Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bad Saturday

I didn't sleep well again last night but I feel alright now.

Bob got up at 6:00 in real pain again. He wanted the morphine so I gave it to him. An hour later he was still in pain so I gave him two percocet tablets. Then he slept on the sofa. He didn't want breakfast and I got him to take just two bites out of a piece of toast and a bite of bacon. He did not want eggs. I forgot to give him his metformin for his diabetes. I called our daughter and told her about his strange behavior. She came right in and spent most of the day.

He slept most of the day. He woke at 11:00 for two more percocet then went right back to sleep. Leslie left for a little while and then called to see if I wanted a milk shake. I did. She brought it back with her about 2:00 and I went in to check on Bob. He was awake. I asked him if he wanted some of my milk shake and he said "yes" so I gave him some in a glass with a straw. At 3:00 he got up and came in to turn on the TV. I asked him if he was going to be able to eat and if wanted me to thaw out hamburger for dinner. He said, "I thought we were going to eat out with John and Leslie tonight".

Go figure!

I better take that metformin with us tonight.

So, if he stays awake, we will go eat at Sirloin Stockade tonight.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Third Treatment and PET Scan

Today is to be Bob's third radiation treatment and his PET scan if I can get him there. This morning at 8:45, he will have his third radiation treatment and later at 10:00 his PET scan..if I can get his there. The lasex is evidently zapping him so I have eliminated it. It evidently has lowered his already low blood pressure to even less and he can barely move or even talk above a whisper.

I got up at three (couldn't sleep) and got him up at five because he is not supposed to eat after six. He took his thyroid pill and then went to shave. After that, he ate a little breakfast. The dog got half of it. I got him dressed to go and he laid back down totally exhausted. I told him I would cancel his appointments but he wants to go. I don't know how I will get him there unless he recovers some.

More later...

When he saw how exhausted I was, he rallied some. We will leave in fifteen minutes for the hospital and I think I can manage now. Evidently, my daughter called a friend to come help us. Unfortunately she has a cold and I wouldn't want her around Bob in the shape he is in. I told her I thought I could handle it now but would call her husband on his cell, if I found that I could not.

So, this morning at 8:45, he had his third radiation treatment and later at 10:00 his PET scan. We won't know the results until Wednesday. The lasex he was taking to get rid of fluid is evidently zapping him so I have eliminated it. It evidently has lowered his already low blood pressure to even less and he can barely move or even talk above a whisper.

I got him there in the rain. I dropped him off at the front door to do his paperwork and then parked the car. I helped him with the paperwork and then they took him around for his radiation treatment and PET scan in a wheelchair. I drove the car around. Two hours later they brought him back in totally exhausted and in pain.

I had left word yesterday afternoon that the pain meds he had been taking were not working well anymore. I dropped by the pharmacy to pick up his new prescription for percocet and morphine and it had not been called in. I gave him two of the pills that were no linger working well and took him home for his nap. After he went to sleep, I went to the doctor's office and picked up the scripts and took them to the pharmacy. Then when I got home I gave him a percocet. I hope it works for him. I fixed him a half sandwich to take it with.

Later some friends dropped by to visit. They just left.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Second Radiation Treatment

Today at 10:30 will be Bob's second radiation treatment. I hope, after all he's going through, that these treatments really do help his pain.

I slept well last night, thank goodness. It started thundering and lightening about 4:30 and that woke me up. About 5:00, I heard Missy crying to get in the back door. I had left her out last night. She can always sleep in one of the chairs on the covered patio. If I bring her in, between 1:30 and 3:00, she decides she wants out and wakes me up. Slinky wanted to come in the kitchen too. He's nearly deaf and almost blind but he still knows when a storm is brewing and I always let him in the kitchen when that happens. He is real good about staying there in the utility area even without a barricade. (I wouldn't trust him all night though).

In awhile, I will need to get Bob to shave and get him dressed for his 10:30 appointment. It is only 7:30 now though.

I will update later.


Bob is completely zapped today. I can't imagine why he is more "out of it" then yesterday. His mouth is very dry.

Alice, at Dr. Powell's radiation lab, called the PET scan people about Bob's PET scan. They will contact Medicare and see if Medicare will pay their 80% on it. If they approved it, they will call my cell phone later on today and set up the time. If they don't approve it, they will not do it. It costs $5,000 and they will need to be paid.

Today, they took photos of his skin and then did the radiation treatment.

Alice also called the American Cancer Society and gave me telephone numbers for two other sources. They will help with such things as utility bills, etc, if our money has to go to pay the medical bills. So far, I have only received one bill from Jane Phillips Memorial Medical Center for $560.00 They have filed for Medicare to pay their part so I am not to pay the bill yet. I also have not yet had the bill from December's CT scan, x-rays and ultrasound here at CRMC, our hospital. There will also be bills from Dr. Raburn in Bartlesville, the lab, and the lab doctor. Then, if they send his biopsy to California, there will be bills from that lab and doctor as well. Then if he decides to take the chemo, that's another matter. I can't worry about that now. But we are still just taking one day at a time.

Bob is sleeping now. On the way home, He took his second pain pill. He just had his lunch so it's nap time.

They just called to schedule his PET scan for in the morning at 10:00. He needs to be there at 9:30 for outpatient registration. He can eat nothing after 6:00 so I will get him up with me to eat his breakfast at 5:00 or 5:30. He is to check his glucose before eating and take his meds as usual. They inject glucose isotope so if his glucose is as much as 200, they won't do the test. None of his meds will conflict with the PET scan. He can't have coffee or juice but can have all the water he wants. They wanted a list of his meds so I put all of that and the instructions on the computer and printed off a copy.

This should be interesting. I am really hoping they can find the primary. And I hope it isn't the lung.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Doctor's Appointment

We got home about 4:00 and Bob was exhausted. He had gone all afternoon without pain meds but did not seem to be any worse the wear over it. We waited in the examaning room for a half hour before the doctor's PA came in to take a health history and examined him. It was after 2:00 when the doctor finally came in. He examined Bob too and he will have a PET scan done on Friday. They discovered through manipulation that the cancer had spread up around the neck area, to the other arm and in the entire chest area. It is apparent on the skin as a bad rash in the right chest area. I thought that was what it was but our doctor had said nothing about it Monday.

The doctor suspects lung cancer but will not know for sure until the PET scan. He said this type of cancer usually comes from the lung. but there was no evidence of it in his December CT scan or x-rays. They are also having the biopsy from Bartlesville sent to California for some special more extensive cell testing.

We finally got into Dr. Powell's office thirty minutes late. Dr. Powell remembered Bob from 1998 when he had eleven radiation treatments on his head. He took a complete history too. Then he said he would give him eleven radiation treatments to alleviate the pain in his left arm. He was also going to irradiate the neck glands and part of the chest. He wanted to avoid damaging the lung. We have an appointment five days a week at 10:30 for eleven treatments. It will be two weeks before we see the results of the cell biopsy tests from California.

If it is in the lung, Bob will have to decide if he wants to take the chemotherapy.

Doctor Appointments Day

This is the day Bob sees the oncologist. He will also see the radiologist. One appointment is at 1:00 and the other at 2:00. I hope he is up to it. Yesterday he felt bad most of the day. When he went to bed last night I left crackers, water and a pain pill next to his bed. I imagine he took the pain pill. He usually does. He is taking them regularly now.

He ate his dinner out on the patio and while he ate and enjoyed the lovely evening, I cleaned up the mess the storm of the previous day made with my peonies. I cut them off and picked up the scattered pedals. Then I picked up the twigs and sticks scattered around the yard. It was quite a mess. I would love to mow today if the grass is dry.

I went to Independence this morning to get my hair done and hair cut. On the way I canceled breakfast with Juanita and I also canceled my hair appointments for the next three weeks. Bob said this morning that he doubted he would live a month.

After we see both his doctors this afternoon, he wants me to call our doctor and get something stronger for the pain.

I hope his birthday doesn't turn into a memorial service.

More later in the day...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Meds

Bob's doctor started him on Lasix to try to get rid of some of the fluid in his body. Then he needs to take Potassium because Lasix flushes the potassium out of the body. So now, a man who never took meds at all until two years ago, is taking metformin for his diabetes, thyroid, pain meds, and now the Lasix and potassium. He is woozy today and although he wants to take Leslie to lunch, I cannot let him drive out to pick her up. She will have to drive in and meet us at the clinic where my 11:00 meeting is held.

I went over at 6:45 and stayed with my sister while my brother-in-law went to have breakfast with his friends. I called Bob twice while I was gone. He seemed to be doing alright but after 2 1/2 hours, he needed more of his pain medicine. When I got home, he ate some crackers and took another pain pill. Then we got him dressed.

We went to Independence for lunch with our daughter but he was really exhausted. I told him we could cancel lunch but he wanted to go. But for the third time in our 56 years of marriage, he did not shave. The last two times were when he had the flu over thirty years ago.

He had pain meds at lunch and is probably going to need more soon. When we got home, he took a second pill. One is not doing the job now.

I dread tomorrow. The oncologist is probably going to want a PET scan to try to find that primary tumor. Bob told our daughter at noon that he did not want chemotherapy. He does not want to get sick to his stomach. She told him of two people we know who did not get sick with chemotherapy. I don't know whether she convinced him or not.

Susie did tell him to take the radiation because it would help with the pain. He said he would do that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Doctor's Appointment After Noon

Bob has his doctor's appointment at 2:15 and we will see what can be done about his pain management. He took another pain pill this morning and just a little while ago he took a couple of Tylenol. I wonder what his liver is doing with all these pills.

Our daughter is quite concerned about the pace these doctors are taking. It seems every appointment is at least a week away and they don't seem to know how fast he seems to be failing. His appointment with the oncologist is Wednesday.

Our doctor thinks Dr. Agundipa (1:00 on Wednesday) will order a PET scan or another CT scan and we heard from Dr. Powell the radiologist who wants to see him at 2:00 that same day.

The woman I stopped to talk to yesterday at the restaurant is a PHD nurse, Susan Kleinbeck, and she started the Montgomery County Medical Clinic. This is what she had to say in e-mail today.

Bob's diagnosis sounds as bad as Fred's did. The only thing that helped me keep myself together was to remember that God would not give me anything I couldn't handle and that he would walk this terrible walk with me. You both will be in my prayers."

When she was about half way through getting the clinic started, her husband, Fred, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He lasted about six months.

Melissa (our doctor) said today that it had spread throughout the lymph system. They will probably want to try chemotherapy. Dr. Powell may want to radiate the arm pit in hopes of eliminating the tumors in the lymph nodes. She says it is not just one lymph node that is affected.

So we steel ourselves for a rough ride. I told the kids, "See as much of him as you can. He loves you dearly. I hope he will be up to celebrating his birthday." He is now taking those pain meds exclusively. Aleve is not working and neither is Tylenol. She says if he needs something stronger, to just call her.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rough Day

It's been a rough day in many respects. Bob made the effort to get up and go to church because it was Mother's Day. Leslie had made reservations for the family at Tavern on the Plaza. The services were good and the meal was good. the two month old baby, Maia, was excellent. But during the services, Bob had to get up and go take some more pain medication and eat something so that he could. He came right back to the service but I could see that he was very tired. He is now taking his nap. He has another hour before he can take any more pain medication and he will just take Aleve then in all probability.

I will get my letters done and then tend to some paperwork. I am glad we aren't going anywhere tonight. Perhaps he can rest.

Later...he did get to feeling better. He needed to put his feet up and rest. Now he is reading while I deal with this post.

He has an appointment tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 with Melissa, his doctor. She will discuss pain management with him. Then Wednesday, he will see the oncologist and see what he has to say is the next step.