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my recent absence...


centex
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Some may have noticed I hadn't been around in roughly a month...I still won't get on a whole lot for a while.

 

During the first week of December, and at mom's prodding, I went to an urgent care facility after taking a day off from the office due to illness for the first time in probably a decade (if not more).  I had been very fatigued since the return from Vegas and I had also been dropping a lot of weight without trying to do so...and by a lot, we are talking about 30 pounds in the span of three or four months.  Looking back, there were other red flags that I had chosen to ignore.  

 

Anyhow, lots of fluids and a CT scan later, I was being loaded into an ambulance and transported to one of the hospitals in the medical center near downtown.  I was taken into surgery within a few hours with a follow-up the next day that I didn't even know about until a day or so later.  ~5cm mass was removed from the colon, which had also ruptured.  Doc described it as basically being that my "abdomen blew up" and that I was likely within a day or two of death had I not gone to the urgent care center.  I spent the better part of the next week and a half in ICU and then a regular room before being released.  They are hopeful that the ostomy bag will be temporary and that the colon can be reconnected once the chemo is done.  

 

Mass was determined to have been cancerous but all of the lymph nodes taken for testing showed as clear, which they tell me is a good thing.  They think they got everything, but chemo is likely to commence within the next few weeks.  Port will probably be put in place next week or the week after, with the chemo starting within the week of port installation.  

 

Fatigue is still an issue, but I have managed to ditch the walker for the time being.  Appetite has slowly returned, but I am still not used to eating three meals a day since I wasn't doing that before all of this came to light.  Despite that, I am still losing some weight...not huge amounts, but the digital scale is showing a few ounces a day.  I know I was carrying too many pounds, but this is NOT the way to lose weight...

 

At the risk of being gross, one of the biggest signs I had ignored was changes in stool.  It had decreased in size and later moved to resembling a Jackson Pollack painting.  Add in weight loss and the night sweats (which I had been attributing to just one of those things that happens to women of my age) and there were reasons to have gone for a check-up.  Another red flag was that there was a mass that I could feel when laying on my side and that was not consistent with the location of other organs that can be problematic.  In other words, not kidney, spleen, appendix.  Some of what allowed me to discount things, even taking the day off sick, was that I was not having any real pain.  Even at the ER, I turned down their shot of morphine because I wasn't hurting...well, at least other than from the various needle sticks to put in PIC lines.  

 

That is the nickel version...

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Dang.

 

Wondered about you briefly a few weeks ago on some thread when I thought to myself, "Centex will probably pipe in on this one."

 

Sounds like they caught it in time, that's always good.  Chemo isn't for the faint of heart.  Be well, be safe, and you have good thoughts from here headed your way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Two sessions down, with the third expected for next week...this one should be a full dose.  I apparently got a half-dose level in the first session and it was up'ed last time.  I'm finally getting some use out of the Bluetooth ear buds and even found a few channels on Sling that I had no idea existed.  It helps to kill the four hours in a chair or walking around (I can unplug the machine and walk around since the machine has a battery and the pouches hang from one of the rolling trees).

 

 

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On 1/6/2023 at 1:23 PM, centex said:

Some may have noticed I hadn't been around in roughly a month...I still won't get on a whole lot for a while.

 

During the first week of December, and at mom's prodding, I went to an urgent care facility after taking a day off from the office due to illness for the first time in probably a decade (if not more).  I had been very fatigued since the return from Vegas and I had also been dropping a lot of weight without trying to do so...and by a lot, we are talking about 30 pounds in the span of three or four months.  Looking back, there were other red flags that I had chosen to ignore.  

 

Anyhow, lots of fluids and a CT scan later, I was being loaded into an ambulance and transported to one of the hospitals in the medical center near downtown.  I was taken into surgery within a few hours with a follow-up the next day that I didn't even know about until a day or so later.  ~5cm mass was removed from the colon, which had also ruptured.  Doc described it as basically being that my "abdomen blew up" and that I was likely within a day or two of death had I not gone to the urgent care center.  I spent the better part of the next week and a half in ICU and then a regular room before being released.  They are hopeful that the ostomy bag will be temporary and that the colon can be reconnected once the chemo is done.  

 

Mass was determined to have been cancerous but all of the lymph nodes taken for testing showed as clear, which they tell me is a good thing.  They think they got everything, but chemo is likely to commence within the next few weeks.  Port will probably be put in place next week or the week after, with the chemo starting within the week of port installation.  

 

Fatigue is still an issue, but I have managed to ditch the walker for the time being.  Appetite has slowly returned, but I am still not used to eating three meals a day since I wasn't doing that before all of this came to light.  Despite that, I am still losing some weight...not huge amounts, but the digital scale is showing a few ounces a day.  I know I was carrying too many pounds, but this is NOT the way to lose weight...

 

At the risk of being gross, one of the biggest signs I had ignored was changes in stool.  It had decreased in size and later moved to resembling a Jackson Pollack painting.  Add in weight loss and the night sweats (which I had been attributing to just one of those things that happens to women of my age) and there were reasons to have gone for a check-up.  Another red flag was that there was a mass that I could feel when laying on my side and that was not consistent with the location of other organs that can be problematic.  In other words, not kidney, spleen, appendix.  Some of what allowed me to discount things, even taking the day off sick, was that I was not having any real pain.  Even at the ER, I turned down their shot of morphine because I wasn't hurting...well, at least other than from the various needle sticks to put in PIC lines.  

 

That is the nickel version...

Definitely hoping for a total recovery. You got this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mild scare the other night...was in the kitchen and suddenly felt faint...turned the burner off and went to sit down for a moment and then was going to move to the recliner under the ceiling fan.  Got to the edge and literally dropped...don't believe I actually lost consciousness, but it was definitely a moment that I don't care to have happen again.  

 

After some water and reclining for a bit, I ultimately went back to the bedroom where the BP thingamajig was...do not know I have ever been under 100 before and this read as 87/64.  It got back up to 117/71 within the hour.  All of the readings have come with a pulse in the 70's.  Temps also seem to be consistent with what the readings at the MD have been.

 

Secondary concerns are coming with having dropped a few pounds despite still pretty much eating as I had been doing since I got released mid-December.  

 

Hoping this is just an isolated thing...

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Keeping you my thoughts.

It could have been a one-off.  Since you mentioned that you went to the chair under the fan I am presuming you broke into a sweat.  (common when someone is about to pass out).  It could be your BP was low or you moved too quickly.  

I've also been having some medical issues lately, so I understand the worry.

Try not to be up for way too long and make sure you have something to snack on if you need it.

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On 2/23/2023 at 9:21 PM, Tigz said:

Keeping you my thoughts.

It could have been a one-off.  Since you mentioned that you went to the chair under the fan I am presuming you broke into a sweat.  (common when someone is about to pass out).  It could be your BP was low or you moved too quickly.  

I've also been having some medical issues lately, so I understand the worry.

Try not to be up for way too long and make sure you have something to snack on if you need it.

Thnx...

 

When I discussed it with doc, he said either dehydrated or isolated event, but to not be concerned given it wasn't within a day or two of treatment.

 

I was sort of clammy with some light forehead sweating.  BP was clearly low given the 87/64 roughly 15-20 minutes later but up to 117/71 or so within the hour.  

 

This chemo fatigue is a total PITA...with the pump/pouch, it messes with me for two nights in the weeks where I have treatment (like this one).  Add in seasonal allergies and it gets worse...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Round five next week...plus an addition that is supposed to help with the white blood cell count.  They wanted to add it at the time of the pump disconnect last week but I had not had a chance to discuss the medication with the oncologist or know if I was being set up for a lifetime of injections.  I also wanted to check the pharma company for the fiscal assistance so many offer...after doing so, they will supposedly cover up to $10K per year.  My out of pocket was going to have been ~$3K since deductibles are far from having been satisfied...

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  • 4 weeks later...

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