Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good news and irritating news

Well the good news is that I got a call last night from Jeff's eye doctor and they have decided that it would be good for Jeff to have his cataract removed from his good eye. The surgery only takes 15 minutes - but will have to be in the outpatient surgery center for one hour. They have to do an ultrasound test and he will need to see the doctor for an in depth look/see prior to the procedure. He also needs to get clearance from his regular doctor prior to the operation. We are going to get that clearance from his Oncologist. He also has to be off his heart pill for one week prior which should be fine with him.

Having this cataract removed will hopefully help with his balance problems. Unfortunately at this time, they are leaving the left eye alone - because they need for the scar tissue on the cornea to heal. It's coming along - but has a way to go.

With the excess skin on the upper and lower lids - we will wait to have that done in the future. As I had mentioned - if they did that procedure now - they would still have to sew part of that closed to protect the cornea. Having that cataract removed will give him 20/20 vision in his right eye. He's all for it - so we will schedule the appointments next week when the office is open.

Now for the "upsetting news" ..... got in the mail a bill for $5.57 from of all places Citrus Memorial Hospital radiology department. What the heck!!!! Those are the same people that miss diagnosed him in the first place. Over my dead body am I paying that bill. So on Monday I will have a field day when I contact them regarding this. I know it's not a lot of money - but it's the principle of the thing. They can sing Dixie over this bill. Just thought of something funny - if they pursue this I will tell them I will pay pennies on the dollar.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Friday

Yesterday was Jeff's third Taxotere Chemo treatment. His blood levels were good - so they were able to proceed. Some patients blood count is all over the place - and if it gets too low they have to delay treatment. Next week he has a reprieve - no chemo. He handled the treatment well and as predicted the steroid they put in the I.V. is working its wonders. He slept well last night and was up and adam this morning - all prepared for the speech therapist visit at 10AM.

He told me yesterday that he hasn't stopped "fighting" and that was good to hear. He did tell me that he gets so "down" at times. I suggested he see the Psychiatrist at the Radiation Oncologists office and he has agreed. That is set for next Thursday. It's great that this facility offers this for their patients because most cancer patients go through a plethora of emotions. Needless to say I will have his hearing aids turned on to maximum.

Today is his third day of eating one container of Yogurt to hopefully clear up the Thrush infection he has in his throat. Hopefully we will see some headway in a week or two.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's update

After the speech therapist visit this morning we headed to the eye doctor's appointment. Everything is "stable" and the scar tissue on his left cornea is healing - which was great news. I did ask about the possibility of having all the excess upper lid skin removed from both eyes and the lower left lid skin tacked up to take care of the atrophy. He said that could all be accomplished and it would probably take about 1.5 hours. Unfortunately the left eyelid would have to be sutured closed - at least 1/3 of the way because he just doesn't want that cornea to be exposed. His left eyelid still does not close completely and if he didn't suture it partially - it would be subjected to drying out. Jeff wants to think about it for a few days before committing.

Another mild stone today - Jeff had his first yogurt (vanilla). The speech therapist suggested he have at least one cup a day to see if the live culture will help in killing off the case of Thrush he has in his mouth and throat. It's so difficult to get rid of this type of yeast infection. A lot of people who have the inability to cough, swallow and mouth paralysis can get this.

Tomorrow is more speech and then chemo in the afternoon. I am definitely cornering the Oncologist to ask him about different pain Rx. What he got last week is just not doing the job. It's so hard to see him in pain. Short of being hooked up to an I.V. and being totally unconscious - there has to be a happy medium.

Good news though - I've had 3 nights of deep sleep. It's amazing how much better I feel after actually sleeping at night (not that I don't get up and check on him occasionally).

Have a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New chemo side effects

Well the side effects have kicked in since Jeff started this new chemo two weeks ago. He is unusually tired and diahhrea has set in. At least he's not experiencing the tingling in his fingers and toes - that's a good thing. He's taking a nasty tasting anti-diahhrea medicine and I'm letting him sleep most of the day and night. The facial nerve pain can be severe at times and unfortunately the new non-narcotic pain Rx does not work - so back to the tried and true Hydrocodone (5 mg).

One thing for sure - because he's sleeping so much I can accomplish quite a bit around the house. Yesterday I fertilized the hedges and bushes (poor things - I couldn't do it last year). The birds are happy - their feeders are replenished every few days and the bird bath is scrubbed out as well.

My mother's move to the new assisted living facility as been put on the back burner. They are awaiting their occupancy license which can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 45 days. Hopefully the doctors who are in partnership have some clout to push along the powers to be in having it completed in two weeks. In the meantime I continue to take boxes over there - unpack the items and take back the empty boxes for refilling. Their ribbon cutting ceremony takes place at 4:30 this afternoon with a tour and refreshments. She wants to attend - but depending on how Jeff is today I can't predict if I will be able to pick her up for the ceremony.

Tomorrow is speech therapy and a visit to the eye doctor and on Thursday is speech in the morning and his 3rd chemo in the afternoon.

Chaos isn't a theory - it's my life.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


While relaxing on the lanai today Jeff came up with a new one. I know he meant to use a different word - but it broke my heart to hear him say it. He said "I just feel bad that you are plagued with me." My heart just ached to hear that. I know he meant he feels like a burden at times. I quickly told him he shouldn't feel that way and to remember the marriage vows - in sickness and in health. He would do the same for me if the tables were turned.

Last night was another successful evening - got plenty of sleep and no roaming took place. Today he even had a small bite of cheese and a piece of pork roast. So for now everything is humming along just fine n Poppy Court.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Great evening

Yesterday went off without a glitch. Jeff's speech therapist came in for her hour muscle stimulation and then off to chemo we went. His blood results were still good and he gained 3# since last week - up to 142.5#.

While he was receiving his treatment I took the opportunity to take my mother over to see her new apartment in the Sunflower Assisted Living Facility. She just loves it - which made me happy. I also was able to take over a few more boxes that she had packed up. Hopefully when it's time to move permanently - most of the loose items will be already there and put away.

Then whisked her back and off to pick up Jeff. Had a one on one talk with the Oncologist and he agreed with me to change Jeff's pain Rx. He put him on Tramadol (non-narcotic). All I can say is it must have worked - no roaming in the middle of the night and as I type this he is still sleeping comfortably. As a result - I had a great night's sleep.

Today is non-eventful - speech therapist at 10AM and the pressure washing of the driveway/walkway. Hopefully I can sneak in a haircut this afternoon.

Have a great Friday.


Thursday, February 19, 2009


Good morning! Today is speech therapy/facial vital stimulator session and then off for chemo at 2:30 PM. Jeff had a good night from what I can tell - but was up around 4AM. It might mean he was "slept-out".

Yesterday I decided to call the fellow that does our pressure washing of the lanai screen cage. After looking at our driveway/walkway - I realized that needed to be done. We usually tackled that chore - but it would take me a few days without Jeff's help. Patrick called me yesterday afternoon to schedule the job and asked me how I was doing. He knew about Jeff last summer when he was here to do the lanai job. Long story short - he lost his wife last year to breast/brain cancer. He spent quite a bit of time on the phone talking to me and even told me to call him whenever I needed to talk or needed information. It's nice to know there are caring people out there who are willing to go above and beyond.

Another observation I have made is there are very few people that want to hang around you when they know you have a seriously ill spouse. I am blessed with two wonderful couples that live next door and down the street from me who are always willing to help. They call/e-mail often - even make extra food for me. (Not that I need that).... It means a lot to me that they care. In the past I've heard the same thing from friends that have had a seriously ill spouse and I always thought how can that be...... now I am experiencing that as well. Maybe they are worried it might be contagious.

I also have some wonderful close friends and family that live further away that keep in touch via e-mail and phone. They are never in a hurry when I'm venting and always have great advice.

Enough of my ramblings ..... It will be a good day once we get organized around here. Have a great Thursday everyone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday's update

I decided to start this blog so my family and friends could follow Jeff's journey. This past year has been a struggle - not only for Jeff but for me. I keep praying, hoping and am trying not to worry - but at times it is difficult.

Tuesday was a difficult day for Jeff in the pain area. I have totally taken him off the codeine. After last week's hospitalization for the build-up of this medication - it was best to not give it to him. He is now taking 1/2 dose of Hydrocodone - 5mg twice a day. I did hear him moaning at 2:30AM - so gave him another dose. On Thursday I will ask the doctor about putting him on a different pain Rx because I think he has built up a tolerance for the one he's been on for almost a full year.

This morning he seems to be much better and is actually more active (coming outside for a puff on his cigar and enjoying the beautiful song birds that have arrived.

Thursday is his second chemo (third go around) and I can expect increased activity for at least two days because of the steroid they put in the I.V. He's much more talkative and active. I cherish those two days because by the third day he's back to being quiet, sleeping quite a bit and lethargic. He will have one more chemo next week and then one week off followed by three more chemos and then another dreadful PET scan to see where we are. Hopefully this different chemo will penetrate those cells and destroy them.

Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.