September 25, 2012

TOUGH DAY

My mom and step-dad drove me to Louisville this morning to meet with Dr. Little for additional saline to be added to by expanders.  I was still in so much pain that I talked to Dr. Little about just having a single dose added rather than the double that was originally planned.  He agreed and added just 60 cc’s of saline.  I also decided to skip my next fill that was scheduled on Friday.  Dr. Little realized that I have had a lot of expansions done in a short period and agreed that it may be best to give my body a break.  After I complete the first 2 phases of my chemo I can choose to either go straight to the reconstructive surgery portion, or continue with some additional expansion fills and then have the implants placed.

After Dr. L added the saline fills, he noticed that I still has some considerable swelling above the breast area and up to my collarbone.  He decided at that time to aspirate a bit of the fluid accumulating.  Painful!!

We then went to Brown Cancer Center for a class on Chemo Brain.  The class was very informative, yet scary at the same time.  Here are some of the things that I learned from the class:

1.  I may forget my address.  If I am driving, I may forget where I am going or if I remember the place I want to go, I may forget how to get there.

2.  I may not remember names of friends, even life-long friends.  I will know that I know them, but may have trouble recalling who they are.

3.  I may forget where things are kept in the house.  Many patients keep post-it notes through out the house to remind them of where things are.

4.  I may ask the same question multiple times even though the person I am talking to has already answered it.

5.  I cannot be ashamed to ask for help

6.  Some people have very little trouble with these things, while some people have significant issues.

At the end of the class the nurse giving the class asked if she could have a closer look at my portacath and central line.  She said that I appeared to have some significant swelling and she would like for me to go upstairs for the triage nurses to take a look.  We headed up to the second floor and where immediately taken care of.  The nurses agreed that I had quite a bit if swelling and called the vascular surgeon for him to come over to take a look.  He was unable to get over right then, but sent another doctor from his practice.  He poked and prodded until it became very sore.  He felt that I just had swelling but no reason for concern.  He took pictures and emailed them to Dr. Morris who agreed.  Apparently, I am over-doing it and causing myself to have significant swelling.  I m having a hard time sitting back and allowing everyone to take care of me.  I am the one who is always taking care of every one else.  So…I know have to follow my directions and take it easy, rest, and let others take care of me so that the swelling will go down and I can heal.

All of the nurses in the chemo until where they sent me today were so nice and helpful.  I do not believe I have met an unpleasant person there yet!

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