Going Home

Those of you that have been following Gail’s journey know that she has been battling breast cancer for 2 years. April 12th, 2018 cancer won. She passed away peacefully in a hospice center with her boyfriend and daughter by her side.

I’ve been procrastinating finishing this blog because I fear I won’t do Gail’s memory justice, but as Gail’s daughter and the person that knew her best, I hope that I’m able to capture her spirit. As you may have picked up in her previous posts or other blogs, we were very close. She has had a roller-coaster ride of a life and I’m blessed to have shared 27 years of that with her.

Gail was a woman that loved with more devotion than anyone I’ve ever met. She was selfless and caring, often to the point of her own suffering and she inspired many with her incredible faith and strength.

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Gail wrote previously about strength coming from how you handle your body failing you. I vividly remember the day she told me the cancer had spread to her lungs. It was Christmas eve and she calmly played the audio recording of the doctor giving her the news. She answered every question we had and managed not to cry while I blubbered like a baby. I had prepared myself for that inevitability but it didn’t make the reality suck any less. She held me and reassured me that it was okay and she wasn’t scared. I thought that was supposed to be my job. In that moment she had so much bravery and I was in awe of her.

Gail’s nickname was “the google queen.” If she didn’t know the answer to something she would research until she was educated on the topic. Naturally, when she discovered there was cancerous fluid in her pleural cavity she did her research and discovered there was only a life expectancy of about 4 months. In our experience doctors and nurses were reluctant to give timelines. Having seen that mortality laid out in front of us was a hard pill to swallow. Even faced with that, she made decisions based on a hope that she was could still be healed.

Gail wanted this blog to be the raw, honest truth about her journey through cancer. In honor of that, the rest of this post is going to lay out some of the details about the last two weeks of her life. If this is where you want to stop reading, I don’t blame you. I will tell you what I told her friends and family that wanted to see her during this time; “It isn’t pretty, in fact, it’s painful to see. If you prefer to remember her as you knew her, I respect that.”

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March 15th- Gail went into the hospital to get blood work done. She told the doctor she no longer wanted to do the chemo as the side effects were insufferable, She still wanted to do the keytruda and switch to more natural medication. The doctor accepted that she no longer wanted to continue chemo but was surprised at her desire to continue treatment.

March 24th –  She texted me from the hospital saying that she was done and didn’t think she could do it anymore. They discharged her that night and we tried to get her settled in at home.

Mar20180326_193743_1522107512821ch 25th- She asked me to get the hospice facility to pick her up. We had a nurse come in to evaluate her and he ordered Morphine for the night and an ambulance to pick her up the next day. (maybe it was the morphine but she still was still her goofy self, as pictured to the left)

March 26th – We admitted her to a hospice facility. The next couple weeks were spent with family and friends making their way to Georgia to spend time with her in her final days.

March 28th – She texted me early in the morning that she needed me. When I arrived she told me the nurses had overdosed her and she was dehydrating to death. Some of you may not know this, but Gail can be very controlling. Her being unable to keep track of her medications was causing her to panic. Everything was fine, but this was really the beginning of the delusions.

March 30th – She stopped eating. When she wasn’t in a dream-like state she would often ask me to overdose her. Saying things like, “make the decision”, or “let it be over”

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April 2nd – She really began to hallucinate. I don’t know if it was the drugs or nearing the end, or both. She would slip in and out of reality, often waking up and asking random questions. Some questions I would just play along with, but others I would have to tell her she wasn’t making sense. As the sci-fi lover that she was, she referred to the hallucinations/dreams as her “alternate reality”.

April 6th- She stopped drinking and talking and would only moan/grunt, making gestures with her hands occasionally. It would mimic things like texting, cross-stitching, and eating. I even caught her dancing for a second! 🙂

April 8th – She was mostly slumped forward and no longer moving much. The position appeared extremely uncomfortable but she would fight anyone that tried to lay her back.

April 9th- This was my birthday. I brought dinner to the facility and we sat together as a family as our tradition goes. She gifted me the most beautiful birthday present by managing to utter “happy birthday”. I asked for some alone time with her and played some of her favorite Casting Crowns songs that we used to sing at the top our lungs during road trips. I took this time to tell her what an amazing mom she was and thanked her her making me such a strong person.

April 11th- I went to see her after work. She was in a more comfortable position but was moaning with each breath. When I touched her hands they were so hot it was almost uncomfortable to hold. The nurse took her temperature and it read 103. From what I’ve read, it’s quite common (especially in cancer patients) for them to run a fever as they are approaching death. I tried to apply a cold compress to her forehead but she would become distressed after a minute or so. I  had read that often people will wait to pass until their family is gone so I decided to give her a night alone. Leaving that night was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew there was a possibility that it would be the last time I saw her but I desperately wanted her to be at peace.

April 12th – The hospice nurse called me at 4:00am and said she could no longer read vital signs and that it would likely only be a few hours. I called Gail’s boyfriend and headed to see her. When I arrived, she looked the same as how I had left her the night before. Her breathing was shallow and she still moaned with each breath, except now her hands were cold to the touch. I asked the nurse if she could give her more Morphine around 5:30am and she complied. The moaning stopped. I started to get hungry around 7:00am  and was going to leave to grab some breakfast but my husband said he would go. As Gail’s boyfriend and I sat on either side of her, I timed her breaths per minute…7. As 7:30am rolled around I continued to watch her chest until it no longer rose. We sat for a few minutes waiting to see if it would rise again, but it never did. Her lips slowly lost their color and we said our final goodbyes. I made a point not to see them put the sheet over her or put her into the car as that isn’t the last memory I wanted to have of her.

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In her final weeks I was reminded of Christ’s final moments on the cross. Even Christ cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me!” when he felt abandoned by His Father and the exhaustion from the suffering his human body had to endure. Despite Gail’s faith and strength she experienced moments of terror and abandonment. There came a time when she was tired of suffering, tired of fighting. She just wanted to be with her Father in peace and I take comfort in knowing that she no longer has to deal with the pain of this world. 

I’m sorry this is not the happy ending we all hoped for but your love and support made it so much easier for her. Thank you all for joining her on this journey.

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Still no changes

It’s been far too long since I posted an update -sorry!  I find it hard to write when my head is fuzzy and my hands are failing me so I will keep this short and as informative as I can.

The facts:  I do NOT have any updates on tumor sizes.  Doc wants to wait another 6 weeks before we scan to take a look.  I have two treatments going so it will be difficult to know which, if any are working.  We want the chemo to shrink tumors, but the Keytruda may swell them while my immune system fights them off.

We just started a new chemo.  I had my second treatment today.  No problems from last time so I’m hoping this weekend won’t be too bad of a “double whammy” week.

Yes, I am still fairly bedridden.  I am trying to regain my strength.  Weird how quickly it leaves you when you sit/lay for too long.  I’m not really sure where it went or when it went.  All I know is that I now have to force myself to get up and shuffle around and try to stretch out my wasted muscles.  The problem is that I can only move around for so long before I can’t breathe.

Yes, it hurts.  My chest is constantly tight and I haven’t taken a deep breath all year.  The drain they put in doesn’t seem to make a difference.  I am draining out about 600-700 ccs of fluid daily.  Thankfully, this is something I can myself.  I burden my caretakers enough!

I have good days and not great days.  I thank you all for listening to my FB post about NOT asking me how I’m doing.  My biggest goal these days is to drink enough water.  Not only to replace what I drain, but to try to keep that mucus in my lungs thin enough to cough out more easily.  Its this mucus that is the bane of my existence these days. lol  It’s what keep my oxygen saturation low and keeps me coughing at all hours.  It’s why I don’t sleep.

I’ve had many ask me what they can do to help.  I know it sucks that I live so far away from most of you.  The easiest and most needed is to simply donate to my paypal account (paypal.me/GailsCancerHelpFund).  I use this money to order my supplements and nutrition shakes and now I can order groceries!

I have plenty of candles, lotions and blankets.  Lots of coloring books, inspirational devotionals, soaps and such.  Thank you!  I would LOVE someone to come clean my house.  My caregivers straighten up and I am ever grateful for them, but I couldn’t ask them to do a real cleaning.  Yes!  That is the next thing I will use the fund for.  🙂

Anyway – this is why I have’t posted.  There’s really no new news.  I will certainly post again when there is something post worthy.  Rest assured, I wear God’s armor and fully trust that He has a plan.  Still – your prayers continue to be the thing I need most.

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More ER and Catheter placement

You know what I learned the last few weeks?  I’ve learned it not so easy to write when you are tired all the time and can’t concentrate.  I just spent the last several minutes staring the the screen trying to figure what to write and how to start.

So this post will be informative only -sorry.

As most of you know, I have had two ER visits now for shortness of breath.  Shortness of breath,  Ha!  That’s funny.  Getting my chest cavity drained made me feel much better for a few days but it wasn’t long before I was struggling to breathe again.  I went to talk to my oncologist after the lung doc visit to find out why he was recommending the surgery vs the catheter.  He told me that he changed his mind and thinks the catheter is the way to go since it would allow for the surgery later if needed.  Then he sent me to the ER.

Not only would the ER help my breathing issues but they could make a draining happen faster than trying to schedule another one.  This time, they admitted me.  More xrays, blood draws, Ct scans,  breathing treatments and a blur of different doctors, nurses and specialists.

It was decided to put a catheter in so I can drain the pleural fluid as needed.  This procedure happened Friday afternoon.  It was another “twilight procedure” which I’ve decided I pretty much hate.  There was a question if they would need to call anesthesia after all because I was having such trouble laying supine enough.  After about 10 seconds of laying flat, I couldn’t breathe.  So they tested me first.

I was given some “relaxation medicine” in the IV and once it took affect, they tried laying me down again.  I did much better so they went ahead with the procedure.

This procedure involved inserting a catheter into the pleural cavity and leaving the other end out to connect to a bag that collects the fluid.  After they got me on the table and spent several painful minutes getting me situated, a little more “don’t care” medicine was given then they prepped the area.

Prepping the area also involved sticking me several times with Lidocaine.  That sucked.  Despite being numbed up, I also still felt much of the actual insertion.  I hate to admit that I cried thru most of the procedure, but couldn’t let it take over.  I couldn’t move.  Yuk!

Afterward, they drained 500 ccs and sent me back to my room to recuperate.  Another 500 ccs were taken later that night.  I discovered that as your lung re-inflates, it hurts. A LOT.  Like I had a knife inserted under my right breast and there it sat, making me me see red any time I took a breath in.  Anytime the lung would touch the cavity, it made me cough -which made me breathe in hard…. well -do I need to go on?  It sucks.

It does settle down after awhile tho and thankfully, I was in a hospital where they could help me manage the pain and coughing.  Another 350 ccs were taken the following day (Sat) and they finally sent me home.

How sweet home is!  After a real shower, some clean jammies donned, I spent the rest of the weekend on my wonderfully narcotic couch.  It was Heavenly.

The idea was to drain fluid every other day, but in the days that followed we found the need to drain daily.  850 ccs on Tuesday, 800 on Wednesday and another 750 today.  Already we are experiencing issues with the insurance company covering these supplies and I’ve had to chase down a home health company to come change the bandages.  Ugh! This is the last thing I need to deal with now.

I got a ride to chemo today and sucked it up and let my son-in-law scoot me around in a wheelchair.  I had no choice really.  It was all I could do to with my limited breath.  He drained me after I got home and now I feel much better.

OK-tired now.  I hope most of this made sense.  Many have reached out to ask how I’m doing so I knew it was time to post something.  Please don’t be offended if you don’t hear back from me -or get a quickie reply like a thumbs up.  My best wakeful hours are devoted to doing my job and the rest of the time you just never know if I’m awake, snoozing, just tired, in the middle of coughing…etc.

Rest assured, if things were NOT ok -Ariel would let people know.

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Chemo Fatigue

How you doing today?  Feeling any better?

I LOVE that people care and check in on me – I really do.  But on “chemo fatigue day” I would throw my phone across the room every time I get one of these message…if I only could.

I think everyone knows that fatigue is one of the most common side effects of most chemos.  And this fatigue is different for each drug and different for each person.  So I know there is no way anyone could possibly know what it’s like and am not upset at your good intentions.

So this is a quick post to try to help explain.

Oncologists know that this fatigue usually takes a day or two to set in which is why they schedule treatments for working people on Thursdays and Fridays – so it hits on the weekend and won’t disrupt your job.  Last time around, I was in much better shape and able to exercise thru it which helps minimize it.

Last time, when the fatigue hit on Sat, I would sit and stare at my shoes and force-ably will myself to put them on and go for a walk.  It helped.

This time, if I can get my head off the pillow at all in the morning it’s a miracle.  Seriously,  even finding the energy to lift my phone up to look to see who just texted me takes the breath out of me.  Literally.

So please do not be offended or worried if I do not respond to texts or calls on chemo fatigue Saturdays.  Luckily, it seems to only happen monthly – when I get BOTH chemo and Keytruda on the same treatment.  Sure, I get tired on chemo weeks only, but it’s a double whammy once a month.

I will endeavor to remember to post on FB when it’s a chemo fatigue weekend so you can check if I don’t respond to your text.  Thank you for your understanding and your continued prayers!

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Lung Doc Visit

“I’m sorry, the doctor is running late.  There are three patients in front of you.”  The reception girl didn’t LOOK at all sorry and if I had the strength I would reached across the counter and slapped her.

But I could barely breathe let alone talk.  I had chemo earlier that day and finished up with more than enough time before this appointment, but not enough time to go home and come back – like I had the energy to do that.  So I had been sitting in that waiting room in an uncomfortable chair for over an hour before my appointment time even came up.

Given the option to sit and wait longer or reschedule my appointment I shuffled back to my chair and tried to stop the tears from streaming down my face.  What the heck?  This new chemo makes me over emotional -coupled with being over tired and sick.  Ugh!

At least the doctor was a kind and educated man.  He was also a talker.  Hmm -maybe why he was running late?  Anyway -he asked me a bunch of relevant questions, listened to my lungs then left to go review my scans.  The long and short of it is that he set up an appointment the next morning to get fluid drained out of my chest cavity.  The fluid would be sent to a lab where they can better determine what is causing this build up.  Apparently, no scan can really tell them the difference between pneumonia and tumor fluid.  But they can send the actual fluid out to get some answers.  FINALLY.

So after another sleepless night, I was back at the hospital to get my Thoracentesis procedure done.  This is done in radiology and you are awake through the entire process.  Everyone kept asking me if this was my first time – which worried me…ALOT.

They have you sit on the edge of a hospital bed and have you lean on a bedside table that is raised up high enough to keep you upright.  First, they check the area with an ultrasound (why is that gel ALWAYS cold??) to see how much fluid might be in there.  I was told yup – there was enough to need draining.

Next, they sterilize the area – just below where the lungs would be.  On my back, but mostly on the side.  Then, they inject you with some Lidocaine to numb you up and insert a small catheter.  I got to watch this process on the ultrasound.  I didn’t feel anything but could see the dark area (indicating the fluid) slowly get smaller.  I wish they would let me take a picture but alas -no such luck.  Perhaps I can find something online.

I was warned that they know when to stop when I start coughing.  Apparently, your lung gets used to floating around in liquid and gets highly irritated when that fluid goes away and the lung touches the chest wall again.  I told them when I started to feel a dull ache but when that coughing started – HOLY COW!!

In a matter of seconds, the coughing turned into gasping coughing thinking I can’t breathe and am gonna die right there kind of coughing.  They immediately stopped and helped calm me by saying it was normal and I would be ok.  I was told they didn’t get it all because my body obviously wouldn’t tolerate any more.  But they showed me the bag they filled.  900 ccs total!  I was amazed.  Where was it all??

The tech told me that he once took out 1.5 LITERS of fluid out of someone once!  And they also do this procedure for belly fluid.  One guy who thought he just had a beer belly had 5 GALLONS of fluid taken out.  Man!  Instant weight loss!

I was really hoping that I would instantly feel better – like ahhhhh! (angels singing)  But no.  They said it can take a few hours for my lung to re-inflate and that I WILL hurt for a while.  They sent me to an x-ray right after to make sure my lung did respond well and then sent me home when the picture came satisfactory.

I guess worse case scenario, the lung completely deflates in which case they would put in a chest tube and keep me over night.  Egads!

So I’m home now.  My right lung still hurts and I still have coughing fits, but for the most part I DO feel better.  My head feels a bit clearer and I can take deeper breaths without coughing.  I am SO looking forward to seeing if this helps me sleep tonight.  I’m sure I will notice a difference tomorrow.

This was a before and a REALLY before pic. I was hoping to see what i looks like now, but was not given those scans today.

So that “is this your first time” question they kept asking me…. well, chances are pretty good that this will not be the only time I will need this done.   Even if this was mostly caused by pneumonia, the mere fact that I have lung cancer will likely cause more fluid build up in the future.  See Pleural Effusion.

Thank you for all the concerned texts and check ins.  I will try to keep this blog updated more quickly.  Please continue those prayers!  ❤

 

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What’s it REALLY like?

Have you ever had that milk you were drinking “go down the wrong tube?”  Or get smacked unexpectedly in the face with a big wave while at the beach?  Or worse –  been screwing around with your friends in the pool and nearly drown?  Remember that gasping for breath and coughing so hard you almost threw up?

That’s about the best I can describe this.  But now add to it that once the coughing is done, you gasp for breath for another several minutes till you can calm your lungs down.  Coughing up fluid is best.  At least that doesn’t raunch your throat so much.  And it makes it feel like the cough was “worth it”.  Finally coughing up fluid takes some pressure off your lung which constantly hurts now.

My visit to the ER revealed that half of my right lung is partially collapsed and filled with fluid.  I’ve learned that actually laying on that painful side makes the hurt subside and laying DOWN on that side helps to bring the fluid to the top of my lungs, making it easier to cough out.  I SO can’t wait to see the pulmonary specialist today after chemo.  I have hopes he will be to do something (perhaps drain the lung?) to make breathing easier again.

Sure, the physical part of this sucks, but it’s the over all “it’s kickin my butt” thing that bothers me most.  I’m the girl who used to be so chipper in the mornings.  I used to go for 2 miles walks daily – even thru chemo.  I used to be active and fun.

Now, I walk up the stairs like an old lady and spend several minutes gasping when I reach the top.  My heart rate soars, my body temperature raises and the worse thing – I gave birth years ago and am one those women who never “recovered” so I now have to wear pads all the time for the cough leaks.  Aarrgh!  I feel so damn OLD.

Now, I need help cleaning my house, cooking, walking…etc.  My brain (though admittedly not as quick these days) works just fine, but my body is betraying me.  So I’ve had to learn to deal with people checking in on me, coming to help me, looking at me with such pity.

What gets me through this (other than God, of course) is knowing that I would be all over helping my friends if the roles were reversed.  I’m learning to shove down my pride and be grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

But just so you know – I AM keeping score!  I have every intention of being able to pay it back (or forward) when I get better.

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Chemo Round 2 and the ER

I see the concern in my oncologist’s eyes as he listens to me barely able to squeak out the answers to his questions.  My daughter told me that last she came to chemo with me that he has a terrible poker face.  She’s right.

I had asked him if it was time for a stronger antibiotic to kick this pneumonia out for good.  It was kickin my butt and I’d been feeling weaker and weaker as the days went on.  Although I had been running a low grade fever on and off for the last few weeks, I didn’t happen to have one now so he was suspicious.  And he didn’t want to give me more antibiotics if they wouldn’t help me.

In the end, after listening to my wheezing and coughing, he told me we would do the chemo today and then he was sending me to the ER after.

Lucky for me, the hospital is RIGHT NEXT to the clinic.  In fact, they are joined by a serious of tunnels and hallways so I could leave my car there and simply walk over.

If I could walk that far.  One of the chemo nurses ended up wheeling me over in a wheelchair when chemo was done.  That was about 4:30.  I texted my father who had just driven in from KY to spend the weekend with me to let him know what was going on.  Thankfully, I left a key under the mat for him just in case chemo went long so at least he wasn’t stuck in his car waiting for me.  I told him to settle in and that I would let him know when I was finally seen.

For someone having trouble breathing, wearing a face mask is not pleasant.  But the flu is an epidemic right now and that ER waiting room was full of coughing people.  I found a little corner and settled in.  I will spare you details of the ER waiting game.  Suffice it to say that I did not get home until 2 am.

By the time I was finally called back, my boyfriend has finished work, picked up my father and took him out for dinner.  It was a small room with an “easy chair” in it but at least it was quiet and all mine.  Several different nurses/tech/docs came in and out to take vitals and blood work.  The chemo ward had left my port accessed but apparently one of the blood tests they were doing to check for various infections I may have needed to be drawn from two different locations so despite the port, I got stabbed in the crook of my arm anyway.  He had a light touch so it wasn’t bad.

At some point, my dad was brought back to the room.  They had finished dinner and came to hang with me.  They had said there was only room for one so Simon waited in the lobby.  It turns out that the room I was in had a second door that opened to the lobby so we snuck him in anyway.  Once Simon was back with us no one told him to leave.

While waiting for someone to get me to take me for a chest x-ray, a respiratory person came in to give me a nebulizer breathing treatment.  That was interesting.  It didn’t taste great, and it made me cough a bit.  But the nurse who listened to my lungs at the beginning of the treatment and said that everything sounded clear, told me she could now hear wheezing.  The treatment was designed to help break up the mucus inside so I could cough it out.

They also swabbed my nose to check for the flu.  THAT was unpleasant!  I think they actually got some brain matter on the swab!

Someone came with a wheelchair to take me to X-ray.  It was quick and easy.  As long as I could sit quietly and not talk, I was pretty ok.  Unfortunately, every darn person who walked in the room wanted to me tell them why I was there.  I wish I just recorded myself the first time.

I was finally brought to a real room with a bed in the ER.  I did not see this a good sign.  I was hoping they would just tell me I had the flu and send me home, or confirm the pneumonia and give me that antibiotic.  But I was told that the only reason I didn’t get a “real room” before was that there were none open.  At least now I had an uncomfy skinny hospital to lie on and someone brought me a wonderful warmed blanket.  I was having trouble keeping my eyes open but was no where NEAR being able to sleep.  So the three of sat around watching TV while we waited for the next step.

I had another two breathing treatments in the room.  They really did help and my chest began to feel less tight.  Someone came in to tell me that the Xray DID show  issues, but that couldn’t differentiate between the cancer stuff and potential Pneumonia stuff.  It all shows up as opaque whiteness.  So they wanted to give me a CT scan to get a better idea what the deal was.

This did not come as any surprise to me.  In fact, my onco had told me he would need one before prescribing any more antibiotics but if HE had set it up it would not have gotten done till next week.  He knew the ER would give me all the tests I needed that night.  Plus, they could give me some immediate breathing relief.

It was after 10:30 pm by that time, so we sent my dad home so he could get some sleep.  I was told that they could NOT use my port for the contrast dye because they did not know with what size/kind of needle it had been accessed with.  So guess what?  Another stick in the crook of my arm.  This time, it hurt so bad that I cried out and immediately teared up.  I HATE when that happens.

The CT scan (my third now with a month) went quickly.  Although I had a coughing fit while lying in the machine, the tech said it was all good and they got good images.  I was wheeled back to the room to wait for the results.

Simon and I napped a little while we waited.  I was SO ready for someone to come in to tell me that pneumonia was worse, take all these ports and needles out of me and send me home to my own comfy bed with an uber antibiotic.  Soon the constant nose drip, the sore throat, the constant coughing and mucus would stop and I would finally be able to get a decent night’s sleep so I could get my immune system in shape to help the Keytruda I will be getting next week.

Instead, when the ER doc finally came in to talk to me, the news I got was that I did NOT have pneumonia any more.  I did not have the flu.  My breathing problems were coming from the lungs mets.  In fact, half my right lung is filled with fluid (called pleural effusion) and is partially collapsed.  Of course I was devastated.

BUT.  At least now we have a handle on the situation and know how to move forward.  They finally unpincushioned me and sent me home.  The breathing treatments had eased my discomfort and I knew I was going straight to bed.  Still, I didn’t sleep any better that night.  The ER doc called at 3 AM!!! to check on me.  She kept asking if I was ok and comfortable and that I should come back if I wasn’t.  Leave my comfy couch to go back there?  HELL NO!!

The next morning, Miss Google Queen looked up any home treatments I might try to help until I was able to get an appt with a lung specialist.  My onco had told me he would get me set up with someone when he sent me to the ER.  We both knew I would need this at some point anyway.

I found the usual anti-inflammatory herbs and such to help keep the fluid down, but the best thing I found was a simple breathing exercise.  Take as deep a breath as I can – hold it for 10 seconds (NOT easy since it immediately me want to cough!) and THEN cough it out.  Sure enough, doing this makes me actually cough up bits of the fluid.  They suggest doing this 10 times a row every hour till symptoms ease.  READ HERE

I could tell it works as I am coughing up little bits each time. But man!  This coughing is taking a toll on me.  It wears me out big time.  And now my right side hurts – I’m sure where the fluid is being forced out.  So I’m not sure if this pain is good or bad.  Still – doing this exercise cleared things out well enough that I was actually able to get a bit of sleep last night.  Woohoo.

So many friends and family are checking on me -thank you.  It’s a bit surreal to be well aware of the fact that I may not make it through this.  That it is likely.  Every time someone else says they want to come visit I know why.  I want to say no, no.  I’m fine.  But this weekend made me realize that it is SO much harder to do things on my own.

I’m sure things will get better once I see the lung doc.  I get my second Keytruda treatment next week and now I know that there is no pneumonia getting in the way.  I will spend the time doing everything I can to build up my immune system.

Please keep those prayers coming!

I get to be a couch potato!

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