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We saw the oncologist on Thursday and she arranged for us to go to Kearney the next day for a thorecentesis (lung tap). Dad was less than thrilled but hoped he would feel better after that.
Our appointment was for 1pm (or so we thought). We arrived at the hospital around 12:45 and the admitting clerk stated that Dad needed bloodwork and that had been scheduled for 12:30 not that we knew. Anyway, it was okay the clerk assured us and we wheeled Dad down a variety of mazelike halls and sat for awhile and waited for the lab. Dad was very short of breath and uncomfortable.
***reminder to self…when Dad gets lower back pain…I mean low low low pain…that means his lung is full of fluid…***
After the bloodwork we waited in radiology. It was around 1:05 so we weren’t too late (or so we thought). We waited, we waited, we waited, I checked to see if we were in the right area, we waited we waited, I checked again and the lady says: Well, you aren’t scheduled until 2:30. I was like…WHAT! No…the paper says 1Pm the admitting clerk said 1pm…the lady who called last night said 1pm. IT’S 1 FUCKING PM! I really didn’t shout it…I just looked at her with glazed eyes and put my forefinger…yes, MY FOREFINGER up in the air that meant, 1 pm LADY! NOT I REPEAT NOT 2:30PM…DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!!!!!!!! MY DAD HASN’T HAD ANYTHING TO EAT OR DRINK SINCE MIDNIGHT AND YOU BETTER GET YOUR ASSES IN GEAR AND I DON’T MEAN MAYBE! DON’T LIE TO US….JUST TELL US…SORRY WE BUMPED YOU TO LATER BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE DR. ORDERED. JUST DON’T LIE!!!!!
Anyway, needless to say, Dad got in about 3pm and then after they drained off about 1 and 1/2 litres of fluid, which pained him terribly, they sent us to the ambulatory surgery wing were Dad was to be monitored for 2 hours or so. His BP remained low…80’s over 50’s….hypotension due to…?? cancer?? low fluid?? vagal response?? who knows
His O2 Sats came up fairly well with oxygen on and at rest. Normal really. He said that this tap hurt way worse than the last time. He also said that they wanted to drain the right side next week. Great. I told him that maybe with the fluid off his left side his heart would pump a little better and the fluid would dissapate better and also with the antibiotic things would clear up a bit better.
I don’t know.
Finally we got on the way around 6pm. We stopped bv a shitty KFC and got a few ratty pieces of chicken for the drive home. I had brought some portable O2 and put that on Dad. He tolerated the trip well and it took us only 1 1/2 hours to get home.
He has an appointment with the oncologist next week.
We are headed to Kearney to see the Oncologist. Dad went to the Dr. yesterday and his lung X-ray showed pleural effusion both sides and an increase in the leff sided pleural effusion. His o2 sat, at rest, was 86. With walking it was 79. Yes, he qualifies for o2. No he didn’t want it. Yes I ordered it anyway, took it out, and showed him how to use it.
I imagine Dad needs his lung tapped.
He is not thrilled.
If there is a side effect from Taxotere listed Dad seems to get it. Dad’s lower leg edema has decreased somewhat. He still has some rales and crackles in his right lower base posterior and is somewhat diminished anterior on the right side as well. Of course the air movement is fair to poor on the left (cancer side) and I believe I hear the pleural(effusion) fluid creaking with each breath.
Dad has his bloodwork taken and a chest x-ray done today. We saw the bloodwork and most everything looks GREAT! His INR/PT is a bit lower than the Dr. likes but that is just a coumadin fix. The hgb is 15.3, wbc is 6, the platelets normal, the BUN and Creatinine normal, the Alk Phos…normal, the Calcium…normal. Well, then…what next? Dad’s was sitting with his head bobbing around like he couldn’t even support it when I saw him this afternoon. I thought, “Hospital”, instantly. He had an appointment with his PA tomorrow at 3 p.m. I called the clinic and talked with his PA, got the appointment moved up to 9 a.m. tomorrow, got his Lasix increased to 80 mg today and tomorrow, (along with his Kcl), and we shall see. Dad has a tightish cough, so I encouraged him to increase his fluids, do his breathing treatments and made him…along with me and Mom. a strawberry lemonade smoothie. Later on tonight, Dad seemed a bit stronger. I don’t know if he is depressed or sick or both or what to do really. I think he needs that pleural effusion drained but I hate to think of that. Dad does too. He doesn’t want to do that again.
We may have no option.
It almost seemed that Dad felt better while he was getting chemo. Of course the steroids probably helped!
I don’t think Dad has shingles at least. We did have to go to the Dr here in town on Thursday because Dad wasn’t diuresing very much. We were hoping for an increase in the Lasix. I’d noticed that Dad had 2-3 plus pitting edema in his lower legs and bilateral lung sounds were quite diminished. The problem is that his BP is running low…100’s over 50’s routinely already and the increase in diuretics could decrease the BP more. Anyway, after 1 hour and 45 minutes wait we saw the PA and he did order an increase in the Lasix (and Potassium)for 5 days, added Aldactone daily and ordered some labwork for next week. I set up Dad’s pills in a med cassette, put his TED hose on and that was that.
Saturday, while I was at the swim meet in Lexington, I called Mom and she said that Dad was having a really bad backache and not peeing at all and she was worried and had called the on call DR. (who changed nothing) and then I got worried. I thought to myself…maybe the Taxotere has damaged Dad’s kidneys, maybe there is mets, maybe he has an infection, maybe his prostrate is blocking the ureters, maybe he needs straight cathed, maybe maybe maybe. By the time I got home, Dad was starting to diurese at a remarkable rate and continued to do so today. His BP is quite low and his back still aches a bit. Tomorrow, he has an eye DR appointment in McCook. Mom will take him. I hope he will not be too dizzy We may have to call the PA about the fluid, BP, etc. Dad’s weight went down about 5 pounds.
I went with Mom and Dad to the Oncologist on Thursday. After a chest x-ray we were to visit the Dr. and Dad was to get Zometa and chemo. We weren’t looking forward to the chemo because Dad feels kind of blah. His eyes are tearing sooo badly. He went to the eye Dr. (for the first time in his life) and got his tear duct opened up on the right side and the Dr. told Dad that he doesn’t even have a tear duct on the left side. Weird. Anyway, besides the constant tearing of the eyes Dad feels tired and a bit short of breath. He has had some increase in lower leg edema. TED hose seem to help a bit. And he started taking the Lasix pills regularly again. Dad also has some neuropathy pain, slight, in the tips of two of his fingers. There are many little, annoying things that are bothering him. Especially frustrating is the fact that he can’t taste anything.
Much to our surprise, after waiting in the room for 45 minutes, the Dr came in and said, “How about a vacation from chemo for 3 months?” Of course we asked about the x-ray and the Dr said that it showed an increase in fluid in the right and the left side…which she attributed to the chemo. She stated that the tumor didn’t appear to be bigger and that she thought a break in chemo would be beneficial. We were good with that. Dad will have to have Zometa every month…but that is cake…no side effects there. So the next CT scan/chemo will be in October, unless, the Dr. said, Dad begins to feel worse ie…bony pain etc…
So…next appointment will be around the second week of August.
Hopefully some of the side effects of that Taxotere will subside.
Oh yah…tonight Dad pointed out a series of hive like areas on his torso and leg…please not shingles I hope.