Monday, August 11, 2008

Still kinda reeling

I saw my rad onc and my temp was 101, even though I'd taken 500mg of Tylenol about 3 hours before. Then, she looked at the wound and she said that there was some "gunk" in it and thought that I should ask the plastic surgeon for an antibiotic. So, I did and I just took it.

I cried while I was there, more from anxiety because I didn't know what to expect and my rad onc also said that it's probably due to the fact that I don't feel well with this fever - no energy, etc.

She also checked my tumor markers from the blood tests I took last week. And, the CA-15.3 was 18!! Down, even from June's count which was 23! Anything lower than 31 is normal. In March, it was high as 36. YIPPEE SKIPPY!

There's some uncertainty, now, because I don't know how long this open cavity (where the tissue expander was) will take to heal. Having a vacuum wound pump in there will be interesting. Don't know what to expect. I guess I'll have my answers tomorrow.

I think that's why I'm still weepy - too much uncertainty.

My rad onc did say that it will heal and that this is the worse that'll be. And, no more radiation! That's what I need to focus on. I just feel bad because I can't do too much and my son gets bored.

Okay. Focus on the positive. I guess it's time for a gratitude list.


Carver said...

Hi Dee, I'm sorry you are going through all of this. I'm sending out good vibes for you, Carver

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Hi Dee,
A few thoughts:

Fever and feeling lousy causes many people to get weepy.

Going through treatment makes people feel vulnerable (because they are!)Sometimes after being brave and tough through terrible times, the smallest thing can set someone to crying. A girlfriend underwent a bone marrow transplant years ago. During recovery, she got a speck of dust in her eye and fell apart, crying her eyes (and the dust speck) out.

For me, minimizing uncertainty by staying in close contact with my health care team and following directions helped. And then, accepting the remaining uncertainty (instead of fighting it) helped, too.

This is a good time to ask for help from friends and family to take your son for a short outing. And if you are laying low while he's home, let him know you are resting to help you get better. Let him know he is helping you by playing quietly. Maybe do something quiet together that you normally wouldn't do (such as watch a video together).

hope this helps, Wendy

Dee said...

Hi Carver,
Thanks for visiting and for sending out good vibes. I'm doing better this morning, although it took me awhile to get to sleep last night. I was uncomfortable - a bit of pain in the chest area, much like it was post-surgery in November - and partly the fever. I took the antibiotic about 5 (and one side effect is "trouble sleeping") and then took two 500mg Tylenol at 10pm. I took another two (the normal dose) about 4am. My fever's normal today so far. I ended up sweating a couple of times in the night. Hope that's a good sign.

And, Wendy, thank you, too. My family and friends are great and they do take Eddie when I ask them. They've already done quite a bit already this summer. That's what I feel bad because I'd rather be there as much as I can, especially since there are only three more weeks before he starts school. It's mostly the uncertainty - wondering if the pain will get worse than it will (a constant 1-2 and between a 2 and 3 when I have to use those chest wall muscles). And, I don't know how long I'll have to use the vacuum wound pump. Or whether my fever was due to the "foreign object" tissue expander (once it was exposed, my body considered it a "foreign object", a bacterial infection in the wound, or the lingering viral infection that my son had a couple of weeks ago. I just want to get back to normal activities. But thank you for visiting! I appreciate it!