I wanted to follow up yesterday's post with another quick update. After consulting with the surgeon about the J tube (feeding tube surgically attached to the lower intestine) we decided that I wasn't ready for this procedure yet. We really got the impression from the surgeon that I wasn't at that nutritionally needy place yet and of course we didn't have to make decisions right away anyway. The doctors all called this a minor surgical procedure, but it would still mean a 3-5 day stint in the hospital just for the surgery with a 6-8 time period of recovery and lifting limitations. To me with no prior surgical experience anything seems major, plus fitting this type of surgery in between chemo treatments would be really tough and a delicate situation. The procedure only addresses nutrition and has nothing to do with any future nausea and pain that is caused by my chemo and/or cancer so imagine heaving while trying to heal, plus skipping treatments for that long would be really tough and allow the cancer to spread. Can you say caught between a rock and a hard place?
But for now, the good news is that I am feeling better and continue to feel better as time goes on. I am keeping a larger proportion of my food down and if all goes well I should be home very soon which all leads you to the question of what happened?
Well, I've been thinking and contemplating what really happened to send me to the hospital again. I try so hard to maintain at home and I don't like to have to visit the ER to get myself taken care of, but I think I've come to the realization now that I do what I have to do. It basically comes down to the point where I can't maintain myself anymore or feel like things are out of control.
Last time it was mostly about dehydration and it was a quick visit. This time it was like a double bonus round. I think in general, I tend to be dehydrated, I had been consistently nauseated, and I had consistently been in pain. Putting all those three together, I couldn't maintain any of those by myself and felt overwhelmed.
The other thing I've been thinking about is how all that makes me feel. Of course I believe its human nature to feel low when we are low and high when we are high... seems simple doesn't it? It's amazing how grim the future looked when I felt so poorly and yet how hopeful it seems when I feel better. I remind myself of a yo-yo going from one extreme to the other... I keep telling myself that I need to remember that so far things do get better and that sometimes it does take longer or even seems like it won't get better at all, but it will.
Thankfully, I have all of you to help me remember, but it is truly hard to feel it in the moment. One of my friends again reminded me of something we all know... the circle of life... the yin and the yang...
I'm grateful to be feeling better, grateful to be able to go home soon, grateful for my family and friends, sad to know that I will indeed go through this cycle again and again, and yet grateful to realize that I'm still here.
I also believe we will be looking into some details of hospice care that might help me transition from these swings of feeling so poorly to the times where I do and can maintain and feel better. Some home care might make things easier for us... I know nothing about hospice other than the care that is given to people at the end of their lives to make them comfortable. Apparently, hospice is more than that and we will be education ourselves a bit more very soon.
So, my short update turned into a short novel.... thanks for staying up with me.
Until next time.