Archive | November 20, 2014

Glitches happen

I am having issues with pain meds.  I never really have before, but for now, it’s annoying.

Last week I was using Hydrocodone and I couldn’t keep food down.  I lost 5 pounds over the weekend and have sworn off that one!

On Tuesday, Radiation Oncologist Dr. L suggested another pain med.

FYI – I’m in pain pretty much 24 hours a day.  My neck is really sore and I have lousy range of motion because of it.  My lower back is also sore.  Let’s not even toss in the hip pain from my surgery AND cancer that is munching on the bones.  There’s a lot of pain happening.

Last night I take one of these new pain meds — hydromorphone.  2 mg.  TINY little pill.  About an hour later I turn to hubby and say “I feel like I have Frankenstein bolts coming out of the side of my head.”


He looked at me and agreed that my neck/face was swelling up.  We called in to the oncologist who said to get right to the ER in case further swelling caused any airway problems.

Now it’s like 9 pm so we get the kids up and bundled and make a family trip to Edward ER!!!!

I had great care from Nurses and Doctors.  Mega thanks to In laws for coming out to grab the kiddos to bring them home to get to bed!




I was also able to receive a cocktail of drugs – benadryl, tordol and something else — with an IV!!!!!!!!!


I’m telling you, I look like a heroin addict with all the holes in my right arm!!!

I got sent home with some more drug scripts – we are going to try Percaset now.  I’m going to be honest, I’m NOT too excited to try something else.  I mean, my face is still a little tender and swollen from last night.  Maybe just dealing with it and taking Tylenol is just supposed to be my lot right now.

I’m also upping my steroid “dex”  That one we have been playing with so we shall see how that affects things.

We got home around midnight maybe and I just crashed out.

I had to be back for more radiation Thursday morning at 9.

I got in and set for round 2 in the mask.  I am happy that it is a short scan because the mask is really tight on my face.  It actually leaves a little bump on my nose.  I keep my cool because I don’t rock any boats, but phew…. it is pretty confining and I am glad when it comes off.

As I was leaving, I noticed a voice mail from my oncologist on my phone.  He called while I was in the machine.

He heard about the ER visit, saw my spine MRI and wants to know where we are on the biopsy schedule.  Since I am in the building, I just jump on the hospital phone and call on up.

  • Looking at the spine MRI, there seems to be a concerning spot on L1.  He and radiation oncologist talked and thinks that while we are hitting the cervical spine, let’s hit this one too.


So remember –

In my neck we are hitting C2, C5, C6





Now we will be adding L1 to the list






  • As for the biopsy.  I told him I hadn’t heard anything yet.  “You will get a call today.”

So I got to go BACK into radiation to get marked up for Spine Radiation.  I put on a half gown and hung out for a bit while they got things ready.  I also got a treat!!!  I had a warm blanket to wrap around my legs and a scrumptious piece of chocolate from Le Chocolat downtown Naperville that someone had brought in.  YUM!!!!

Once they were ready for me, I headed in.  I lay down on the table and Becky started getting everything lined up.  This setup involves having my tummy exposed.  It’s not exactly swim suit season!!!

I’ve got some Sharpie marks and tabs on my midsection right now.  I have to keep them on until tomorrow when they finish the process.

Tomorrow I go in at noon to get everything done.

I got the call for the biopsy too.  I will be at Edward next Wednesday at 10 am for a 10:45 procedure.  They are going to take some cells from my hip to check.  It will take a few days because of the process.  The results should show us the characteristics of these cancer cells to make sure we are killing them the right way!!!

Finally, I will be back to visit Oncologist Dr. H on Wednesday as well for a check in — hopefully no craziness between now and then, though I make no promises!!!!



round one


I meant to have a quiet day at the house today.

I got a call from Radiology asking if I could run in today at 3:30 and start radiation.

SURE – why not?

So I run over and into the plastic maiden.  It was a little tighter than yesterday!!

They had some settings and adjustments to make.  Dr. L had to authorize the views to make sure everything was fine.  They had the machine do its thing on each side of my head and then I was done.

I also got my full schedule —

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday this week

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday next week

Monday through Friday the first week of December

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the following week and I will be done!

So I will be back again tomorrow morning!!

This entry was posted on November 20, 2014. 1 Comment

Let’s get ready to radiate!!!

I met with Radiation Oncologist Dr. L.  She is a breath of fresh air and full of important information!!

neck 1

See these pink cervical vertebrae?  These are the MOST affected areas of my body right now.  The cancer is eating away at C2, C5 and C6.   We are going to use the radiation to destroy the cancer cells at these locations.

I had the set up on Tuesday afternoon.  This is WEIRD!!!

neck 4I laid down on the table.  Check out the feet in this photo.  Do you see how her feet are pressing on that board?  OK — the there are ropes coming out from the board.  This person is pulling on those ropes.  It didn’t totally go like that for me.  I had the board and the ropes —- but then it got different.

My situation involved having my wrists strapped in so the ropes would pull my shoulders down.

During radiation of any kind, it’s crucial that you are always in the exact same place every time for consistency.  There are all kinds of ways to ensure that consistency.  For MY case, I have to keep my shoulders lowered.

Then there is the mask.

neckThis started as a flat piece of plastic.  It was placed on my head/shoulders in a warm and wet state.  It was clipped onto the tray I was lying on.  The techs then pressed the mold into place onto my head/shoulders.  It felt weird.  I could sort of see out and I could breathe.  There are lots of holes — but really small so everything looks blurry.

Once that was done, they wrote on the mask places to track whatever they need to remember!

Then I got to run upstairs to get s shot in my stomach — oh yay!!!  You know I love shots….

Have you seen theses ads on TV?


It’s a shot you get every 6 months for women with osteoperosis.  This shot that I will be getting MONTHLY is a super charged bone growing shot.  It stings!!!!!  But it is going to help my bones start growing back the holes cancer has made in my bones.

When the radiation destroys the cancer cells, there will be some gaps in my bones which need to be filled in.  My body can do this.  The shot will kick my body into gear to really get going rebuilding my bones.

I had to also get the MRI for my spine that night.  It was REALLY long – I had one hour to lay there, then get a shot for contrast and lay there another 30 minutes.  We didn’t get home until almost 10 pm.  UGH.

Quiet day scheduled for Wednesday.