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Friday, September 22, 2017

GOING BACK TO WORK

I have decided to reopen my dog sitting business and have already booked 3 jobs.  Looking forward to seeing all my favorite little doggies as well as making a little more income for medical bills. 

Received another case of Glucerna from the Amazon seller who had sent me some damaged cans on the last shipment.  I was given a partial credit for the 13 damaged cans.  On this free shipment there were five of the 24 cans that were damaged.  I didn't report it.  I've just decided to use a different seller.  Ordered a case a couple of days ago and it arrived today.  No damaged cans in this shipment so will be using this new company from now on.

Today I ingested through my PEG tube 1504 calories, 95 grams of protein, and l0 ounces of water.  Now that I have all these cans I felt that I could take in more nourishment as they are 356 calories a can.  This is the most calories I have taken in and it has given me cramps and a lot of discomfort.  I will cut back on tomorrow's intake.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

SWALLOW STUDY

Arrived at the Radiology Department of the hospital today for a Swallow Study to see if I am aspirating into my lungs.  The samples of food they had prepared for me ranged from water to pudding.  They asked if I was willing to try meat and I refused.  

I didn't choke on any of these items.  I was asked to take larger amounts into my mouth which made it hard for me to swallow but I did it.  They were watching my x-ray image on a monitor in another room.  

When it was over the technician explained that the food I swallow tries to go down my windpipe but then pops back up.  She said that she thought the results would be worse than what she saw.  It's not good but it's not that bad.

She gave me some hand outs of guidelines to follow for swallowing as well as what thickening agents I need to use in the liquids I swallow.  I am to only swallow Nectar-like Liquids for now.   I am to follow a Puree Diet.  I will continue to use the PEG tube for nutrition. 

She will send my doctor her report.  She is recommending Speech Therapy.

I ingested through my PEG tube 1272 calories, 87 grams of protein, and l6 ounces of water.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WORKED OUTSIDE TODAY CLEANING MY HOUSE

Did some more work outside today.  I pressure washed the back of my house and screen porch.  It took 4 hours and I was exhausted and weak when I finished.  

I hurried and did a tube feeding and then bathed and rested on the sofa for a few hours.  I think I over did it but I'm glad it is done.  Before my diagnosis I washed the front of my house and it took about the same length of time.  However, I wasn't sick then and had the strength to do it.

Today I tried eating some oatmeal.  It smelled good and I put a small amount on my tongue and tried to get it to the back of my throat to see if I could swallow it.  That's when I started to gag.  

The small pieces of oats stuck to my throat and I immediately spit it all out and rinsed my mouth but I couldn't get all the small pieces of oats unstuck.  I gargled and then swiped my mouth with a napkin to get it all out.  I almost threw up.  Without saliva, food sticks to everything - teeth and gums.  I think it is too soon to be eating and I may not do any more testing.    

I ingested through my PEG tube 950 calories, 80 grams of protein, and l2 ounces of water.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

STILL TASTE TESTING

Today I tried a small piece of a saltine cracker.  The salt tasted so good but I had to spit out the cracker which turned into clay in my mouth.  Then I tried some chicken noodle soup.  Took a few sips but tasted terrible so threw it out.

I choked two times today on sips of water.  I had not choked in over a week till today.

I ingested through my PEG tube 1282 calories, 88 grams of protein, and 16 ounces of water.

I did a little work outside today.  I washed my motorhome and emptied the fresh water tank and refilled it.  I want to go camping so bad and can't wait till I feel a little stronger to do that.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

SUPPORT GROUP MEETING

Attended my first Cancer Support Group meeting tonight.  There were about 15 members in attendance.  Some members brought their caregivers.  One lady brought cookies and another brought bottled water.  The cookies looked so good but I knew I couldn't eat any.  

The group facilitator was a social worker named Keith.  He gave an introduction on sibling positioning in the family and their reactions to the cancer patient's condition and need for support.  He then went around the table and asked how it pertained to each of us.

I said that I was always the rock with my family and friends.  I was the strong personality and caregiver - having cared for both of my parents who died of cancer and a husband who died in my home.   Having spent 20 years as a counselor I cared for many people with different types of problems.  However, now that I need a rock, I'm finding few.  I shed a few tears as I told my story and received support from the group.

Other members spoke of their need for keeping in touch with family.  How important a phone call or a text message is when the cancer patient is in need of reassurance.  Some members explained how their children became more distant and this made them sad to lose contact with their loved ones.  Keith explained that sometimes the children are not equipped with handling this type of situation.  They feel helpless that they can't do anything about it so don't want to talk about it.   

The meeting lasted 2 hours and I felt good when I left the room after the meeting was over.  I felt light hearted and proud of myself for attending.

Today I ingested 1282 calories, 88 grams of protein, and 10 ounces of water.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

MORE TASTE TESTS

Still experimenting with foods.  Today I ate 3 small bites of ice cream.  Tasted pretty bad but I managed.  Later I tried some warm beef broth.  It was horrible.  Very metallic taste.  I'm hoping that the metallic taste will eventually go away in the next few months.

Drank a few sips of chocolate milk.  It had a slight metallic taste today that it did not have yesterday.  My tongue and taste buds are healing and are not the same from day to day.  

Still taking sips of water.  Had a little couching spell today but only lasted a few seconds.

I ingested in my PEG tube 1448 calories, 92 grams of protein, and 10 ounces of water.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

EXPERIMENTING WITH FOOD

I tried several different things today to see if I could begin to eat soft foods.  First tried some chocolate milk.  It tasted good.  I took several sips at two different times and enjoyed it.

Then I tried some cut up peaches in juice.  It was ok but I didn't want to eat too much of it afraid it would nauseate me.  I ate three small pieces and had enough.

Then I tried a baked potato with lots of butter.  Put a little dab on my tongue and it was awful.  I had read on the cancer forum that potatoes and meat would be the hardest to tolerate after radiation.  I spit it out and rinsed my mouth out and gagged a lot.

Later in the day I tried another popsicle - this time orange flavored.  I actually took several small bites of it and swallowed with no problems.  It didn't taste bad.

Then I tried a tiny piece of tuna in oil.  Big mistake.  It was terrible.  I gave it to the cats.

So three out of four ain't bad, I guess.

Today I ingested through my PEG tube 1116 calories, 84 grams of protein, and 18 ounces of water.