Friday, May 8, 2015

Off The Pump

Wednesday February 24, 1993

Slept pretty well in spite of having a lot of pain in my shoulder and in my abdomen and left thigh. I turned off the pump for an hour and it seemed to help. I'm up at 7 to get ready to go to the doctor. I get a terrible stomach ache from my cereal. I don't feel well at all.

Dr. Semrad thinks I need 4 weeks vacation from the pump. I couldn't agree more. He disconnects me. It's great to leave the pump there. We stop for a taco. It's 12:30. We go to Woodland Hills to make a CT appointment for March 10. At home I relax and sleep off and on all day. My shoulder hurts a lot.

My stepmother died of cancer a few years ago. Her first symptom was shoulder pain. When I mentioned this to a nurse acquaintance, she said shoulder pain is often the first sign of cancer. How awful for Mom to be in such pain and to live in pain pills which upset her stomach. So glad she got to go off the "poison pump."

For those of you who follow my blog, I know it has been quite a while since my blog was published. Part of this is lack of time, but also it is emotionally painful for me to see Mom suffer, something she hid well from me when she was going through it. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few months ago and has been through 4 months of chemotherapy. Her surgery is scheduled for May 20 to take a look to see if the cancer is gone, but from the imaging that has been done so far it appears that the chemo is working very well. Apparently, treatment using "genetic targeting" is becoming more common. The genetic makeup of the tumors is mapped and the chemo is customized to attack those particular cells. Carmen is 81 years old but in very good health. She was a nurse for many years and she knew it was important to pay attention to her symptoms. When she noticed some abdominal pain she called her doctor right away and they took good care of her with diagnostic tests and early treatment. Her cancer was caught early.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Tuesday February 23, 1993

I try to sleep after Frank gets up at 7:30 for his class. I rest only until 9:30. I get up at 10. Eat breakfast. I feel OK. It takes me all morning to get ready. I'm finally dressed and downstairs about 2 p.m. I sit around all day. At 6:30 we eat dinner. I eat real well. I have an artichoke and a game hen.

I have diarrhea all day about every 20 minutes. Not a real good day.

Joan called today. She remembered the doctor at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica I told her about a few months ago. He uses cryo freezing on colon liver cancer. She called and has an appointment next Tuesday. He sounded hopeful. She sounds excited. Please God!

According to the website for the National Cancer Institute, "Cryosurgery is a technique for freezing and killing abnormal cells. Cryosurgery may have fewer side effects than other types of treatments, and is less expensive and requires shorter recovery. Cryosurgery (also called cryotherapy) is the use of extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen (or argon gas) to destroy abnormal tissue. Cryosurgery is used to treat external tumors, such as those on the skin. For external tumors, liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the cancer cells with a cotton swab or spraying device.

Cryosurgery is also used to treat tumors inside the body (internal tumors and tumors in the bone). For internal tumors, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is circulated through a hollow instrument called a cryoprobe, which is placed in contact with the tumor. The doctor uses ultrasound or MRI to guide the cryoprobe and monitor the freezing of the cells, thus limiting damage to nearby healthy tissue.

Good Day. Sleepless Night.

Monday, February 22, 1993

Up and feeling great. I feel good all day. I do the wash and we go to lunch at Millie's. I have a BBQ ham sandwich. Later, I give Frank a perm.

We're still full from lunch when dinnertime arrives, so we go to the square dance without eating. I enjoy the dance. I feel real good. We get home at 9:45 and I eat some rice and a tangerine. Bedtime 11:15. I'm wide awake and real full. I can't sleep. I take Unisom--no luck. I go down and read at 3 a.m. I fall asleep about 5 a.m.

A good day.

Wow, a sleepless night doesn't sound like a good day to me. I've been taking Tylenol PM every night and I sleep like a baby. I never tried Unisom.