Thanks for all your words of support last night. I definitely had somewhat of a meltdown right after I posted the update, which triggered a meltdown from Ana who thought I’d just gotten more dire news, which triggered about 2 hours of mind-numbing guilt for not being strong enough to hold it together in front of her, which triggered some further introspection and a possible mini-breakthrough/realization about this whole horrible experience.
I know this is a learning curve and I am at the very, very bottom. We all are. I told this to Ana after I’d calmed down and also let her know that my meager 3 hours of sleep and 600 calories for the whole day finally got to me. She understood. She seems to have a lot more clarity in the evenings when it’s just the two of us and the night nurse, cheryl (who turned out to be just as wonderful as Dee).
So, here’s the actual update on Ana. She is in a lot of pain and while a good portion of this is from the tumor pressing on things it shouldn’t be pressing on, she’s also got a lot of bowel issues like gas and fluid in her abdomen which is causing pain sensors to trigger (think about when you are really constipated or have really bad gas pain – that’s what she’s feeling all the time, plus whatever else the tumor is constricting). The doctor ordered her a laxative which will hopefully help get things moving and relieve some of her bowel pain.
Ana’s also got a thrombosis of the portal vein (blood clot). Full disclosure: I have no idea what this is and plan to Google it after this post. They put her on a drug called Lovanox which is an anti-clotting agent which she has to get every 12 hours. The Lovanox won’t fix the existing clot, but it will help prevent future clots. Unfortunately it can’t be given via I.V., so she will need to have it injected in the bottom part of her arm every 12 hours UNTIL DISCHARGE. This poor kid.
Dr. Hochberg (the attending oncologist) will be here later this morning and I’ve begun preparing a list of questions for her, so I’ll hopefully have a more detailed update (if not the information we’ve all been waiting for – an actual diagnosis) after that. I’ve learned that one of the things that helps calm me and keep me grounded is tracking everything, writing everything down, reporting it back here and just feeling like I’m literally managing things like a project. So, I’m planning to do a lot more of that going forward instead of sitting here in a haze of confusion and fear.