Today and yesterday have been extremely difficult. Yesterday, I went with my mother-in-law to her doctor’s to get the biopsy results. She finally got a definitive diagnosis yesterday. It’s stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, she has to choose what type of chemo she will be doing. I’m extremely impressed by her acceptance as she goes through this.
Naturally, my husband is having a hard time with this. I wish I could do something to make it better, but I can’t. I know if there is anything I can do to help my husband, that he will tell me. That’s one of the great things about him. I know he will always be honest and upfront with me.
I’ve been through something similar. When I was young, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He died when I was 18. I know how horrible it is to lose a parent, but I couldn’t imagine losing my mom. I’m trying to be supportive to my mother-in-law and my husband, but it’s harder than I expected. Everything that she goes through brings up memories if my father.
I wish I could leave; just get up and walk away from it all. However, even if I could, I wouldn’t. I want to, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to. I don’t want to deal with all of this, but I will. Instead of walking away, I’m going to be as supportive as possible. When I need to, I can vent by writing for my blog or by calling my mom (she’s very helpful).
Today has been a big and busy day. I started off late for my first appointment of the day. I ended up making it to the appointment on time, but I was very rushed to make it there. Once I got there, I had to fill out almost an hour worth of paperwork. Thank goodness my husband was there to help me fill everything out; I can’t remember much with my memory loss. This first appointment was for some back pain I’ve been having. It turns out that my spine is in good shape (yay) and it’s just a muscular problem. I’m now taking a tapering dose of Methylprednisolone for six days. I don’t like adding more medications to what I’m already on, so hopefully it helps.
I had two doctors appointments today. This afternoon was when I started packing for my trip; I leave for Cape Cod tomorrow night. I already have my packing list figured out. I just have to run everything through the dryer to make sure all of the bed bugs are gone (which they are).
I’m excited to be on vacation for a week. I can’t wait to spend all of this time with my mom, my sister and husband, and their kids. The kids are growing up so quickly. I can’t believe that the youngest is 14 years old. While I will be loving my trip and enjoying all of my time on vacation, I’m going to miss my husband while I’m gone. My husband is my rock. He helps me get through everything. I don’t think I could handle life without him. I’m lucky to have him in my life.
Today, my blood pressure was pretty high. I had my BP taken by the nurse before seeing my doctor. She first used an electric BP cuff, and it came out to be 167/147. I told her that it’s usually lower when done manually. I also tried breathing calmly while she was taking my BP manually. It worked! It got all the way down to 147/97. It’s still higher than it should be, but it’s lower than it was just a few minutes before. If you look at how stressful life is lately, it makes sense that my BP would be high. It’s something that I’ll keep working on, and hopefully it will get better. However, I can only work on so many things at one time.
It’s almost time for my vacation. I leave, in just one week from tomorrow evening, to go on vacation to Cape Cod. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family, especially the time alone I’ll have with my mom. I wish I would have lost some more weight before my trip. Oh well, I did the best I could, and I will keep trying every day, even while I’m out there on vacation.
The rash that I’ve been getting doesn’t appear to be getting any better. In fact, I keep getting new welts, and now they’re on my back where I can’t even reach them. I’m extremely frustrated! This has been going on for about 11 days now. None of the medication that the doctor gave me helps stop the itching. I started using Aspercreme with Lidocaine, and it actually works! It’s a miracle! I’m using it more than it says that you should, but I’m so miserable and it’s the only thing that works.
The doctor called back this morning from the message I left yesterday. She wants me to finish the medications they gave me. If I still have a problem when that’s done, then I should call her back. Basically, I just have to deal with being miserable for the next week. I wish that the doctors at least knew what the rash was or what was causing it.
I have a lot to get done today around the house. Hopefully, by staying very busy, I will keep my mind off all of the scratching. Here’s to hoping that a distraction works…
Today was my first time back to ECT. It really helped to have my husband there because I was pretty nervous. Everything went really well. I remember the doctor putting in my IV and then they put me to sleep. The next thing I know, they are bringing me out in a wheelchair. I don’t remember waking up in recovery at all. I’m in a little bit of pain, but not too horrible. It’s just my jaw that hurts, no headache or anything.
My next session is on Wednesday. It should have been on Friday, but the doctor is not there that day. So I had to move around a couple of other appointments to make everything work. I think the next time will be easier for me since I now know all of the doctors and nurses.
I had to see my PCP this afternoon to get a physical so I can restart ECT. This is the same doctor that was very disrespectful at my last visit about my weight. I’ve lost a little bit of weight since I’ve last seen her. I was hoping she would say something, but she didn’t. Oh well. However, she did ask me if I was depressed. Are you kidding me!? If she looked at my chart she would notice that I’m diagnosed with bipolar mixed, plus I was seeing her so I could get approved to restart ECT. People don’t do ECT for the fun of it. So I answered her question and said, “Yes, I struggle with depression.” Then she asked me if it was bad or if it was mild. I didn’t even answer that question. She sees that I take 9 psych meds. It’s like she didn’t even look at my chart!
I’m pretty unhappy with my PCP, but I don’t think I’m going to change doctors. It’s easier for me to stay with my current PCP and be unhappy than it is for me to go to a new doctor. I don’t like anything new, it terrifies me. Maybe I will change at some point, but for now I’m going to stay where I am.
I walked into my psychiatrist’s office (let’s call him Dr. E) with my husband and my heart was pounding so hard it felt as if it was going to jump right out of my chest. My anxiety was extremely high, despite the fact that I took a Valium as prescribed and had my husband with me. It was a good thing that I wrote everything down that I wanted to say. I opened my notebook and started reading what I wrote, and he seemed to appreciate what I was saying. He let me ask all of my questions; and he answered every one of them thoroughly.
We decided that I would go back to ECT and I would only do it twice a week to start. That was the treatment that Dr. E thinks is the best approach, and he explained why, so that’s the treatment we decided to go with. I’m so happy that I’m not starting at three times a week. He said that he can give me anti-alzheimer’s medications to help with the memory loss and Toradol to help with the migraines and jaw pain. He’s also helping me work on weight loss.
It was such a successful appointment. I feel like Dr. E really listened to what my husband and I had to say. He approached every one of our concerns and answered everything we asked. Now, I just have to go get a physical from my PCP, get an EKG and blood work..