Mom is doing okay these days. As it is still cold out these days, she sits on her chair at the kitchen heat register in the morning and warms up. It takes a while to get breakfast down. If often takes a couple or few hours to feel like she can get going. But, as long as she is kept warm, she and Floyd go out to Wal-Mart, downtown, Safeway, etc. I know Floyd is itching to go out somewhere, so he goes for walks while I’m at home or even if I’m not if Mom is feeling good and not too tired. I haven’t asked her her weight recently, so I don’t know. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t put on any weight. I suggested that they might take a road trip up North or Saskatchewan when the weather is warm. But I really don’t know if Mom can handle any trip longer than an hour or so. She frequently needs to lie down. Last night in the middle of a TV show before bed, she had to lie down. We talked for a bit. She was concerned about how it might look to everyone. “I don’t think anyone knows how this feels.” She talked about having the energy sapped out of her and feeling like there is absolutely nothing she can do but lie down. I told her that, no, unless this happens to someone else, they really don’t know how it would feel. <sigh> “When this happens, I just have to lie down and wait. But when I feel good, I feel good.”
Mom continues to take her new cancer meds, appetite pills, and occasionally her Ventolin (“puffer”). I’ll post an update in a couple of months after her next doctor’s appointment.
Doctor Brigden says Mom’s cancer has decreased to half of previously – again. Good news.
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So it looks like the new medication is really working well. The doc still states that Mom should be in remission (yes, all cancer gone) by spring. Mom cannot believe it. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” she says. But the proof is in the CT scan lab results. (Previously, it was an X-ray.)
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Unfortunately, Dr. Brigden is leaving. He’s taking a position elsewhere outside of Lethbridge. Mom isn’t too pleased with this. But, because of Mom’s success with this new medication, the good doctor wants to keep in touch with Mom. She’ll give him my email address and, I hope, this website.
Mom has been having ‘panic attacks’ lately. They typically happen just as she starts to eat. I’m guessing it is part physiological – it takes a lot of energy to digest food – and part psychological – she knows she has to eat and dreads it most times.
She says she has more of an appetite lately, like the past month or so. I might attribute that to using the cannabis oil again, but it might be that she just knows she has to eat. However, it’s really hard for her.
I think she also dreads someone harping at her that she has to eat. Although it is true that she needs to eat to keep her strength up, and we (Floyd & I) remind her of it, she also doesn’t need that added stress. “Don’t worry – you’ll eat when you can.”
As I write this (5:45pm), she’s laying down with an Ativan in hopes this feeling leaves. It generally lasts about 10 to 20 minutes.
In the time it’s taken me to write this (and delete all the spam messages on this site [83 since mid-December 2018]), she’s back at the table to attempt supper again.
Mom has been using the cannabis oil (50/50 mix of CBD & THC) for about a month now. Five drops, three times a day. She says it’s much easier to eat now. She actually gets hungry now, and she’s eating more. And, it seems she’s not as tired as before.
However, her hearing is not getting any better. That’s not cancer – just age.
Mom seems to be doing better now. She’s gone to the casino, Walmart, etc. with Floyd. Aside from the doctor and hospital, she had previously spent 3 weeks without going outside. Now they’re going here and there – every day for the past 3 days. She sometimes still needs Floyd’s help in walking, but she’s doing better than before. Her leg seems to be back to normal, too.
Mom is now able to walk from the living room to the bathroom and back again without help. Bit improvement over the past few weeks. She’s also been able to go out of the house with Floyd a few times – to Walmart, the drugstore, etc. I think she’s still a little dizzy in lying down and getting up.
Mom’s right leg isn’t working well. She attributes this to her right lung being collapsed and, thus, poor circulation on that side. She has trouble walking – has had for almost two weeks, since her vertigo – because of her vertigo, her weakness not walking for a couple of weeks, her right leg, and (in my opinion) discontinuing the cannabis oil (causing a bit of weight loss & overall “not feeling well”). Nonetheless, she wants to get her exercise and walk. The spirit is willing, but the body isn’t.
Last night Mom had a dream that Floyd put her in a nursing home. She was so disappointed by the dream. I said, “A nursing home is for people who don’t have anyone to help them. You’re not it.”
As of yesterday Mom’s constant vertigo is subsiding. She only feels it when sitting up and lying down, not during the rest of the day. She still has trouble walking and cannot do it on her own. Floyd has to help. But she walked from the living room to the bathroom and half-way back again yesterday. Good progress.
There was a bit of a glitch today. I heard Mom hitting the wall in the kitchen and bending over. She was choking – but not really.
I ran to the kitchen and saw she was choking on something. I assumed it to be food, so I banged on her back to release whatever was there. It wasn’t. It was coffee. She swallowed wrong – tried to breathe while having coffee in her mouth. Floyd was on the phone at the time with one of his brothers. I said, “Floyd, phone 911 now. Now.” He was about to but a few seconds later I knew it wasn’t what I thought – no food caught anywhere. “Never mind, Floyd, it’s okay.” <sigh>
Now Floyd is back on the phone, Mom is back to trying to breathe and drinking coffee, and I’m back to … whatever I was doing at the time – can’t remember.
It seems to me that Mom has the same cause of vertigo that Floyd had a couple of years ago. Mom asked me to perform the vertigo exercise that Floyd’s doctor recommended.
An explanation: The fluids in the inner ear crystallize and bump against the cilia there. Normally, fluids flow past cilia when we turn our heads in any X, Y, or Z direction (more or less – Posterior, Anterior, & Lateral semicircular ducts), and this relays messages to the brain to say we’re moving around. But crystallized fluids & other material get trapped in this mechanism and make us believe we’re continually spinning.
We did the exercise once – well, only half because it should be done once from both left and right. We’ll do the other half of it in an hour or so. Mom vomited a bit but not much. (Not as much as Floyd, who vomited for three days.) We’ll do it a couple more times later today. Hopefully this will help get rid of some symptoms.