Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wonders of modern chemistry part 8

Apologies for not updating the blog recently – I have not felt up to it until now.

Summary: For some (still unexplained) reason my pain increased and caused my condition to deteriorate rapidly over a period of a couple of days leading to dehydration and subsequent problems requiring admission to hospital for tests and treatment. I then had severe diarrhoea (again unexplained) which slowed progress in rehydrating me. I am now at home, feeling much better, on increased doses of pain killers, eating better, and am ready for second round of chemotherapy which starts on Wednesday the 13th of March.

Detail:
Sunday 3rd – feeling OK – some side effects from chemo – no appetite, some increase in wound pain from laparotomy scar but otherwise basically OK apart from some constipation.
Monday 4th early morning – woke in the night with increased abdominal pain. This continued through the morning. Increased painkillers. Still no appetite. Could not lie back – more comfortable upright. Still constipated.
Tuesday 5th – abdominal pain had not subsided – called oncologist and was advised to increase pain relief. In the mean time was still not eating and had difficulty with keeping up hydration – also still constipated.
Wednesday 6th – pain still had not subsided. Called surgeon and arranged urgent visit.
Thursday 7th – Surgeon examined me and immediately admitted me to hospital for tests and treatment. By this stage I was not feeling at all good – seriously dehydrated and feeling very weak.admitted to hospital at 3PM – had a CT scan and blood tests, and on a saline drip. Discovered that the port installed to assist with chemotherapy was not working (could not draw blood from it) so had a radiologist examine – he discovered that the end of the catheter in the subclavian vein was close to the vein wall, so port wouild allow fluid going in, but attempts to draw back from the port caused a "valving" action against the vein wall.
Thursday 7th – results of CT showed some blood clots on the lungs so started anticoagulant therapy (Clexane) - no conclusive answer on abdominal pain however. Still on saline drip. Still constipated so started treatment for that.
Thursday 7th overnight – Laxatives started to work – so well in fact that I had raging diarrhoea. Hospital staff concerned about possible gastro. Took a stool sample for testing and took steps to isolate me. Diarrhoea not helping rehydration.
Friday 8th – moved to private room for precautionary isolation. Discussed causes of abdo pain with oncologist and surgeon. Neither had a clear explanation but suggested could be caused by cancer growth and best to treat pain and continue chemotherapy. The goal from here is to get me ready for next round of chemo.
Friday 8th overnight – continuing diarrhoea.
Saturday 9th – discussed caused of diarrhoea with oncologist. He said that the onset was later than would be expected if it was a side effect of chemo, but given constipation earlier this was not out of the question. No results on gastro tests, but neither the oncologist nor I believe it is gastro.
 Sunday 10th – still no test results. Decided to stay in hospital one more day to get a clearer answer on cause of the diarrhoea and to get more fluid input from drip.
Monday 11th – still no test results (blame the long weekend) – time to go home. Will be back on Wednesday for second chemo session and presumably will get the results then. Discharged from hospital at 11AM.
Tuesday 12th – At home and feeling better – have some appetite back and drinking plenty of fluids. On higher doses of painkillers and pain is under control. Am feeling much stronger and am ready for next round of chemo.

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