Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just a brief update folks as I am quite tired...yet excited. A busy day, bunch of phone calls and Phil, Renee and Austin dropped in in the early evening.

Sandy and I had a moment of intimacy today we've never had in our 24 years plus of living together...I bent over the sink and she was nice enough to insert a suppository! An hour later....loads of gas and a bonus! Not a lot of bonus material...but it's a start!

I almost got to to go home tonight, but they decided they love me so much, they want me to spend another night! HA! Looks like if my cratanine (sp?) level is good then I'll be traveling to the southwest tomorrow!!! YAY!!

I'm sore, tired and wanting to be home...but I can take another day here. It's all good.

Now I have to grab me some sleep.

Nighty night!
And a special nighty night to Lynne! Let people try to figure THAT one out....I sleep with the little doggy every night, Lynne.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another miserable night last night that left me wiped out this AM. MY nurse, Marcia (MY FAVORITE) came in, took one look at me and said, "you need TLC today." To which I almost started crying. They got me into the shower, changed up and back into bed until Sandy and Janet arrived.

Sandy had concerns she wanted to discuss with the docs, who weren't coming around until 5:00. In the meantime, I pretty much laid in bed, in discomfort from the gas, which I did start to pass on the toilet this AM as soon as the docs left from their rounds. It wasn't enough the walking and doing the PTe excercises helped stir things up.

It was funny watching Sandy, Janet and I lined up against the radiator, all of us doing the exercises. It was like they coudldn't bear to just sit and watch me do them! My jazzercize buddies!

After the walk, I'd get on the toidy...Sandy would run the water and we would all send good vibes my abdomen's way, hoping for the winds to blow through...AND THE DID! ABOUT SEVEN TIMES! Still below the national average. Did you know that the average American farts 12 times a day? Even Hillary farts (oh...excuse me...even our next Secretary of State) farts...12 times a day.

Of course, my usual has got to be three times the national average...but I'm not shooitng for that...just a solid increase in what I have been doing.

Then I complained again about my mouth and asked the girls to look in it to see what they could see. It was filled with thrush, an infection that has left my tonque swollen with nodules all over it, my gums burning, etc. We showed Marcia who promptly had pharmacy mix up super magic mouthwash....I swish and swallow that four times a day now and it should help tremendously. Great stuff!

Desparate to get comfortable and to get some gas moving...Sandt and Janet helped me log roll onto my left side for awhile...the gas pain was trapped in my rib cage and I had to say a few "owies" for awhile. Then I rolled to my right, repeated the "owie" routine and then they got me up and onto the pot. I sat there rubbing my hands across my back, down my sides and then into my abdomen and then told it to "run free"....It exploded! So loud Janet and Sandy could hear it over the still running water! They broke into did I.

Now I woke up a bit ago and go up to make this entry. The gas pain is minimal...and now they've plowed me with more pain meds and a sleeping I would guess I'll be able to sleep like a babe tonight!

They are now talking Tuesday for my return home. I don't think I'm ready to go tomorrow...but Sunday might be do-able. My bloodwork is all good. Whenever I get to go home...the pups are going to be nuts! And Mr. Murphy will either be all friendly, or will smack me!

Sandy took more pictures. I hope to download them to the computer tomorrow and post them here. Makes this whole blab blab blab thing more interesting!

Nighty night!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

They took the cath out this AM (note that I'm into the hospital lingo.."cath") and they gave me four hours to produce! The nurse thought that was weird, they usually give you six hours. I think it was cause I told them so many times that if they would just take it out I would pee like a race horse!

Well, not any HEALTHY race horse, but I did manage to push out a decent amount of fluid before my four hours were up.

Sandy came up early as I told her I really needed her here today...I had a bad night last night, my back was acting up...couldn't get comfy and finally hauled my butt out of bed and into the recliner around 3:30...I was able to doze there, on and off until Sandy arrived.

She took me for a walk, to try to get stuff moving. Then she set me up in bed and went to work, massaging my back...there is a "donut" that surrounds my lower rib's fluid filled...just a weird way for the stuff to's draining from the top my shoulders, etc. look good. But as you get further down...fageddaboudit!

She got me herbal tea from the cafeteria and made me drink. That, and the sound of running water got the pee moving. I had to laugh, thinking about Nana Miller and how she used to "run the water" when we were in the bathroom to get us to pee before we left her house to go "downstreet." Well, the old tricks still work.

Sandy really advocated for me about the meds. I had decided by morning rounds that I was the asshole of the earth for trying to go into this on tylenol alone! It was no where near to cutting it for me! Part of the reason for the poor sleep I guess.

So, I had asked them to give me something stronger, even if it was the stupid oxycodone which makes me hallucinate. Having some little hallucinations/bizarre dreams is still better than being in that kind of pain, no?

They didn't order anything, or they couldn't figure out what to order. Another doc came and told me he'd take the iv out...YAY! He was going to try to figure out what I could take....nope, didn't happen.

So Sandy gets the idea I should go on Dilaudid....a relative of morphine (which I handle quite nicely). They had given me Dilaudid at Backus Friday night in the ER and I had no ill effects. She figured it wasn't as strong as morphine and doesn't have some of the onerous side effects of morphine, so it was good for me.

She got on the phone to her buddies at Backus who looked up the dose for her. Then she told the nurse, who wrote the orders. The docs signed off on the orders I guess, becuase I just had my second dose...this one was stronger than the first because Sandy wants me to be knocked out for the night, even though it's only 5:30! So, I'll probably have to shut down this operation soon and get back to bed.

They did take out the now I don't have a drag a pole around with me whereever I go. That's a good thing! Those of you who have "been there" know what I mean, the poles and the tubes get in the way, stop you this far short of whatever it is you are trying to's frustrating and the only thing that has made me cry since I got here.

The PT lady came again today...yesterday I had to do the stairs to be cleared to go home...she said I had perfect form on the stairs. I did them the Nomar Garciaparra way...some will know what I mean.

She also brought balance exercises and we did them together, the PT lady and me..I didn't see Sandy joining in! The exercises really got the pee to come I'm incorporating a round of the exercises into every walk from now on.

I should have brought the Wii Fit up here...those yoga exercises and the balance ones would really help me now!

I feel that my lungs are getting a bit blocked, but they tell me I'm doing way better than the average patient Janet was up here yesterday with Sandy, works in Respiratory Therapy at Backus and she says no one does the exercises. How foolish!
So, I felt better when the nurse told me that I have good intake all around, even though I can only get the inspirometer (or whatever the hell you call that thing) up to 750 ml today. I had it up to 1750 the day after surgery! I'll keep working on it, it will continue to get better.

So, I close with a plea for gas and, ulitimately, poop. I haven't been eating much so there isn't too much poop in there, but there certainly is enough gas! Enough to power the next shuttle flight! It's gotta go!

I won't be coming home until tomorrow or Saturday. It was sweet thinking about possibly being home today, but it was impractical. I don't want to go home in severe discomfort...I'd be moaning and groaning and upsetting the hounds. Not good for them and not good for me. So, I'll be patient and keep working on the basic...natural gas!

My minestrone is here...let's see if I have any appetite for it. I've been sticking just with broth, tea and jello...tonight the soup is a litte "special" I hope I can bear it.

Nighty night my pals! Love you my own little way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Last night I issued a call to my "peeps" for good vibes coming my way to help me PEE!

Well...after I wrote that, I shut the computer off and did all my banging around with my poles and bags and such, getting ready to go to bed. I got in the bed feeling pretty down. I talked to my nurse Christina about it and told her I'm just going to "let it go"....not worry about the friends would take care of it for me.

Sure enough, the next time she came in the room....I was peeing more! And today I'm really putting it out...they say I'll probably get the catheter out today...and they are talking about me going home TOMORROW! YAY! My goals for today: get the catheter out, work on my breathing exercises and pass gas...which SHOULD be easy for me, but isn't lately!

I may be asking for gas vibes from my pals next....the last treatment I got from you was so effective, I'm feeling I can't go wrong!

They took the dressing off my looks GREAT! BIG...but great! Nice and clean, no red spots, no signs of irritation.

I'm still pretty swollen with fluid and it's moving down and it has decreased around my shoulders, chest and arms, the stomach is still very distended and it pushes on my stitches, makes it burn a bit.

Still, I'm making it on Tylenol Extra Strength, which apparently the docs don't believe! I don't want dopey stuff and except for being very sore, I'm fine with the tylenol.

I'm going to try to get a little stroll in before my breakfast comes. That will get the pee going some more and may help loosen up some gas.

Thanks to all who sent me a good thought about peeing...I know it's distasteful(to some)...but I really needed it! AND IT WORKED! If we keep this joint effort going I"m going to be disease free in record time!

Okay, enough celebrating now, I have work to do. Got breathe and fart. Just like being back at work! HA HA!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I had a bit more than yogurt today...they brought up a tray with scrambled eggs and their crispy bacon and I didn't do too bad with that! I could only eat about a third though.

Spent the AM sitting up in the recliner, doing the email thing and waiting for Sandy to arrive. We were going to walk when she got here. Well...when she got here, the focus switched to other things...first of all the fact that I'm still not passing urine thru the catheter...Oh I'm passing stuff, just not enough.

They sent around two doctors to review that situation, including a very nice woman who I later found out is the head of one of the depts, Dr. Racine is her name. She and I had a nice, long chat and then she looked me right in the eyes and she said, "you're going to be just fine." And I told her, "I know I am!"

But I wasn't, at least not right away.

They took me off morphine, which I don't mind, but they put me on Oxycodone...which I do mind. I don't tolerate codeine much for whatever reason. I started having little visual hallucinations (seeing the sheets move on the bed...when I'm sitting in the chair) and every time I would doze I would have very very bizarre mini-dreams.

I told them NO to the oxycodone. My buddy Marcia spoke to the doctor and told him I wanted the tylenol mix I have at home...forget the name just now, but it's tylenol and a non-narcotic and it works fine for me. They wanted to put me on VICODIN!!! She told them they were nuts...if I hallucinate with oxycodone, imagine what vicodin would do to me! We put our collective foot down (Marcia and I) and said nothing more than tylenol will do...and that's where we are now...and it's handling it quite nicely thanks! I just have to remember to get another dose before the last one wears off too much...that's the secret I have learned this trip.

The urine is still problematic and it is disheartening to look at abdomen is bloated up to where it was, my thighs are in the "thunder dep't" once again and I look like I did prior to gastric bypass! I am pushing 200 lbs on the scale...and I weighed about 170 on Friday! WOW WHEEEE!!!

Sandy did take me for the walk around the halls, Marcia came flying out of the med room to throw a robe at me to cover me up...seems my johnny was open in the back and I was proudly displaying my hospital underpanties (tres chic!) to the hordes out in the hall! There was an elderly woman and her daughter walking the hall behind me...I asked the old lady if she got a good peek. "Yes," she says, "and I liked what I saw!" I thought I would split my stitches laughing!

Sandy is tired. She says she's getting a good night's sleep, but she looks pale and drawn to me. People need to slow down on the phone calls to her for updates. She's so nice and friendly...she will stay on the phone for hours....but she needs to rest.

So, everyone...please try to get your updates here. If you must so. Or you can try to call me on my cell: 860 367-1327. I'll decide if I want to answer your call or not! HA HA!

Everyone needs to calm down, take a deep breath and relax. Things are going to be fine....I'm not planning on dropping dead...I made it thru surgery just fine and now we (both of us) need to rest and relax to get ready for the chemo stuff.

Joyce (my old high school chum) is convincing me to get my chemo done at Backus. They apparently just won some sort of huge award for their outpatient chemo program. No other hospital in CT has ever won it...and something like only 60 something programs across the country have recieved this award. As she says, it would be better to be driving to Norwich, distance and time wise, especially as we head into the winter months. Also if a treatment session were to make me feel sick, it would be better to not have to drive that distance to get home.

The bad part of that plan is that we don't care for a certain doctor who is involved with that program and wouldn't want to have to deal with him. He is brilliant but he doesn't always do what's necessarily best for the patient...he's interested in defeating cancer...bottom line.

So, we will check out both programs, look at the pros and cons and go from there. It felt really good that a long time friend has got my back on this one and is willing to help me line up someone good as a doctor.

Robin Aitcheson is going to make some cds for me on positive imaging...(now I don't remember if I already posted this) and wants to come do some sessions with me on the chemo's all part of healing touch.

I have so many wonderful and talented friends, am surrounded by such good is truly a blessing in my life. And don't think I'm using blessing in a religious sense, because you know how I feel about religions. I mean it in a spiritual sense. Spiritually I am truly blessed. Sometimes I let myself forget about that, don't nuture it enough. I'm going to make it one of my little missions in life to nuture that side more often from now on.

So many people have written, called, sent cards, flowers, balloons....a visual reminder of my blessings, but it's in my heart that I feel it the most.

Now I need everyone to see good thoughts my way to help me PEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I'm confident that working together, we can accomplish this goal!

My goal for today is to get up and walk! YAY! They won't remove the pee bag, as I'm not "putting out enough"... I've tried to tell them that the same thing happened when I had the bypass surgery...that if they pull that tube, I'll be peeing for an hour...but they won't listen.

So, I'll still walk, but I'm going to drag that bag up and down the get them to say uncle and take it out!

They finally brought up my little breathing thingy...the one where you inhale, etc. Well, I've been working on that and it has suceeded in making my incision hurt! NICE JOB! The breathing is getting better, though, for putting myself through that and it is one of the most important jobs I can do for myself right now.

The docs were just here on morning rounds. Said I look great, no I can't have the urine tube pulled, said I could go on regular diet! I said I wouldn't mind soft to yogurt. They will make that happen for me.

I told them my reading audience needs vital stats; How many stitches, staples, etc.

The said there are only two stitches...isn't that weird. They anchor the stitch and then wrap the "thread" around and around all the way up. On the outside I have at least 30 staples which isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think I had 20 for my bypass and that was a short incision line.

I will measure the line when they get the dressing off and will post it for those of you who are "demanding" the details.

This AM they woke me up to do something or other and just as I was dozing back to sleep I had the brilliant idea of wearing my military uniform jacket when I come back for chemo sessions! In keeping with my going to war analogy...I'll be the deskbound general who commands the troops while clad in my Class A uniform.

I still have it and it fits now that I've dropped the weight!

I think it would be a nice would mean something powerful to me and it might help to scare the bad cells!

I'm going to call Sandy now and see if she is coming up here today to get me up and out of bed.

My favorite nurse (they are ALL GOOD, but this one's my fav) is working today so I know we'll get a lot of information and we'll get a lot of things accomplished! It's shaping up to be a great day!

I see the sun is shining out there...looks a lot nicer than yesterday. Enjoy!

Oh...and it was good to see the Pats beat Buffalo yesterday (sorry Dee!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is going to be short...sorry. I keep dozing as I type..I'm sure the spelling an grammar is going to be messed up.

I had surgery this AM and it went good. They couldn't get everything out...I have this stuff that "sprayed" out of the tumor and it was all over the lining of my abdomen, which they removed...the lining...not the abdomen. Apparently this spray of microdots (which I'm calling pop rocks) made something stick together in there, including my bowels to my uterus. They did get these peeled apart, thankfully and Dr. LaChance says I should feel difference down there just from getting this done!

Another good thing....they drew off six liters of fluid from my abdomen...three two liter Diet Coke bottles for those of you who like those analogies! I definitely feel the difference there! Sandy took some before and after pics, I'll get them posted here as soon as I'm licensed to touch my camera again!

They left the left ovary in...the right one is gone. I'm not sure if they took the uterus out...I was pretty much out of it when Sandy was telling me what the doctor said. As a matter of fact, Lynne Miner gave me info that I didn't know/remember...thanks Lynne!

Next up I have to rest, rest, rest and then hopefully I can start my own little "WMD campaign" (chemo) in three weeks, the sooner the better.

We are feeling good about today. I'm being smart and am using the pain meds the way they tell me to..not the way I THINK I should be using I'm not waiting anymore...I keep up the med level and that has made s difference. they fixed my hernia! YAY!!! This morning he said that if it was too involved, it might have to wait for another day.

I'm getting lots of email..which I love, but I hope people get their updates through this's so much easier to communicate this way and hit a bunch of folks at once. I promise as I feel bettr, I'll be enhancing this blog with pics, jokes and maybe even video!

I say again, I love the support everyone is sending my way. I'm a realist (as well ss an optimist...if that's possible) and I know I'm going to need all the support I can get. I can fight this, but I can't do it alone.

Love you guys,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Okay it's time to shut off the electronics and get to sleep...big day tomorrow.

I have my laptop, my cell phone and my Sirius radio with me here in the hospital...big difference from my last stay! The day flies by with these "toys"...I keep the classical music playing on the computer to help me sleep and I keep in touch with everyone thru the "intranets" as W would say.

I have probably one more round of doody time and then I'm done for the night.

Reverend Joanie came to see me tonight..was I surprised to see her come through the door! She and Sandy had arranged to surpise me. Joanie gave me a blessing and said a prayer over me. She put some oil on me that smells really nice. It felt was as if I could actually feel the support of all my family and friends. Wild!

So, I won't post again until after the surgery. It may not be until Tuesday, so be patient...I know it will be like waiting for the next Harry Potter book, but we must be patient! When I do post it will probably be a bunch of ENJOY!

Thanks for the balloons Sue, they hit the spot too! They have kitties and doggies on them...very cute!

Nighty night all. I am, spending my nights in Rhode Island! Who would have thunk it? I never had the urge to overnight in Rhody, unless it was at the beach! I'm here at a wonderful place...Women's and Infant's Hospital.

The staff are very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Jean can't get over how much time they spend with me...listening, answering my questions...involving me in what's going on with me.

I'm going to use this journal to document this journey. I'll encourage folks to subscribe so I don't have to send out a hundred emails! I can't remember who I responded to and what I told who!

Today's update: The sun is shining and I got up early, had them disconnect from the umbilical cords that keep me tied to the bed and I got walking. That helped with the gas a bit.

Then the doctors came in....said I have to get ready for surgery tomorrow, but no guarantee. So bowel prep here we come...something I eagerly anticipate, in my current state! Then Dr. LaChance did a pelvic on me.....OUCH! It is swollen and unhappy up in dere! Must be from the fluids pressing on everything. Final insult...rectal exam...DOUBLE OWIE!! Thankfully it was brief.

Marcia, my nurse from yesterday is back on duty today. I love her, though all of them are wonderful. She's a year younger than me and we fool around, picking on each other. They work three 12 hour shifts a week, so you really get to know each other, which makes it nice.

Okay, more news when I have some more to share. I told Sandy to stay home today...she's going to go to Ryan's football game.

I can sleep if she's not coming. She'll be here at 6:30 tomorrow morning...just in case.

I'm hoping I get into surgery tomorrow. Not looking forward to the aftermath...but at least we'll be on our way to knowing what we are dealing with. breakfast is here...gotta eat!