Said I would return, and here I am. At the time of my most recent break from HW, I was entering into my 3rd full week of continuous severe pain. Was reaching the point, where the pain was controlling me - my body, my thoughts, and my actions. Just when you think you can't take any more, or that pain can't get any worse, it gets worse. I definitely had some negative thoughts during that time period.
Last Sunday, had a long conference call with my oncologist. He was home recovering from a knee surgery, and his nurse was on vacation while he was out, so it explained how I couldn't reach either easily, which is not like them.
For starters, he increased the Fentanyl patch from 50 micrograms to 75, switching out every 48 hours, instead of the normal 72 hours. They tend to wear off by the 3rd day. The first morning I used the 75 patch, it was quite a jolt to my system, but it was expected, and it took a couple of days to adjust to the higher dose. It is meant for the bulk of my pain, and to make sure that there is never a time where there isn't some pain med working in my body. He switched me from the Loratabs, to Dilaudid. Dialaudid for those not familiar, is also a powerful synthetic morphine drug. It works in a different part of the brain than Loratab, and there is no liver toxcity risk with the heavy tylenol portion of the Loratabs.
So I am on 2 forms of synthetic morphine now. The patch for major pain, the diaudid for breakthrough pain. The two together, put me at a much higher risk for overdosing, so the doctor and my pharmacist both gave me good talks about safety precautions on the 2 drugs, so that I don't forget and accidently overdose. I bet the pharmacist sat with me for 30 minutes. She is a BC survivor, and sees the partner of my oncologist. She said the new combination should give me much better results.
In the meantime, my doctor is moving up my July appointment to early June, and he does want to schedule some additional tests, the spot on my spine is still a question mark, even after being reviewed by a total of 4 doctors, including 3 oncologists. His concern, is that why he strongly feels the bulk of the pain is still related to severe radiation damage, that it should not be increasing in both scope and intensity 2 1/2 years after the radiation has ended. His suspicion is growing about the possibilty that I may have bladder cancer as the result, and he is trying to hook up with my urologist to set up a virtual bladder scan, to look for any cancer evidence. He is still interested in a virtual colonoscopy, but more concerned about the bladder. In the past few months, I am having an increasing number of very painful bladder spasms (gee, just like the old days), which make no sense considering that my bladder is no longer connected to my urinary system, and that it is basically sealed off on both the input and exit side.
Whenever I see him again, he will run another PSA test, but right now, that is the least of my worries. No reason to think that it hasn't jumped up even more since the one in April.
Right now, my overall quality of life from a health vantage is pretty low, as there is never any lasting relief from the relentless pain. It's reached the point, that I can't even remember a single day when I wasn't expericing severe pain.
On top of this, I was forced into 3 lengthy legal depositions, despite my condition. On the 3rd and final one, my doctor was prepared to legally force an end to it, but I chose to tough it out and get it over with. Starting to back off the little bit of consulting work I was doing, as the money is no longer worth the extra pain it causes me. I may be ending Physical Therapy again, as I believe my doctor is correct, in that the PT is causing more problems than its helping. Still thinking through on that decision.
So, that's the latest on me. I try not to get snappy here at HW, but if I do, I apologize in advance, sometimes, despite my best efforts, its the pain talking, and not me.
On a side note, did get the first printed copy of my newest novel, and a box of copies is in route to me as I speak. My publisher sent me 20 free cards (looks like debit cards), where the bearer can go on line and get a free copy for their Kindles or Nooks. I have about 5 left to give away, if anyone is interested, I will send a card to the first 5 people that e-mail me their address. Hoping this book will really take off.
My best to each and everyone of you. It was nice to clear my head a little bit, especially why I was going through such a dark and painful element of my PC journey.
David in SC
Post Edited (Purgatory) : 5/25/2012 8:24:37 PM (GMT-6)