Thursday, July 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home-Not all Sweet

Well, I am home!  I have never been so happy to be home in my life.  My hospital stay was not a vacation that I want to re-visit anytime soon.  It started in the ER on Tuesday night where they tried to control my pain with an IV pain medication.  The meds would work for a short period and then ware off.  I was admitted after answering the same questions over and over.  I was finally up in my room by bedtime.  Again answered the same questions because the ER and the hospital do not communicate I guess.  All the while, I could not get any pain medication until the on-call Dr. received all of the questions that I answered twice at this point.  So all of us were pretty upset, me the most because the pain was getting worse and worse.  

Wednesday I was supposed to have mapping / planning for my radiation treatments that were going to be done what I was originally told 1-2 weeks.  Luckily the radiation department agreed to still do this and planned to come get me for this appointment.  Before my appointment, Dr. McCall, the Radiation Oncologist came to visit and informed me that my Doctor was incorrect and the radiation was not going to be 1-2 weeks, but 5 weeks.  This upset me, but I decided I should go ahead with the planning and decide later if I wanted to give up chemo for 5 weeks for my pain relief.  So they wheeled me down for the mapping.

Insert here where our lives were changed:  During mapping they do a CT scan to ensure the radiation is treated in the correct spots.  During this I was in a lot of pain and Dr. McCall came in and asked if I have a problem sleeping or laying flat.  The question didn't bother me because I do not lay flat a lot because I love pillows.  She told me there was fluid around my right lung that was not there in April for my last scan.  So from there I was taken to another location for an Iodine CT Scan.  I thought this was it and in the mean time I had talked to the Oncologist on call and Dr. McCall.  We all knew what this meant: The cancer had set up shop in my right lung.  I was finally back to my quiet room waiting for Don and mom to arrive. I found myself staring out the window in disbelief.  How could this be happening.  I did not have any shortness of breath, the doctors listen to my lungs at every appointment and did several times even during this visit and everyone said they sounded clear.  I was devastated.  I thought this was as bad as it was going to get but it got worse.  The nurse came to my room and transported Don and I to another room for a lung aspiration.  This is where they place a tube in your back between your ribs and drain the fluid.  While the skin was numb, I could feel the tube go through my skin and I knew what was going on.  This test was the one that made it all real to me.  

I again was returned to my safe place - my room to rest and see mom, dad and Wendy.  I was very groggy from pain medicine but also just in a fog.  What does this mean.  How could this have been missed.  Was this the cause of the pain.  Just several things running through my mind.  All I wanted was to come home.  That feeling I experienced when I was originally diagnosed and I knew that if I were home, they couldn't hurt me.  They couldn't do more tests and discover more things that I could not handle at this time.  I was adamant with the Oncologist that I wanted to be at home, I did not want to be there.  They had me stay last night to ensure that my pain medications were at the right level for future.  Luckily it was.

Today the Oncologist came to see me.  Although pathology isn't back yet, we both know that the cancer is in the lung.  I told him at this time I do not want anymore information.  I just need final confirmation that it is cancer, I don't need size or if there is more than one nodule in the lung.  Next steps are I will be changing doctors more than likely to one in the city that can better manage my disease.  I will meet with her next Wednesday.  More than likely my treatment will consist of chemo.

While this is bad news, we do have the pain somewhat managed.  Still with pain medication, but some of this pain was probably caused from my lung being filled with fluid.  I again did not know it was filled due to not having symptoms of shortness of breath, but they do believe that as time goes on the pain will subside more in my neck, shoulder and back from the drainage.  

Prayers right now that we can find the right chemo to remove the cancer from my lung, but if we can't to control it.  This is not good news and frightens me and everyone else deeply.  It is scary to think of cancer invading my lungs and making it impossible to breath.  So prayers also for our strength and courage and for the new doctors to find something to make this all better.  I can not be broken like this.  Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers and we process this news.




  1. Praying for you. I'm so sorry.

  2. I'm so sorry Amber. Thoughts and prays are on their way. I hope the new doctor can find a better treatment. Xoxox

  3. Amber, you have met every challenge and I believe you are up for another round. Stay strong, I still have you at the top of my daily prayers. I also still go to church everyday and pray for you. Be well.