Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doing better now

I'm doing better today. I see the wound care nurse in about half an hour to see about this vacuum wound pump.

My fever is more or less under control because I started taking a full dose of Tylenol every six hours. More because of the pain, but luckily it takes care of the fever, too. I couldn't get comfortable last night before bed. Both because of the fever and because I started feeling more uncomfortable with the yanking out of the tissue expander. I have decent range of motion, it's just when I try to lift myself up from a laying down position and/or I cough, then I'm uncomfortable.

I saw my counselor today and it helped me to process the events of yesterday. I came out of her office feeling like I let go of whatever grief over the sudden and unexpected loss of the tissue expander. I knew that it had to go, but I thought I had until at least September before that happened.

The Tylenol seems to be helping with the fever and the pain.

My oncologist felt that the wound looked fairly good, under the circumstances. He did not feel or see any cancer in the skin. My CEA was 1.1 (under 3.0 is normal) and the CA 15-3 was 18 (under 31 is normal). Overall, he is pleased with how treatment is going and seems fairly hopeful. He has ordered a CT scan, which will occur sometime in the next couple of weeks. Then we will see if there's any sign of cancer lurking anywhere else. He felt that it might be 3 months for the wound where the expander is to heal. He will talk to my plastic surgeon to ask how soon he thinks I might be able to have reconstruction surgery. Other than that, we stay the course. He did say that I should slow down - that I need to be saved from myself (by wanting to do too much). He gave me a little hug. I like a doctor who does not act all stiff and professional. He has compassion and I like that. My white and red blood cell counts are low, but he said that they were actually quite good for all the treatments I get. He also said that my fever could be due to my body trying to expel the tissue expander and that I might not necessarily have an infection, but taking an antibiotic is a good plan in any case.

I'm glad I feel better. That always helps my mood. So does a good report from my oncologist!


MissAnthropology said...

Very good news about the counts. Very good. At least when something goes wrong, something else more important goes right.

And I'm amazed that you can write when you're running a fever and feel like crap. When I feel sick, someone might as well put me in a sack and stick me up out of the way on a closet shelf.

Thanks for the note of congratulations, too. I'm still having a hard time getting the word "fiance" to come out of my mouth ("fia.... fff.... ffff.... fi.... fian.... SAY...."), but it's just the whole theory and personal significance and cultural baggage behind it, not the guy, bless his little candy heart.

Dee said...

Hey Mary,
That was a really great observation - when something goes wrong, something else more important goes right! I kept trying to focus on the positive, but the fever kept bringing the negative to the top.

Writing helps me when I feel like crap. Writing (and this blog) helps me process my feelings - mostly by allowing me to express them - and it helps me figure out why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling. Then, if it's a bad feeling, I try to turn that around.

Fiance is a funny word and I remember having a similar adjustment to it. Maybe you could coin your own term for the situation?? That would be fun, huh? Congratulations again! I am so happy for you!