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Not the best start to the year,onward and upwards -I say


Well 2017 thus far has been a bit of a bugger ! and hasn’t gone quite to plan

I think I got up to about the 11th in my last post – well I ended up being blue lighted back to hospital. I had attended the Medical centre near me, who, incidentally are simply fabulous, even the receptionist is such a lovely lady H her name is and she just gorgeous and lovely  (apologies if that upsets but we have had some right doozies of doctors receptionists in the past),   I was booked in as a emergency patient and saw the big boss doc (the one who’s car parking space is next to the very narrow disabled space, its so nerve wracking every time I get in and out of the car, I’m worried that I might accidently bash his very expensive Jag when getting out- but so far so good). I went into see the doc who had a look through my records so had a good idea of why I was there, I had a v high temp again and my belly was HUGE, I’m told I passed out in his room as well, but I don’t recall this, so that was that back to hospital.

Once I got to the hospital it was clear I needed IV antibiotics AGAIN and TPN and I would also need a PIC line – its like a cannula but its 40cm long as it goes into the top of the arm and follows they vain all the way to a big artery at the top of the heart .

Here is some information from the PINNT website, they offer great support and information for those with artificial feeding issues etc.

What is Parenteral Nutrition?
Parenteral Nutrition (PN) is a means of supplying your body with nutrients and hydration which bypasses the digestive system. This is achieved through the insertion of a catheter directly into the bloodstream, through which a feed that is specific to your needs is administered. This is commonly referred to as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) or HPN.
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What do the letters TPN mean?
TPN is a common abbreviation for TOTAL PARENTERAL NUTRITION. This literally means to eat (-enteral) through the vein (par-). However the terms PN (Parenteral Nutrition), HPN (Home Parenteral Nutrition) and TPN are often used interchangeably.
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How will the nutrition enter my veins?
A very fine soft tube known as a ‘catheter’ is inserted under the skin of your chest wall into a large vein that leads to your heart. A local anaesthetic is given beforehand to minimise any discomfort. A mild sedative may also be given while your catheter is being inserted. The procedure is normally done under Xray guidance. Once the correct position of the tip of the catheter is confirmed it can be connected to a container of PN fluid using a giving set.
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Will PN contain everything I need?
Your doctor and the nutrition team will have calculated the amount of nutrients you require in your PN to keep your body well nourished. This is done by making measurements of your weight, height and by blood tests and urine collections. Changes may be made to your feed to meet your on-going needs. Due to PN being prescribed on an individual basis, some people may make additions to their PN, if this is necessary you will be taught how and when to do this.
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When will I be fed?
Most people on PN feed whilst they are asleep however it is well documented that the infusion time often extends beyond time spent asleep. You will determine how best to fit in the time you require in order to complete your infusion time with your lifestyle. During the night sleep patterns may be disturbed due to necessary visits to the toilet. Many people find they adjust to this over time but people reported sometimes feeling tired depending on the number of times they need to get up. Feeding as much overnight allows freedom during the day, evening or morning. Each person’s infusion time will be agreed in line with your personal needs. New patients may be given a set time with this being reduced over time.
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Will I be confined to bed or at home?
HPN should not be restricted to lying in bed or staying at home unless that is your choice or is necessary for your individual needs. Portable feeding pumps have made it easier to be mobile whilst receiving your feed. Not all patients want to use a portable pump but improved mobility can be achieved with smaller drip stands for use around the home.
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How long will I need to be on PN?
Some patients will require PN for only a short time, such as to permit the digestive system to rest following surgery or illness or for a variety of reasons. For others they will require PN for the rest of their lives. If a specific condition improves then PN can be reduced or in some cases patients may be switched to enteral feeding depending on their specific medical needs.
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Will I be able to eat and drink?
This will vary according to your condition. Your doctor may suggest that you eat and drink as well as receiving HPN. In fact you may wish to continue eating and drinking on a social basis, which even if your digestive system is unable to absorb the nutrition may help you to feel included in social activities. Your doctor will advise you whether you are able to do this. This is one aspect that may change from time to time depending on your personal needs. If you are constantly thirsty you should contact your doctor or nurse and oral fluids will not replenish the thirst and may actually be detrimental to you. There are some oral mixtures for patients who want and need to drink which contain sugars and salts, these may be suggested on an individual basis.
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How will PN affect me on a day to day basis?
This will depend on the symptoms of your underlying illness. However many patients say that they feel stronger than they have for some time due to being well nourished and hydrated and therefore more able to cope with life.
Thankfully I was only on this for a short time and I got from it the energy I needed and the hydration I needed to allow my stomach to heal or whatever it needed and we were ready to try and use my RIG PEG again. thankfully it was successful this time (30mls per hour at 1kal per ml )- I am still getting pain – it feels like my actual stomach is bruised and it keeps filling with air – at times I can literally aspirate 100-200 +ml’s of air which is a bit odd.
Whilst in I met 2 really nice nutritionists one was called B and the other was called L both of which you just know they know their stuff and more importantly they clearly give a fuck about their patients and are not mechanical like the doctors can be – anyways L mentioned that perhaps I should be looking at my EDS (ehlers Danlos syndrome) as a reason for these feeding issues and it is a condition which can and does effect every single part of the body. so that’s something I will be looking into at some point.
Also whilst I was in I made contact with my new specialist Head and neck cancer Macmillan nurse NW and she was also great and gets it  for example she noticed before I even said anything that I was struggling to face her straight on as my neck was playing silly buggers! she also made me an urgent appointment to see Mr Fasanmade as I haven’t had an appointment since I moved here and I have a few new things cropped up regarding the cancer/cancer treatment side of things.
I mentioned the neck issues well at times these are pretty severe, they range of a tired ache as if my head is waaay to heavy for my neck, to muscle aches that male my right fingers (think its the pinkie and ring finger) tingle, although I still have movement and strength then at its worst it goes into full spasm and its not pretty my head tilts to the left my mouth is slightly open and my tongue (remembering the right side is just a graft and non functional) gets pulled to the base of the mouth and I’m almost paralysed by this I’m unable to do anything ot talk (well I try but its not understandable) until it passes, which can take up to 20 minutes.
I also have a palpable lump in my neck, we noticed it just before Christmas and have tried not to dwell? fret? panic? about this as we all know it could be nothing but we also know the alternative.
I will update about my appointment later
still smiling as ever
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Jan 2017

Update 2017 – still battling on


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

Well here we are almost at the 4 year mark and we all thought it would be way behind us and we would have moved on with life but unfortunately not!

 

Here’s what going on – we are now living near Aylesbury Buckinghamshire (sounds posh doesn’t it ). The kids are doing great Dangerous D is 5 and as adventurous as ever and loving life and my boy is 11 now and is all of a sudden turning into a sporty thing ! who knew? he’s on the football team the netball team (they have a mixed team dues to numbers ) and he’s wanting to do rugby on Sunday mornings ! bye bye lie in ! haa haa only kidding, we have kids there’s no such thing as a lie in. Hubby AKA “G” is doing really well and loving his new role and he has a fantastic boss who had been so so accommodating.

now me !!! drama all the bloody way ! since September I have had 3 peg tubes that failed (the tube split or the balloon burst or the valve was faulty and it fell out), so most recently Jan the 3rd the peg fell out I followed protocol and went straight to A and E peg in hand and explained – unfortunately they were very busy and it was a few hours till I was seen and in this time the stoma started closing ! we managed to get a mall NG tube in it to keep it open and I was kept over night on a drip as I obviously couldn’t use my peg etc – then it all started to go tits up ! the next day I went to x-ray to have a RIG, I did the usual and said – it takes a lot to knock me out and I have EDS and sedatives and local anaesthetics have limited effectiveness yes-yes they said !  so I woke up halfway through and in my have apparently I was “combative” no shit it bloody hurt !!

righow-to-rig

 

 

when I woke up I was in a lot of pain and not really from the peg ! it was in my shoulder and the only way I could describe it was icebergs erupting through my collarbone it was excruciating the only relief was laying totally flat – which is terrible for my back and thanks to radiotherapy I cannot lift my head if I lay flat it really weird actually its like someone’s holding my forehead down I just cant do it lol, I digress. so I was discharged with new RIG PEG on the 4th and the next day was my birthday 34 years old and I’ve only recently decided what I want to do with my life ! more of that later !

in the morning of the 5th I could barely move and was in lots of pain and my tummy was really big but I painted on smiles whilst I received my gifts and opened them I have some gorgeous smellies including bayliss and harding  and ghost and from the children I got this.

birthdaygiftfrom-kids

anyone who knows me will know how happy I was with seeds an sets – I can’t wait to get planting ! I love seeing the fruits of my labour – literally ! we are trying to make raised bed for as little money as possible and using scrap etc (do not thing steptoe yard) it will look beautiful!

so on the 5th I ask Gary to take my discharge notes to the medical centre and I had written a note on there as there was very little information on the discharge summary (it even said I could walk unaided and had no risk of falls lol) anywho my doc, Doc P called to see how I was and by this time 2.30 ish I was in more and more pain. The doc asked if I felt like I had a temperature and I shrugged it off saying no, but he insisted I take my temp 39.9 OOOOPS – he said get to the hospital NOW as I could be going into sepsis — I was in too much pain to get into the car so we had to an ambulance and my numbers weren’t great and they had the usual issues with canualtion and also my sats were low and my bp was in the floor 60 over something ! they gave me gas and air for the pain – GOD I LOVE THAT STUFF and off we went to A and E where I spent a few hors while I received emergency treatment for sepsis I has 2 different antibiotics  and paracetamol for the pain and lovely morphine oh and a drain bag on my (so all the acid etc. was coming out rather that leaking into my abdomen). once I was stable I was put in the walk way as there was no cubicle available so essentially I was in a corridor on a trolley ! nightmare I was hooked up to drips and all over the place, scared and alone. I had my phone in my bra strap near my collarbone and I was in and out of sleep as it was the early hours – I was occasionally woken by people adding drips and or taking me temp and blood pressure – then all of a sudden we were moving we were off to a new ward when they initially I thought I was again going to be in the corridor but there was a bed space available, that when I realised MY PHONE WAS GONE – I hadn’t physically moved so I can only surmise that someone took it! talk about panic and i was heartbroken ! the nurse who wheeled me up ran down to A and E and even went through the laundry bag and there was no luck it was gone! I couldn’t believe it! on top of everything!

 

For the next 11 days I was visited daily by a surgeon who would decide if was suitable for surgery or if they could continue with antibiotics – thankfully I avoided surgery by the skin of my teeth and the medication – tazacin ? and doxycycline? I think they were called seemed to do their job. for those 10 of those 11 days I had nothing in way of nutrition and only had saline /potassium and magnesium infusions!   they were desperate to put me onto TPN (vein feeding) like I had last year but I refused point-blank as I wanted to get home, I didn’t mince my words either ! once we were confident my bowel had healed/ there was no leak we started using the peg, initially I just vomited it up but at a love speed 20mls per hour I tolerated the feed ! but that was only  200 calories in 10 hours so they said I could go home if I made it to 30mls per hour without vomiting, I managed with the help of cyclzine. If I’m honest I’m still pretty dry and not weeing much so I am trying really hard to drink more but its hard you know  after 11 days of starvation your stomach shrinks.

 

anyhow I do now have a working peg it a bit infected and gunky atm so the medical centre are dressing it regularly for me and doing a great job. you know I cannot complain about the medical centre they all go the extra mile and have looked after me so so well in the past few months (I think the fact I bake them cakes helps.)

 

Tomorrow I will give you an update on the cancer care side of things or lack of care – in short, I went from 6 weekly check ups to a 7 monthly check-ups. and i threw my toys out of my pram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One year since diagnosis, This is an exact copy of my first post


MY FIRST EVER POST

Things were looking up !! then it all went to ……

FEBRUARY 15, 2013 MY CANCER AND ME

Im not sure where to start so i guess i will start with the begining of this year !!!On the 4th Jan 2013 I recall having a huge headache so bad i put D down for her nap early and had a lie down! I thought i was a migraine which was strange as i havent had one of those in years – but hey nothing to worry about ??The next day was my birthday and whilst i felt shocking my head still banging and now half, exactly half of my tounge was numb i just plodded on, by the sunday i knew i had to see a doc and it had to be that day, so off i went to the out of hours service in peterborough and was rather suprised to be seen straight away, but just thought it was a bit of a bonus.I was in there for what felt like ages and she said i think you have had a TIA .. a mini stroke and ordered me to go to PCH (teh local hospital ) I dont think they realised i was driving but anyways i drove there not realising how seriously they were taking things, well not until i was met at the door of AnE by a lady who introduced herself as the “specialist stoke nurse” bloody billiant i thought !! but i also thought TWITS,  im far too young and i have had so much go wrong with my body so far it wont be that or anything serious (doh)

While there i phoned my parents and asked that they come up (25 mins away) as i needed someone to keep an eye on the children while i had scans etc and i didnt want to phone hubby who was on guard duty — they came but called hubby !! I was less than impressed – I mean of course i was going to call him but I didnt want him unnecessarily worried and rushign away from work when my parents in theory could just help out for a while. Well that was my logic ! Anyways they showed up got kids and were asked to leave by a doc as G arrived at around the same time ! (this pissed them off somewhat i think )Anyways the scans were inconclusive and i was told it was probably a TIA and I was reffered to a nuro -In the mean time i really struggled to eat and joked about being on the best diet ever !!! – i had lost over a stone in less than a month !! (although i can afford to loose another 3 before i will worry too mcuh) – also i kept biting my toung and i had a weird bump on my tounge which i thought was fom biting but i goggled it and google diagnosed tounge cancer 50% suvival rate!!! That was it i was convinced I had the nuro appt on the 24th Jan – at that appt i told her i thing i have tounge cancer !! and that i am a smoker so deserve it but didnt want to die until my daughter was old enough to remember me !!She refered me to the head and neck unit at PCH who i saw on the 5/2/13 i was told it was probably nothing just where i had bitten my tounge but the would biopsey !! which they did a few days later !!

I went in on the 13th for my results and knew it was VERY BAD when they insisted G come in with me, I had said no hes fine the kids are on one – they insisted !!!“so you know we took teh biopsy? Well we have had the results and well you thought it was cancer and we have found cancer “my immediate reaction was “GET MY KIDS OUT OF HERE I DO NOT WANT THEM HEARING THIS”THE NEXT 10 MINUTES WAS A BLUR i was given forms leaflets and told its like skin cancer but on the tounge and we wouldnt know more until we had more tests done …THEN THE TWIST !!!!

I hope that by writing this blog I can help others in similar situations take comfort in the fact that they are not alone. Please help me reach more people with my blog by sharing my posts on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to follow my story, please sign up to the mailing list so that you can be notified as my blog is updated. Should you wish to get in touch please feel free to use the ‘Contact Me’ page to fill in your details and I will respond to you as soon I am able. Thank you, Stephanie x

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Volcano Stephanie


So this was yesterday …
So i lost it in the middle of Sainsbury’s, G was being indecisive about something and i saw red shouting ‘its not like I’m gonna bloody eat any of this, just bloody pick’ with a few bleeps in there for good measure. To be honest  i think its been brewing for a while, I’ve been cooking tea for 3 (admittedly not that often – but im trying) and i might try a tea spoon then bloody choke. Sigh im now in a arsey mardy mood and wish i could drink a lot of vodka !!!! But I spent the evening at my sewing machine which is my de-stress as I love it, here are a few its I have done recently, its a garland / banner with the whole alphabet on for my daughters room, I also made a merry Christmas one for a friend in lovely greens and reds abcdef
 
 
 
Im guessing this is just a new phase “the anger” so watch out im going to turn green and burst out of my clothes and go on a rampage, or not.
 
We do have a lot of potential and real  stress going on in our house at the moment, We have an impending move, a 2 year old who believes like every other 2 year old that the world revolves around her. and who’s newest cringe worthy habit is shouting  COCK  at the top of her lungs after some time we realised that she was actually saying sock… lots of practicing sssssssssssssssssock sssssssssssssssssssssssssssock we now have ssssssssssssCOCK …. PARENTING IS SOOOO MUCH FUN.
 
Then we have our 8 year old who has turned into the devil child who knows all and most defiantly will not be told he is wrong – for example for home work they have to read to an adult 3 times a week, he’s “reading” it alone then asking me to sign his book and when I refuse I am the worst mother that ever was, so I make him read to me and when he gets a word wrong or misses a word as they all do I just tap the word so he knows and can go back, he apparently is too old for sounding out words so that’s like pulling teeth. We were only half way through his homework and he’s been sent to his room, and my goodness I am hoping he doesn’t trash his room like he did the other week for being sent to his room. He’s just sooo moody and mardy, we are making sure that we are rewarding good behaviour big time and verbally reinforcing it – ie thank you for being nice/kind.  suggestions welcome.
 
K is currently upstairs after homework refusal which I will write in his book – I am kind of hoping they make him stay in at break or something to work on it to show him it has to be done – we ll know homework sucks but it was 5 spellings and 5 sentences.
 
Grrrr anyways I managed 750mls of 1.5kal feed over night which is the mist I have had in ages and I have attempted 2 cups of tea – I cannot finish  a whole one, im not sure if its the neck tilt or if my swallow gets tired either way it is getting better and im tasting it which is fab – I never was a tea monster but I did really enjoy a cuppa especially first thing and after school run to warm up etc