March Madness

Before the month is over, I wanted to provide an update on life in Cancerland.

I’ve been struggling with the side effects of whole brain radiation (WBR) for over three months now. My wonderful medical oncologist, Dr. K., has been a godsend with his diligence in finding additional options for my non-stop nausea. After Zofran, Compazine, and Ativan failed to completely beat it down, he wrote me a prescription for what turned out to be my magic bullet – Zyprexa.

Given that the drug is classified as an antipsychotic and its primary, FDA-approved use is the treatment of schizophrenia, I was a little nervous taking it. But after doing a quick literature search (which felt good – I haven’t done that in…forever), my nerves were calmed. There is plenty of clinical evidence that Zyprexa is effective for radiation-induced nausea and vomiting. And the medication worked like a charm. I still have to take the other meds with it, but as long as I stay on track with taking them all the nausea stays away.

My hip and lower back have also started hurting since my last post. Sometimes I can’t even get out of a chair without assistance, and the heating pad has become my constant companion. I go in for scans tomorrow to see what’s brewing, if anything. I was supposed to go in last week but Cigna felt otherwise (translation: they denied the first request and it took a call from Dr. K to get approval). I’m not even guessing what the problem is until after the scans are done and read – it could be new metastases or it could just be soft tissue and muscle damage. Sad to be hoping it’s the latter, but I’d rather do physical therapy than more radiation.

I won’t even get into my failing short-term memory, but I’ve got a few stories that I’ll share once time has taken the sting out of them. And when I find my glasses. That I’ve lost three times in the past month.

To end on a happy note, I celebrated my 50th birthday earlier this month (St. Patrick’s Day). Before you think or say anything to the contrary, the big 5-0 is unrelated to the above paragraph. Tim and the kids took me to Boston, and I also had a lovely birthday lunch with my mom.



8 thoughts on “March Madness

  1. You never seize to amaze me!! Just when I think dealing with dementia is tough, I think of you or hear from you. I wish I had your fortitude. You’re always in my
    Prayers. Love Flo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry you have to deal with all of this. Your strength and courage amaze me everyday. Glad you found something that helps the nausea! Love you to the moon sweet friend. Miss you! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paula, I am a firm believer that your positive attitude and wonderful spirit has kept you going. I don’t know of another person who could and do deal with all you deal with in such a terrific positive attitude. You are always smiling and never complain–most of us could not do what you seem to do every day and you are funny on top of it all. I am so proud to call you my daughter and I love you so so very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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