Saturday, December 17, 2016

Port insertion and the day after…….

Let’s back up a little and talk about the night after chemo.  As you may recall, that large dose of IV Benadryl caused a major case of restless leg syndrome.  Well, that continued ALL night long after I went to bed – NO SLEEP.  I was up and down all night, trying to walk it off – no luck.  It turned into restless BODY syndrome.  I tried walking it off, tried leg exercises, tried the recliner, tried soft music – nothing worked.  Finally, I remembered that I had my essential oils restless leg recipe in a jar here.  I rubbed that all over my calves.  I don’t think it worked all that well, but sometime between 5 and 6 I think I dosed a few minutes.  I got out of bed thinking I needed to get up then, but remembered that I had set my alarm for 7.  But since I was awake, just got up to get shower.   This was the 1st time I was going to remove the dressings and let the water run over them.  It sure is a lot easier to wash with two hands than one!  I redressed them myself afterward without too much trouble.  My arm is looking really good now – the dry brown spots are all gone except that one where it is rather deep in the center.  Using that silver nitrate on the area near my wrist has really helped that.  Here’s the picture from today’s dressing change.  Everything below those two little pink spots near my wrist is dry – scarred skin.

 Anyway, I got ready and we got to the KU Med West surgery center.  This was a different place we hadn’t been to.  It wasn’t all that far away so we got there easily by our 9:45 appointment.  Again, the thing I dreaded the most was starting my IV.  Of course, you’ve had nothing to drink for 12 hours, and you’re in this freezing room, so the veins that normally stick right up there are flatter than a flitter!!  She tried to go in the back of my right hand.  She couldn’t get it to feed past a valve – OUCH!  So, she just went for the antecubital space in the bend of the elbow.  The vein in the middle of my arm had been used by chemo the day before.  The surgeon came in to explain what he would do – he’d already done 3 that morning.  Anesthesia came in briefly, followed by an RN. Here, they gave me Versed before leaving the prep room, so I don’t remember anything after leaving the room until they said to breathe the oxygen through the mask.  That was nice.  After the procedure, the doctor told Guy all went well, and it went in with no problem at all.  After waking up, it didn’t take me long to recover enough to dress and go home.  I just had this small bandage on my left shoulder.  They gave me a prescription for a narcotic, but I didn’t fill it.  All I did was take a Tylenol in the afternoon because it started aching a little bit.  In the picture below (after I removed the dressing today), you can see the incision, and my finger is pointing at the actual port where they will stick the needle (I’ll apply an anesthetic cream an hour before).  

The wrinkles are just from the dressing.  Not sure why it had to be placed so that it is directly under my bra strap!!!  I’m definitely NOT a person to go without one.  I guess when the insertion site heals, I’ll get used to having the strap over it – certainly hope so!!  The information about the port site did say that I might want to pad the seat belt in my car.  Riding on the passenger side is no problem.  Oh, well, Guy drives me all of the time anyway when we go together.  By the time we are back home, and I’m driving around by myself, it should be more comfortable.  So that is one more procedure that I’ve checked off my list.

When we left there, I ate a little protein bar I had in the car so I could take my Dexamethasone.  I’m to take 2 of those morning and night the day before chemo and the day after.  It is mainly to prevent nausea – which I have had NONE of, thank the Lord!!!!!  One of the side effects of that med is insomnia.  Oh, dear, I was concerned that I’d have another night of no sleep, but after taking the night dose, I went to bed and SLEPT!! 

During the day, however, I did experience some dizziness – not bad – just a little woozy feeling now and then.  I didn’t know if it was from the surgery, the Dexamethasone, or the chemo.  One of the side effects of Dexamethasone is dizziness. 

This morning when I got up, I felt really wobbly and dizzy.  I felt like it might have been a little low blood sugar, since I hadn’t eaten a lot yesterday.  Thankfully, when I got down stairs, Guy had a nice big breakfast fixed.  After I ate, I felt a lot better, but that slight dizziness had stayed with me.  I don’t know if it is delayed effects of the chemo or the Dexamethasone.  I know that some of the SE’s of chemo don’t become evident until days later.  Overall, though, I’m feeling really pretty good – for the shape I’m in!  😀

I bought a cute little hat the other day at Kohl’s – one that I could just sit on my head and go. 

Today it has snowed lightly at times and heavily at times.  I don’t think we got the 5” that was forecasted, but it is COLD!!  At 7:55 pm, it is 7 with a wind chill of -14.  Thankfully we did not have to go anywhere today.  Guy got groceries yesterday, and made a big batch of his vegetable beef soup.  I don’t really have to go out for anything next week until Thursday for my chemo.

I’ve been doing my Christmas shopping all online this year.  I need to get some wrapping paper, because I have this little pile of boxes over here between my recliner and the end of the couch.  Christmas will be a little thin and crazy this year.  Mark has a few days home before Christmas and has to leave on the 26th, Jeannine gets here the 28th (after Mark leaves) for a late Christmas with us, and Sulu goes home on the 31st because her passport time runs out.  The boys will be with their mother for Christmas.  Not exactly a “normal, traditional” Christmas this year.  Nothing about this year has been normal anyway!  So no big deal, I guess.  We are learning to just go with the flow!  What is that saying?  Something about “when you are old, they will lead you to places you don’t want to go.” Something like that….

My 3rd chemo treatment will be on the 29th and I’ll have the next week off.  Mark will not be home until the 7th, so we will need to be here for the boys until he comes home.  I’m hoping that I’ll be transferred to the Hutchinson chemo infusion center by the next week’s chemo, and we can go home right after Mark arrives.  He is supposed to not have to go back to Canada after this trip home.  I’m not sure when or if Sula will be coming back, but Mark thinks he can handle things after that, so we will be able to settle back home in Little River.  IF all goes as planned!?!?!  I just hope my chemo fatigue has not set in too bad by then.

Being Patient with Yourself

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12

Being patient with other people can be difficult.  But sometimes, we find it even more difficult to be patient with ourselves.  We have high expectations and lofty goals.  We want to accomplish things now, not later.  And, of course, we want our lives to unfold according to our own timetables, not God’s.

Throughout the Bible, we are instructed that patience is the companion of wisdom.  Proverbs 16:32 teaches us that “Patience is better than strength”.  And, in 1 Peter 5:6, we are told to “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

God’s message, then, is clear: we must be patient with all people, beginning with that particular person who stares back at us each time we gaze into the mirror.

It is not enough to love ourselves; we must also like ourselves.  Joyce Meyer from New Every Morning

As always, I’m in His hands……

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