Monday, April 26, 2010

April 2010

Last long one ... promise! 

April 1st, 2010
I received a phone call from Dr. Alam's office stating that the pathology report came back from Mt. Sinai and they were also confirming mesothelioma.  Can't breathe .... lung filling up with water or just a panic attack?  My best friend Valentina was with me during the call as we were supposed to be going to Whole Foods in Detroit for groceries.  Of course I had my moment and broke down but it was nice to have someone there.  We decided to head to the states anyways and chatted along the way .. as time went on I was having a harder time breathing.  Valentina had asked a couple times what I wanted to do, still get groceries, try and find a walk in clinic open with Easter weekend approaching, or go shopping at Michael Kors.  For those of you who know me really well, I would have picked the later but I was really having a hard time breathing. 

So..... the shenanigans of Valentina and Sasha begin.  We decided not to go to the states and drive around town trying to find a walk in clinic.  First one, just closed .... second, closed .... next call a friend and Dr. Wilson to see what the best thing to do was aside from going to emerg but of course theirs answers were head to emerg.  I checked in, same routine .... previous history of ovarian and breast cancer, either have a recurrence but under investigation for mesothelioma, having a hard time breathing, pain in the centre of my chest, currently undergoing treatments and I do not want to wait  in a room with ill people.  After all the paper we were escorted to the silent room where we had a chance to chill, chat, have some food and tea and watch TV .... kinda nice.  Then the room was needed so we got switched to the kids play room but it was all to ourselves ... again for chatting and we watched Private Practice. 

Finally to make an even longer story shorter after a male nurse who was not giving us too much information and who Val did not have a good feeling about tracked down another nurse and within minutes the nurse appeared and the doctor after waiting 5hrs.  By this time I was back to breathing normal, chatted with the doctor and explained that it was more likely a panic attack due to the phone call I received earlier.  My chest x-ray was clear (yes.... no more fluid build up) and they wanted to rule out a pulmonary embolism so I had to come back the following day for a CT scan. 

April 2nd, 2010
10:00 am ~ back in emerg ... waited an hour, had CT scan performed ..... 3 hrs later still waiting for my report to be read.  I got lost .... they figured out the problem and realized I was admitted as an outpatient vs. and emergency patient so the outpatient files do not get read because the emergency ones are priority!  Now ..... the next three hours consisted of .... the nurse coming in to read my CT scan stating that I did not have an embolism .... but she could not read the last part of the report (didn't understand the jargon) therefore, needed to speak with the doctor ..... nurse returned and the doctor didn't know what the jargon meant either .... therefore, they have contacted the respirologist and waiting for his call.  Respirologist calls back but wants to look at my files from HDGH ..... finally calls back and will not discharge me until they know I am being followed.  I forgot to mention that when I met with the nurse I explained my whole story and that Tuesday Dr. Alam was bringing my case to the Lung board to come to an agreement as to what they are going to continue doing for my treatments.  I mentioned this again to the nurse stating there is nothing that you are going to diagnosis or tell me ... I know what is going on.  Finally the respirologist called back just as I was about to discharge myself and stated that my case was being presented to the lung board and he sits on it and is aware that I am being followed so I can be discharged.   Were they not just trying to rule out an embolism which they did after the first 4 hrs!  Time of discharge  ~ 5:00 PM!  

The good things that came out of my 12 hr visit to emerg was the I had the x-ray that showed my lung was not filling up with water and my CT scan showed no pulmonary embolism and that the current treatments I am receiving are working.  

April 6th, 2010
Today I had my port inserted ... you know the usual :) Report to admitting 7:00 am, procedure 9:00 am but were behind a bit.  Wheeled into room at 10:00 am, mild sedation given as Dr. Speirs walking in, froze the area, more sedation given and then ... all done!!  Off to recover for a bit and then home, nice and easy and now it will save my arms and veins from being picked so much.

April 7th, 2010
Blood work and appointment with Dr. Alam.  The previous day they had the lung board review my case and none of the doctors believe still that it is mesothelioma.  They had the reports from emerg and everyone was shocked and happy to see that all my lymph nodes had decreased in size, the granules (looked like sand) that were on the base of my lungs they can not see but could also be due to the pleurodesis but the granules along the side of my lung they can't even see.  As for the nodules in my lung they are still there but have also decreased and some may be due to radiation scarring as it is hard to tell because my previous CT scan was grey due to all the water accumulation.  Therefore, they do not want to change my treatment and will have the pathologist in Windsor run some more tests comparing my breast slides from '07 to my lung slides now.  In the meantime Dr. Alam stated that I am being referred to Mt. Sinai for a second opinion, Karmanos for a second opinion, and Dr. Coughlin wants me to go to London for an opinion on taking out my lung. OK!

April 8th, 2010
9:00 am - chemo #3, half way there already.  Exact same treatment and usual sleeping pattern .... I normally pass out after the benedryl and sleep most of the day.  3:30 pm - time to go home!

April 9th, 2010
Don't have to go back for my Neulasta shot as Dr. Alam agreed to let me see what my counts were on my own.  Thank goodness as I explained to her my experience from my 2nd treatment and I stated that it is due to the Neulasta shot.  The agreement was that I did my blood work every week and if I started to drop then I would come back for individual shots of Neupogen.  Agree!

April 9th - 12th, 2010
Over the weekend is when I normally become incapable of functioning.  Don't get me wrong I was still feeling yukky but I could function and make my own breakfast and clean up the dishes without feeling like I just ran a marathon.  This was awesome .... I truly believe it was my shot so lets see if my counts hold up.

April 13th, 2010
Second consult with Dr. Marier Naturopathic Doctor ... I didn't write anything in the previous post as my first consult was exactly that - a consult.  We chatted about my diagnosis, past history, any other illness, how I ate, what I did for exercise, what supplements I was on and some suggestions he had re: intravenous Vit. C therapy and Helixor. 

I will explain and expand more as this is the day I started to integrate eastern and western medicine to help heal my body not just physically but emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

To be continued .......

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