Tuesday, September 28, 2010

wiped out

Sunday September 26th, 2010

Sunday was a decent and blustery cold day. Jenny had made pancakes, bacon and eggs. Our sisters Cathy & Judy, a friend named, Isreal, and our friend, Ray, stopped by to visit. Dad came home from church and blessed those who missed mass.

Later that afternoon, most of us went over to our brother's new apt. that he shares with his girlfriend and their dog, Wrigley. Of course it's close to Wrigley Field. They live on the 2nd floor and Joe assisted me up the stairs. I got to the couch and caught my breath. My rib pain had been bothering me since Friday. The apt is nicely decorated with inspirational painting on the walls, ie. "Life isn't measured by the breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away." The doorways are high enough where Joe won't hit his head on them. Wrigley is such a goofy puppy, he reminds me of the silly dog from the movie "UP" that befriends the old man, the little boy & Kevin. He does know some tricks and but if you don't watch your food, he's a bandit. They laid out quite a spread for us, we ate non-stop. I had taken a Tramadol earlier in the day and boy do they have very comfortable furniture. Joe still has the red, white and blue afgan that our mom crocheted for him. I dozed off during the party. The rest went into the yard & played cornhole while others stayed in to watch t.v. I woke to have some homemade apple pie with a crunch topping and vanilla ice cream.

We left and headed home. My nice evening was ruined because my bowels were still giving me a hard time. Literally. Stool WANTED to pass but wouldn't. My backside had become raw and I still would bleed from my hemorrhoids. This has got to be one of the worst pains ever recorded. Luckily we have some gloves that I broke down and tried to digitally disimpact myself. For those who don't know what that is, this will gross you out, it's where you go in with your fingertips and try to break up the stool blockage into smaller pieces and remove some, if you can. However, we did not have any surgilube. Back in nursing school they taught us to use dish soap but I'm thinking with all these scented ones or antibacterial stuff added to it, it could REALLY irritate something that's already irritated enough. I had done it when I worked on the floors to patients. But to do it on yourself, it takes courage, humility, pain endurance, etc.. Not a lot would come out. It would also cause me problems with urinating, I had to lean forward, really relax then the urine would flow. I told Jenny how I was feeling and what I tried. She had bought some glycerin suppositories, but it said it could cause pain and to call the doctor if there's bleeding. I'd wait to see my oncologists tomorrow for chemo.

Monday September 27th, 2010

My bowels were killing me and sometimes it felt like that stubborn stool mass wanted to release itself and any moment. I didn't want to take chances, so I took a piece of chux, that sheet that put under patients to catch any spills, and lined my panties with it, a make-shift diaper. When we got there I'm glad they gave me a private room, bed and bathroom. Dr. Mehta came to see me and I told him how I was blocked up. I changed into a robe, took everything off from my bottom and he returned with the surgilube and gloves. Jenny stayed in the room to hold my hand and his resident. OH the pain, but I had to try and relax and he jammed his fingers around to break up what I couldn't on the inside. He didn't try to remove any then had me go sit on the toilet for a bit. Only little smidgens came out during my chemo treatment. Maria, my nurse, and Vera, my nurse practitioner came and we discussed my bowel regimen for home ie. lactulose instead of mineral oil, wet wipes instead of toilet paper, anusol vs. tucks and I was given more gloves and surgilube for home.

I urinated frequently because they gave me Lasix before my chemo, along with other anti-nausea meds, Aloxi, decadron, Ativan and Emend.

Jenny had gone to get us a croissant sandwich to eat, which I ate my half. I nibbled on a few potato chips too. I had eaten half of a toasted bagel with cream cheese and half an orange earlier and drank half of her decalf coffee. She had also bought some gossip papers. She worked on her scarf and I worked on my rug. I fell asleep during the rest of my treatment and woke very weak, like my body was heavy and very drained. My rectum was still sore and I didn't trust it on the way home, so I put in a abdominal pad inside my panties just it case it decided to leak on the way home. I fell asleep on the way home, not sure when Jenny stopped and got the wipes and tucks pads, becuase I woke up when we were closer to the house. I was so tired I couldn't eat dinner and slept.

I got up to use the bathroom, my bowels were howling and so was I. I tried the mineral oil enema but it was so tiny, then I tried to remove more stool myself but couldn't. I called Jenny in and she helped me out. I'm her second patient she's digitally disimpacted. Oh did it hurt, I was bent over hugging her lower leg, tried to relax and breathe but the pain is awful. She removed that nasty blockage. I'm glad she's a nurse. She saw my pain and gave me a kiss on the nose saying, "It's out now." Those wet wipes with aloe really cool off my backside. I still hadn't eaten yet, not even the pizza Paul brought over. My stomach was just feeling nothing. He made me a big bowl of soup which I was able to eat half of. I also took the Lactulose and after checking my blood pressure, the Lasix. The rest of the night I had to pass gas I had to be cautious because some of the slimey enema stuff was still inside and that's a surpise no one wants.

Tuesday September 28th, 2010

I spent the night on the couch, one less room to run out of if my bowels decide to kick in. Which they did. It's still painful but I was passing more solid stools on my own until about 2 hours ago. I met another blockage, with the gloves and surgilube on hand I was able to remove what cooperated with me, then the rest decided to get out on it's own. Then not too long ago another larger one came which passed on it's own, painful as it was. Where is this stuff coming from if I'm not eating all that much? Hey, as long as it's coming out on it's own and not torturing me, so be it.

I'm supposed to see anesthesiology today but the nurse Melissa hasn't e-mailed me the info. It looked like I missed her call but she didn't leave a message. I called her back but only got a voicemail. I'll try again. It's supposed to be @ 12:45. I'll try to eat the eggs my dad made for me and I think #2 is calling me again. I hope your morning is better than mine so far.

I got in touch with Melissa and dad & I made it to my appt. with the surgical nurse practioner and the anesthesiologist. The potential date for my laproscopic surgery is Oct. 14th, but I may go in the night before. We have to make sure my hemoglobin, sodium, platelets, etc., are all in good shape before the procedure. My oncology dept. already knows to hold anymore chemo beforehand, we'll take to Dr. Lam about draining me right beforehand too. If all looks well, she said they might do the whole procedures of placing a shunt, debulking, etc.. I was also reminded of the risks associated with general anesthesia including the risk of death. I was told that I'd be in the ICU for quite some time, probably still intubated but enough where I could be alert enough to communicate since I'd have so much done to my body they want to keep a close eye on me. They said if I have questions, write them down and I can call them beforehand. I know everyone has a lot of questions, maybe I can collect them and send it to them, they can answer them for you. I know I didn't ask what I could have, my back and bowels were hurting so I know I wasn't in the right frame of mind. That's the plan for now. I pray I'm doing the right thing, I want to relieve some of my symptoms with these precedures. Love you all.


  1. Hmmm, nice breakfast reading. YUM, YUM! :-)

    Hugs to you my friend. Hope you are feeling better.

  2. Hi, Jessica. This is Lucy, Rosemary's mom. I just have to tell you that I think you are one of the most honest and bravest persons I know dealing with cancer right now and I know many. You just put it all out there and how cathartic for you. And yes, I did miss you when you were in the hospital last week. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jessica.