Sunday, January 30, 2011

An update from home

I have now been home from the hospital since Thursday. I've been doing much better pain wise, though they have me pretty well medicated at home. I would prefer a reduction, they still have me on a bunch of oral morphine and a daily fentanyl pain patch. My current goal is to make make a good impression for the doctor on Tuesday so that I'm allowed my upcoming family vacation.

Nights have been interesting and the days have been getting better. I've been going longer and longer without needing a day time nap to reenergize. A few more days like this, I'll be good as new.

The Brockey's and the Buxton's have a family disney cruise vacation scheduled just ahead. We'll be spending a few days in the park and then heading off on the brand new Disney Dream ship! I plan to enjoy this year's super bowl on ship's huge family deck monitor. It should be a real blast!

I wanted to thank everyone for their warm comments, thoughts and flowers and send this quick update to let everyone know that I am where I need to be, back home with my family.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recent occurrences of pain have me in the hospital.

After experiencing a few recent incidents of absolute crippling pain in my right side and a couple trips to the emergency room, I decided it was time to update everyone as best I could. Though the pain is now under control, our best guess is that the tumor is finally pressing up against something and potentially causing some inflammation.

This series of events all started after receiving Zometa treatment on the 14th of January. I was supposed to get a slight fever and have a day or two of flu like bone stiffness. Instead what I got was a fever that lasted until Monday at times each over 104.3. I was seen by the doctors on Tuesday where they drew a couple bacteria cultures, regular blood work and we as a flu culture. Nothing yet has come back abnormal, which means that it could have been an unfortunate consequence of flu bug that was just gone by time it was tested for.

The next Friday on the 21st while sitting at the office. I started having some strong pains in my stomach. I went home and by the evening I found a couple positions that I could lay i that would help reduce the pain. I was able to sleep but woke up at about 2 AM with that same pain coming back on strong. I fought the pain until the morning, but then decided it was time to visit the ER. After some blood work, CT scan and a couple pieces of chocolate the Dr diagnosed me with possible pleurisy (inflammation around the lung tissue) or muscle spasms in my chest wall. He mentioned that even if he were totally wrong and the pain was somehow tumor related, the treatment would pretty much be the same. So he prescribed me valium and recommended 600mg Ibuprofen every 6 hours to keep down inflammation. He sent me home and I was doing pretty well taking it pretty easy.

Back to work on Monday and things started changing agains pretty rapidly. Though I already had a follow up at my oncologists's office for the next day, they wanted me to come in right away to see what was going on. They wanted me on a stronger pain medication but were pretty adamant about not covering any signs on additional fever so they sent me home with a bottle of Oxycodone. I took one immediately and another soon after when the pain didn't seem to go away. The pain got bad enough so I asked Amy to drive me home. We didn't make it out of the parking garage before we decided I just need to get get to the ER. I was bent over in agonizing pain, I just litterally could not breathe. We called our research nurse who told me to take another 2 oxy and get to the ER. We called Steven down from the office and he drove us to the closest hospital where they immediately doped me up on morphine. Needless to sy, at that point ... I wasn't feeling much of anything.

I've since been transferred to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. This is where my oncologist, Dr Spira and his associates have hospital practicing privileges. It has been a lot of wait and see. I'm on some steroids to treat the inflammation now. Ive been having a tough time keeping anything down (I blame all the dope) but they have me scheduled for an MRI. Seems like that will happen sometime this morning.

Af of last night, I've been able to keep down some food and some drink, so I'm heading in the right direction. They moved we away from the constant pain medicine drip. I'm now on a much less aggressive pain patch with access to a patient controller pain med button should I need it.

All things considered after living with Melanoma for more than two years, this has been my first real complication. Let's just hope that the Ipilimumab will pick up the pace and rid my body of this disease.