Friday, August 20, 2010

Can I have a little breakdown please????

Cancer sucks.

We're sitting here watching one of the strongest women I know suffer through her final days. Not once over the last 17-18 years of fighting did Granny complain. Breast cancer, colon cancer then breast cancer again. This time it metastasized to her bones. She fought hard and for the most part was kicking butt until it went to her bones. Since then it's been awful. She tried different treatments to keep it from spreading but whatever it was that she took at the beginning of the year just made her so sick she decided she was tired of fighting.

The last few months have been hard. She was pretty much bed bound. We finally got her to agree to stronger pain meds and we saw an improvement in days. So much of an improvement that we were able to go to the Aquarium just a month ago. It wasn't Sea World, which is where she really wanted to go, but we were able to test the waters to see how she'd do out for a few hours. 2 days later she had me looking into Sea World tickets and hotels because she felt she was strong enough to go. Just a few days after that she broke her collar bone by reaching for something on her bed. I was up with her all night because she was in so much pain but at the time she didn't tell me she heard a "pop!" She assumed it was the cancer so we got some morphine and she rested a bit. When she finally told me she heard the pop, I got her to the doc and we found out it was broke. From there it's been hell.

J and Matthew started school a week ago yesterday. Thursday night they spent a little bit of time with Granny telling her about their day, their teachers and just how their first day was. Granny was alert, gave the kids hugs and kisses, told them she loved them & to have a good day at school and off to bed they went to bed. Rick got home late that night and noticed Granny was falling asleep sitting up. She was slowly sliding off her bed. He picked her up and got her into bed. He decided to sleep downstairs because he was afraid she'd fall.

Friday everything changed. I checked on her several times before we left because she LOVES her coffee and often will have a cup or 2 while we're getting ready, say goodbye to the kids then go back to bed. She never woke up. All day rick and I would go to check on her and she was asleep. She'd get up to use the bathroom but by time we got back in there to see if she needed anything, she was asleep. No coffee, no chips, no nothing. All she did was sleep. She finally woke up long enough to eat around 8PM. I got her dinner, she ate a bit and by time I went back in to see if she wanted anything else she thought it was late and time for her night meds. She had lost all concept of time and didn't realize she slept all day.

Saturday morning she woke up went to the bathroom, stood up from the toilet and her leg snapped. Thank God I heard her calling Rick. He rushed down, I followed then called 911. I knew she wasn't coming back home.

I'm a mess. Physically, I hurt. Every part of my body hurts. Emotionally.... I think I need to go back on something to help me get through this. I've weaned myself of all anti depressants but I'm snapping at the kids over stupid stuff and I'm depressed over all this. I need to hold it together for the kids and right now I'm not doing a very good job of that. I just want to sit in a room alone, stare at a wall and cry. I'm tired, I'm not eating and I'm not taking my meds. It's not intentional. I just have so much on my mind and I keep forgetting. And I'm 2 days overdue for my MTX. I'm pretty sure I'm out of a few things too....

I want all this to be over with. I want Granny to go peacefully but being the fighter she is, she's fighting. For some reason she's not ready to go. We've been told for a few days now, she won't make it through the night but she does. Then it's, "she'll slip into a coma and it won't be long after." You've been telling us this all week! She's obviously not the normal person when it comes to this. She's already lived longer then the doctors expected. We're ready for her to go. I want her to be realize it's OK to go and that we're OK.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pain meds are our friend!

I don't know how many people are like me but I hate taking medication. Since I have lupus, I don't really have a say in the matter anymore. I have to take meds in order to keep my disease in check. It doesn't mean I like it but if I want to have a 'normal' life I need to. There is one medication that I do have control over. My pain meds. I avoid taking the good stuff and usually try to get by with Motrin or Advil. There are days when the OTC stuff just doesn't cut it and today was one of those days.

I don't want to become addicted or dependent on Rx drugs but the reality is I AM dependent on them. There is a difference between the 2. Addiction is where you will do anything and everything to get what your body craves. I depend on percocet or tramadol to get me through the bad days. I depend on it to help me function just like I depend on my husband and other family & friends when I'm flaring.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not an addict. I've never done any illegal drugs and I rarely drink. It's just not me. That's probably why I have a hard time taking my good stuff. I was afraid of becoming addicted to narcotics. Obviously, I have a need for them and if my doctors thought I was an addict I wouldn't be getting the Rx. If I were an addict I'd be popping pills like they were candy. But I wait until my pain is so bad that I'm miserable before I take something. How many others do the same thing?

Some of you know that our family lives with my husbands Grandma. Over the last 20 years I have seen this woman survive breast cancer. Then colon cancer. In 2007 she found another lump. We assumed it was scar tissue since it was on the same side as the breast cancer from years before. The biopsy came back and it was cancer again. She began treatment again only this time it wasn't working. The cancer spread to her bones. Her spine, shoulder, skull, pelvis and sternum are all involved. Last August she fell and shattered her elbow. Three weeks ago she was reaching for something and broke her collarbone.

This woman knows pain. Like me, she doesn't like taking pain meds. A few weeks ago she was so miserable. She couldn't get comfortable and was up all night. Her nurse came the next day and said "Pain meds are our friend! You take them when you need them. That is why we have them!" Ever since then Granny is taking her meds regularly and she has been feeling much better. We adjust meds as needed so she's comfortable.

Why do I think I'm different? Why do I have such a hard time taking that pill that will make me feel better? Pain is pain. It makes us grumpy unhappy people who don't enjoy life. I don't want to be grumpy all the time and not enjoy my kids.

So, I need to remember that pain meds are my friend! Do you?