Oncologist appointment today; hospice discussed, and liver not looking good

Friday, August 21, 2015

First, I will start this blog out with some good news; Timmy is continuing to do well now that he is home. He was even "naughty" this morning and got up onto the kitchen sink to see if I left any dishes in there. I didn't have the heart to scold him though, I just scooped him and gave him a hug. But the fact that is he still capable of jumping that high is a good thing!

He doesn't like the antibiotic drops, but I followed the advice on a You Tube video and I wrap him up in a blanket like a "purrito" first, so that he is easier to hold, and then give him some of his favorite food as treat afterwards.

I had an oncologist appointment this morning; I knew this would probably be more than just a "routine" visit since the liver values on my blood work were markedly abnormal. I've also had some numbness around my jaw and chin that I was concerned about; it wasn't that the numbness is really bothering me, rather it's the reason I am having it. Well, I found out that the numbness in my face is the least of my problems right now.

I knew it wasn't going to be good news when he walked into the exam room with the social worker from the cancer center. I knew the time was coming for "the talk"; meaning considering hospice, but I wasn't expecting it to be today. He said we've gone as far as we could with treatment, which I understood, as I had already made the decision last month not to pursue any new treatments. I'm still on the Femera pills though, since they are not causing any bad side effects, and he said it might be slowing down the cancer a little bit. But he said my recent problems with the blood counts dropping quickly again are not from the Ibrance, it's my bone marrow just getting "worn out" from the cancer and the past treatments.

He said the numbness in my face is probably from some bone mets in the jaw pressing on nerves, and he said as long it wasn't causing me pain, he wasn't worried about that for now. He does want to see what is going on in the liver though, so I will be scheduled for an ultrasound of the liver, to see what the cancer is doing there.

His main goal now is to keep me comfortable, and as pain free as possible. And he does not believe I am near any active stage of dying yet, but he thinks it's time to consider enrolling in hospice. The social worker spoke to someone from hospice before I left the cancer center today, and I am supposed to call hospice after my ultrasound is scheduled. I still have to find out if hospice will allow blood transfusions. A blood transfusion would not prolong my life, but they make me feel better if my hemoglobin gets too low. My oncologist is not sure if they will allow the Halotestin injections either, but he is hoping I can stay on those as they are helping, at least a little bit, to keep my blood counts from falling any faster than they already are.

So, while I thought I had myself all prepared mentally for all this stuff, it feels quite different actually hearing those words from your doctor.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am so sorry to read this Sharri. You are such a strong lady and an great inspiration for so many.
    Continuing prayers, blessings, love and hugs,
    1808 days ago
  • JANET552
    emoticon Glad for Timmy's improvements and thank you for sharing your method of treating him. I may find that useful someday.

    You have a wonderful medical team and they seem to be looking out for you. Best wishes.
    1809 days ago
    1811 days ago
    My heart goes out to you and you are such an amazing woman!
    1811 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    My heart is with you even when I am not here. I will continue with prayers for comfort and strength. Love you! emoticon
    1812 days ago
    Oh, Shari...........words fail me right now - I know that we've only "met" recently through this wonderful site, but your story has touched me in ways that I didn't think possible (I'm struggling with serious life issues, but not health-related ones-not for myself, anyway) someone who volunteers at a shelter socializing kitties (and a long-ago cat owner), it was great to read that you have your precious Timmy back with you.............the power of loving relationships with our furry "children" is incredible.........

    May you find comfort and peace as your story continues on to the next chapter.......

    1815 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/25/2015 4:53:25 AM
  • JUDITH316
    Shari, I am so thankful that the Lord has brought you along my path, you are a good friend, so supportive and such an inspiration in which I thank God always. You have shone brightly and encouraged others even in the midst of adversity and always been so caring thinking about others, putting others 1st before yourself. I am sorry to hear this news but know through it all the Lord will strengthen you and give you all that you need. Praying you will remain as comfortable as possible and the meds will help you to stay as pain free as possible. I understand it is a lot for you to take in now and you probably can't think about any decisions to make at the moment but one thing for sure you are my "Beautiful Friend" and I will continue to stand with you and keep you in my prayers.. I am so happy Timmy is there showering you with heaps of love and comfort... emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1815 days ago
    Shari, I've been busy with house guests & vacation, but I sign in everyday to check on you. You are always in my thoughts & prayers. Like the Oncologist.... I don't want you in any pain.
    Hugs & Prayer (for Timmy too)
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    1816 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15145828

    God bless you, Shari. It is so brave and compassionate about you to be sharing your journey with all of us. Your impact in this world is HUGE. Sending big hugs your way.

    blessings, Sue
    1816 days ago
    Dear Shari,
    My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry to read that you now have jaw numbness and the falling haemoglobin has a more serious cause than you (and we) thought. We all hoped it was due to the Ibrance and would resume a more normal pattern of not falling so quickly. I am even more sorry that there are more problems with your liver. Thank you for your openness is sharing what is happening, which is no doubt challenging when the news is of this nature. As others have said, your grace and strength are inspirational. It is very understandable for this news to feel like a big jolt and have your head in a spin. It certainly has done that to all of us. It's also very understandable to feel very vulnerable and in shock. Like others, if I could, I would be there with you to comfort you and help in any way possible. I pray that your medical team can do everything possible to maintain your current treatments and keep you as comfortable and pain free as possible.
    My prayers continue for you my dear friend.
    Much love and many big hugs,

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    1816 days ago
    My heart is breaking reading this - you are such a wonderful and brave woman and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    1817 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14908548
    emoticon That makes me cry as I read this. God is good to have given you this length of time to keep on living for him.
    1817 days ago
    So sorry. You've had to face so much bad news, disappointments, and trauma lately. Keeping you in my prayers, as always.
    1817 days ago
    I'm wishing you the best and I will keep you in my prayers.
    1817 days ago
  • KERRYG155
    Praying that the doctors can keep you comfortable and out of pain. I know having Timmy is a comfort. emoticon
    1817 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Shari, although this was not an "eventual" shock to any of us following your progress nor you, it is still sad at the very LEAST...I wish I was there to hug you and cry with you and whatever would get us past the moment. You are such an inspiration thought the whole thing, of acceptance and grace. I will NEVER stop praying for you...not ever.

    God Bless you now even more than ever!

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    1817 days ago
    As always Shari, you are in my thoughts and prayers. You have shared so much with so many, and your comfort and reassurance to many of us has helped tremendously. Thank you for your many words of encouragement before and after procedures, and for sharing your memories and experience.

    I hope we can support you in this journey as much as you have given to us.

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    1817 days ago
    Thank you for sharing what you are going through. I know it is hard for you. You are in my prayers at this time. Please take care of yourself.
    I'm glad Timmy is doing better.
    1817 days ago
    Praying !!! Love you Sparks Sister!!
    1817 days ago
    Shari, you are so incredibly steady and clear minded. You're such an incredible inspiration. And your heart remains full of love for Timmy, and so very sensitive in the midst of all your stuff. You're an incredible beacon of light. Thank you for being here.


    ina xo
    1817 days ago
    I can find no "new" words to so many have said all I am thinking and praying for you. My heart is broken for you and so many others who have this disease.

    You have a beautiful spirit and have been strong in your fight. I pray the God of all comfort will hold you ever closer, speak peace to you and be a constant presence in the time ahead.
    Gentle hugs~

    1817 days ago
    My thoughts and prayers are with you as always. emoticon

    Strength,~ grace~ and humility~.You are all of these Shari; and so much more.
    You have been very candid in sharing your journey with us.I am so grateful and blessed to have come across you blogs and us being friends. emoticon
    So glad that Timmy is on the mend and into some mischief emoticon
    emoticon & emoticon Marianne.
    1818 days ago
    Dear Shari,

    What can I say? Nothing that hasn't already been said. You are a wonderful, caring lady who knows what she wants. You have been so open about your cancer and I consider you to be very brave and sounds like you have peace about all of this. You've been fighting this for many years now and you have remained strong through it all. I am so grateful that God has brought us together here on Spark. Our friendship is very special to me .Thank you for all of your concern about my kitties..Thor and Max. You were there for me with Thor and now you are here with Max. I am so glad you have Timmy to help you through this.Y ou will continue to be im my prayers daily Shari. Know that you are loved by me and so many others.

    1818 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    My head is spinning and my heart hurts. None of us know how long we have on this earth, but this kind of news is always a painful shock. Cancer sucks.

    I pray God gives you strength and peace for all of your days, whether they are few or many. And may He hold you in His hand through this difficult time.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. We are honored.
    1818 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4212235
    I wish I had the words to express how I felt reading your blog today. You are so strong and I admire how you are able to reach out to your friends here on SparkPeople. No one knows how they will feel facing what you do every day. Please know, you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Praying you have a relaxing evening with your Timmy. Our animals are our comfort.

    With much caring,
    your Sparkfriend,

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1818 days ago
    You are so brave! I admire your courage and your frankness. May God continue to bless you , my friend!!! "You certainly are a child of the universe!!!"
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    1818 days ago
    You are a graceful and loving friend.

    I love your word for Timmy "purrito". He loves you.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    You have brought many of us your peace and courage. I have been praying for you to have the Lord's peace. He loves you.
    1818 days ago
    1818 days ago
    emoticon emoticon There really are no words to share other than that you are in my prayers, and I'm praying that you find your comfort in God and His love for you through all of this.

    Please don't lose sight of the little joys of life through all of this. I'm sure you are doing this already, I can see someone who is handling this with grace and strength despite the struggles.

    I'm also glad to hear that Timmy is doing well. I know that is helping you right now.

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    1818 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1818 days ago
    Shari, good news was that Dr. is still positive. Still wanting you to remain on med for comfort and slowing down disease process. Hospice has many great benefits so go with open mind. You knew this would come and you are doing great. Whatever you feel is right. You have been so open and forthcoming with your journey. You are an amazing woman and I am proud that I met you and feel like we are friends. Hugs and prayers for continued peace and comfort. Glad to hear that Timmy is feeling better and into mischief . Hugs Pat.
    1818 days ago
    I wish I could be there to hug you. I feel like I know you, Shari. Very very sad right now. I never handle difficult news well. I'm such a child about things sometimes. I know this is a very private question, but I've wondered if you have a strong belief. Because you seem to be spiritually so strong. Big hug, my friend Shari.
    1818 days ago
    This is where that "head knowledge" becomes "heart knowledge" - somehow no matter how much our brains know, our hearts don't always have the same information. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with us. We will each need to face what you're facing in our own way someday. I can only pray I'm able to do so with as much grace and courage as you are.
    1818 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear this news! I am sending prayers of peace and comfort. emoticon
    1818 days ago
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    1818 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    A harsh reality check Shari, but the way you break things down into compartments to take care of the business of life is wonderful. Your head must be whirling, but time will sort things out and we are here to read, to listen and to pray for you and the entire staff of people who are part of your health care.

    I continue to be in awe of how you conduct yourself, your humility and grace. You are a role model for everyone of us. Yes, you privately deal with issues, but sharing what you do with us is a privilege for all of us. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a dear , lovely friend.
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    1818 days ago
    sending prayers of strength and peace your way. I was a hospice nurse for 10 years. I'm not sure how many hospices are in your area, but I would recommend talking to all of them. Please message me if I can help you in anyway. Hugs.
    1818 days ago
    emoticon I just read what is going on in your life and in tears. I would not be able to write as clearly as you are now

    Sending prayers for you emoticon
    1818 days ago
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