Another Scare

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October 12,2017
Things were going good when we got home, had a light supper, watched a little TV. Glad to be away from the hospital. Then about 8:00 the same problems surface. Severe wrenching, pain, and could not get comfortable in bed. Hot one minute and cold the next. Did our routine of hot and ice packs, massages, pain and nausea meds. She eventually got up and laid down on the recliner. When she eventually fell asleep I slept a bit but kept getting up to check on her. Finally just brought out an air mattress and laid down next to her. She was having problems at around 5:30 so more meds and she managed to get back to sleep.

I slept a bit more and remember thinking as I came out of the fog what reality was like and hoping for the best. Maybe she ate solids too soon? I took my meds, felt weak, filled up on nitroglycerin and stayed on oxygen for awhile. I knew I had to clean up, shave, and at least pretend all was well. If I looked weak it would give the wrong impression. Finally started to get more energy, washed a couple loads of clothes (which I’m sure will send her into a panic when learning), and went shopping for softer foods. I know I have to also take care of myself if I want to be there for her. Jello, yogurt, juices, fruit, soups, etc… I also put a call into her cancer team docs to let them know what was taking place. Haven’t heard back yet but I’m sure soon.

When I returned from the store she was up, showered, and showed me another large amount of hair that had fallen out. Wasn’t upset about, just looked very drained and exhausted. Tomorrow Lori and her are going to remove the rest of her hair and just be done with it. The main thing right now is not giving Twisty the upper hand. She is doing a lot better now though. Off all meds and even watching The Young and the Restless. Wouldn’t want to miss that I teased. This gal doesn’t cease to amaze me.

She didn’t even get upset at me doing the laundry. I didn’t mess with the girly stuff so was safe. She appreciated it. Then looked outside our door and seen boxes by it from the mail. Haven’t had time to open them with her but soon will.

No one promised life would be unicorns and butterflies but hopefully soon she will start feeling better longer than a couple hours. This time if the pain starts we are going straight to the ER and have another scan done. Maybe there is a problem with the new stent. Won’t mess around and just think it’s a chemo side effect.

She went back to bed now, food staying down, resting peacefully. I turned on the TV, watching CNN and watching press briefing, while reading how Trump is dismantling healthcare with executive orders. We are on Medicaid and a blow to that would be truly devastating for us. Will leave politics out of this, but it’s a bunch of BS with our President “tweeting” such bizarre and mindless things. Enough said, will hold my tongue, or one finger typing back on this one.

Just got a call from her cancer team, they want her to return to the ER because of last night. Something more serious could be taking place and pain meds could be masking it. Will keep everyone updated.

Doc just came in and had good news. No movement of stent, no pancreatis infection, things look good. They are going to try her on some clear diet, if it goes well we will be home. If it doesn’t then tomorrow. No trip to Petoskey or anything. Yah! What was ruled out was the best news. Said the organ has taken a lot of trauma and reacts with swelling and that causes the dominoes to fall. Sorry Mackinaw Bridge, no scenic view tonight.

Turbulence

79AEFF40-E553-49BA-930E-B9C4EFB2E444October 6, 2017

Back home, it’s Friday and we left the cabin last night. Bobbi returned from her chemo treatment Wednesday night and felt well. Walked on the beach some with Lori and Jim, spirits cheerful and uplifted. Knew it was the steroids fused into her IV. Gave her energy and helped her be her funny and carefree way. In the back of my mind I knew it was the calm before the storm. Wednesday night she had terrible dreams where she thought she was in North Korea and they were making her work, pulling her hair when she quit. She was talking to me as it was taking place. It was like she allowed me into the dream. As she cried I just talked softly into her ear that I was there and nobody was going to get to her, and told her as long as she felt me lightly rubbing her back she wouldn’t have people pulling at her. I knew her subconscious was causing the nightmare. Her feet were constantly shifting about. So much in the news about the place and her hair starting to thin. It lasted about 15 minutes. When I started falling asleep she said “hey, your not watching for people” so I assured her I was and that things would be alright. In the morning I asked her if you had any memories the night before and she said a few, about messages of some sort, but felt like she slept pretty good. Shared with her what took place and her memory started to recall different parts of what I explained. I felt so helpless and didn’t know what to do during the time. All I could do was comfort and assure her she was safe.

During the morning her and Lori worked on the Mike’s chair, then became sick and had to rest. Went and laid with her for a bit until she felt better and got up like it was no big deal. A few hours later she took a couple hour nap. I knew after she got up that it was time I took her home.

No sooner did we get home Twisty started swinging away again. The pain was terrible. We used hot water bottles and a heating pad but it did little for the gut wrenching into a plastic container. Pain meds were given and eventually it subsided. We watched a little TV, had a small meal, and she quickly fell asleep in the recliner.

At about 8:00 we went to bed. She slept good throughout the night. I kept waking up checking on her and it was assuring to see her getting such good rest. At about 4:00am I heard her in the kitchen starting her day. Said she slept good and didn’t feel too bad. As we sat and talked she ran her fingers through her hair and large amounts came back in her hand. When she used a comb more. We looked at scarves on Amazon and ordered a couple she liked. They said her hair would thin, and she still has a lot and looks as beautiful as she always has. It wasn’t a good sign though. She put on a brave face and said screw it, hair was the least of her concern. The battle was with Twisty and not on hair.

Then another storm hit. The pain doubled her over and lasted a half hour. It strikes with no warning. Again all I could do was lay with her and try to keep her comfortable. Put on a fan, kept heating bag and pads going. When she was getting sick in the container, with each jolt of pain, I’d gently kept her hair out of the way….each light pass of my hand brought out hair. What a terrible experience she is going through. She can take a great deal of pain so I knew if she was in a ball that it was bad. Medication was given and took about 20 minutes to work. She is sleeping right now. I put on a sound machine with ocean waves and just held her. I realized then I needed to get up and take my own medication, it was a couple hours overdue.

This is what cancer is and does. It’s not easy and not like a cold. I’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s true and real pain. I know how deliberating it can come on with my past heart battles and it feels like it can’t possibly get any worse. I’m going to call her cancer team coordinator when their office is open and see if they can do anything more for her. Things in a pill form don’t do that well while the stomach is rejecting everything. Bobbi rarely used an aspirin before this but knows meds are needed at this time and the relief it brings helps. Doesn’t make problems disappear, just makes the situation a little more comfortable. We’ve talked about what to share and not to share. She wants the real face of this shown. If it helps others then she wants her voice to matter. I get it. You think of things like that when sick. You think of others who are suffering and want them to know that you can get through the worse possible experiences and come out on the other side. She was softly humming before falling asleep.

She has a week off of treatments thank god. Her lab numbers all look good and they are surprised at this. She is hitting back at this with everything she has, and will beat it. It’s certainly fighting back but I know this woman and know that Twisty will be decimated. It’s not a walk in the park and there is nothing good about it. What amazes me the most is that in a few hours she will be getting back up and going on with her day. After this bout I’m thinking it will be simply a day of rest and liquids. Have to flush the chemo out of her kidneys. We thought the pain and wrenching was from the chemo but her doctor said that it was the tumor itself. The third week of chemo directly attacks the tumor itself. It’s early, only 8:30. I looked outside and see nothing but fog. In the distance is the moon barely seen. A very dim light, but will be brighter later tonight. Much how each day has been. Dark ones and bright ones. The dark can seem so unforgiving and ending but the light does return.

It’s now about noon and she is up and about and doing well messaging people. Talked to her doctors and they are going to do a different pain management program. This morning was a big alarm going off and hopefully have things better controlled. She read this and I asked if she was comfortable with sharing this and she said “Definitely, you can’t sugar this”. I do a lot of writings that aren’t posted, so was a little unsure. But she is determined to share this experience but also doesn’t want people to worry. I mentioned that this one might have a few worry, she replied “Well they’ll soon see the brighter days of recovery”. I guess life really works this way. Not all days are butterflies and roses. But you push on, climb your mountain and don’t whine because there are others fighting battles just as serious. Life has its moments and not all are great. Yet they are better than no moments at all.