Monday, December 1, 2008

Lost a month

I slept through most of November. Serious sleeping. Twelve hours a night plus another three to four hours of naps. The only place I could get close to comfortable was in bed. I’d get up and walk into the bathroom, my office, or downstairs to the kitchen and be completely winded. The effort to remain upright made me nauseous. Sometimes I just lay in bed listening to the radio. (But how many times can you hear the same sordid news stories without going crazy?!) I didn’t have the focus or concentration to do much of anything.

And I was in pain: lower back, shoulders, upper arms, thighs, and occasional shooting pains through my spine.

It was a lousy month, culminating in exhaustion throughout the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

There were good things about the weekend, of course. My daughters were home and we all shared quality time. I lay on the couch and gave directions while my younger daughter baked a wonderful pumpkin, cheese fondue appetizer for the holiday meal. My daughter drove us to New Jersey for a terrific meal and a day full of family, love, and warmth in my niece’s home. While others drank wine, I filled up on some of the best apple cider I’ve ever had, made by my younger daughter and her boyfriend with their antique cider press. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

But by Sunday I was in tears. I’d expended more energy than I had in weeks and I was paying for it. I contacted my doctor via email and told her how I felt. I asked to come into the office on Tuesday for an infusion of steroids in order to get me through a client commitment on Wednesday.

“Sure,” she said when she called back, “and I want to have you scanned sooner, rather than later.”

I’d been scheduled for my next scan on December 31, but all of these unexplained symptoms were a surprise. Were they from the chemo? From the Fentanyl pain patch? From the melanoma? She’d been expecting me to feel better after my second infusion on November 12 but here I was, in pain and getting weaker and more listless. I could hear the concern in her voice.

So the plan is to go to the office for steroids and rehydrating fluids tomorrow, in order to shore me up for the client presentation on Wednesday.

In the meantime, I increased the dose of the pain patch last night and was pleased to find it made me feel better already. Well, that’s a little misleading. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and was surprised at how little pain I felt. I wasn’t winded. All good, until I got to the bathroom and was overcome with nausea; I vomited before I had a chance to take an anti-nausea pill. In the morning I woke up nauseous again.

One step at a time.

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