Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No rest for the wicked

So it's been a bit of an exciting day. I unfortunately had a seizure this morning. (Luckily I DIDN'T have it while driving I-80 to work...)

My right arm started to twitch, and I was having trouble typing. I went into the bathroom to take one of the drugs, and then my right arm REALLY started to twitch - it was jumping up and down..I also started to get dizzy. I went in to the kitchen to call 911, and by the time I got there I was losing my balance. I started to dial with my right hand, and realized it wouldn't work. I dialed 911 with my left, and then my whole right side went out from under me. I heard the dispatcher asking what was wrong, and then it was like a huge electrical shock.

Next thing I knew, there were seven GINORMOUS policemen at the door - all the dispatcher heard was me yelling before I passed out, so they were expecting a home invasion. I managed to bite the hell out of my tongue, too.

No doubt Village Homes has not seen that many cop cars in a while - five, and two fire trucks - way to make an impressin on the new neighbors. So I went to Sutter in a ambulance with a VERY cute paramedic and a grumpy blond paramedic, and had another CT scan, and the swelling around the brain tumor is back up.

Fallout -
I can't drive until the Doc and the DMV clear me. Dog my cats and rowrbazzle.

If I have another one, I'm supposed to lay down on my side until it's over, and then head for the ER. I'm on a new anti-seizure med, so hopefully it won't be an issue, but the driving will.

So other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

I'm a little frustrated. I was really wishing for a short BREAK from medical foo foo raw.


Friday, September 17, 2010

WHERE was I supposed to be today?

Granted, things have been a wee bit discombobulated since we got back from Matinenda almost a week late. Blew up the car there, and that added to the "fiasco" end of the vacation. I think I had an amazing, relaxing vacation, and Kevin's end was mostly tainted by medical and vehicle hullaballoo.

So amongst other things, in the three weeks since I got back, I've scheduled 12, that's twelve doctor's appointments. Yes, I managed to schedule several in two differend places at the same time.

  • Primary care doc (She's the lucky dame who gets to coordinate the care of all the other docs.
  • Hand therapy for lymphedema
  • Neurosurgeon, to check on the progress of the brain tumor
  • Port flush at the infusion center, although a fantastic conversation with the head infusion nurse. She has an amazingly clear head.
  • Occupational therapy
  • Oncologist
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Neurologist, to try to adress the side effects of the tumor edema
  • Back to primary care doc
  • Ultrasound to check on DVTs
  • And do I remember the other one? No.
I had an MRI back on July 7. July 8 I few to Buffalo, NY, and rolled off the plan with a raging migraine. Dear Sumati picked me up, and I started at the low end of the list. First, let's go to Tim Horton's and get me some caffiene.

This did not fix the headache.

I am not a regular sufferer from migraines, I've had about two or three in my lifetime, one after a bike wreck, and one after helping to refinish a hardwood floor. But I get all the classic stuff - auras, little swimmy dots in my field of vision.., and nausea. Instead of getting back in the car, I went and lay on the grass outside of Time Horton's.

Now remember, gentle reader, that we are right nest to the Buffalo airport. Behind me is some monstrous 6 lane roadway. Not the nicest picnic setting.

After a whole, we decided that I was probably not going to get back in the car that day, and Sumati went to see if we could crash at a nearby hotel. They had a room, and apparently wanted to get me off their lawn, so I went and lay in the dark, and S went to the bar and let strange men buy her drinks.

The headache did not go away.

So I talked to the doctor's office in Cally. My doc was on vacation. The acting doc said I needed to go in. I replied that I maight have some difficulty with that, since the doctor's office is in Sacramento, and I was in Buffalo. So would you please release information to me over the phone? Eventually, reluctantly, they did.

The brain tumor was starting to flare up from the gamma knife surgery. My entire right parietal lobe a was afloat in edema, and putting a week bit of pressure on my poor brains.

Extra strength tylenol is Gods Best Medicine, and thank goodness I really had brought the bathroom sink..or rather the medicine cabinet. I had a steroid with me, and started, under thier advice, taking it.

The headache did not go away.

It went away enough that S and I managed to get over the border and up to Guelph.

The headache went on for five days, and at one point I thought I might have to give up the trip, and fly back to Sacramento for treatment. Once I got up to the recommended dose of the steroid, the headaches decreased. I still got one before a thunderstorm, when I dove into the water, if I bent over, but it became manageable.


Sooo. We didn't know if this was flare up from the gamma kinfe, or new tumor growth. All indicators were that it was flare up, but without another MRI, no guarantees. And I couldn't have one for at least two months. So I didn't worry about it, and just treated the headache and the physical side effects of both the edema, and the steroid. Hello., clutziness, goodby sleep. And coherent thought.

Returning to Sac, all the things I hadn't been thinking about came crowding back in. What if it IS new tumor growth? BLECK. So the first thing on the list was another MRI. And these guys handed me the CD with the pics on it, so I got to see the thing before I talked to a doc about it.

No wonder my head hurt.

Yeterday I finally got to see the pictures from July, and yes, they were worse. The clumsiness and stumbling have decreased since then, and I can type a bit better, althought not as well as usual. Next week is a CT scan to see what the lymph nodes are up to. If they are just sitting around, I get to ignore them for a while longer. If they are enlarged, I will go back on paclit6axel NAB, as long as that keeps working. Them Gemzar, then probably Xyloda. I could repeat Adriamycin, but I'm not sure I want to reisk the other toxicities that are associated with it, the biggest one being heart damage.

All the other stuff is peripheral to treatment rather than cancer itself. K and I were far more worried about the MRI than the CT scan. Chemo seems pretty routine, but I'd far prefer NOT to have any new growies in my brain pan, thanks anyhow.

So I'll update as we know more. This is cancer as a chronic disease.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MRI, redux.

And here's the groovy colorzed version, But IS IT ART?

I get to see the other MRI today, and talk to the oncologist about it. Interesting.

Thursday, September 09, 2010