I looked forward to my palliative care visit the most. The last month had been tough emotionally for me. I found it confusing to have reached normal blood levels, to celebrate that, and at the same time to grieve the unfairness of cancer, mostly for my son. My nurse and the social worker who facilitated the appointment that day said that because I am feeling so much better and have normal blood levels, I finally have the space to deal with some of the emotions that go along with my condition because I’m not in survival mode anymore. I feel like I’ve been in survival mode for a long time, not just from cancer.
My palliative care team also helps me with pain management. My back still flares up a few days a week from surgery. Also, ibuprofen had started to upset my stomach, and I take it every day to manage pain. Everything had started to upset my stomach. Waffles, greens, sandwiches, nothing was safe, and all induced a run for the bathroom. Earlier that week, I had uttered the words, “I never want to eat a salad again.” I’m not a huge fan of salad. I know I need to eat greens. It seemed like everything would set off my stomach, and the semi-processed greens were gross.
My nurse prescribed me a different ibuprofen that would work for 24 hours and break down in my intestine rather than stomach and hopefully help with pain and stomach issues. She also prescribed Cymbalta to treat nerve pain (and depression). It takes a couple of weeks for the Cymbalta to work. I swear it’s already helping though! I’ve been taking both these medicines for a week and have had no bathroom issues! That’s a win!
I saw the oncology doctor after palliative care. She reviewed my labs and reported normal blood levels again!!! I couldn’t believe it. My cancer antigen marker stayed at 1.9. Just like a normal person! I had an appointment with the pain clinic scheduled for Friday, November 22nd. I asked her if I needed to go, since my back had been doing better. She said they’re hard to get in to and to do it. I’m glad I did, since my pain changes from day to day. I also asked about getting my nails done. A few of us gals from work had an appointment later that afternoon for mani-pedis, and I was really looking forward to it. She gave me the green light! Woohoo!
My bone shot was my bone shot. The infusion center got me in a little early for it. I discovered that the lounge chairs go all the way back. I’m usually waiting for a bit, so I thought I’d try to nap. The nurse showed up with my shot two minutes later, so no nap for me! After that, I had to go to work until it was manicure time.
The gals and I enjoyed our mani-pedis. We looked at each other during the pedicures with happy faces and we all agreed that we needed some relaxing, self-care time. I have promised my husband that I will take him with me next time I go for a pedicure. I think he’d enjoy it.
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