Friday, October 1, 2010

Now I am Confused!

I saw the surgeon today and in the end, hem palpated the lesion and then decided to lance it and drain what fluid was there. He only got about 5-10 cc's of fluid and it was a bit creamy (I will take his word for it as I didn't want to look.) It wasn't pus. Then, he rooted around under his cut (about 4 inches around) and didn't feel any more pockets of fluid, only what he feels is a necrotic tumor. His diagnosis: a layer of bacterial infection ocher the dead tumor.

Now I am confused. One doc says one thing and the other says another thing.

He did take a sample to send to the lab. Not sure when I will hear those results.

He packed the hole with gauze in order to keep it from getting infected. I may or may not see the wound care nurse on Monday, depending on how things are going.

I need to keep an eye on my temp and if it rises again, I need to contact the on-call docs because that means the antibiotics aren't working.

He also felt that the armpit needs radiation sooner rather than later and wondered if I could do Abraxane and radiation at the same time. But that will be something to ask Dr. K about.

So, it's wait and see again. I got a bit confused with the "if-then" scenarios because there were several of them and they dependedmon each other. In other words, if this happened, then this is what we would do -then if something happened with that, then this was the next step. But if it didn't happen, then this was the course of action. Trying to keep the order of it all was a bit overwhelming. Will I get chemo on Tuesday? Or not?

Which just made me realize, as I typed thus, something I advise my grad students: don't worry about what's going to happen next year for the moment. Just focus on the task at hand.

That means, stay the course this weekend. Take both the Flagyl and Levaquin, watch for a fever, change the dressing when I need to, and rest. Next week will take care of itself.

I am such a planner and now that the plan, such as it was, is in the air, I have become discombobulated.

Live in the moment, right, P? (A friend who just emailed me today to offer encouragement and to remind me to live in the moment. Thank you, P!

P.S. Struggling with the living in the moment attitude. Truth is, I am feeling a bit like I have been abandoned by my medical team. All offices are closed for the weekend, but there are things I am worried about and want to know tomorrow. Like, is it an anaerobic infection? After I changed my dressing tonight, I am not sure the surgeon today is right. He thought that I wouldn't drain as much and it turned out I drained more and then used a lot of wound care dressings to try to keep it contained for the night. He was wrong about drainage and so could be wrong about the type of infection. I would like to know the lab results of the sample TOMORROW. On the other hand, I just remembered that bacterial cultures usually take a couple of days. I am also worried about running out of dressings. Then I worry about having to be hospitalized and thinking about coverage for my class. But I need to let go of that -hard to do when it is a class you care about- and let my colleagues deal with that if that happens.

The good news is that I have only had Tylenol since the morning and no temperature. I will cling to that.

Mom and dad and Rena, please don't worry. I don't really want to talk about it. It would help me tons if we didn't discuss too much in person. I want to save my energy to talk about other things and to take care of Eddie. Just continue to read my blog. I just think you understand it better if I write it all down rather than talk about it because sometimes I feel like you don't get the right message and it takes energy to correct you. Also, mom, I know you like to know my schedule - always a mom, right? LOL - so I will write it down. It will be easier than trying to say it in person. Just known that I love all of you very much. So really, let's talk about something else for a change? : ) I will try to get out of my own head enough to interact more. Love you!


laurie said...

xoxxoxo No particular wise words. Just xoxxo.

Dee said...

Thank you! It is much appreciated!

Joanna said...

Hi Dee,

It's your Herceptin buddy here. I have mine on Tuesday. Are we in synch again?

I know you feel abandoned by the medicos right now and I don't blame you. I had a really persistent abscess about a year ago and no one was much concerned about it until it got really bad. I don't know if my advice would be helpful, but I think you need to see an infectious disease doctor. It is a special brand of medicine and those docs know more about proper antibiotics. I ended up with MRSA and the antibiotics were actually making it worse. Then I had intravenous antibiotics and daily doctor visits but it was all necessary. My wonderful oncologist and surgeon did not recognize the symptoms of the infection. The infectious disease doctor was much more proactive.

Incidentally, I had a really advanced infection and no fever. I am hoping this is just an infection because an infection can be whipped into shape much easier than some of the alternatives. If you need medical attention this weekend, don't put it off... Wishing you a speedy recovery and lots of health.

Kate said...

Hang in the girlfriend! Living in the moment is always hard but great advise. Watch a movie with your son, do a puzzle, read, just be!

Moon dance and energy coming your way! Love, peace and joy my friend...Carpe Diem!