about a 5.  Now with the lymphedema, the pain level has slowly creeped up to level 6 or 7 and at times reaching to a 10+ again.  I have an appointment today with Dr. C. in the Supportive Care Medicine group to discuss modifying my pain medicines or taking some other approach to reducing my pain.

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With recent information concerning the spread of my cancer and the pain experienced on a daily basis; I am on a roller coaster of emotions.  I accept what is taking place with my body and my life – I deal with it one day at a time.  What upsets me the most, is the effect this cancer is having on my family and especially Gary.

critical point

From my post ‘turning point‘, I concluded with the following –

Upon having my initial appointment with the Supportive Care Medicine, the main doctor, Dr. C., immediately wanted to place me in the hospital due to the extreme pain level and the lack of quality of life.

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So, after waiting several hours just to be admitted that were becoming unbearable for me, finally a bed became available and the start of my 7 days would begin.

This is a turning point that Gary and I were looking for that would change the course of my treatment.

More to come my friends in future posts to explain so much more.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Dictionary.com has this definition –

turning point

noun

1. a point at which a decisive change takes place; critical point; crisis.

2. a point at which something changes direction, especially a high or low point on a graph.

3. Surveying. a point temporarily located and marked in order to establish the elevation or position of a surveying instrument at a new station.

Based on my admittance into the hospital, changes to my pain medications, tests and results – there are 2 turning points.  This is turning point 1 –

In the past several months I have written about the extreme amount and level of pain I have experienced.

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Upon admittance into the hospital, the Supportive Care Medicine team of doctors wanted to change my pain medications and run scans to determine the sources of the difference pains I feel daily.

First, a CT Scan with contrast was performed with Dr. C. specifying thoracic, abdominal and pelvic areas.  As part of this CT Scan, he requested the right groin area be included.  My right groin for the past several weeks has been causing me severe pain.  This severe pain ultimately has resulted in my inability to lay on my back and have my right leg lay flat as well.  I must have the leg bent at the knee to lay flat on my back.  The CT Scan required me lay on my back as flat as possible; the pain I experienced during this time brought tears to my eyes and thank goodness, the process was completed quickly.

Second, Dr. C. ordered a full body MRI specifically on the spine.  He wanted to determine if anything out of the ordinary regarding nerves was obvious.  The MRI process takes more time and again required me to lay on my back and have my right leg lay flat as well.  The doctors and I knew this was not going to occur without some other means.  That other means was placing me under anesthesia so that my body would be totally relaxed.  The MRI was conducted without incident and I was soon back to my room.

20170416_194313 (2)Over the course of the next 6 days adjustments to my pain medications were made.  Some additional slight changes were made last week and the results are my pain is under better control.

Please do not misunderstand me, I still have pain every moment of every day, but I no longer have that 10+ pain.  As I continue to move forward, other adjustments may need to be made.

Turning point 2 to be published soon in another post.

Spoonful of Sugar

I wrote in yesterday’s post ‘A Few Days in the Hospital‘, that I am in the hospital with the hopes of identifying the source of my extreme intense pain I have experienced for weeks now.  I had a great deal of interaction with different doctors yesterday and substantial amount of information was given as well as what their expectations are by this Friday.

20170416_194313 (2)The usual CT Scan took place Tuesday evening in the abdominal and pelvic area, as this is where most pain is felt.  Wednesday pain medications were changed and increased and administered via IV for a much quicker response.  The purpose is to reduce my pain level from a level 10 to a level 4.  Because of the amount of pain medications, I am taking, my bowel movements are all but nonexistent.  All possible options to start the movement, did not work and as I sit here Thursday morning writing this post, I am very uncomfortable.

We needed a movement yesterday because I am to receive an MRI today.  I will get to the reasons for the importance of this a little later.  With the increase in pain medications it was hoped the extreme pain I experience in my right groin will subside so that I may be able to straighten my right leg while lying flat on my back.  This is currently not the case, my right leg must be bent at the knee for me to lay flat on my back.  Because the MRI requires laying on my back and being very still for a substantial amount of time, it is important the legs not be bent.

Image3What are the other alternatives?  Sedation or in my case Anesthesia.  Anesthesia is not the best because of the risks involved plus the administration and recovery time necessary.  Plus, as mentioned above with no bowel movements there is a chance while under anesthesia, accidents can happen.  But, at this time the MRI is important and therefore needs to take place.

Prior to Tuesday’s CT Scan, I had to drink contrast, which as many of us know too well does not have the greatest taste.  Yesterday of the possible options to start the bowels moving, I had to drink something that once again did not have the greatest taste.

If only I has a spoonful of sugar, I am sure the medicines would have gone down in the most delightful way.

I still plan one day to catch-up on responding to comments and reading your posts.

More to come tomorrow my friends.

A Few Days in the Hospital

My friends, I am in the hospital for a few days.

There have been several events that have happened since this past weekend that I want to write about.

I am behind on writing posts.

I am behind on responding to comments.

I am behind on reading your posts.

I am in the hospital with the hopes of identifying the source of my extreme intense pain I have experienced for weeks now.

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I need relief desperately.  In the hospital, I have a pain pump and other sources available to me to help comfort me in reducing the pain.

My posts may be a little short in size and subject matter the next couple of days.

I have many things to tell you and to write about and comments I need to respond to.

Thank you for your understanding as I deal with this expected turn of events.

Have ‘A Happy Day’ everyone.

so Late so Soon?

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The last several days have proven to be time consuming for me.

I published a post yesterday and yesterday did not respond to comments.

How did it get so late so soon?

The last several days many activities have taken place.

I promise to about in future posts.

Be patient with me as I slowly catch-up on comments.

Be patient with me as I slowly catch-up on reading your posts.

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My Day

OMG!

What a wonderful day!

I write posts in advance, and this was not my original post.  Instead at the last minute, I had to come up with a new post.

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It is Father’s Day.

You just made My Day!

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To be continued………

I disabled comments again today for specific reasons I will explain later.  Expect a post in a few days that will be a continuation from this one.

Thank you everyone – and Happy Father’s Day!

unexpectedly

Yesterday afternoon, I was alone resting.

Suddenly the door opens and there was an unexpected surprise.

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I am disabling comments my friends, because I need time away from WP today.

You know my appreciation for you all is great and never ending.

Thank you my friends for allowing me to take a day off.

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