December 11, 2006

Some Pain, Some Uncertainty

Dad had his left lung "drained" Monday, 1 week ago, here at our local hospital. The Dr. got out almost 2 litres of beer looking fluid and said that he could have gotten out more but the pain was too much for Dad to take. We got a script for Darvocet for pain (actually one pill) and they went home.
Two days later Dad's weight was at an all time low at the oncologists office in Kearney. 155 lbs. I can imagine the left lung, filled to capacity, pressing down on the diaphragm maybe being the culprit. Mom got a gleam in her eye and was imagining all the shakes, supplements, vitamins, calories, juices etc she could mix to fatten up Dad. The usual Dr. has taken on a new partner and we like him. He is able to take time to explain the disease, side effects, labs, etc and also to offer up hope instead of only gloom and doom. This oncologist says that dad's fluid buildup may very well be heart related. (which is the lesser of two evils I guess) He ordered an echo and after looking at the overread (which only took a mere 1 FREAKING MONTH to get results from!!!!) stated that he would send a recomendation for more aggressive treatment of the heart to Dad's primary physician. He says often time a primary physician sees the cancer diagnosis and doesn't want to try to treat the whole patient. He so very right. At least 95 percent of them...in my experience. Always, though, it seems we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Dad has been having intermittant pain, on his left side and scattered various spots. He had the pain over a week ago but chose not to tell the Dr or nurses or us. He has been taking 2 or 3 Darvocet a day with relief. I am wondering if the pain is related to the Zymeta he gets monthly, the cancer, or something else. His labs are all very good, except for the calcium which is just a tiny bit high...10.4 or so. He has been taking a mineral supplement with over 200mg of calcium in it so decided to get off that. After researching Zymeta I saw that gi upset, pain in the chest can occur also intermittant pain. Mom has Pepcid and Dad is going to try that, he's going to cut down on the coffee a bit, drink more water, and I'm sure, drink shake, smoothie, supplement after supplement until he is fat and sassy again.
I've got a call into the clinic for cytology report from Monday, thyroid blood results and hopefully they will get faxed to us tomorrow.

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