Since the determination of the blood clot not much has changed. The injections stop the clot from getting any larger, while the body slowly works to dissolve it, it is a slow process – probably necessarily so. His leg is still quite painful to put any pressure on but he has been encouraged to try and resume his normal activities. The visiting nurse came by both yesterday and today to administer his injection. Today I actually gave him his shot.
Like most things this will take time. We had so hoped for a quick improvement but were told that it could take months before his leg is back down. The light-headedness has begun to dissipate and this is likely because he has started to drink his fluids again. It’s frightening to be told to drink fluids when your leg is swollen up like a balloon because of fluids. Both the Emergency Room doctor and the visiting nurse thought his dehydration was the major contributing factor to his “cloudiness” and he has been instructed to ensure he continues to drink. Caffeinated beverages don’t count, so when we do his fluid count coffee or tea is never factored in. We’ve started on soups, juices, flavored waters, jello, stew, anything that will supplement his fluid intake.
Throughout this particular ordeal he has been quiet and withdrawn. I think more than anything this particular setback really dragged him down. To not be able to get from the bed to the bathroom without assistance, to have to depend on his rollator to get around was so discouraging – but the leg was so painful and he was so lightheaded there was no choice. We spoke yesterday about this being just one point in time in his journey. Things change, he will have ups and downs, but usually they pass. This episode with his leg is now being addressed and he has been assured by the medical professionals involved that the injections will stop the clot getting any larger while his body works to bring his mobility back. It’s just a matter of time and patience.
So we are a full week past chemo. The treatment was a week ago Wednesday – that’s 8 days. Yesterday was a terrible day for my husband, he suffered with severe nausea and was light-headed the entire day. The visiting nurse was in and did an assessment and came back again this morning. Prior to her arrival this morning, he wanted to shower, which we did, but he was very wobbly, unsteady and dizzy. It was extremely unsettling for him to think that the simplest of movements now became a chore. We managed to complete his shower and get him back to the bed – but had to use his rollator to do so. Shortly after this the nurse arrived. Her immediate response was that what he is experiencing is not normal. The nausea should have passed by now. She did a standing test to see if blood pressure was behind his dizziness, but his blood pressure didn’t drop from sitting to standing.
The nurse called our GP and had a discussion about next steps. For today a litre of hydration was administered, which seemed to perk him up visibly, and likely another litre will be administered tomorrow. The doctor and nurse discussed the difference between his response to his first chemo and second chemo and will provide a report to the oncologist. It may be that his chemo dosage was altered from his first session to the second. For the first session his blood test results were low, and it is possible that the dosage was slightly less. His physical reaction to this second treatment will be documented and shared with Oncology. I will also follow up. It may just be that he can’t tolerate the dosage of chemo he received the last time.
So again another lesson learned – don’t assume anything. We had figured and had heard stories about the nausea associated with chemotherapy. We assumed that the nausea was an ongoing thing and what he was experiencing was “normal”. It’s not and there can be a variety of reasons for it – regardless of which, there is no cause for the patient to suffer. So a little smarter and little wiser and hopefully by tomorrow a whole lot better.
Today started off the same as yesterday. A very unhappy and cranky man. We argued first thing in the morning, most of the argument was about the things I was doing wrong or wrong about. Personally I think he has thoughts in his head that he is not sharing and it is influencing his behaviour, that he is sad and perhaps a little depressed. From observation, I know that his fluid intake has been down now for 36 hours at least. He asks for drinks but doesn’t drink them. Everything has a metallic taste, or it is too sweet or too salty. So I make the drinks and leave them around, but he’s still not really drinking. He’s not really eating either; same issue – nothing tastes right. It’s a vicious circle that I suspect could really take him down quick.
This morning he was remarkably light headed. We had planned on a shower, even wrapped his arm up (where the picc line is) and had the water going, but to stand was too much. He felt like he was going to fall over and that brought on nausea. We do have a chair in the shower, but the effort of getting there was just too much. So we decided not today. I decided it was time to have the visiting nurse in for an assessment. He may be slightly dehydrated, or it may be a normal part of the process – I don’t know but our nurse, who has been doing this for years – should be able to do a little mental health intervention which will do both me and my husband some good. Its is almost 2 o’clock in the afternoon, she should be here soon and hopefully we can get back on track.