Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Might Need to Rename This Blog

So little about breast cancer. So much about liver disease.

Found out that liver disease is the 7th most common cause of death for American adults.

I've been trying to research on the Internet about nutrition and liver disease. Getting conflicting info. The liver is the most important organ for metabolizing nutrients. Too much of one thing or too little of another thing can really throw things out of whack. Medicare only pays for consultations with nutritionists for diabetes and renal disease.

Jim has been on a milk thistle supplement for about 4 days now. Even though much I've read says that is a good thing for the liver, I read something today that said not to do it. SIGH.

We are hoping Jim can come home before Thanksgiving.

Jim wants me to consult with his military insurance about what kind of backup they have to Medicare-covered services for him. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow; I mailed in the "authorization to talk to me form" last week. Damned HIPPA. If they won't talk to me, I will have to call them from the hospital and have Jim verbally authorize it. I will take along the speaker phone so her can hear.

Jim got a double dose of lactulose the last two days, and his mind has been clearing up because of it. Of course, though, with the lactulose comes unexpected, explosive bowel movements. I am sorry that the BMs happen, but I find having his mind clear to be more important. He had some mixed dream/waking state last night, but I went in early today and was able to talk him out of it without much problem. He felt he wasn't getting appropriate nursing assistance during the night. (He said they didn't clean out his bedside commode and he had to smell the smell all night.) That may or may not have been the case. It is the weekend, and weekend care does seem to be problematic in most facilities. He spoke to the charge nurse about it in my presence (I was silent), and although she seemed annoyed by his complaints, she did not disagree that it could have happened.

Radiation 15 tomorrow. I also meet with the radiation oncologist. I am starting to feel the buildup of scar tissue in my chest skin. It's not painful; it's a feeling like trying to pick up a Scrabble tile with mittens on. Like the skin is losing flexibility, which is what I was told it would do. Makes me wonder whether I need to go through all 28 treatments. If you recall, I was scheduled for 8 chemo treatments but only got 7 because the oncologist thought the additional treatment might do more harm than good. On that point, I still have significant numbness in my feet, fingertips, and tongue from chemo-induced neuropathy. I bought some boots today that are a little ill-fitting, and I was stumbling all over the place between them and the numbness.


Annie said...

Hi, Via.

Thanks for all the updates and message a days ago. I also hope Jim can come home before Thanksgiving! We are so sorry to hear of his side effects, and the trouble you are having getting information. Sadly, no information is sometimes all the information they are willing to give in a situation like this one. I'd take meds that protect his mind too, over explosive BMs. You are doing a terrific job holding up through all of this stuff. God Bless You and Keep you strong. You're not bitchy, just assertive when you have to be!

We love you and you continue to be in our prayers,
Annie and Doug

Martha and Alley Cat said...

V -
Do a search on Sam-E also. When our beloved Dylan had liver cancer
Sam-e was one of his many daily suppliments. It supports the liver like the milk thistle and also helps with depression and stress. It's a bit expensive and I found the cheapest was at Costco.

Alice said...

Sending great big hugs and good thoughts your way.