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.