Good Morning to all~ It has been awhile since I've posted, but I stop in and read ocassionally. I had my surgery 7/27 and was in the hosp. for 5 days. I had a resection, hysterectomy and appendectomy. Im f/43, dx rectal CA 4/12/04 for those who are new or may not know me from previous. I spent 5 days in hosp, and was home for 1 week. Experienced pain and dr. determined I had developed an internal abcess. Back to the hosp I went for another 7 days. They inserted a drain line through the right cheek of my bum with a drain bulb for collection. It was a CT scan guided event to put the thing in. It was most uncomfortable as any pressure would send me to the roof. Very difficult resting and getting in and out of bed. It went through all that gluteus muscle tissue that we've all tried so hard to tighten up through exercise at one point or another. Dr. put my colon on full rest and I began TPN feeding through IV in the hospital (thank God for my port!). After 7 days I returned to home - a Blessing! I had had enough by then. I had a nurse come in daily to tend to the TPN changes and she was an angel. She got my pain under control because in the hosp they were giving me dilaudin shots every 2 hours. I became much like an addict. The two hours drove me nuts because when it wore off, it really wore off. I became a clock watcher and had to guage my calls for shots around the shift changes, etc., or I would have to wait longer. Hind sight (no pun intended) told me that they should have used a more sensible method to treat the pain. I turned into an anxiety case. The home nurse spoke to dr. from home and suggested a duragesic patch and oxycontin for breakthrough, doctor agreed. The oxycontin was short lived (too strong) in that the delaudin for breakthrough after a couple of days was better. She kept a close watch on the drain as well. All in all I was on the TPN for about 22 days, finally ending just prior to Labor Day weekend. The drain was also removed that week in that the fluid had finally begun to run more clearly and a fistulae-gram was done (injecting contrast fluid backwards in the line) to determine that the abcess had healed and it had no longer had connection to gastrointestinal. September was the month of healing, and I began the chemo regimen (FU5/leucovorin) again on 10/1. I will have one week on and 3 off for 4 months. Last treatment will be last week of December. Side effects came around the week following the "push" injections through port. Had mouth sores, hives, slight nausea and of course the dragginess. I begin again injections on monday 11/1. It is strange in that the last 3 days I've pulled out some pretty good strands of hair, alth dr said it is not "supposed" to happen. Dr. agreed to lighten up dosage, and probably will a little bit each new session.
And, a question for those who are more familiar
: they called me yest to say that my white count was low and that I should be careful to maybe wash hands more often and not be around anyone who is coughing/sneezing, etc. What exactly does that mean with the treatment? Should I be taking an iron supplement to boost the count? They left msg. on ans mach, so by the time I got the msg., their ofc. was closed. I may call dr. this a.m. as he is really great about returning calls, but I thought I might ask if anyone on the board knew. It is tough for us CA patients who have to watch being around germs when its now time for the flu season and now theres a shortage on flu shots! I know for myself, I wouldn't normally have a flu shot, but I feel more suseptible being on the chemo.
All in all I feel pretty good lately. Food intake and what to eat is a challenge. I've found that too much acidic food will cause a lot of pain in the anal area upon output, and trying to regulate the output is difficult too. I am still on 2 mg. dilaudin for discomfort so I also take senna-s and benefiber (which is good stuff!).
Thats about it for now. Sorry to be so long-winded. (guess I should not be such a good typist!!)
Might just take a moment to say may God Bless all those caregivers, spouses, nurses and thoughtful friends who help and offer assistance to us patients who are not very patient and sometimes very difficult to deal with. You are all God sends, and I know I appreciate you dearly. I know others do as well.
Shouting, however, from the rooftop
Blesssings and Best Wishes to all ~ Julesss