I am so saddened to bring this news to you. Unfortunately, Norma App, who posted as Savannah_62 on WebMD a number of years ago, passed away late this afternoon. This is very sad news indeed. Please keep her family in your prayers during this difficult time.View Thread
Recently, I received this email from Melissa's husband:
Here is the latest: saw the oncologist last Thursday and Monday and tumor markers and blood panels were drawn and chemo was administered. Good news was tumor markers had come down and albumin had come up to nearly twice what it was in the hospital (but still below the minimum range). Bad news was anemia has increased, so Melissa's energy levels are very low. Oncs's plan going forward is weekly chemo for 3 months (3 weeks straight then 1 week off) as long as Melissa's blood levels are strong enough. Right now, during her off week, Fosladex and Aredia sessions (one a big shot the other 2-3 hour IV drip) are planned. To combat her fatigue, blood transfusions are planned starting very soon. Melissa's weight has increase a bit more (up to 110); some of the weight gain is meat on her bones since her bones are less visible in many places, but some may be fluid retention--hard to say exactly what's what. She still has 24/7 IV nutrition (TPN) which is helping keep her body functioning (although it can be hard on the liver in the long term) and anything she can take by mouth is bonus calories. Her appetite was pretty good in the past week, but has subsided the last two days. She is concerned she may be backing up again since that's similar symptoms leading up to when she was hospitalized.
She has chemo again tomorrow unless her blood levels are too low, but we won't know that until her blood is drawn and tested at the oncologist's office. She is still much too weak to drive and do many things for herself around the house plus her eyes have been affected by chemo or one of the other things the Dr has prescribed. She also is only sleeping 2 hours at a time, but we are trying to fix that with various medications. Also, found out from the oncologist recently that when Melissa was admitted to the hospital, the hospital wanted to put Melissa on hospice and not even treat. It was her oncologist that talked them out of it and said he could treat... very scary.View Thread
I'm sending good vibes and a hand to hold tomorrow.
I'm in the process of trying to schedule mine. It's such a hassle! I called the center today to schedule. They told me I had to have a script faxed in to them and to call the doctor. I did this. Late this afternoon I called the center back. They had not gotten the script. They called the doctor back. I asked the center why I have to jump through so many hoops. They said that mine was diagnostic and not a screening to check on the "affected" breast. The other one was considered "screening". I tried to explain to the knuckle head that they couldn't mamo a nonexistent breast. We went round and round. I still don't have an appointment. SIGH!!!!
Can you believe that?!? Tomorrow I've got to get back on the phone to straighten this out. I guess I'll find time between my two already scheduled appointments. UGH!!!!!!!!
This morning I got an email from Melissa's husband dated last evenng. In it he said that she was discharged from the hospital Monday afternoon. Melissa is now having in-home care and is being administered IV fluids for hydration. As in the past, there have been some hurdles which John is troubleshooting wonderfully. Please continue with the prayers.View Thread
The latest from Mel's husband: More ups & downs past several days, keeping moods volatile. Last Thursday, Melissa's new midline IV access also started leaking. This IV is supposed to last 4 to 6 weeks and is her lifeline to receive nourishment, fluids and medications. The pick line experts were called in & while we waited, Mel could not get nutrition (PPN) or fluids. 5 hours later the team arrived with ultrasound equipment & relaxing drugs & inserted 2 new IV lines into her right forearm & the midline, just put in last week was pulled. Getting a central line port put in place became urgent since the newly placed IV lines might blow at anytime & chemo cannot be given through them since a central line is required. Also, since the acities fluid was lost the oncologist gave 4 options (liver biopsy, wait on fosladex to work or not, begin taxotere, or keep using fosledex and begin taxeoere. Port placement surgery was scheduled for Friday and we finally got to speak to the pain management team concerning in home options which included many things. However, best non-invasive options are IV pain meds and fentanyl lollipops. So, Friday the port was put into main vein successful (this was great since there was only 1 route the surgeon could use since other ways are blocked due to previous central lines and lots of radiation. Within hours of returning from surgery, Iridia Benadryl , antibiotic, dexamethasone and the first Taxotere was administered. Also, PPN was halted but continued after chemo was complete (about 8 p.m. that night). The IV nutrition was only going for just over an hour when her forearm IVs blew and Mel's arm began to swell. Mel had no nutrition from 2200 Fri til 1130 Sat morning since they could not mix IV fluids, IV narcotics and pain meds at once into the central vein port. We finally got the nutritionist to approve an amino acid dextrose fluid to supplement until the new IV nutrition bag could arrive...without our pushing the process the nutritionist and nurses were going to wait for TPN arrival Sat night so Melissa would have been 24 hr without nutrition. Sat afternoon Melissa had abdomen sounds in all quadrants and she continued to extend the periods off the NG tube suction for a total of 12 hours that day. Full IV nutrition started at half dose and full dose will start Sun night. Melissa continues to have trouble sleeping, but Sat night (early am Easter) she was given something to really push her over and help her sleep for first time at hour than 1an hour at a time. Daily blood tests continue to show her albumin levels extremely low but this could be due to both coming off PPN for 5 hrs waiting for IV line procedure and then another 14 plus hrs when new line stopped working, supplemental given until TPN given Sat night Also, there are chemo effects that also could drops levels. There also has been a problem with high blood sugar (108 to 175 range) probably due to dextrose in IV and base substance of PPN / TPN so they are checking blood sugar levels every 6 hours. Easter morning some wonderful friends dropped by and brought Easter worship to Mel in the oncology ward. She was also put on a full liquid diet Easter morning and left the NG suction off all day while staying comfortable. At 1430 the NG tube was taken out. However, she gradually lost her appetite and her stomach started feeling hard, and she also started to choke and then started throwing up Early this morning, after 30 min of lidocaine prep, the NG tube was reinserted (scary and without any anti anxiety meds). The Dr ordered X-ray to check placement due to problems with the last insertion and the tube ended up 2 inches long, but it was immediately fixed. Needless to say she didn't sleep well.
On the bright side, she should be headed home shortly once all the in home nurse care can be arranged (IV nutrition, NG support, IV meds, etc) That's good news itself.View Thread
I received this email from Melissa's husband this morning: Been a few days of many ups and downs. Melissa stopped continuous fentanyl yesterday to try and rid herself of the epidural in her T spine. After 1.5 hours of being off the drug, back pain started to surface. She was given a few things to ease the pain but none worked and about 5 hours later the fentanyl pump had to be turned on again. It took awhile being behind on pain meds but finally the extreme pain subsided (all the while sweats, chills and fever persisted). She tried again tonight with some other possible substitutes but bone pain again persisted. There was the hope to get off the narcotics since they slow intestines, but now she is looking at an internal pain device attached to her spine to control pain. She has also been doing periodic NG tube vacuum off and on cycles with 1.5 hours between. She did 3 hours off tonight which is great. Today was going well until her pick line started leaking. This led to a very stressful afternoon since she was off all fluids and nutrition for 5 hrs until two new IV lines could be inserted and the old pick line could be removed. Very upseting since they were going to start taxotere this afternoon but could not due to the leaking pick. Now they are supposed to install a jugular port sometime in the near future and some sort of creative pain support device. Both surgeons are supposed to stop by in the morning and well try to work getting both done during one surgery so Melissa doesn't have to have two. To top off a bad day we learned the lab lost 7L of fluid that was removed via paracentesis last week so it could not be used in the diagnosis and treatment decision. Very troubling. Melissa should also start Zometa soon.