WARNING: Some of the Content here may be Objectionable to some. I have this blog labeled as "Adult Only" as a common courtesy for those who may easily be offended by Adult topics such as the Truth, Down to Earth topics, realities of living with Ovarian Cancer and/or any life threatening disease that goes along with it; Sexuality, Medicinal Cannabis, Profanity, and of course plenty of unpleasant body functions are also discussed here. This is a very tough battle for which I don't intend to hold anything back on what I am facing.

This blog is very personal and comes from the heart of a real fighting cancer patient who wishes nothing more than to live for all of those I love my own will to live, and my love of life. While sometimes I might be on heavy medication (prescribed by my doctor) and occasionally I might write about things or subjects that one may never even think about or consider; so please consider that as well. Yes; whacked out things might even be found here; but I mean everything in all good intentions.

This blog is not at all intended for the faint hearted, those who lack a sense of humor, have no idea what down to earth means, greedy mean people, and/or those who don't know how to share the world with others, and especially those who are unable to easily put themselves into the shoes of others. This blog is mostly about my journey of living my life in the best ways that I can under the Golden Rule and appreciating all of the GOOD KHARMA that comes my way! Never take anything in this world for granted; especially family and friends!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back from the hospital...New thoughts on feeling better...

Well after a couple of days and a painful post about cherishing your good health, wouldn't you know that I just spent a couple of days in the new Kaiser hospital. I was actually excited (just a little bit) because I knew that they had wireless internet. I was thinking that it was all over the hospital kind of like a Starbucks. I was sadly mistaken, no internet for the sick and dying.

That's just great, so the sick and the dying are practically cut off from the rest of the world when they are hospitalized. It's been like that for quite some time and hopefully that will change soon once patients rights are recognized more clearly. I still got to work some on my Newsletter.

Which brings me back to being in the hospital can be so incredibly depressing. Now I know that I will be even more reluctant to go next time if there is a next time, chances are there will be. I guess you have to take everything away if you are going into the hospital but I have to say they at least let my husband bring my dog for a visit and I was very, very thankful for that. She was wearing her "Therapy Dog" Vest and it certainly brightened my gloomy days in the hospital being hooked up to an IV and an NG tube.


So how in the world did I end up in the hospital? (Please read the post before last if you haven't done so already) Well here you go:

The intense pain that I was feeling before just kept increasing each passing day and then each passing moment as it got more and more intense. I must credit my husband who has been so completely amazing through it all including bring me glasses of water, medications, loading the bong for me so that I could smoke; now this really, really, really helped relieve the intense pain for a little while but the pain would always come back and relentless it was. My husband even went to the store for me to get the most embarrassing items that a man could ever have to buy for his wife; enemas, phosphate sodas, stool softeners, and suppositories. He's been through it all with me (seriously) and it doesn't bother him a bit. Can you believe that love? I am truly amazed by it! (the most important thing he does for me is to make me laugh and that he does plenty!)

I remember this one time when I had these same bowel problems he had asked me "honey can I get you something at the store?" I replied back, "can you please get me a douche bag (so that I could use it as an enema)?" "He said to me "Honey please don't make me buy one of those things, those people at the store are probably already convinced that I'm gay, & that will just pull the trigger on that!" I couldn't believe how much I laughed on that one despite the extreme pain I was in. He did so anyway, but that's the meaning of true love.

Now to get back to how I got in the hospital, I then tried each of those items that he had purchased for me at the store, but nothing was working. We were both quite panicked. This was a full blown abdominal blockage that really needed urgent hospital care.

By 10:30pm I finally told him to go ahead and dial 911. The fire department was the first to arrive and they immediately checked my vitals while also sticking those little white round circles with snaps all over me. "That's where they come from!" I thought. I kinda looked like I could get one of those 80's outfits snapped on me.

I was crying and cringing in pain. and had just vomited just prior to their arrival which really intensified the pain when I innitially thought that it couldn't get to be more painful. I didn't even make myself vomit, my body was just reacting to the block. Contractions were happening every couple of minutes. I thought I was going to give birth to Cancer. During a contraction, I was paralyzed in the most severe pain you could ever possibly imagine. It literally felt as if I were about to die or that I was dying a slow painful death that I didn't deserve. I was also nauseated too which didn't help matters much.

I tried my best to talk to the rescuers between the pain contractions as they were asking me detailed questions as what was going on; but thankfully my husband was there to elaborate while the contractions were happening.


The EMS workers arrived a few minutes later & took me for a bumpy painful ride to the hospital. I was sitting in the ambulance with a really nice paramedic that turned out to be a neighbor of mine who lived in the very same complex just behind us. What a small world I thought. I know I had recognized him and he had even been on a few runs with us before. Many of the workers had recognized us and knew the whole shebang about us. That was so helpful.

We have to call 911 each time because I am so stubborn that it's often close to being too late when I do call. I put up with the pain for a long time before we ever call 911 and I think its because sometimes the blockages will resolve on their own and many times they have. It could even be my high tolerance to the pain and that I'm as tough as nails.


I finally got to the hospital and the nurse tried several times to give me an IV. My darn veins were so hard to find and they even rolled a few times as she tried to stab for the vein. It slipped away each time and I kinda felt bad for her. I could see it in her face that she felt she might injuring me but it was actually a good thing. Being stabbed like that was great for getting my mind of the extreme pain I was in. I tried to explain to her and I could tell right away that she had a heart of gold. She went to get someone else to take a try, but they too were having more difficulties than she was. It often takes several times of jabbing and poking just to find a vein. She tried again and by the 3rd time she got it!

The doctor finally came in to see me and was like, "give this poor girl some morphine!" She could tell right away what was happening with my body and that I was indeed in pain. The morphine helped quite a bit for the pain, more so that the pot did. The effect was not much longer because I needed another dose 25-30 minutes later. I also got some Benadryl which helped with the itches that I sometimes get from either the morphine or the Delotted pain medication. Both are very strong narcotics but the bad thing is that these narcotics often make your bowels hardly function. It's like your bowels go to sleep and this in turn can cause severe constipation.


It was about 11:15pm and I need some X-Rays and an Ng Tube. The x-rays were easy enough, but the NG tube is never ever easy. I got a shot of morphine just prior and it still hurt. I had a hard time picking which nostril I wanted to sacrifice for this tube to go down. The nurse then inserted this tube down my left nostril and I had to try to keep my chin to my chest. The whole time it was uncomfortable and very painful as the tube was inserted into my stomach. I felt it as it went down my throat, down the curve scraping as it finally hit the final destination.

I was already ready to get rid of that NG tube. I wanted to fast forward those 3 days of having to keep that thing inserted in my nose. They had to tape it and anytime I caught it on anything I felt an instant painful tug on septum. It was hard to sleep and I almost felt like a horse does when it is head shy. Being on IVs I had to go to the bathroom quite a bit and the first night the phosphate soda was finally working. I was actually going to the bathroom. I had to share a room with a very loud party. The woman, bless her heart, had lots of friends visiting and she too should have had her own room. It was noisy and guests were having to go the bathroom too and I had to wait on someone after I was able to get my NG tube disconnected from the sucking mechanism and IV unplugged. I waited as much as I could and ended up soiling all over myself and my bed. How depressing. I called a nurse to come help me clean up and pleaded that I get my own room just for this reason.

I wasn't able to sleep for all the loud noises from the guests and the constant talking, laughing, and so on. I didn't want to bother them with my problems and requests. They were having fun in a hospital and how rare is that? I finally got to talk with another doctor who too agreed that I definitely needed my own room. My husband and I were out walking and we saw 4 empty rooms. We told her about those empty rooms and she tried to explain to us that rooms are like hotcakes for those waiting in emergency. I had waited all night long for one and was finally able to get this particular room at about 9:15ish (AM).

My husband took off to do some errands and showed up again that evening around 7:30pm with Miss Blue Belle! I was still in the same shared room weighing my earplugs and finally getting some sleep. Blue Belle was so very happy to see me. She wagging her whole body with her ears back smiling. My husband put her on the bed and she came up to me and could not stop licking me in the face. I had to be careful because of the NG tube but she kinda knew that she needed to be careful. She layed down and just stared into my eyes smiling with her ears back. A few minutes of loving on Blue Belle, smiling (in the hospital!), and gratefulness of having someone that really cares, it was time to go to my new private room.

The nurse opened the curtain and to her surprise a cute beautiful happy dog sit laying on my bed. She was also happy to see Miss Blue Belle. She smiled at the nurse and wagged her tail. Another nurse came in to help her move my bed into another room. We didn't have to go far and Blue Belle got to enjoy the ride on the bed. She was wagging her tail and smiling at the two nurses who were laughing and smiling as they moved me to my new room. It was just down the hall and a few people came outside the rooms to see all the commotion of the laughing and to see a happy dog on a hospital bed wagging her tail enjoying the ride. She was quiet but very happy.

She had on her vest and sorry I don't have any photos of her wearing her vest but I promise to post some soon right here. I don't have a working camera right now. My husband opened the blinds and we could sort of see the mountains from Santa Clara. We watched a movie together on my computer (we couldn't get the DVD player to work in the room) and my husband left at around 11pm. He wanted to stay, but Blue Belle had to go wee and she had held it for a little while. I got my shot of morphine and Benadryl and fell sound a sleep in my new room.

I spoke with my doctor the next day as he told me that I would need to get some x-rays of my abdomen. I went for the x-rays and then as we were getting the last x-ray taken, a singe of pain hit me. I felt what appeared to be a rib bone or something on my rib bone. It' was very painful and very tender to touch. I asked if we could x-ray that, but my request was ignored then and I was later brought back down to x-ray the mystery bump at the request of a doctor. The doctor saw me again that night and told me that it might just be a muscle and it may be a knot that could be easily massaged out.

The next day my oncologist saw me before taking out the NG tube and told me that I could go home soon.
I was so glad to get that NG tube out of my nose and then to loose that IV pole. My doctor and I talked for a little while of my symptoms and how I was feeling. I then asked him about this mystery bump. He felt the mystery bump and told me that it was indeed a tumor. It had been seen on several CAT scans and I could still live with it. It could actually be very helpful in determining if a chemo is working.

To my horror it is the reality that I really do need to cherish each and every moment that I have and I will need to start more chemo very soon. I'm not sure when and am currently learning to live with the pain in my back as it is still quite tender. I have lots to think about and many questions to ask.

We plan to meet with my doctor next Friday to discuss our options for either chemo or more freedom, versus pain and so on. I will update soon as we do have a lot to think about this week prior to meeting with my doctor. I also plan to call the Cancer Center for America to find out more options.

While I do understand that there are still others who have it far worse off than me, I still consider myself quite lucky. In fact we are all lucky in our own ways.
Till then love life and treat others the way that you would want to be treated.

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2 comments:

Qethia said...

Whew, you've really been having a time of it, ShoppingKharma. You and I share a common blessing: a devoted spouse who instinctively knows how to make it easier for us to be tough when faced with the most horrific adversity. And please don't "tough out" your pain. I have that same sort of stubbornness. Pain management is as vital to your quality of life as tumor management. Turn your "toughness" inside out, and demand the care you deserve from those who are paid to provide it. And when you feel better, hug your husband (and Blue Belle!) and show your appreciation for all he does to heal your mind, body and spirit.

My best to you and your family,
Qethia

Petula Wright said...

Oh my! That is such a lot to deal with, but you seem to be coping very well. I am so glad you finally went to the hospital. Please don't wait so long next time. Qethia is right, try not to tough it out so much so that you can get relief and comfort (or as close to it) as soon as possible. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.

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Disclosure

My techniques and treatments work simply for me and may not produce the same results for others. Cancer is a very tricky disease in which it is very different in everyone it touches. No two cancers are the same just as we humans are not the same. What works for me may not work for others.

I love life and expect to live for as long as I can. I intend to use those treatments that do work for me which includes medicinal cannabis. I'm still alive with this disease over 7 years later because of this miracle plant and as long as I have my medicine available; I intend to survive many more years. I hope one day the Federal Government will eventually grow up and be led by true leaders who represent the people and not just coorporations; real people who live by the Golden Rule "treat others how you would want to be treated". I also hope the Government of the US can finally learn to admit that it has made a mortal mistake in making this life saving plant which is provided by GOD and does indeed have the ability to provide all of us with food, fuel, clothing, shelter, and medicine; a mistake that have made is that it is illegal. Yes, it was a mistake out of greed, ignorance, and racism that this miracle plant is illegal. This is a confirmed fact and we should all know and face it.

Cannabis is not at all harmful and in fact quite the opposite. Perhaps our economy can once again grow as it has in the turn of the century by making this life saving plant legal once again.

The contents of this blog including all images, (except images from third parties) and the name "Shopping Kharma - what comes around goes around" belong and copyrighted to C. Jayne Armstrong 2008-2010
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