Friday, November 19, 2010
I got a call this morning from the gastro doctor's office; my follow up appointment was changed from November 23rd, to December 2nd. So I will have to wait a little bit before I find out about what my tests mean, but I won't have to go out of town for the office visit now, it's one of the days when he will be here in town. I am glad of that. I don't like being in traffic in large cities, even if I'm not the one that is driving, it still makes me nervous. Now my only out of town appointment is for the gastric emptying study that will be on Monday.
I am glad to have a couple of days to just stay home and not have to go anywhere. It's been a busy week with all the appointments and tests.
I tried one of the Flector patches that my pain specialist gave me a sample of; it does seem to help a little with the hip pain, but I still am feeling some weakness in that leg. I still have to be careful with the patches though, even if they are not an oral medication they can still cause stomach irritation; they are not something I would use every day because of that. I will only use them on the worst days. And they don't make me sleepy like the oral pain pills, so if I need to drive somewhere and I am having pain, at least I can use a patch.
Right now I am trying to get rid of a sinus headache; having some cold and windy weather today which aggravates that.
I colored my hair this morning, using my usual stuff, the Clairol Natural Instincts. Because of my hair thinning from the chemo, I have been wearing hats, scarves, and sometimes a wig. Before today, the last time I colored my hair was in June. But the color looked so "blah", that I had to do something with it; even if 90% of it is covered up when I am wearing a scarf. I have a lot of short hairs blended in with the longer hair; I can't tell if some of it is hair I lost that is growing back, or if what is growing out now is just more fragile and is breaking off, but maybe one of these days when I am not feeling so tired, I'll try styling it again and see what it looks like. I know it is still thinning though, because I see the evidence when I wash my hair. But having the color freshened up again makes me feel a little better, even if I'm the only one who will know it.
I need to get my shelter for Neighbor Cat finished soon too; she was over visiting me again today. I had not seen her for a few weeks, but she surprised me and showed up as I was stepping outside to get the mail today.
My best friend's husband and her daughter came over today and picked up my leaves; my yard got all full again after that 3 day windstorm we had a few weeks ago. The city I live in picks up yard waste on Tuesdays, from April to November, and there are only 2 more pick up days left for the season, so I was glad to have it done today. We also have the possibility of snow this weekend. I have them in those tall paper yard waste bags, and they are on my porch now to protect them from the rain, so all I have to do on Monday is haul them out the edge of the yard so they can be picked up next Tuesday morning. They brought over their mulching mower that has a bag on it, so with my small yard, it only took 3 of the paper bags to hold them. I am so lucky to have good friends to help with the things I am not able to do for myself at this time.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I actually slept pretty good last night, and did not have any trouble getting up this morning, except for not wanting to get out of my bed because it was so nice and warm, and the morning was cold.
I was so hungry, but could not eat before the endoscopy; I had been told not to eat or drink after midnight last night. This morning, all I could think about was that I couldn't wait to get back home so that I could eat. And I turned the tv on to the local morning news show, and they were doing a feature on cheesecake, lol! After I had switched the channel to The Today Show, they were soon showing how to make cookies; I had to turn the tv off then.
Once I got to the surgical center, I did not have long to wait. I had a nice heated blanket waiting for me, and they even warm up the gowns!
I don't remember anything of the procedure itself; they put that plastic mouth guard in and told me to bite down on it, and then they gave me the sedatives. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery area.
I was still out of it when the doctor spoke to my mom. He said there are no signs of an ulcer, but I have inflammation in the small intestine caused by acid, and possibly an infection. I have to take my Protonix twice per day instead of once per day like I have been, and stick to my bland diet for now. I still don't know what is causing the pain, but I'm sure more will be found out when I have my gastric emptying study done on Monday.
They gave me a glass of apple juice to drink when I woke up, then I got dressed and my mom drove me home. I was not even hungry, I was still so groggy from the sedatives, that I went right to bed and slept until 4:30pm. I ate a little bit when I got up, but still feel tired, and have a little bit of a headache. The headache is probably from not eating for so long; the last time I ate before the endoscopy was around 8:30pm last night when I had some yogurt.
Just had to edit, I realized I wrote that I woke up in the "utility area" when I meant the "recovery area" LOL! I guess the sedatives are still in my system.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
An update on my friend before I start: She saw the surgeon Monday, and the surgeon is pretty sure she can do a sterotactic (not sure if I am spelling it right) biopsy; if that doesn't work, she will have to another kind of biopsy. She said 80% of the time the kind of lump my friend has is benign, but they still have to worry about the other 20%, because my friend's mother had breast cancer also, and died from it.
(She was like a second mom to me too). Even if the biopsy is ok, she will need to get a mammogram every 6 months. The biopsy isn't until December 9th, so she has awhile to wait yet. I feel so bad for her having to wait; I know for me, that was the hardest part when my whole ordeal with breast cancer started. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for her.
I had my chemo yesterday morning; right on time too; I guess they had 3 patients not show up for their appointments so they had rooms open. I checked in as usual and they told to me to come on in, didn't even have to sit in the waiting room.
In the afternoon, I had an appointment with my pain specialist. He thinks the pain in my shoulder is coming from my neck, and he wants to check and make sure there are no bone mets in that part of my spine; (when I had my radiation on the spine in January and February, that part of my spine was not radiated on.) So I need to get an x-ray and an MRI done of the cervical spine.
He also gave me a steroid injection in my back near my shoulder. It really numbed my arm, including my hand, so I could not type with that hand, so that is why I did not write my blog yesterday; I had been planning to do it after I got home from that appointment.
I had to have my mom help me feed Timmy and Kallie, I couldn't open up the can of cat food with one hand, and I also had to have her put my blinds down for me; it was 5pm by then and getting dark.
He also gave me samples of Flector patches to try; they contain NSAIDS, which I can't take orally because of my stomach, but he said these are not as likely to cause stomach irritation, and I can still use my other pain pills with the patches.
I had my x-rays done today. Taking it easy the rest of the day; my left arm still feels a bit weak from the injection, and is quite painful today. But with those injections, it's normal for the pain to get worse before it gets better. It will probably be a week before it actually starts to feel better.
Having hard time taking my sweater and jacket off and on today; I never realized before that I always stick my right arm in first; then when I try to put my left arm in, it really hurts, so I need to try to remember to stick that arm in first instead. (I have hot flashes so I am always taking a sweater or jacket off and on all day). It didn't help either having to undressed to put a gown on my for my x-rays, and dressed again after. It's funny how we don't notice how often we use certain body parts until it hurts to move them or we can't move them.
Tomorrow is my endoscopy; I can't eat or drink anything after midnight tonight; that is going to be hard, as my procedure isn't until 11am. I am hoping I can at least sleep til 9am, less time that way to feel hungry or thirsty.
Monday, November 15, 2010
My plan last night was to take my sleeping pill at 8:30pm, and be asleep by 9pm, or 9:30pm at the latest; but I was still awake at 11pm.
I had the alarm set for 4:30am, so that I could have something to eat, as I could have nothing to eat 4 hours before the test which was scheduled for 8:50am. It was so hard to get up, especially having to crawl out of a nice warm bed, but I made myself a small snack and went back to bed. Then I reset the alarm for 7am, and once again, it was hard to get up, and I hit the snooze alarm a few times before getting up at 7:30am. I am thinking now it would have been better to go without eating so early and just had that extra time to sleep instead.
I had to wait a little while when I got to the office; they still had the patient before me back in the stress test area, and they were still waiting for the doctor, she was a little late today. It was probably less than a half hour wait, but it seemed longer than that. Especially since I had not brought a book with me and there were not really any interesting magazines to look at.
The first thing done was that I had to have all those electrode things stuck to my chest, then a resting heart echo was done. That felt a little uncomfortable at times, but I think it's because my ribs are a little sensitive because of the bone mets. Then they had me get started on the treadmill while we waited for the doctor to come in. She took longer to get there than they were expecting (she was with another patient) and they had me stop for a few minutes and sit and rest. Then when she came in, the treadmill part of the test got started. This time it was faster. I didn't get out of breath, but I got a little light headed, probably due to not being able to eat before the test, and my legs felt kind of shaky. I didn't have any pain except in my left shoulder and arm where I have been having the pain for a couple of months now. I was gripping the treadmill a little tightly, so if my shoulder pain problem is because of a nerve, I probably aggravated it by doing that. It was still a lot better than having the drug induced stress test.
I was told my doctor would get the results by next Monday, and if anything is abnormal, they will call me.
With the lack of sleep, I am really feeling the fatigue today. Also not having a good day with the hip and knee pain. But I am not surprised that the pain is bad today, because of the treadmill. I'm almost done doing my laundry, and after that I will take a pain pill. I was afraid of it making me too light headed so that is why I didn't take one earlier.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
It's been windy and raining off and on since last night, gloomy day outside today. Also a day where my aches and pains are aggravated from the weather. It feels gloomy in the house too; one of those days that even if you have the lights on, it still feels dark. Feeling the fatigue a lot more today than I did yesterday.
Tomorrow I have to be at my internist's office for my stress echo cardiogram. I hope I will have the stamina to do the treadmill part of the test. I also cannot eat 4 hours before the test. That will be hard; I can't decide if I should set the alarm for 4:30am so I can eat a small snack, or if it's better to just get more sleep; by the time I have my last snack of the day, waiting til after my test is done, ( and I was told to expect to be there 2 hours) that is a long time to go on an empty stomach. Either way, I will have to take a sleeping pill tonight so that I can go to sleep earlier.
I had a stress test once before, about 3 1/2 years ago. It was before my bone mets were discovered, and I had a lot of pain in my hip. My doctor didn't think I'd be able to handle the treadmill, so I had the drug induced stress test; that was really a scary test; whatever drug they injected to simulate the effects of the treadmill really made my chest hurt, I remember thinking at the time if that is what it felt like to have a heart attack. I had a kind nurse that held my hand all the through it. But I honestly felt for a few minutes like I wouldn't be able to get off the table. Fortunately, those results were normal.
Doing it on the treadmill is definitely the lesser of two evils for me. If my hip is hurting when I am done, well, I have nothing planned for the rest of that day so I can take a pain pill when I get home if I need too.
Most likely the chest pain is from whatever is going on with my stomach, but since I am also having symptoms like fatigue and a rapid heartbeat, my doctor wants to rule out a heart problem. I know I will be glad to have the test done and over with. I don't know when I will find out the results. I have to ask about that tomorrow.
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