Monday, August 12, 2019


It has been my intention to post here for a couple of weeks~~in fact since the anniversary of my first diagnosis July 27th. The metastatic cancer anniversary is coming up later this month.

But things have changed so fast that every time I have started, either I have been in too much pain or I have not had the energy. July 19th (Dick’s birthday) we went sailing with Elaine and Suzanne and I am so thankful we did because I have not been out since. This week our friends Anne and Wayne came from Calgary to visit and sail with us for part of that time. When we made those plans I was able,  but just before they came I had to tell Anne that we might have to cancel the Van Kedisi part. Even up to Wednesday night I was protesting that we could manage. But we are glad they came nevertheless.  Dick got to cycle out to Sooke with Wayne while Anne and I hung out here. The three of them have cooked wonderful meals and this morning I  managed to teach Dick how to make Elaine’s grandmother’s baking powder biscuits for breakfast. It was a great break for Dick too.

I am now number #1 on the list for the Victoria Hospice. The pain has increased day by  day and my medications both routine and for breakthrough have gone up at the same time to the point that I have only been out twice all week, once for blood work and the other for chemotherapy. I started a new chemo drug on Thursday as my oncologist feels that Paclitaxel is no longer working plus side effects like tinnitus and neuropathy have crept in. 

So the pain is bad, but hopefully a surgical intervention will stop the pain even though though there are possible side effects. It is neuropathic pain caused by the tumour in my axillary area that is wrapped around the neurovascular bundle of the brachial plexus. Sometimes the burning, throbbing pain radiates from my scapula and and often goes right down my arm to my fingertips. That is happening right now and the fingertips feel as though electric currents are firing out. My recent scans showed nothing amiss but something is happening to create the pain. 

I am happy to say that I have won 2/4 games of Ticket to Ride while taking  Methadone on a regular basis along with frequent Hydromorphone for breakthrough pain so it seems that my brain is still functioning. Anne dislikes Settlers of Catan which is just as well as that game just may be beyond me at this point. 

Anne and Wayne leave this afternoon so Dick will be back to full time work here. Trust me, this is not easy for him with the changes hitting us so quickly. Nevertheless, this is not life threatening as my tumour is considered local or regional so far. Not to minimize the lack of use of my right hand and the debilitating pain but if the surgical intervention we are looking at is successful, then the pain may be eliminated. As my cancer agency pain doctor said a week ago, losing some more mobility is probably better than having to lay around most of the time. I agree. Despite knowing it s not my fault, I feel so useless.

Monday, August 12 update. I have been admitted one of what they call acute beds in the Victoria Hospice. There are 7 acute/respite beds here and 10 beds for those approaching death. I was here last spring for pain management too but this time the pain is far more severe.I will keep on a more regular basis but I already feel better in hopes that we will see progress sooner than later.

Also, Mary arrived last night and will be with us, working and visiting until she and her partner David head east to visit his relatives for a short visit. They both return after labour day to head back to Uvic. Before they leave Steven and partner Heidi move back from Nanaimo where Steven has just completed a university program. Andy who lives in Terrace where he finished his BASc in Nursing in May SUMMER UPDATE 2019is flying in on August 22 for a week. It is not often to have all 3 kids here in Victoria at the same time so I look forward that. Maybe I will even be home by then.

This photo was taken July 20th

1 comment:

  1. You are handling this all with such bravery and fortitude. I suppose this suggestion has been made many times before, but what about marijuana for the side effects? It seems to work for some people.
    Love you. Sharon