My back had been bothering me for about the last month, and was getting worse. The pain in my left lung and spleen had disappeared altogether, but the pain in my liver never went away. In fact it got gradually worse, and by Sunday afternoon, it had become tortuous, reaching a crescendo of debilitating misery by Sunday evening. Anything but the shallowest breath would bring on a hellish stabbing pain and a cry of agony. There was nothing left to be done but get me to the Emergency Room as quickly as possible, and since I wasn't about to ride with my mother, especially at night, calls were put out to find alternative transportation, but no one was home! The only thing left to do was call 911. Within five minutes an ambulance pulled up to the building, and within less than 10 minutes total, five emergency responders were standing out in the hallway, ringing my mother's bell. That would be the bell on her door, not the bell in her head.
They came in and took vital signs, and questioned me about the history of my condition, and then with me moaning in agony, they helped me onto their gurney, and we began he trip down the hallway, and down the elevator from the 10th floor to the lobby, and then out to their ambulance. Mom rode up front in the ambulance as a passenger, with the driver and other male responders, while I was tended to in the back by the two female responders.
Because it was a Sunday night, the emergency room was not crowded, and it wasn't long before I was attended to. I was first X-rayed, then given a CT scan, where it was determined that my cancer had moved into the bone, and caused a compression fracture in my spine. It had also advance in my belly. The experimental therapy that I was on worked well to decrease the tumors with a particular genetic mutation in my lung and spleen, but there must have been other mutations as well, and they grew and spread unaffected by the miracle pills
I was taking. The ER doctor was very kind to me and giving me his blessings and well wishes, ordered the ER nurse to inject 2 mg of Dilaudid into my IV, which caused an instantaneous rush of blessed relief! It was like being caressed by a thousand angels! I now know why people become junkies.
I thought this was the end of the line for me, so I requested some information on hospice care, but I saw my oncologist yesterday, and he said that I shouldn't give up. He said he wants to treat the cancer in my spine with radiation, and then put me on an intravenous therapy that he said was pretty effective. He acknowledged that Melanoma was incurable, but he said he has seen this therapy add several years on to the lives of patients. He said that considering my age, he thought I should go for it. I agreed, so if everything gets approved by my insurance, we are going to continue managing my pain with drugs, and start radiation and chemotherapy. One of the side effects of most intravenous chemotherapies, is the loss of body and head hair. I'm already bald on top, so no big deal there. Hopefully I will soon be able to say good-bye to my recently reacquired hirsuteness as well.
Love to all!