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Another Day – Another Test (or 10)

November 30, 2010

Debbie here again. For those of you that panicked yesterday when it was  me writing instead of Jill, she is still alive and kicking – I’ve already had several e-mails from her this morning. Yesterday morning she had an incident where her hand “flopped over” and she couldn’t control it for a few seconds. They attempted to do an MRI, but she still can’t lay flat for more than a couple of minutes without feeling as if she’s “drowning”.  So she had a 2 minute MRI . So in Jill’s words, here’s the outcome of the tests and treatments for the day.

Dr. Yu the on-call neurologist popped by. The 2 minutes of MRI I managed to get through showed several small strokes.  She has no idea if the jaw spasms are little strokes too, but she doubts it.  She thinks that’s low potassium and I’m getting that now by IV, so that should help. She did a complete neurological workup, and I have no deficits whatsoever. My only problem is with numbness in my feet, and we’re just going to have to deal with that later. It’s likely peripheral neuropathy from something or other — some chemo I’ve had in the past coming back to haunt me. I’ll have to deal with that later, but I might be a hobbler/tripper for the rest of my life. Oh well.

There are tiny strokes on both sides of the brain. They need to find out more about the source so tomorrow they’re going to do an ultrasound of the vessels in my neck, which should tell them something. Not sure what, but something. Meanwhile, I have the call button. (My un-expert medical opinion – several days of very high blood pressure caused the strokes)

 The solution. Thin the blood. Cancer thickens blood, and God knows the high blood presssure and high heart rate the last few days hasn’t helped. So, I go on 325 mg of aspirin a day. Salycilic acid. Willow bark. Simple.

Dr. Ingber also gave me a prescription for Xanax, which is taking my anxiety level down. My heart rate is now hanging about 119 rather than 137. The blood pressure is 120/70. Good. I’m sure the 151/100 didn’t help with the strokes. (Jill holds the same un-expert opinion) He’s also ordered the metroperol (????) heart-rate slower 2x a day rather than the one time the on-call oncologist ordered over the weekend. Good That should help also.

The hospital food is darned yuky. Blah blah blah. They have some good cinnamon rolls, though, so I’ve been enjoying them in teeny tiny bites lest they freeze my jaw shut. They also have all kinds of soft stuff I can eat. Again, boring, but edible.

 Thank you all for prayers and support. Toast me with an aspirin tonight and I’ll update you as I can tomorrow.

This is excerpted from an e-mail I received from her this morning. More reasons to be praying diligently.

I am amazingly tired. Couldn’t find a way to sleep comfortably last night except leaning forward on a table….. 

Can’t eat or drink anything, but they gave me a diuretic this morning anyway???? Whatever. They’re going to check my legs for deep vein thrombisis — just kind of a routine thing done with ultrasound, no biggie. They’re going to tap my lungs to see if they can get me to lie on my back long enough for a full MRI. 20 minutes flat on my back. hahahahhaha. I thought they were going to do a CT,  but they’re persistent.  Maybe the not eating and drinking is because they want to leave me open to being knocked out with twilight sleep to get through the MRI, which might work.

So there you have it. They are still thinking about putting drains in to help manage the pleural effusions. Apparently these particular drains are a new technology that allows the patient to control the flow of fluid exiting the body. Since this is so new, the drains are somewhat hard to find plus the insurance company will need to approve their use. If you’ve ever had a bad cold or bronchitis or pneumonia or asthma or any other problem that makes it difficult to breath, you have a small idea of what Jill is going through 24/7.  The drain would greatly reduce her discomfort – so pray for smooth sailing with the insurance company and that a drain or drains would be available soon. The Xanax is helping a lot to manage the anxiety of not being able to breath.

Thanks again for all your support.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy Bartell permalink
    November 30, 2010 8:57 am

    Debbie, Haven’t met you, but thanks so much for keeping us up to date. I have been thinking about Jill constantly since this lung thing started happening. I’m so glad she has such a supportive family and group of friends. Prayers will keep coming.

  2. mom permalink
    November 30, 2010 9:26 am

    Deep Vein Thrombosis can flake off a bit of blood to cause the strokes so they need to know that and that is why the ultrasound is being done on the legs. Cause might be an injury to the legs, like a fall or a bruising, a bump, anything can cause it, like sitting in a plane without getting up to move around. etc. They will look and see if the shape of the clot in the brain is similar to what a deep vein thrombosis looks like. It also could be from narrowing of the carotid arteries from cholesterol and not enough blood getting through to the brain. Also, aneurysms can do this, You are born with them and sometimes the burst or give you tiny strokes, etc. Dr. Shirman said, because of Dad’s problems that this family needs to control both cholesterol and diabetes. Need to let your doctors know, girls and boys. Aunt Pat and Uncle Ross will be here on the 17th and 18th. Off to daily chores. Mom

  3. Murray permalink
    November 30, 2010 9:56 am

    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks again for keeping us posted. Sounds like she has several ordeals ahead. We’re hoping & praying she feels better soon.


  4. mom permalink
    November 30, 2010 10:10 am

    I,too, am praying for my girl. Lifes problems are not easy to face but can be overturned. So pray I do. I gave you all my school lesson today and now on to pray.

    • Jennifer permalink
      November 30, 2010 1:01 pm

      Well spoken. Well received. Thank you!

  5. Babs permalink
    November 30, 2010 10:43 am

    Hang strong girl – FAMily is right there with ya!!

  6. Sarahtee permalink
    November 30, 2010 11:39 am

    Thanks again Debbie for your updates 🙂
    Jill, praying the insurance co will come through and you have access to those drains so you can breathe more easily. Much love,
    Sarah xxx

  7. Dawn permalink
    November 30, 2010 1:01 pm

    Hi Jill! Oh the little things we take for granted–like a nice deep breath! Like chewing! Like sleeping while lying down! I’m praying the insurance company will come through quickly so you get relief. Thinking of you and hoping you feel better very soon! Love, Dawn

  8. November 30, 2010 7:51 pm

    Thank you Debbie! (((((HUGS))))

  9. Lisa Welch permalink
    November 30, 2010 10:43 pm

    Oh, my goodness, Jill! I’m getting anxiety, just reading about all you’re going through! May have to come “borrow” some of your Zanax! Isn’t Salycilic acid used to treat pimples? Don’t tell me this has all kicked off a teen acne episode, too? (feeble attempt at humor here…take care. Love and thoughts are with you.) Are you at Valley?

  10. Bemused Boomer permalink
    December 1, 2010 12:06 am

    Blessings, blessings. Anyone who can sleep even a little while sitting up and leaning on a table is a lot stronger (and more inventive) than I. Blessings for you to have some good sleep, Jill.

  11. E Lis permalink
    December 1, 2010 5:00 pm

    I, honestly, out of love and caring can say little. Words are meaningless at times. Much love, prayers and hugs. Thinking of you and yours.

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