Thursday 10 September 2020

Health Update 2 - Some Good News

I'm happy to be able to report some good news about my husband's health.

First, he is home from the hospital after having his esophageal stent put in place, and it is working as it should. He is still in the process of switching over from liquids to soft foods, and will have to stay on soft foods as long as he has the stent. But it allows him a wider variety of nutrition and has reduced his nausea.

Second, and probably even more important on the good news front, is that he had a bone scan while in hospital for the stent, and it has showed no cancer in his back or any of his bones. That is a great relief. His fairly severe back pain is being addressed with proper pain medication, and, while his doctor must now begin the process of finding out what's causing the pain, he is comfortable for now.

It is amazing how much energy and brainpower it takes to deal with constant pain and/or nausea. My husband was sleeping or resting almost all the time over the last several months. Now he is able to be awake almost the whole day, and the times he does nod off are more because he is losing sleep when he wakes up to take pain medication a couple of times a night, and then sit upright for awhile to avoid reflux in his throat.

I only wish -- and wish it fervently -- that everyone who has chronic pain could find relief from it, because it so negatively affects quality of life.

For now, we are trying to get rested up for the next steps in my husband's treatment. And we're trying to make our days as normal as possible. Because if we let the days slip away in unhappiness and worry, we'll lose out on the good that's actually remaining to us.

Thank you, my wonderful friends, for your continued good wishes and listening ears. 

I hope to be able to write about some other topics in the near future. It feels like I'll be able to do that again soon.

Some kitten pictures would not go amiss, would they? Enjoy.

Saturday 5 September 2020

Health Update

The news on my husband is not good. He has esophageal cancer -- an aggressive cancer that has already spread to other organs. It's often not detected until it's quite advanced, and this has been the case with my husband. His ability to eat has deteriorated in just four months from normal to only liquids. It started just as covid-19 put us into lockdown and doctors were not seeing patients except in the hospital emergency department. And his symptoms were not at first significant enough to send him to Emergency, so it wasn't until doctors started having telephone appointments in late May that he finally made his first appointment, which was set for early July. Bloodwork at that time returned normal results, so he was referred for a CT scan. As I mentioned before, that test was delayed due to repeated communication breakdowns, and it took a long time and several phone calls to finally get in.  

Once the CT scan was read, though, things started happening quickly. He had an endoscope last Monday, and Thursday he was admitted to hospital to have a stent placed in his esophagus-stomach junction to allow him to take food other than liquids, which is all he could get down for the past month. The stent was put in yesterday and so far he hasn't noticed a difference but it can take a few days for it to expand the passageway. He was also put on stronger pain medication, which was important as his related back pain was becoming unmanageable with the maximum dosage of over-the-counter pain killers.

The thoracic surgeon who talked to us about the stent said that the first thing they do for this kind of cancer is to support nutrition, and the second thing is to treat the tumour. The stent will help his nutrition, and to treat the tumour he has been referred for radiation and chemotherapy.

Thank you for all the kind and thoughtful messages you have left for us. They are appreciated more than you can ever know.

I will be absent from Poetry Monday for the foreseeable future. Diane at On the Alberta/Montana Border welcomes your poems in her comment section and I may see you over there from time to time. And I'll still be reading blogs when I get the chance, so I'll see you around, I'm sure.

We are doing okay, but my heart is breaking already at what is to come. Please hug your dear ones extra hard while you have the chance, won't you?

So long for now.