Thursday, September 17, 2009

Already I Get Out of the Update Habit

Monday and Tuesday were a lot like Sunday, I guess. I didn't go to work and wasn't really feeling all that great. Wednesday, however felt pretty good.

I was feeling a bit better toward Tuesday night. And then I'd gotten a pretty fair night's sleep . I was thinking I'd finally be ready to go to work on Wednesday. When I woke up about 7:30 I was still feeling pretty good, but tired. So I snoozed a bit more. When I got up at 9, though, my stomach was rather upset. After dealing with that for a while, I went back to bed to lie down for a while.

I started heading into work about noon, thinking that I'd last a couple hours. But I was feeling pretty good there and getting quite a bit done. So I stayed until about 6. I was still in "work mode", so I kept working on a copy of things on my USB drive. I wasn't all that tired, and didn't really have pain out of "the ordinary", so I put in some good time on work stuff. I went to bed a bit after 1am.

This morning I thought and hoped would be much like yesterday, but things soured early and stayed that way. A "new" pain for me was a pain in the side -- perhaps the liver is not projecting all that far away . It kinda felt like I'd been kicked in the ribs on my right side. This didn't get any better during the day, and in fact got worse -- even trying to chase it away with some vicodin. Although I'd gotten in earlier this morning, by 3 o'clock I'd had enough.

I came home, took some percocet, and went right to bed. And I've pretty much been here since. The percocets weren't working by themselves, so I had to add an oxycontin. That is finally taking the sharpness out of the pain. I've still got a duller pain in that area, but it doesn't keep be so completely doubled over like it had done earlier today.

Maybe I just bit off more than my body could chew yesterday and today. Well, at least I've made some good progress with some of the things for work. But tomorrow I'll be playing it by ear a bit more -- and I'll probably be more willing to throw in the towel at an earlier stage.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Day of School!

The Tuesday after Labor Day was most certainly one out of the ordinary. Brooke started high school, and Heather had her first day of kindergarten! (I even managed to go to work for the first "normal" day in a while!)

Heather was very excited, and Angie was a bit overwhelmed as well. I managed to get a few pictures of Heather on this big morning.

Angie called me later and told me how she didn't want to leave Heather at the school, and how she cried for a bit. Our girls are just growing up too fast, I guess. It doesn't seem like it in the day-to-day, but when a big day like this comes along, I suppose all the emotion comes out.

Rough Night

Last night ended up being a nice little reminder of the way I'd felt after #3. I think it started with an upset stomach (at least that's how it felt to me). The mac & cheese that Brooke made was the last thing that seemed to sit well with me. After that, I was all screwed up.

The Diet Dew, Gatorade, or even cold water just seemed to sit on top and aggrevate my stomach, which really did turn into a pretty good belly ache on its own. When I'd try to take my meds "on schedule", they didn't seem to do their normal thing through my messed up stomach. So as the night wore on, I got the shoulder pain returning more intensely. And it spread to other parts of my back as well. And for some reason, the backs of my upper arms were sore too. I think I might be rubbing more muscles than I'm thinking about and maybe that was in turn getting a little sore.

Anyways, sleep escaped me for most of the night. My night was familiar, like the ones in early August, in which I was rather tired -- drained -- but had enough pains in the shoulder or belly to keep me uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable kept me moving around in search or some kind of a comfortable position. I think I may have nodded off for a half hour or so on the couch during one stop. After I woke up from that, about 6:30 am, I took some more meds and went back to bed.

Heather was up about 7:30 and wanted to watch TV, but I asked her to go back to bed for a little bit. I woke up about 9 to find her quietly building a fort for her stuffed animals at the foot of the bed. I turned on the TV for her and wandered about in search of some pain relief. It didn't really go so well. I tried to watch some pre-game and some football, but that wasn't going so well either.

Brooke had made a frozen pizza about 1ish; I came downstairs a bit later and reheated some. I was very hesitant, but so far following Brooke's lead had worked for me, so I gave a couple slices a try. It was rough getting them down, because the belly ache was still with me. And maybe a half hour or so later it was time for some meds again. Now this time apparently my ducks were in a row. It was tough on my stomach at first, but it finally sat well and the meds began to work more as I hope and expect them to.

So by about 4 I was finally getting rid of the belly ache and the shoulder and back pains. Finally some relief! And then I was extremely drained of all energy, but I hadn't really been able to fall asleep. And so for the moment I'm feeling fairly pain-free and tired, drained. But it's definitely an improvement. Unfortunately, I'll probably need to eat something soon. I hope I don't repeat this little cycle of the past day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good To Be Home

If definitely feels far more comfortable to be at home. And now I'm adjusting to what it's like being out of the hospital. No real surprises, much the same as it's been before.

The pain is returning. This time it seems to mostly be projected into my right shoulder. If you've ever been to a chiropractor and he's dug his elbow down into the muscle on your shoulder, that's a pretty good approximation. Except that it goes on for a period of a half hour or maybe two hours, depending on when and to what extent the meds smooth things out.

So far, the old regiment seems to work about like it did before. But that still means that hour or whatever in which I just have the pain and kind of writhe and shake and try to find distractions such as Facebook games to keep me distracted. Or just wandering about. In its own way, I guess I get used to it, but it's not a lot of fun. Maybe a bath will help out too. To me it seems that even though the pain is projected from the liver, treating the symptom of rubbing my shoulder or whatever seems to make it go away. So that helps.

I haven't been able to sleep all that much. Maybe an hour and a half early last night, another hour and a half on the couch for a while. This morning I think I caught another half hour or so. And there have been a couple of times when I've just been able to roll over a bit and relax enough "watching" TV in the bedroom that I've been half asleep.

Food is staying down better today. Brooke made some mac & cheese that hit the spot. But I'm still covering the lion's share with yogurt, Little Debbie's Snack Cakes. Maybe some pudding later.

It seems like a lot of waiting that I do, though. Waiting for the meds to kick in. I seem to do a lot of waiting.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back Home from C-E IV

I had what should hopefully be the last C-E of the series on Thursday, if all went well. No, I don't know the results yet.

We've been doing right-left-scan, and intended to do right-left-scan again, but the previous scan showed that the chemo used for the right lobe reduced the tumor size and the chemo used for the left didn't. So we instead hit the left twice in a row when the working chemo was again available. I hope it worked, but the experience was not pleasant. I had meant to do more updates here on the blog last time, but didn't. This is my attempt at trying to do better this time.

The hospital experience was much the same. I don't care for the bed -- I find it very uncomfortable; I find it hard to sleep for more than an hour. I hate being tethered by IV to the meds tree of saline, some o' this or that, and the pain meds (well, those I have a little bit more of an okay time with). I had nausea again as my experience with hospital food continues to go downhill since the first time; then I hadn't found it to be too bad.

I am back home now, and prefer it by far. I've got different meds, of course (can't have a morphine drip at home, ya know). But after #3 I think I've got a cocktail figured out that seems to work for me. And the bed is much more comfortable. And the blankets don't feel like I'm sleeping on a pile of used towels. And I can get a Gatorade, cold milk, or my Diet Dew much more easily. And stuff like my Little Debbie's snacks seem to have more staying power than the hospital toast.

Heck, I can even sneak outside for a smoke. Yeah, I oughtta take that 2-day break as an opportunity to quit for good, but it somehow does take an edge off the pain for 5-10 minutes as I'm waiting for the meds to kick in. At those moments those few minutes mean a lot to me.

But of course the best is being close enough to at least hear the girls and pretend things are relatively normal. I even felt good enough an hour or so ago to give Heather her bath. And I can keep myself a little more back into routine putzing around on the computer: reading, chatting, seeing what folks on Facebook are doing. I can flip the TV on in the background (to more channels that might interest me) and keep myself distracted better. And when I'm tired and the pain is under control, it's easy to just roll over and shut my eyes and be able to relax fairly well if not fall asleep.

I hope things continue like this if not improve. As long as my situation doesn't begin to deteriorate before getting better like #3. So that's about what I know so far. I'll try to update here more often than I did last time.