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Dad had a left lung thorecentesis yesterday. For him, it was extremely painful…the worst one yet. He said, “I’m not doing it again”, and I think I believe him. Maybe there will be no need for it. They drained off 800cc of fluid this time. He took 2 Percocet for the pain and I think those meds helped him.
He is to get Zometa on March 9th or so.
I guess he is not choosing to do the parathyroid surgery.
He is depressed.
The last time he went to the Dr. (and I couldn’t go to this appointment) the Oncologist said things that were depressing Mom said….like…”If I were a betting man I’d bet this cancer will come back”, and “If you are going to be around for 4 or 5 years more I would suggest the surgery”…and I guess the way he said things he was looking down at his hands and just…depressing.
Dad’s weight is 140’s. He isn’t eating. Doesn’t want to.
But his scans are good. State…No sign of cancer.
Although his Calcium remains on the high side. 11 this time.
shit, I don’t know.
Bastard Dr anyway.
Bastard Cancer anyway.
Fucking cigarettes anyway.


We went to the Endocrinologist in Lincoln today. The Dr was funny and direct. He explained that he needed to have proof of hyperparathyroidism and wrote orders for bloodwork, 24 hour urine test and bone density tests. He also explained that the only places to have “mini surgery” ie laproscopic removal of any nodes, was in Tampa Florida or Wisconsin. Then, he explained that the surgery was still only a 1 day affair and tried to be positive about it. We will arrange to have all these labs done and then we are to call the Dr in 2 weeks, if we haven’t already heard from him by then. This Dr. felt that Zymeta every month was a bit extreme. I hope he reccomends we taper that off.
Dad weighed in at 147 pounds.

Dad needs a left thorecentesis again…like yesterday really.
Why the hell we didn’t already schedule it when we were at the oncologist is beyond me. It’s like we are struck dumb at the office.
Of course we had the new guy…had to start over from scratch…had to do a cliff note on dads condition. Instead of getting set up for the procedure we ended up just adding Aldactone to the 80mg of Lasix per day.
Every day is a struggle now. The O2 is a necessity. Dad won’t wear the portable though his sats dip below 85 percent. He is using a cane at times to walk to the bathroom…”for balance”. His activity is extremely limited which in essense limits moms activity too.
There is no answer, no fix no way to make this easier.
We are waiting for Monday to call the oncologist and set up something.

Mom called the oncology office on Tuesday and said that Dad wasn’t feeling better and she wondered if the other lung could be scheduled to be drained as soon as possible. She got a call on Tuesday, from one of the nurses (surprise…no Dr call), who explained that Dad needed a PT/INR drawn, that he had an appointment to get the lung drained at 1pm on Thursday at the hospital.
Then, she got a call later Wednesday afternoon explaining that due to Dad’s PT/INR being too high and that it was too late to “thicken” the blood with Vitamin K, Dad was to be at the radiology center for an infusion of platelets at 9 am and then he was to see the oncologist at her office at 11:15 and that he was still tentatively scheduled for the thorecentesis at 1pm.
So, we got to the radiology department at 9am and found that not only was Dad supposed to have 3 units of platelets but that the nurses there are AWESOME and CARE about patients and their families. I cannot tell you how exceptionally nice it was to finally meet someone with compassion and empathy. It made me want to cry. Dad was actually assessed and monitored and cared for…by the people who worked for the facility. The staff made all the necessary phone calls and arrangements for us and it felt great! They even offered to make mom and I lunch (we declined) but my God how wonderful. Dad almost slept through the entire infusion. His O2 sats were 79 to 83 on room air and he was set up on oxygen and did he sleep! He tolerated the fluids well and as soon as they were done we headed up to “see the Dr”.
yah right
You guessed it. We did not see the Dr. In fact, we did see the NP and she gave Dad a “thorough exam” NOT and was about to send us out the door as fast as she could so we “wouldn’t be late for the procedure”…in fact I had to say…Hey…is Dad’s PT/INR okay? Will they actually do the procedure when we get there? When in fact, the only reason we were at the Dr office in the first place was the fact that we were told that since Dad’s blood was too thin he had to have platelets and then have the PT/INR rechecked and then and only then after seeing the Dr could we for sure go and have the damn procedure anyway. But did she EVEN REVIEW THE LAB REPORTS BEFORE SEEING US?? HELL NO!! HELL NO!! AND HELL NO!!
I am sick of that place and their total lack of concern.
So is Mom.
Well, we got to go and have the right lung drained finally. Another 1 1/2 liters of fluid drawn off. Dad tolerated it well.
Mom and I are in agreement…We want to switch to the Cancer Center for all of Dad’s treatments.
A little bit of kindness goes a hell of a long way.

I think.
Suddenly, after the radiation is done for 1 week, Dad developed a “burn” about the size of a hand on his back, the left side. He says it doesn’t hurt…just itches.
We go on Wednesday to have bloodwork, CT scan and see the oncologist and radiologist once again.
3 chemo left…as of yet.

Dad received a dose of IVPB Zymeta after getting his blood work drawn here in Cambridge. He tolerated the procedure well with mild heartburn the only side effect so far. The blood work was good, showing most all labs in normal range…the exception, calcium which was only .6 out of the range.
Weight is stable at around 170, appetite…fair…everything tastes crappy he says. Occasionally coughing…nothing too bad.
And he still has hair!

Dad hasn’t been taking his Lasix or Potassium and is only taking his TJN’s(twin jet nebulizor treatments) prn (as needed). He feels his legs aren’t as edematous, and they aren’t and that the TJN’s were making him cough more.
Ethel, one of Dad’s chemo nurses called on Thursday and said that Dad had to have an IV treatment of some sort (mom couldn’t remember) to “make his bones stronger). I think it has something to do with an elevation in his serum Calcium level. His is 1 point higher than it should be. Anyway…the thing is, the centrifuge was down at the office where they drew his blood and they had to ship his blood over to the hospital for a read, so the lab was different and I’m not sure I agree with treating him without another blood draw first.
So….we are supposed to go to our hospital on Monday, mid morning and get his IV treatment of some sort.
We’ll see. I may have to make some phone calls first.

Today Dad and I saw about 3,000 snow geese east of Axtell. Most had their downy asses planted in a corn field but some were hovering above the land all in a long white row. I wish I’d brought my camera. There was a light dusting of snow last night and the geese sure blended in to the rough stalks of corn and plowed land.
We had to wait for Dad’s radiation treatment for over an hour today which is not the norm. The cancer center had extra patients as they were helping out another place where the machines were down. The waiting room was full of new people. No one we knew for once. Funny, now we are the “old timers” there. We know where the goodies are, how to make the coffee, how to use the new computer terminal and sign in. We know the look of the newly diagnosed, the silence they wear in their eyes, the weight of papers they carry inside their new “living with cancer” guidebook. We know who the workers are and the ambulance drivers and the radiation tech’s. We know that turtledove nest above the cancer center doorway and that once should never look up when entering. We know the men’s bathroom can “lock itself” when empty and that you have to use a butter knife to get it open. There are no keys.
It might feel strange not going to the treatments. Kind of like we are not doing enough. We will have 4 more chemo treatments though. Next one on Wednesday. Hopefully the pre treatment of Prednisone and Benedryl will stop the annoying allergic reaction dad has – not breathing.

August 2019
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