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Still Somewhat in the Dark

4pm…sleeping, so time to write…

Well, expecting clarity is usually wishful thinking. I should however, state up front, I can’t imagine anything more being done for Kathleen. Drugs, consults, tests, incredibly skilled and talented people… All tools seem to be in play. Same with the psycho-social aspect. After a teary talk with the pain and symptom nurse, social worker appears for a chat ‘out of the blue’. But no clear answers as to what’s going on, but its not for not trying.
But really, that’s the way it is more often than not. TV plots tend to have a nicely wrapped, clever resolution. Too bad we are not in the TV bubble.

I got to the Hospital around noon. One of the doctors had already confirmed nothing scary like a perforated bowl in the CT which was the main concern. Good! But then again no obvious answers either. A nurse from the pain and symptom team came up to do a detailed assessment on what could be done to better manage the nausea, pain, fever and constipation. And then a doctor from that team. At a gut level, you hope for the proverbial silver bullet, but its really a process of 10-20% improvements mixed in with potentially nasty trade offs. Zofran could help with this type of nausea, but then its constipating and she is already dangerously backed up… Nabilone ? Causes extreme fatigue and racing heart. Not good when your heart rate is at 135. How about haldol ? Anxiety and depression and zombie like state. Plus its one of those, “Hey we made this drug for something else and it didnt work. But by accident, it works really well for stopping vomiting.” …. And another new drug. An injection that makes you race to the bathroom like you have Norwalk. They weren’t kidding. More like Norrun. A sub cue shot and 30 seconds later, into the WC. Some progress. But barfing at the same time. Well, dry wretching since nothing there to come up. Shot of haldol while on the crapper and then stumble back to bed and a deep, deep sleep. I think it helped. I don’t see a furrowed brow now while she sleeps.

Main chemo oncologist came by too. He is a no nonsense guy. We like him because we feel we know where we stand. He will give us bad news when its bad. If he doesn’t know he doesn’t seem to BS us. We asked about the CT and he said he didn’t see evidence of cancer progression. But some humming and hawing… I guess he is not convinced either way. Hard to say. We also asked about the returning lymph node pain in her neck. Is the cancer getting worse again ? Or is it just a flu bug making them swell. He said there was no mention of it by the radiologist, but he would ask them to comment on any size differential. Didn’t seem alarmed. But not sure if anything phases him. Hopefully its just a flu bug and not the cancer getting bold… When we asked what does this mean for the chemo, he said a delay… Which is a good thing, and means he still sees a point to it.

9pm
Her hemoglobin was down below 80, so main chemo doc ordered a blood transfusion. Thank you anonymous donors. The first time Kath got blood was the day before her surgery, she literally had her lived saved by two O- people who took the time out of their day, to give blood. If you are healthy, please give blood. KW actually is one of the most generous regions in the country. The clinic I go to at Bridgeport and Weber, is actually the busiest in all of Canada which is amazing. We indeed live in a great community!

Fever bounced up and then back down. Good! She will be in at least until Monday, which is a drag, but necessary. She is still technically under infection control so no visitors other than immediate family. I dont get hosed down upon entry, but lots of hand washing etc.

I also wanted to say for both of us, thank you so much for all the notes, pics and support we have gotten. It really does help get through this. Kath had enough energy tonight that I could read everything to her.

Its hard leaving the hospital without her. But it makes it all the more easier to know that amazing people are looking after her. 6th floor, far right
h

—Mike

About In the Cancer Bubble

I am Kathleen's partner of almost 25yrs supporting her through this very tough and rough spot.

7 responses to “Still Somewhat in the Dark

  1. judy ⋅

    Dear Mike and Kathleen,
    We were worried about the perforated bowel possibility and are relieved that it isn’t that. It is a relief that she being looked after by a exceptional community, caring and qualified, Yourself, the medical staff and supporting friends and family.
    Love Judy

  2. julie

    Dear Kathleen and Mike —

    I only have one funny story for you — With all of the busy, crazy goings on of your past 48 hours, I expect that you didn’t get to read in the news about the bylaw proposed in Montreal that all dogs will need to be bilingual, and be able to respond to commands in both English and French if they want to go to dog parks. Apparently the chaos of owners speaking in multiple languages is too much for people. The news story attracted attention around the world.
    Sometimes the utterly ridiculous can be so bizarre that people easily fall for it ;-D

    It turns out it was a news article put on by a CBC spoof show. Leave it to the CBC to yank Quebec’s “leash”.

    I have no doubt that Orville could master French, but I worry about his Mandarin.

    xoxoxox
    Thinking of you always,
    julie

  3. Michelle Rogers ⋅

    Dear Mike and Kathleen,
    I have been a Zontian for almost a year now. The ladies are all worried about Kathleen and talk about her. I wanted to know how Kathleen was doing, so I started following your blogs about your journey back in May. I feel like I know you both. Even though you don’t know me, I am rooting for you, on the sidelines. I sort of know how you are feeling Mike, my daughter was sick a couple of years ago, and spent a few months in the hospital (she was released just after Christmas). I really identified with your blog about ‘Back to the Familiar and New’. Hang in there! Not that you have a choice. Mike, your strength and committment are inspirational.
    Merry Christmas to you both and your families. My prayers and thoughts will be with you.
    Michelle

  4. I see nuggets of good news here – perhaps a rough rough nasty bout of the flu; which is so much better than scarier alternatives. Sending strength to you and Kathleen.

  5. ~ Jill ⋅

    Dear Mike and Kathleen,

    Mike, your words and photo are brilliant.

    Even through the darkness, the light shines through and gives hope.

    Many caring thoughts are with you both.

    xo

  6. Terry and Colleen ⋅

    Mike, relieving news about no perforation. You are surrounded by such caring and wise professionals and your dearly loved family and friends near and far. Hope today is more comfortable for Kath. Thinking of all of you constantly, your strength and love for each other is astounding. Hugs Colleen and Terry

  7. jsf ⋅

    uncooperative christmassy cat. http://imgur.com/5FUAy

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