Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good news (sort of?), bad news

I've met with my oncologist, and started treatment for the cancer that has spread to my bones.  He tells me there is no cure, but with treatment I will likely survive for many more years.  I'm not sure whether or not I've dodged a bullet, but I am somewhat relieved.  The survival span he's given would take me past 3 score and 10, which is really all any of us might have anyway.  BUT .. I am still in a lot of pain, taking some heavy duty pain meds.  For someone with a strong family history of substance abuse, who's managed to avoid that trap for her entire life, this is so very depressing.  Earlier this month, at a visit with an orthopedic physician, he advised me to take the meds more often.  So for two days I took it at the shortest prescribed interval, around the clock.  Then I woke up with a "travelling" itch -- you know, where it's over on the right arm then the left knee then at the back of the neck, etc. -- and I thought I might be having a reaction.  This was about 2 am, so I quietly got up & ducked into the bath to check for a rash or hives.  Nada -- no obvious source of an itch.  I'm standing in our tiny bathroom, staring into a mirror & thinking.  I remember seeing police dramas, where some junkie is being interviewed, and the junkie's always scratching...and I had to lay my head down on the towel bar and have a bit of cry.  So now, I don't take the narcotic pain med around the clock -- I have a prescription NSAID, which I use once every day, giving me a six-hour narcotic free period daily.  And I haven't been "jonesing" for the narcotic.  I just have to keep in mind that an addiction to my pain med probably isn't a primary problem, and if the treatments I'm getting work as planned I should be in a lot less pain eventually. 
Today I met with another ortho doctor, for the tendonitis in my elbow.  He took some Xrays, and saw where that elbow had an old fracture -- and there's some arthritis around it as well.  These and my work (computer mostly) have added up to the tendonitis.  I have a sling, to add to the soft collar (for the cervical fracture) and thoraco-lumbar support (thoracic fracture).  I'm sure I look like a total wreck, or that I've been in one.  After the office visit, we went over to the Krispy Kreme for donuts.  We ate inside, where the tables are tiny and have only two chairs.  Of course, we number three.  So I asked a gent sitting alone if I could have his other chair, and he jumped up and moved it to our table for me.  The perks of looking like a wreck, I guess. 
I thank any & all who've been checking in here, I'm sure your good thoughts for me are doing me some good!

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