Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just another week

Sorry I have not updated the blog in over a week. It was a busy week with lots of ups and downs. Actually there were a lot of downs, but few ups. Last week the nausea and vomiting got worse. I went to the doctor on Tuesday to check on my incision as well as the oncologist. The surgeon was worried that there was a bowel obstruction of loop of bowel caught in the incision in the abdominal wall. So on Wednesday I had to go back to GBMC for blood work and CT scan. The upside was I did not have to drink barium for this CT, but I did have to drink the vial lemonade flavored contrast shit. Unfortunately the vomiting reared its ugly head and caused me to vomit the first of the contrast. Luckily they did not make me drink the other 2 glasses of it and went ahead with the scan.

On Wednesday night the vomiting continued to get worse and I could tell that I was very dehydrated. After a very rough night I called the doc at 6:30 in the morning and he told me to come into the office and he would most likely admit me for IV fluids.

Thursday around noon I was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and for them to run more tests to see why I could not keep even fluids down. The CT scan and blood work came back normal, at least normal for a cancer patient.

They started me on some pretty strong anti-nausea drugs. The days in the hospital were fairly uneventful. I had a nuclear scan on Friday morning which showed a very normal gall bladder. At least something is my body is normal. Friday they started me on a liquid diet which did not work, but Saturday things improved and I was able to go home on Sunday afternoon.

After being seen by 10 different doctors, residents and interns the diagnosis is chronic peristalsis where as the stomach is not moving the food through very well. It is their speculation that the chemo and radiation has caused damage to the stomach. I am now taking anti-nausea meds before each meal and at bedtime. Mornings are the toughest and when I feel the worst. I have been getting up to take the Reglan then go back to bed for another hour while the meds go through my system.

When I visited the oncologist last week we talked about my treatment plan and my prognosis. We talked about why they put me on Estrogen (by the way the hot flashes are gone). The doctor said they usually do not put cancer patients on Estrogen, but since my prognosis is not good they want me to be comfortable. The doctor said I may have as little as a year to live. Not surprisingly the news did not go over well and I kind of shut down emotionally. I talked to the oncologist yesterday and we discussed my treatment options and what my prognosis would be if I did not do treatment. The good news is I am allowed to go back on the oral chemo starting next week. They also want to start infusion chemo once every three weeks. I have not decided if I am going to do the infusion chemo. It makes me so sick last year and really affects my quality of life. Yesterday the doctor said that if I do not do any treatment I may only have 3-4 months.

It is not like me to take this sitting down and not fight; I am just not sure how much fight I have left. I have committed to the oral chemo for six weeks and take things from there.

I feel bad that I have not been able to work much, but everyone has been great letting me set my own schedule and work from home. My new friends there are also encouraging me to get a second or third opinion. I am feeling pretty emotional these days and have been crying a lot. I feel like so much of this is out of my control and it is very frustrating. I am happy I have a treatment plan for the next couple of weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alison,
I have been so very negligent in writing to you. Busy is no excuse. I am so sorry that you have been so ill and that your prognosis is not a better one. I miss seeing you here at T. Rowe. I really do not know what to say other than you are in my thoughts much more than you know and my prayers for you are a constant. If there is anything at all that you need or if I can help you in any way, I hope you will let me know. I have good ears and I have broad shoulders. They are your's for the asking. May God grant you peace--Love Sheila