Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pain and symptom management

So I saw the Pain and Symptom Management doctors today. It was very, very informative. They did a sensitivity test on my sternum, and it turns out that it's sensitive to even the slightest touch. What has probably happened is that the soft mass that was growing as part of the tumour is pressing against some nerves. There are a bunch over the sternum there, so it wouldn't be surprising that the tumour would hit one or another of them at some point. Oxycodone doesn't do anything for nerve pain, which might be why I don't feel that it's working as well.

What they suggested for the nerve pain was A535 or something similar, lidocaine if that doesn't work, and capsaicin cream if those doesn't work. They also suggest going through with the radiation and if the pain is not controlled after that to start taking one or another medication that targets the nerve. We decided to not try this medication right off the bat because the radiation might actually take care of that pain as well as the bone pain. I have put a call into the radiation nurse; if we can do the radiation before we go to North Carolina, that would be great. We'll see. I hope to know tomorrow.

As for my tiredness, they think that ALL of my medications are contributing to my tiredness. They've prescribed a low dose of Ritalin for me that should take care of this. It is possible that once I have the radiation, I will have more energy and I'll be able to decrease the dose of the Ritalin. I'll be starting the Ritalin tomorrow. I really, really hope it works, because I'm really, really tired of being tired.

I've also been having stomach problems, off and on; I get a tummyache after eating (and especially after eating bananas). I take Nexium for that, but it hasn't been working as well as it had been before. Therefore, they want me to have the test for the bacteria H.Pylori. That's been scheduled for the end of July. If I do test positive for this bacteria, then I need a round of antibiotics. In the meantime, I'm to take Milk of Magnesia in the hopes that it will help soothe my stomach.

They checked my spine and I actually have a new sore vertebrae up between my shoulder blades. I didn't know that one was there; it's possible that there are mets there that aren't showing up. There appears to be a sore spot on my liver also; it's unlikely that I have liver mets, but I have the ultrasound on Friday just in case.

That's a pretty long day, huh? :) After that, I took a bunch of photographs of my jewelry and we watched The Card Player. This movie is directed by Dario Argento - he apparently directed such ground-breaking classics as Deep Red and Suspiria - these movies influenced most of today's horror movies. Apparently they're like very, very gory detective movies.

While we were watching the movie, the neighbour's cat came buy for a visit. He is white with grey patches, and he has yet to grow into his tail or his ears :) He and I had a bit of a cuddle, much to Ian's dismay. The cat has hung around for a while - fortunately, it didn't catch any of the chipmunks in our yard even though it went under the steps to their main lair. Whew.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that bananas are bothering you... that happens to me, too. Are you allergic to ragweed or chamomille? Apparently the protein structure of these three is similar. (My allergist wasn't surprised to hear the bananas give me trouble given that I'm allergic to ragweed.)


Anonymous said...

Bananas give me digestive trouble too and this is very recent. As of early this year. Bad for me because I used to use them as an egg substitute in my baking. No more banana bread for me :(

Chantelle said...

As a matter of fact, I am allergic to ragweed - I had no idea that there was a connection between my allergies and my inability to eat bananas.

I can still eat banana bread and baked bananas, I think. At least I hope I can.