This blog is merely a diary of sorts of my day to day life and the things I do to pass my time,trying my hand at the many different things that interest me.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Update on the new twists and turns in my journey.
Echinacea from my garden
A lot has happened around the Nugent household, since my last post. Dr. Marshall Johnson felt I needed to see a specialist after viewing the results of my endoscopy. He immediately referred me to Dr. Charles Scoggins of Norton's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. We wasted no time in getting an appointment set up for a consultation, and Dr. Scoggins wasted no time in scheduling me for surgery. June 17, 2014 would be my surgery date. 5:30 am in the morning. Eager to have it over and done, we took a room at the Hospitality House near the hospital, so my family could be near me. Dr. Scoggins had taken one look at my medical tests that had been run before I met with him, and he said, without a doubt, it was a cancerous tumor, and it needed to come out, ASAP. I went in on the 17th, Dr. Scoggins did the surgery, and came to talk to us immediately after. He said the surgery took less time than he had expected. From all of the tests, it was not real clear just where the mass was situated. At first it appeared to be in my stomach. The doctors ran the endoscopy on me, and found it was not in the stomach. It appeared to be behind the lining of the stomach. They could not be real sure of the size of the mass either. The earlier tests had said approximately 5,7, or 9 cm. but with it not being inside of the stomach, they would only know once they went in to get it out. Looking at it via the endoscopy was like looking at a ball under a rug. Not a clear visual. Dr. Scoggins went in, and low and behold, the mass was sitting there on the top of my stomach, in plain view. It was bigger than he had expected. Closer to the size of an orange. He took out 5% of my stomach and the mass, and sent it off to be evaluated. Dr. Scoggins had already prepared us by telling us that he was convinced that it was a GIST which is definitely a cancerous tumor, a Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumor. Now we must wait for the lab results to tell us whether it was composed of fast growing or slow growing cells. He felt pretty confident that the cancerous cells were confined to the area which he had removed.
my pickings today
I spent the next four days, lying around, recuperating from the surgery. Liquid meals, then soft food meals, and IV meds, a catheter, monitors of all kinds around the clock. Nurses and aids, in and out checking this and that. Family visiting as they could. Friends dropping in occasionally. Four days in bed was the roughest part for me, although I was very weak and couldn't do much about it, at the time anyway. I tried to exercise my arms a bit to help myself get up and down better when the time come. It was helping. They soon took the catheter out and let me come and go as I was able. I liked that better, but the room and the hall outside my door was so small and crowed with medical people, I didn't venture out of the room that much. The doctor came in to check on me each morning, then finally on the fourth day, he came by to tell us, the tumor was fast growing, and I would most likely be on chemo pills for the rest of my life. If I don't take the pills, the chances of it returning is 50/50. If I do take the pills, the chances of it returning drops to 20%. I will be meeting with Dr. Scoggins on July 3, 2014 for my 2 week check up. I understand, at that time, we will discuss placing me in the hands of an Oncologist. That is tomorrow. Pop, myself, and the two daughters will be making the trip, once more to Louisville for that meeting. And that's where we are at this point. The first day home, was rough. The long trip from Louisville took a tole on me. I got a bit squeamish with the pain meds and the rough ride. I fainted as soon as I got up the stairs and into my house. Thank God, Carmen was there and knew what to do. My vital signs all began dropping. She got on the phone and called her husband who is a Paramedic, to come with oxygen. Between Pop rushing to the store to get Gatorade, and the wet towels on my head, a bite or two of crackers, David getting here with oxygen, and getting me in bed, all began to level back out for me. I guess I was simply exhausted from the trip. I have learned that I will be getting exhausted real easy for awhile, from very menial tasks. Two weeks have now gone by, and I am up and around the house quite a bit more, but I still must be very cautious about moving quickly, bending to low, or how I pull myself up from the bed or chairs. Every move I make requires the use of my core muscles, and that is the area where the incision was made. Moving to quickly or the wrong way may rip out the stitches, and I don't want to do that, for sure. They have taken long enough to heal, as it is.
Pop taking up the slack while I'm laid up
I have been able to take short rides on the gator with Pop. I even drove myself to the duck pond once or twice, during the last couple of days. I get winded real easy, so I try to pace myself, and take naps at regular intervals to recharge my body. I feel confident about my progress. I hope the doctor feels the same way tomorrow. My next entry should shed some light on my progress in choosing an Oncologist and whatever follows. I am so ready to get back to my normal life, or as close to normal as humanly possible. I pray to GOD that this is all behind me, but no one truly knows that, but HIM.