Wednesday September 15th, 2010 HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY!
I've been up since yesterday, Tuesday, morning. I knew I shouldn't have put off having my stomach drained, now I'm the one who's suffering and can't slept. I am now counting down the hours until I can get my paracentesis done. I've tried sleeping in my niece's bed with several pillows, I've tried sleeping on the couch, then I moved to the recliner. I've moved my bowels and bladder, snacked already and finished the 2nd book of the Pretty Little Liars series and started on the 3rd book. I was on Facebook and tried the couch again and now I'm sitting in the recliner typing my blog.
Don't get me wrong, I had a decent time Tuesday with my sisters and cats, a lot got accomplished, they cleaned my basement and dining room table and did my sheets, but I could've had a better time if I could've just been able to breathe. I was huffing and puffing, ate only small portions and just trying on my shirts that don't fit my belly anymore, got me winded. I laid down while I could with several pillow behind me. My 3 kitties joined me on the bed. We had cupcakes and sang, "Happy Birthday" to Judy. A coworker had stopped by and she said a few prayers with me and gave me some goodies from the Philippines and another gift. It was good to see her, I hadn't seen her in the months since my diagnosis. Even though I knew my blood pressure was on the low side I took a Lasix to see it'd make me urinate and get some relief, but it didn't work. Then I felt really dizzy and missed my niece's volleyball game. (By the way, her team won, YEAH!) People I spoke with on the phone said that they heard me trying to catch my breath. Judy had gotten me back to dad's, I had a little to eat, because I was hungry but my stomach could only tolerate a little food, then I laid on the couch with a few pillows to relieve my dizziness. I don't think it helped with my already swollen abdomen to have spaghetti sauce with garlic bits in it, which just added fuel to my fire. My fault, but it's rare to have spaghetti. I hope they take me @ 10:15 in the Liver clinic and not have me wait for a couple extra hours in the lobby squirming like I did last time, then again, I was an add on. I'd pay extra if they'd have to squeeze me in.
I had spoken with Mother Hen One and she had a hard time with my decision about having surgery, which I know I'll encounter with others. It's my body, I'm the one who's living with all the nice discomforts of this Bastard cancer, the chemo and it's side affects, the ascites, the pain, the shortness of breath, the weakness, neuropathies, constipation and sleepless nights, and if there's some relief out there for me ie. the shunt and removal of part of this growth, so be it, I'm going to go for it. We're all going to die one way or another, some day, I know of the risks of surgery, but I want to be active in this care. Plenty of people had surgeries for cancer and survived. She had 4 children, I told her it was a risk every time she gave birth. After a while the initial shock wore off she could see where I was coming from. I guess everyone is used to me being the healthy one and now that I'm facing something others have had, surgery, and it scares them. If half the cancer can come out, then do it. I'd like to see it, the ugliness inside, causing me such pain. Like our dad did when Cathy's appendix came out, we had pictures of it. When the time comes, as Judy saw on a website, that this one cancer pt. decided not to pursue anymore treatments, that was HER decision even though it's not what her loved ones wanted. I'm not @ that point. I then spoke with Mother Hen Two. As she put it, people want to be selfish with me, they want me around forever, which we all know isn't a possiblity, we all will go when our time comes. I don't want to hasten anything. I reassured Mother Hen One that it wasn't just ONE surgeon who spoke with us and made that decision, but a TEAM of surgeons who reviewed my scans. He's not a new graduate, he's been working with this equipment for a while now, it's his field of expertise. I reminded her about Susan, the lady who had her successful surgery @ UIC and is cancer free for 2 years. Plus I told her how they're going to do more testing before they slice and dice to make sure I'm a candidate for the removal, they're not just going to go in there cutting willy nilly. I also mentioned how he has plans to deal with the tumors in my right liver lobe afterwards. We have to have faith in God, the doctors, their hands, the equipment, etc..
It's a lot to take in and deal with. I've talked to more family who will support me, knowing that this is my body, as one sister put it, I'm not twelve anymore and can make decisions for myself. No one knows how I'm feeling inside, all the discomfort I describe. Some wonder how I deal with it, because they say if they were in my shoes, they wouldn't know how to bear this. They say that they gather their strength from me. Little do they know, I gather it from my family and friends. I guess others are used to me being one of the young ones still. I'm number seven out of ten, near the bottom. When we were young and bad news came, we were always given the gentler version of things. I might have mentioned before that our mom had a "silent" heart attack or a "minor" stroke. I'm hoping to have any major procedures done after the charity gathering, I want to enjoy everybody. Plus our aunt will be here from the Plilippines. I'll have to make sure I'm tapped too so I won't be gasping for breath while greeting people. I hope I don't have chemo that week otherwise you'll see me weak and with fresh neuropathies, ie. "Oh look @ Jessie, she just spilled her drink on herself and she isn't even drinking alcohol."
Well, it's 6am on Wednesday, I'll try to see if I can get some winks. Wish me luck. Everyone asks what they can do for me, pray for sleep and a successful surgery.
It's about 2pm Wednesday. My bro, Joe, had taken me for my paracentesis. They took another 4.5 liters off and I received 2 bags of albumin this time. I got to see Dr. Berkes, my liver doc. It's been a few months since I've seen him. I told him and Dr. Lam about the charity gala and showed them the flyer. We also took more pictures. I gave Dr. Lam his pic from my first visit, he laughed because he said his head looked big. I also told them how I saw the surgeon and they both went to read his recommendations. They sent off a container of my fluid to cytology. Again I was wiped out from the procedure. Thank goodness Joe was there, I don't mind going with my dad but I feel bad if he has to lug me around all short of breath with back pain. It took a while for us to get a wheelchair, Joe had to retrieve one himself. We got back home. I had a sandwich roll and fruit with some water. I did take a Tramadol for the pain. Joe & I were watching 80's videos when he started falling asleep on the couch. I told him it's okay if he does nap, he looked so tired. He curled up and hugged a pillow like a little baby. Cute. Dad started giggling that he fell asleep before I did.
I crawled to the bedroom and zonked out for 2 hours. I slept on my sides, the pain med was working. I got up to eat some chicken adobo, and boy did I eat. I wanted to shower later but sleep and dizziness were hitting me. Either it was the medication or my body wanted to catch up on what it missed. I hit the sack again and slept for 3-4 more hours. I got up for about an hour, gave Judy a call for her birthday and I wanted to shower but Jenny was doing laundry, then Marie jumped in the shower and again, sleep was calling me. I fed the dogs but I couldn't get up from my squatting position, I had to hold Mr. Widdo Poopie's plate otherwise he wasn't going to eat. Jenny came to help me up. What a weakling. Was it the medicine? Was I weak from sleeping all day? I don't know but I crawled back to bed & zonked out. I don't like not being in control of my body. I'm wondering if it's the medication that made me so sleepy and dizzy. I'll have to talk to Dr. Lam about that. I'll be happy taking Extra Strength Tylenol. Jenny was happy that I did get some sleep.
It's now 5 am on Thursday. I got up to snack of fruit and an Ensure and I wanted to finish my blog from yesterday. I have a dental appt. later today and I need to get in a good shower and yes, more sleep. Good Morning y'all? It's 6:22 am. ZZZZZ.