Thursday, July 18, 2019

Quick Journal Update on the Medical Front After Wednesday's Follow-Up Appointment

After my radiation session yesterday afternoon, we had to take a 40 minute drive to a Cancer Center in a neighbouring city, for "Lab Work" (blood analysis) - in connection to the Ibrance therapy I've followed for the past 21 days. The purpose was to discover whether Ibrance therapy has affected my blood too severely to continue treatment. It has affected white cell count, but that was expected, and in my case it is not a severe enough change to preclude continuation of the "targeted therapy" Ibrance offers. I was given this information, not by my usual oncologist, but by a young doctor who informed us that my oncologist left her position at the end of last week. That was a surprise! He also said that, for a time, our town will not have a visiting oncologist, the previous doctor's replacement will not be "doing" the Cancer Center in our town. Ah well, I suppose that something will be sorted out for us sooner or later.

The young doctor we saw yesterday tried to be helpful in regard to my severe pain-when-walking issue. He suggested that I try a different medication, at least until the radiation and Ibrance effects fully kick in for me. He suggested extended relief morphine tablets, and prescribed a month's supply, one pill twice a day. If there happens to be any "break-through pain" I can still supplement with my usual pain pills - this need is likely to be fairly infrequent. As it turned out, not as infrequent as I'd hoped. I took one morphine pill at 7.30 PM but it had no effect whatsoever on the pain-while-walking. I'm back to the pain pills already. Disappointing! I'll make further enquiries about the morphine tablets tomorrow - perhaps it will take time to get into the system - or perhaps the dose prescribed is too small.

The doctor we saw also advised me as to medical marijuana. He said that, in these circumstances, considering current lack of oncologist, it might be preferable to use the doctor who visits the medical marijuana outlet in our town as my recommending physician. Now I need to look into what'll be needed for that, in addition to an extra payment of $100 for the doctor's fee. The next visit of the speciality doctor to our town's outlet for MM isn't until 8 August.

We shall now await news from the specialist pharmacy in Texas who deal with Ibrance, as to what I'm going to have to co-pay for another 21 days' tablets. I do have a nice 7 days off the demon pills now though, to allow time for my body to re-orient itself a little.


Wisewebwoman said...

Yikes you're on this medical treadmill alright and the pain issue is debilitating indeed. So sorry to hear this and all your trucking around and the oncologist gone as well. It is not easy when we are old and sick.

I know a day even getting blood work done at busy clinics just does me in. I feel I'm in the waiting room of hell waiting for my number to be called. Knitting doesn't calm me. The beige and brown interiors and the harassed technicians, etc. etc. Small issues I know but still. Aging with illness is very challenging.

Onward my good friend. And I loved your story - as did many others!


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Yes, things are getting more frustrating by the day, WWW. At least the weekend gives us a break from most of it. Next week, I think, will be my last week of radiation, unless the radiology oncologist decides to do a little more on the hip bone area - but he's on vacation now, so I'm without his input!

Went to try to get an appointment with the specialist physician who visits the medical marijuana outlet in our town. No chance of that that at present because it has to be done online and the website hasn't been updated for August yet. Apparently the outlet in our town does not do much but hand over the "stuff" and take in in the $$$$$$. They are not even directly contactable by phone, so we ventured out to the store, in 100 degree temp. but all for nothing - they don't even have the ability to make appointments. TSK!!

Thanks, WWW - re the prompt story. :)

Wisewebwoman said...

So sorry to hear about these challenges on top of all the rest. MM might afford you some relief but you need to be assessed. Frustrating in the extreme.

It's tough to hang in there at times, but soldier on my friend.

I am so glad Himself is there to see you through all of this.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Couldn't have done any of it without Himself and his help and support, WWW. I am fortunate in so many ways, and do try never to forget this. :)

R J Adams said...

I'm glad your blood count's staying up, Ann, it has been a major problem for Mrs RJ. Her white cell count plummeted so low at one point they almost had her back in hospital due to the risk of infection (except she wouldn't go!). Even a minor one could prove very serious. Let's hope your counts stay good. It appalls me to hear of the running about you have to do to achieve anything.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Thank you, RJ. It's early days yet, perhaps after another 21 days of the demon pill the story could be less encouraging. My instructions are to take my temperature before taking my daily demon pill (otherwise known as Ibrance), and if my temp. should ever go to 100.4 or over I should get me to Emergency ASAP, and ask for the oncologist on duty. I suppose the winter months and 'flu season will be the time to be even more cautious about infections.

Warmest wishes to Mrs RJ and, of course, to you for a better few months than the past few have proved to be.