Nov 11, 2010

Pleural Effusion + Radiaton = One Tired Mama

Okay guys I have about ten minutes before I leave for work so this has gotta be quick! I couldn't take mom to any of her appointments this morning because I had two tests today that I really couldn't miss. I'm soooo eager for school to be over this semester because it keeps getting in the way. Luckily, Grandma and Wendy are available to take her wherever, whenever.  I just hate when I can't be there...and today was pretty rough on her. Grandma and Wendy drove her to Newton to have her second pleural effusion in less than one month's time. She was scheduled to begin at 10:30 am, but because her doctor hadn't yet recieved the little plastic tube they needed to "install" during the procedure, they had to wait until the FedEx delivery arrived....two hours later. It wouldn't be a big deal, but she hadn't had anything to eat or drink since Midnight last night, and she's weak enough as it is. She was super thirsty at 7 this morning, so I can't even imagine how dry she must have been by noon.  They finally began the surgery around 12:30. This time, they were able to give her an anesthetic with the "twilight" effect (she was conscious during the procedure, but didn't feel anything and won't remember it), and drained the fluid that had built back up in the pleural cavity of her right lung. Once the fluid was gone, the surgeon then inserted a little plastic tube that will sort of act as a catheter to drain any fluid that collects in that area from now on.  Tomorrow morning, I'm scheduled for a quick appointment with her surgeon, so he can show me how to operate the little drainage device. I'm not sure how often it'll have to be drained, but I know the scans showed an entire liter and a half of fluid had accumulated in three weeks! And your pleural cavity isn't very big, people. Google it.  I'm guessing we'll have to drain it every couple days or so.

Unfortunately, mom is really, REALLY sore from the procedure. She was scheduled for radiation this afternoon, so after her effusion was done they drove her back to Wichita to make it just in time for her appointment. Wendy said it was really difficult to get her in and out of the car because she was so exhausted and weak.  Radiation was quick though, and now she's back at my grandma's, sound asleep.  They gave her some morphine and painkillers to take throughout the night, and I really hope her pain goes away FAST! Or as Susan (her oncology nurse) would say, quick like a bunny! I think she's definitely out cold for the night. Thanks again for all of your thoughts! I'll get back to you guys later, for real. Today wasn't fun and tomorrow will probably wipe her out again--appointment with her surgeon in Newton at 10, and radiation in Wichita at 2:30.

I'm off to work--I was looking at some cute pictures of mama I've taken on my phone over the past several months, and I'll try to post a few of them tonight. Have a good one everybody. Muah.

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