Friday, November 13, 2009

A Cancerous Man with a Plan

Quick blast of semi-good news! We finally had an MRI done on the shoulder, the hematologist oncologist Dr. Bruce Culliney - a grand guy and super smart and well respected chemo doctor - wanted to be sure it wasn't the disease affecting it. I've torn my rotator cuff and the only solution (apart from surgery, which I am definitely not a candidate for) is cortisone injections. So there's a plan to help the shoulder pain. Also the very same Culliney said that we should try Motrin, even though it's effect is very similar to the steroids I am on. Et Voila!! The pain reduces significantly! Yeah!
Diane and he both agreed that I should restart the Keflex antibiotic to stop the smell coming from the recent fistulas (ulcers) on my neck skin,"Et Voila!" the smell is gone the next day!

Now every time a Dr. looks at my fistulas he gives us the "Carotid Blowout" scenario, very seriously, we cut them off saying Dr. Harrison gave us this speech before even starting the neck skin radiation. It's an odd telling though, for the docs explain very somberly how the opening fistula could reveal the Carotid artery and then the Carotid could open - leading to the "blowout" (see it in the summer blockbuster "Carotid Blowout!!".) Then he goes on to the plusses, where how it is painless, happens in a couple of minutes and all I would notice is my getting tired, and going to sleep for a long long time. Its the up-beat moment - like a get out of jail free card! Actually, it sounds a lot easier that way than languishing in bed, besotted with opiates, half-dreaming of naked female pirates at battle with the neo-cons for clothes at JCPenney!
There is no treatment for these fistulas, just keep them dry and avoid hitting them with your golf club.
So we picked up plans and news today and we both felt is was a great day! How was yours?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Progress with a kink!

Ironically I re-injured my shoulder planing the kayak - which is finished and beautiful. And still in our parlor. My shoulder has been very painful, and to add injury to injury: a week and a half ago I was upstairs with Diane on the couch and I thought I'd quickly go to the loo - I forgot to rise slowly, given my blood pressure problem, and on my way started to pass out. Unfortunately, my brain went on the fritz and I fell down the spiral stair case wedging myself in the struts and the rails pretty well. Further injuring my shoulder. If you remember my earlier posts, I am accident prone!! So my shoulder has been keeping me in bed for almost a full week - I am now upstairs for my first real bit of "doing" and writing to confess my stupidity. More physical therapy tomorrow. The shoulder isn't broken, but may need an MRI - which I hate.
Otherwise, I've been keeping my food intake up. Chemo does its stuff. My neck skin is very thin from all the radiation and is now developing fistulas (open holes through the skin to whatever is below) that are luckily not anywhere near my carotid. These scare Diane a lot, but I can't see them so I remain blissfully ignorant.
The cats are not behaving well - Poe wants to go outside all the time since the weather is so nice, according to him even in the middle of the night, and Emily refuses to adjust to the time change - insisting instead on falling further back by an hour and asking for dinner at 4! Mere distractions!
But being upstairs, working finally on medical bills with Diane, and sending in the parking ticket excuses (medical of course), and sorting through the mail with Diane have been invigorating. And perhaps we will enjoy a night of sleeping through. So it has been a good day! Hope yours has too.