Friday, January 19, 2007

This Week's Update

I am now dragging Jim along to PT with me. PT Bruiser couldn't figure why I am all tightened up again, so she took at look at my chest. I have developed another late-onset radiation burn. CRAP! She recommended aloe, ibuprofen, and cold compresses. (Thanks, Steve, I have been using the cocoa butter.) It's been 50 days since my last radiation. PY Bruiser expressed surprise at such a late-onset burn. I am wondering whether I need to consult the plastic surgeon and whether he might want to delay my surgery. (NO!!!!)

We had Jim's blood drawn again today, and the GI guy will get the results tomorrow. Unfortunately, that DR is slow to respond and we may not find out the results until Monday. It has been a joy having Jim off diuretics. This morning he got right up when asked, headed straight in to shave and brush his teeth, made the bed, straightened the room, folded his laundry, and later helped me clean vegetables and cut up fruit and tend the fire.

I have been fallling asleep right after I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, and Jim takes care of me, keeping me covered on the couch and taking me to bed when he's done for the night.

We've had a series of conversations about Adult Day Care. We are visiting another one tomorrow, and they invited Jim to stay (without me) for a couple of hours and have lunch with them. (I will have to take his lunch with us.) That sounds like a great approach to me. Jim has started to abandon the idea that I am trying to "warehouse" him and to embrace the idea that I need the uninterrupted time to take care of matters, including working. I've been having him come up to the kitchen for meals the last 3 or 4 times, and he is paying attention to how much effort it takes to prepare and clean up from a meal. (He had a broiled flounder filet tonight; thank you Robin so much for teaching me how to do that.) And he's been watching me do all sorts of other chores to keep him clean and comfortable, as well as my own chores, and I think he's finally getting the idea of how much effort this takes.

We haven't heard when Patrick will be back, and the way Jim is right now, we wouldn't really need Patrick every other night. But I hate to change Patrick to a different schedule and then not be able to get him back if and when the need arises. I wish Jim could be more accepting of the other caregivers.

I called the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition this week to see whether they had any financial resources to help with Jim's night care. They don't, but the woman said she would call around to a couple other places to see whether they might be able to help. We burned through the $1,500 Cancer Center grant in only 10 nights.

I got to meet a member of the FDMB and her cat yesterday when she came over this way for a consult with a veterinary oncologist. What a joy it was to meet them, and see them interact, especially when the news so far from the onc was so surprisingly good. It looks like our spunky Princess Janiebird has many more happy and vocal days ahead of her!!


Alice said...

So glad everything sounds like it's improving. Hope the burn doesn't set you back.


pam said...

Hi Venita,
I periodically check your progress because I am thinking about you a lot. I don't know if you have contacted them before, but have you tried Cancer Care Connection? They are a great resource for obtaining information on every conceivable issue relating to cancer. You can check them out on the web. Just thought I'd mention it. Take care and best wishes, as always. Pam