Thursday, May 17, 2007

Various Ramblings about Hosptial-Land

Since I'm home and I didn't write much last week (not ENTIRELY my fault-we asked for a keyboard and mouse for the Internet on Sunday and true to form, did not receive them until this morning.) After the ceiling flooded on my wing on Tuesday, Mike could have been having fun scavenging with the nurses to find stuff, but I didn't think about that until today. All the patients in that general area had to be evacuated. I was on the far end so it didn't effect me. I didn't even know about the flooding until I left my room to take laps around the win. The nurses all seemed frazzled.

I had another chest x-ray and the tumor has "shrunk dramatically" from the last time! No word on the exact size that it is now, but the techie-guys know the precise length, width, weight, date of birth, and SSN of my tumor. (I'm trying to come up some membership that my big, BAD, mean, nasty tumor would belong to and be a card-carrying member of, but I'm not that funny or creative right now. Luke? Blair? Ron?) I will ask those Irish lads the details next Friday when I see them on my clinic date. Consuming minds want to know.

Gotta love Dad. He and Mom came to visit on Tuesday and I decided to take a shower (it was necessary, trust me) but the nurse has to come in, flush my IV, and unplug me from the machine. Not to mention, I have to finish all the medication in my IV bag before I could go in the shower. Lots of minutes later, the nurse finally came in to help me out. Removing the plug from an IV is the least squeamish of the squeamish stuff and you don't even see anything because there's nothing to see. The IV is hiding under tape. Dad was also sitting across the room and could have averted his eyes if truly necessary, but he hobbled out in the hallway instead. :-) The nurse taped me up and I enjoyed a very long warm shower, even though it takes me maybe 15 seconds to wash and condition my "hair." Ahhh.

Dad went to his orthopedic doctor yesterday, but after calling my brother, Michael, in a near panic about needing someone to drive him home from the appointment because they might want to do surgery the minute he arrives at the appointment. The purpose of the appointment was to review the results of last week's MRIs. I tried to reach Dad before the appointment and he didn't answer his phone. My fear was that he was hiding at home because he didn't want to go! I called Mom and told her that Dad was panicking (I guess he calls Michael now) and suggested he get some of my old friend, Ativan, to handle the anxiety in case he does need surgery. The result is Dad tore a ligament and will need surgery, which is scheduled for May 30. I don't think any of us can handle waiting that long and we may all need some Ativan to survive! How the heck did I get so calm?

May 30th is the day after I finish my next round of chemo so I should be okay for that day because Mom doesn't need to worry about two people on the same day. Send your flowers, plants, and fruit baskets to Dad since I can't have anything! You might want to send him the Operation Game too as a little joke from me. ;-)

Other Mishmosh of Information
Yes, I'm home and my counts are still low, but I'm here. I'm still a little tired and worn out. My behind is sore from all those "road trips" to the potty. I've got a new rash on my hands that might be from a lotion or from washing my hands a gazillion times. I took a great, warm Epsom bath as soon as I got home to alleviate the "bottom pain" and I have some regular hydro cortisone cream from the drug store for my hands. Riley and Shelby are ecstatic to see us and I bet as soon as I curl up for a nap, I will find a furry small friend curled up beside me.

I thought prednisone makes you wacky, however oxycodone is worse. Woooo. I ended up taking Ambien last night because the oxycodone "brain flashes" in my head were pretty violent and I couldn't handle it. I had these mini "flashes" of some gross, violent image that just popped in my head. I finally hugged my teddy bear and the violence diminished, but then I had 5-10 mini-movie dreams but I would wake up startled. I did that for an hour and asked for the Ambien. It only happens after taking Oxycodone for 3-4 days straight because it must build up in your system. I might take a smaller dose tonight, but if my back doesn't hurt I'm skipping it. No wonder people go crazy on that stuff.


Blair said...

>> Name that tumor.

Another friend is currently waiting to learn whether the mass on his thyroid is cancerous. Either way, the mass must go, it's just a question of whether his thyroid goes at the same time.

I mention this because while he waits for the biopsy results, Dave has decided that his tumor's name is "Bob." Of course, seeing as how you're a girl, I figure your tumor's name must be "Bobbie." If the mental image this evokes is an overly-perky, evil cheerleader, then you've pretty much got the idea I'm trying for.

Bob and Bobbie have both been served with eviction notices. I very much doubt anyone will miss either of them.

Jacki said...

Hi Cuz,
I'm so glad to hear you're home! I took oxycontin for quite a few years (for pain), and it sounds to me like your dose is way too high. Your tolerance is still most likely very low at this point, so I'd ask the doc to lower the dose a bit for now. Whatever you do, don't break the pill thinking you're taking less--that will release all of the medication at once!! Very dangerous!! I hope you can get the dosage worked out cuz it's a great pain killer.

Jacki said...

Angela wrote:
"I had another chest x-ray and the tumor has "shrunk dramatically" from the last time! No word on the exact size that it is now, but the techie-guys know the precise length, width, weight, date of birth, and SSN of my tumor."

Awww, that is wonderful news! Very, very happy to hear that, Angela!!!!

LUKE said...

ooooh name a tumor! i won a contest back in middle school to name arnold swarchenegger's but after i won he said "it'z nat a tooumour! aaaaarrararhghaghr!" so that was a bit of a let down. but it was good experience for this one!

i agree with blair that the tumor is definately an overly-perky, evil cheerleader with a black and red and white outfit, straight black goth hair and converse sneakers. she also has glowing red eyes. she's always saying "be agressive, b-e agressive! push that heart back... wwaaaaaay back!" (i've dated too many cheerleaders in my day) but i think her name should be Pricilla. Those have a little edge to it. Plus "beating Bobbie" has a nice right but "punch'n pricilla, punishing pricilla, and prednisone'n pricilla" just sound a lot better.

plus you could say something like "hold on, i gotta go talk to pricilla on the big white telephone" when you wanna go horf. sweet?!

i'm an idea man. what can i say ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Great to hear that 1) you are home and 2) Bobbie is dying. (Kinda like that name thing). My friend and I named our food babies (read "excess weight around belly that makes us look pregnant even though we are not"). Her food baby is Leroy. Mine is Billy Bob. Both must die.

Hope you have a great weekend and that you continue to get your appetite back.

Incidentally, I don't know the drugs you are on, but what you are describing (odd dream sequences) remind me of the experiences I had coming out of the ICU. I was hallucinating for days.....

Blair--if you friend ends up with the "standard" form of thyroid cancer, will be happy to share my experiences, if it can help. I can tell you that it ain't NOTHING as bad as what Angela is going through. Basically--surgery (not fun, but also not particularly horrendous), couple months of no-hormone hell (tell him to go on anti-depressants in advance), a zap of radiation and two days of isolation (a bit lonely, but otherwise no ill effects), and then you go on the replacement therapy. And that is it. Note the conspicuous absence of hair loss, chemo, etc etc.

Oh-completely random note-- Angela-if any of the scarves I sent are not to your liking, please feel free to "re-gift" to any of your fellow chemo patients/ friends who have a thing for scarves/ whomever.

Am off to Jerusalem for Shabbat. I will make sure to stop by the Western Wall and put in a note for you. If I have time, I will try to find a church, nuns, or other official bastion or representative of the Christian faith in Jlem and have them do their part in the Kill-Bobbie campaign. Remember, from J'lem, the calls to G-d are local calls. :)


Ron said...

Ok, I'm thinking on this naming issue. I keep coming back to Arnold Shrunkentuma (use your Arnold voice).

Glad you're home and that the thing is shrinking!

Sue said...

Great thread, folks. Blair's evil cheerleader idea got me thinking...Don't forget - I was a cheerleader for 1 year in high school. I hated them all.

Oh, and the not-so-evil cheerleaders that we'll see at After Prom tonight may not know what they're missing without you there, but the rest of us will.

Yes - we'll play a round of sumo wrestlers or that wacky dancing game for ya!

Blair said...

Sue: Just for clarity's sake: I didn't say all cheerleaders are evil. Though my experience with evil cheerleaders do outnumber the experiences with non-evil ones. Happily, you seem to have escaped (mostly) unscathed from Cheerleader land. :-)

Of course, it's also possible that Angela knows someone named Bobbie. If that turns out to be the case, then we'll have to distinguish between evil-Bobbie and good-Bobbie.

Gila: If my friend Dave ends up with a positive test result (How ironic, a positive result is a negative outcome), he'll be the third thyroid cancer patient I've known in just 18 months.

One of them was my brother who had an experience along the lines of what Angela's reporting. During the "No replacement hormone" phase of things, he had a call from a former co-worker. He and Sam talked on the phone for a good twenty minutes.

It wasn't until a little while later that Dave (my brother is also a Dave) realized that he'd never worked with anyone named Sam. Not only that, but there also had never been a phone in that room.

So at least Angela's not alone in having wacky side-effects.

victory4angela said...

I think I like Priscilla, just because I can clearly see Luke's evil cheerleader girl and I really hate those people that are super be AGRESSIVE people.

However, I can't help but think of that movie, "Pricilla, Queen of the Desert." My tumor will also lip synch to ABBA songs, which I like, but makes the image funnier. Then there's Pricilla Presley with the big boufant hair.

Sorry you lost that Schwarzenegger contest back in high school.