Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I haven't seen my oncologist yet since my bone scan, I see him on November 25th, but I did get a copy of the written report yesterday, no changes; no increases or decreases, so it sounds like the mets are still stable, a good thing! The radiologist did recommend on the report that a follow up be done in 5-6 months. My previous bone scan was done in March of this year.
I saw the pain doctor today. He thinks the pain in my hip and shoulders is from arthritis, causing bone irritation. I asked about the radiation I had to that hip, and he said the radiation could have done some damage that is not showing up on the bone scan. When he was doing the physical part of the exam, he said my grip on the left side, (the side with the pain) was weaker than my right. I don't think that weakness is anything to do with the cancer, as my cancer was on the right side, and it was only the right side that had lymph nodes removed.
He decided to try cortisone injections first; I had one in the shoulder, and one in the hip. He gives his patient a choice to have a sedative or not first;(you can only have a sedative if you have a driver there with you, my mom drove me.) I chose the sedative. The injections did not hurt much at all; I felt more pain from having the IV put in for the Vercid than from the cortisone shots. I don't even remember the hip injection. Then I was wheeled to a recovery room for half an hour.
When they got me up to walk, the leg with the injection was a little shaky, but that quickly went away once I got home. I spent the first two hours I was home just napping in my recliner. I am feeling some pain in my shoulder, but from the reading I did, that is normal for it to hurt for awhile first, and it may take a few days before I feel relief. My hip is already feeling a little better though.
I have another appointment with him next week, Tuesday at 8:30am, then at 10am, I go to my oncologist's office to have my blood drawn for my labs before my 11/25 appointment.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I hate this; the period of waiting in between having the bone scan and getting the results. I am hoping tomorrow I will find out when I see the Dr.Basch, the pain specialist, but when I called Dr.Pawl's office this morning to confirm that all my reports they needed were sent, the person I talked to on the phone pulled my chart, and she said she was not even sure if they would get my scan results that soon. I had my scan late in the afternoon on Friday, so I am not even sure if the radiologist even had time to look at them until today.
I am trying very hard to keep my anxiety about it under control. I can deal with whatever the results are, it's the not knowing that is the hard part.
It still hurts to use that arm, even little things like taking a container out of the refrigerator or reaching up into a cupboard for something. I keep forgetting NOT to use that arm so much, (my left arm is the one that hurts,) I am in the habit of when I open a cupboard, etc. of opening the door with my right and reaching with the left.
My mom and I are going to check out the Open House sale at the hospital gift shop later today. I plan on doing a little Christmas shopping there. I have the "big" gifts all bought, now it's just a few of the little things I need. While I am there, I am going to have the medical records office put my films from all the xrays, scans, etc. I have had for the last 6 months on a CD for Dr. Basch tomorrow. I will also ask if I can get my bone scan report today. It probably won't be ready yet, but it won't hurt to ask.
Going to spend a few hours with my mom and dad after that, and have dinner out there.
Tomorrow, Kallie has a vet appointment at 11:10am for her annual shots and check up, then at 12:45, I have my appointment with Dr.Basch. After that, hopefully some of my anxiety will be eased a bit, even if I can't get the bone scan results at that time.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
from the Fix and Forget About It Lightly cook book
Makes 6 servings
ideal slow-cooker size: 4 quart
SAUSAGE-SWEET POTATO BAKE
1/2 lb. lean sausage, cut in 1/4 - 1/2" slices
3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
4 medium sized apples, peeled and cut in chunks
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
Brown sausage in nonstick skillet, drain.
Layer sweet potatoes, apples and sausage in slow cooker sprayed with nonfat cooking spray.
Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over all.
Cover. Cook on low 6-7 hours or on high 3-4 hours.
Per serving: 230 calories, 38 g carbs, 7 g fat, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber
Note: To allow for more even cooking of the ingredients, slice the sweet potatoes thin and the apples in thicker chunks. The apples cook soft faster than the potatoes.
(I made this yesterday, turned out good!)
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I was reading an article online about the effects stress has on your mind and body; I could relate to so much of it! I am beginning to see now that the stress of working is off my shoulders, that I was probably suffering from depression too. I'm glad I got out when I did, before my health suffered any more.
I was able to fall asleep last night without having to take my Ambien, but I still only slept 6 hours, but I am not feeling too bad now except for the shoulder and arm pain. I know the side effects of that stress accumulated over time, and they are not going to all go away overnight even though I am out of that sitiuation. And part of it is anxiety I am sure with the waiting for the bone scan results.
I got the info packet today from the pain clinic and a letter from the doctor I'll be seeing there on Tuesday. It sounds like just the kind of place I need. They don't just use one doctor and one treatment, they use a team approach and use whatever options will help you. Besides medications, they also use psychological and physical therapy to treat the pain, and also biofeedback; that is something I have wanted to look into but have never done.
They also state you need to bring someone to drive you to the first appointment, as some of the treatment may involve mild sedatives, and to plan to be there for up to 2 hours for the first visit. I am looking forward to getting some answers as to the cause of my pain, and I am open to trying what the doctor suggest. I haven't done anything in the way of exercise for at least 2 weeks now, and I want to get back on track with that also, so I will ask about the best way to approach that without causing further injury.
I am taking one day at a time, and I know with each day, things will be better.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Those of you that regularly read my blogs know that I have breast cancer that has spread to my bones (bone mets.) I was diagnosed with the mets in April 2007. I have worked most of that time since then, but in the last few months I started thinking about Social Security Disability; stage IV breast cancer, which is what mine is, is one of the conditions that qualifies for automatic approval.
I am having pain more often in the left hip, where most of the mets were and that is also the area that had radiation. I have been burned, stressed out, depressed, and not sleeping well for quite some time now; more than I even let my friends and family know. The last five days at work were especially hard, along with all that, and the pain in my shoulder and elbow, I reached my breaking point.
With my oncologist's blessing, I quit work yesterday and applied for SSD.
It's a little scary, not really knowing what to expect going through the process, but a huge relief too. Now I can focus on my health, and enjoy life, and spend quality time with family and friends.
I have worked at Walmart for 16 years, and over the last few years, they have really started treating their employees like crap. I will miss a lot of the people I worked with, but not the management. It will be such a relief not to work through the holidays! I can actually enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas now instead of dreading them.
I had my bone scan today. Went for the injection at 10:45pm. My mom drove me, because it hurts my arm to even drive a short distance. I had an online order to pick up at Walmart, so that was our next stop. Said goodbye to some of my friends there, but I will still go in from time to time to shop to see them. Then we went to Big Boy for lunch; I was pleased to see that now for the "healthy" menu items, they have the calories and other nutrition info posted right in the menus. After lunch, we visited with my aunt in the nursing home, then it was back for my scan.
My appointment with the pain doctor is Tuesday; I should get the scan results then, because they didn't want to see me til after the scan. I am a little scared of what the scan results will be, but looking forward to meeting with the doctor about getting some answers about the cause of my pain and what can be done about it.
I haven't done any type of exercise for almost 2 weeks now, because I have felt so crappy, so I want to be able to resume that again, even if it's just walking until my arm and shoulder are healed.
I tried the Relafin I was prescribed in the ER, but it caused such bad heartburn, I don't want to take any more.
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