Thursday, November 4, 2010

"We will pump, you up" - Hans und Franz

Thursday November 4th 2010

Well, I've been laying around dealing with this lovely cramping in my back which can be severe at times and has me taking my Tramadol around the clock, every 6 hours. Sometimes I oversleep and miss that 6th hour dose. When it gets to be more than I can handle, I'll break out the morphine liquid. FYI, the latter has a nasty super bitter taste that makes your face cringe. It also gave me heartburn if I don't chase it with lots of liquid or I lie flat right after taking it. It does knock me out for several hours plus. This pain also comes when I eat sometimes or right after I have a bowel movement. The cramping also goes to my abdomen. Again, it can be so severe that after I take my pain meds, crawl on the heating pad & try to catch my breath, it still doesn't go away. It happened this morning after I moved my bowels twice. It doesn't help to moan out loud or cry, which I did and it just made my SOB worse. I was home alone @ this this time. I called our sister, Cathy, who happened to be off today & asked her to talk me through the worst of the storm. Distraction seemed to help, she talked about our cats and her pending trip. It took about 20 minutes for the cramping to subside. I've had this pain even before my surgery and when I just started dealing with the cancer.

Not only am I dealing with the cramps, I'm also dealing with my swollen belly, swelling in my hips and down to my toes, and the shunt. I have to pump the button on the left side of my abdomen several times an hour. One gets tired after doing it for a while. It works better while I lie flat rather than sitting up. My belly flattens out and the pumping is easier. I showed my sisters, Judy & Jenny, where it is. It actually feels better when someone else does it, like when someone else gives you a massage. I want to show my brothers but they're like, "no way". Sometimes pumping stimulates my bowels to move and to pass gas. Unfortunately, the pain meds I'm on slow down the bowels. To counteract that, I'm on Lactulose and Colace, eating my Frosted mini-wheats, drinking water and I've gotta move around more.

When I'm having this discomfort, it's hard for me to eat. So it's either small portions then I make up for it when the pain is gone. Sometimes we'll have something I haven't had in a while and I'll dig in, and despite how uneasy I feel, I'll get a decent portion down. If not, there's always my Ensure to drink on ice or I'll make myself something with ice cream later. Dad always has some fruit so I'll nibble on that or cereal. Mind you, I still have to have a 4 gram sodium diet. I'm on one med which says to drink plenty of water and I'm on another pill which makes me urinate, still trying to find the perfect balance. Like Alice in Wonderland.

Friday November 5th, 2010

I was in a lot of discomfort today, belly-wise, bloated and no BM. My brother, Tim, called to see if he could stop by, I said, "Only if you pump my belly". He agreed. Paul had come by with gyros for dinner. He not only brought the tzaziki (sp?) sauce, but King's onion rings and their other special sweet basil sauce for the gyros. As good as they smelled, I couldn't eat just yet. Thank goodness that Tim & his wife Cathy took turns pumping my stomach. It felt so much better as it flattened out and I got up attempting to eat. Lo' and behold, they had the magic fingers to relieve what was ailing me all day and after visiting the bathroom, I felt good enough to eat. I ate half of the gyro and a few onion rings, these were not salty and I fell in love with the new basil sauce.

Paul had rented a few movies, the one we chose to watch with David was a movie about the haunted house that was supposedly built on the site of John Gacy's old house. The footage reminded us of the Blair Witch Project which didn't help my vertigo, so I worked on my rug and listened and glanced up once in a while. The movie was like those paranormal shows where they hear the odd noises, some old expert dispells them, a couple makes out in one of the bedrooms, not much happens for the first hour of the movie. It's the last half hour where bad things start happening to the small cast, we hear the demonic moans, of course the female psychic had to show off her boob job not once, but twice before dying @ the hands of the evil spirit that plagued the house. Supposedly the original house was torn down in the late 1970's and the new house was put up in early 2000's. This house looked older than my house. If it's a cheesy film, someone in our house has seen it at least once.

Saturday November 6th, 2010

Again, I'm not doing much but sleeping like a koala during the daytime, eating and catching up with some phone calls when I can. Sometimes I'm up all night zoning like a zombie in front of the boob tube trying to get comfortable to sleep or during the daytime I can fall asleep with the remote in my hand raised to change the channel and I'm frozen in that position. Jenny asked me, "Are you going to change the channel or what?" I fell asleep doing my rug and I had the latch hook in my hand raised and David asked it I was going to sleep, if so, I should put the potentially harmful instrument down.

Now you may think that I'm obsessed with my belly issues, well I am. It's the most painful area of my body and every pain episode I'm trying to figure out what the cause is to relieve it. Paul came back again to visit and was in the dining room. I was resting on the couch. Dad had come home from Joan's. I'm not sure who else was in the dining room but I can understand why I'm a big gas balloon, but so were the family members out in the other room. We're family and if you can't pass gas in front of your family members, I feel sorry for you. Anyway, I guess we were going back & forth between the 2 rooms. Dad asked, "Are you all communicating by Morse Code?"

Uber moist brownies. Paul's cooking is 99% of the time makes great whatever he touches. He had bought a brownie mix & we all learned something. There's 2 sizes of brownie mix so READ the cooking instructions well before you bake them. He had bought the smaller box but used enough water for the bigger box. Jenny said that they looked yummy but didn't have the same flavor. We'll do our best to save food, she put ice cream on top & still ate it. Once I made Stove Top Stuffing but didn't follow the instructions correctly. It was watered down, Paul & Jenny soaked up the excess water & still tried to eat it. They ended up watching Mirrors 2 that night. It was a gore fest. I didn't watch it but at least it had more action than the Gacy film. All their screaming & laughing was funny. Coye & his friend, Bryan, came by. Marie & Bryan were getting kicks off of some youtube videos, ie. a super chubby guy dancing to "My Lovely Lady Humps".

Sunday November 7th, 2010

I had a hankering for taffy apples but our dad kept bringing home ones with nuts. He finally brought some home without nuts and I was very happy. He had found one 3 times the size of the "Affy Tapples" that he got from Mariano's his place in Arlington Heights. Jenny woke me to help her, Dave, Paul, & Marie to eat this one. Oh, I got my 2 slices together, took a few slips of milk with my meds, took a bite or 2 of the caramel apple and next thing you know, my cramping back and abdomen kicked in. "NO, NOT NOW!!!" I ran to the recliner & heating pad. I think they even gave me some morphine too. I zonked out for a while when the pain subsided. When I woke, I went to check on the caramel apples slices, which were gone. I just hope someone ate them and that they didn't end up in the garbage.

I called our friend, Sue, in California. It was her 40th birthday. I left a message. Paul came by yet again, he made beef stew with Bisquick biscuits on top. It's yummy and it amazes me how the biscuits develop on top of the stew. Paul made one more dessert, the Halloween Funfetti cake with homemade icing, half vanilla, half chocolate.

I had a bit of energy and I wanted to have a good shower. It was late, siblings were catching up on laundry and dishes were being done. I finally got my butt in the shower @ midnight. I thought they'd all be in bed and wouldn't use any other water source. The shower changes even if someone washes their hands in the basement. Using the stool, it took a while, but I was able to get in a full shower, shave my legs & pits as well. Had a hard time bending & I hope I was able to get my back. Near the end of the shower the temp. kept fluctuating. It turned out that David had gotten up and was using the water.

Monday November 8th, 2010

Dad took me for a follow up appt. with surgery, Dr. Simpson. He told me to stop my antibiotics, increase my diuretics (water pills), and to keep pumping my shunt. He had also checked my labs that I had done earlier in the day. It showed that my hemoglobin is low 7.8 which means I'll be requiring some blood transfusions again. He called Vera in oncology & she told me to come by when he's done with me. Dad & I travelled over there where she had a Type & Cross tube drawn. I'll be going in on Wednesday for 2 units of red blood cells. I hope I don't get too overloadeed with fluids. Our brother, Coye, would like to attend a session @ Gilda's Club in Lakeview on Thursday. It's @ 11 am. It was started with Gilda Radner and she had ovarian cancer. They provide couseling for cancer patients, families and friends, they have activities ie. knitting, yoga, etc..

I'll let you know how things go. Again, sorry if I take a while to get back to my blog. Let's give a shout out to Marie, she had her sports dinner and received the coache's award. They spelled her name right too. YEAH! Oh, some other cute videos you might want to check out on youtube. "Fainting goats" and "Fainting kittens". They're adorable and cute. See ya.


  1. Thanks brave Jessie...keep postin'

  2. How can little Sue be 40 yrs old? I am only 36. Paul