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Old 05-19-2022, 12:33 AM   #31
WebSlave
I am OK. Don't worry about me.

It was just a fleeting pain, likely just from the accumulated stress looking for a way to escape my body. I acknowledged it, then dismissed it.

Connie had to get blood work today, so another trip to the oncology center. Took two tries for them to get a vein to cooperate. She must have very small veins because she has always had problems getting blood extracted. But in any event, the results came back with flying colors.

Oh, her pulse rate and O2 readings have been pretty normal all day long. She credits the valiums to, as she put it "saving me". So I think she was in a negative feedback situation where the stress from her family triggered the rapid and shallow heartbeat, and her seeing the readings just made it worse. The valium broke the cycle, I guess. Luckily my doc gave me 180 of the pills, as I think we are going to be needing them. Not sure if I will need a refill, and if so, how that will go. Connie said she is afraid of becoming addicted to them, but as I told her, "curing her of a minor drug addiction will be a hell of a lot easier to do then curing her of dying from a heart attack."

She is trying to do more things around the house. Damn shame that those nasty yellow flies are peaking around here, so we really can't be outside much. As it is, I have to rush her to and from the vehicle for her appointments using one of the hand held bug zappers to knock those little bastids out of the air trying to land on her. So far she hasn't been bitten by any. I don't know what a bite will do with her being in an immunity deficit because of the chemo. So I am trying REAL hard to not have to find out. Got mosquito magnets running (which are great for trapping yellow flies) and used some stuff called TangleFoot on some black nursery buckets hanging from tree branches. The yellow flies are attracted to the buckets, and when they land on the Tangle Foot, they stay there. I ordered some new zappers because I am afraid the capacitors in the ones I bought a few years ago might be getting old and not able to build up the charge they used to. I want to KILL them, not just stun them where they can come back again. I might take apart one of the older ones and see if I can soup it up with a larger capacitor. It will give me something to do to keep my mind off of things.

Speaking of keeping my mind off of things, I bought a LaserPecker (look it up, I am NOT making this up) back before the crap hit the fan with Connie's condition. So I haven't used it much. We bought some hot/cold disposable cups for Connie to have water and drinks in, but they only have a sipper hole in the lid. She likes using a straw, so I tried using the drill press to drill a hole in the lid for her, but I didn't like that it created plastic particles during the cut. So I had an idea to try using the laser. Yeah, overkill, but heck, it worked. And laser burns the hole and basically just melts the edges of the plastic around the hole without any mess. Took some experimenting to get the right settings, but after that, no sweat. So I guess I have a new hammer that I will be looking for nails to use it on.

Been ordering protein drinks for Connie, as the oncologist said that protein will help the body to absorb the swelling she still has in her feet and lower legs. Particularly the left one. And just getting in supplies so we won't have to go out much. Honestly, I am pretty apprehensive about COVID lurking around with Connie's immune system being compromised from the chemo. Could be very bad news if COVID gets in through the door here.

But all in all she seemed pretty upbeat today. Quite a difference from yesterday evening when I thought for certain I was watching her getting ready to go into cardiac arrest. That heart beat she had was NOT good at all.

She still has a little cough now and again, and I know it makes her real apprehensive about that fluid coming back around her right lung. But I told her people cough all of the time. Most people never even pay attention to it, but it is normal without any underlying serious causes. But that being said, I won't be surprised if she has at least one more fluid extraction. Chemo is supposed to make that go away, but something tells me it won't be that simple. It will likely be traded for something else not really all that pleasant.
 
Old 05-19-2022, 07:21 AM   #32
Lucille
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post

It was just a fleeting pain, likely just from the accumulated stress looking for a way to escape my body. I acknowledged it, then dismissed it.
Perhaps a doctor could be offered the opportunity to dismiss it, just to be on the safe side.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
The valium broke the cycle, I guess. Luckily my doc gave me 180 of the pills, as I think we are going to be needing them. Not sure if I will need a refill, and if so, how that will go. Connie said she is afraid of becoming addicted to them, but as I told her, "curing her of a minor drug addiction will be a hell of a lot easier to do then curing her of dying from a heart attack."
It is not clear from what you have written so far whether the Valium was prescribed for you and you are sharing it, or whether it was prescribed for both of you. Out of an abundance of caution, I want to point out that there are medication interaction warnings between diazepam and olanzapine, the anti nausea drug prescribed for Connie. If the Valium was not prescribed for her specifically, perhaps asking the oncologist about using it might be worthwhile.
 
Old 05-19-2022, 02:25 PM   #33
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
Perhaps a doctor could be offered the opportunity to dismiss it, just to be on the safe side.
Nope. That is all I need to be putting even more stress on Connie telling her I need to go to the doctor to have my heart checked out because I am afraid I might be having a heart attack. I will be OK. If it were a continual problem, then yeah, you are correct, it would need to be checked out. But it was just a flash in the pan thing, and haven't had a repeat of it since then.

I am getting old. I will have pains here and there now and again. Heck, I did something unpacking some supplies on the porch and had a very sharp pain in my lower back a few days ago. I just plowed through it. It gets better with time, and just sleeping on my back for a night or so. My body seems to be pretty good at self healing. And I am a firm believer in mind over matter when it comes to the body. I treat pain as just an indicator alarm that something went wrong. OK, message received about the boo-boo, now shut the hell up and stop whining about it! I have things to do. This actually works really well with muscle pains when you exercise muscles that haven't been used for a while. Just let them know that their whining isn't going to save them from being used again by doing the next day what it was that got them upset today.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
It is not clear from what you have written so far whether the Valium was prescribed for you and you are sharing it, or whether it was prescribed for both of you. Out of an abundance of caution, I want to point out that there are medication interaction warnings between diazepam and olanzapine, the anti nausea drug prescribed for Connie. If the Valium was not prescribed for her specifically, perhaps asking the oncologist about using it might be worthwhile.
The valium (diazepam) was prescribed to me because of the stress I exhibited when I talked to my doctor about what is going on. That doctor likely knows nothing at all about the drugs that Connie is taking. The primary care level doesn't have much depth to it. At least here, they are just pill pushers and referrals to specialists that are better trained and equipped to deal with anything more than, well, anything actually. Anything even semi-serious and they will tell you to go to Urgent Care or the hospital Emergency Room.

Anyway, Connie is not taking that olanzapine. She tried it once, and that was enough. And when she was undergoing the anxiety attack, I was in communications with the oncology nurse in charge and specifically told her about the valium. She concurred that it was worth trying, so they are well aware of it. Besides, it was only a 2mg tablet, which was the smallest dose I could get

I can see where combining diazepam and olanzapine could be an issue since that olanzapine knocked Connie out like a left hook to the head. She said that would be taken again only as an extremely last resort if she became overcome with severe nausea. Honestly, even then I would be concerned with her taking that crap. Knocking someone unconscious while suffering nausea might not be a real good idea. Drunks die because they pass out, vomit while unconscious and ingest that into their windpipe, and choke to death. At the very least I would cut one of those olanzapine pills into half or even quarters. I believe the pill is 10mg, if I remember correctly.

And for the record, Connie isn't taking any anti-nausea drugs right now, and hasn't been for several days now. She exhibited no nausea after that first chemo treatment and those drugs she had on hand were for a limited time period after the chemo treatment. When she gets all three drugs next treatment, things might be quite different. She also has some drugs that are supposed to be sort of backups in case she has what they are calling "breakthrough nausea".

Right now she is only on the blood thinner med and a pill she takes to regulate her thyroid.

But thank you for your concern, Lucille.

Connie seems to be recovering well from the surgery, and since the first chemo treatment didn't really knock her down, she is actually feeling pretty chipper today. She is still afraid to cough hard, fearing it make shake something loose "down there". And coughs now scare her because it could be a sign that her right lung is getting compacted with fluid again. She still can't operate the recliner by herself, but the pee breaks are getting further apart. Last night it was 3 hours apart, so that isn't too bad.

I really wish I could get her outside to take some walks and get fresh air, but those damned yellow flies are going to be a problem for likely a month. Before the crap really hit the fan we were actually talking about abandoning this place for a month just so we could get away from them. I guess it is fortunate (?) that we didn't make any reservations because obviously we would have had to cancel them.

Connie isn't taking anything other than the prescribed drugs, but I am trying hard to keep myself fortified against COVID or any other bug. Matter of fact, I am taking doses of Ivermectin twice a week, plus all the usual zinc and other supplements recommended to keep the immune system in tune. I figure I will be the one going out running errands, so I have to be that first line of defense. Washing my hands at least twice as much as I used to when the COVID threat popped up. Got sanitizer at the front door, in the garage, in the building where we have the big freezer for food supplies and take supplies in to stage before taking over to the house.

I did a curbside pickup of some groceries from Walmart this morning. Connie wants some protein shake drinks because her oncologist said it would help with the swelling. Oh, while at that meeting we had on Tuesday, I bought up my concern about that blood clot that vanished. She (Dr. Ellison) said that the clot was small and didn't completely block the vein, so quite likely between the first chemo treatment and the blood thinner med, it likely dissipated. That was causing some, maybe most, of the swelling in Connie's left leg and foot. I am going to try to get her over to the other building (what used to be the reptile building) so she can ride the stationary bike she has there to exercise her legs some. I get to be over there with her and putter around on my arranger keyboard for a while to keep her company. I will try hard not to scare her away with the noises my fingers make on that keyboard.

Just rambling... Sorry if I repeat myself a lot here. It does help to calm me down quite a bit just writing this stuff, so please bear with me.
 
Old 05-19-2022, 09:43 PM   #34
Dyscophus antongilii
I am so glad that Connie got good news. That is a very good start. At least, in my humble opinion. Do not worry about repeating yourself. We are happy you are calm. I am sure, Connie is too!!
 
Old 05-20-2022, 11:15 PM   #35
WebSlave
Connie has been feeling pretty good all day today. I think her surgery is healing up pretty well. But she is developing a little cough again, and we are both fearful that it might mean fluid building up around her right lung again. It is not a complicated procedure to drain it, but still, who wants to have a needle jabbed into their back any more than absolutely necessary? So we shall see. I am just hoping we won't be doing a run to the Emergency Room this weekend if the cough gets worse and she has trouble catching her breath.

Seemed like fairly smooth sailing today, and we both decided to take a nap in the afternoon. Nights are still broken up by my having to help her out of the recliner so she can pee, and last night the cycle was around 1.5 to 2 hours.

So during the nap I hear my cell phone ringing. I guess I forgot to turn it off after running out to get propane tanks filled to keep the mosquito magnets running to capture as many yellow flies as possible. Anyway, I got up to check it and it was from one of my credit card companies wanting me to verify a charge on my card. $4,300.00 charge to Home Depot. WHAT??? Also sent me a text, and then an email, then the home phone landline began ringing. Anyway, someone apparently got that credit card number from somewhere and got overly ambitious with the charge they wanted to make. It was declined right away, and as soon as I stated I knew nothing about that charge, the card got cancelled. Now this is the card we usually use for home personal purchases, so we have been using it a lot to get supplies and support materials for Connie. They can't get another card to us for around 5 business days, so this puts a crimp in things. Yeah, we have other credit cards, but we try to keep things organized by what charges are made on what cards. For instance, I know my one card is ALWAYS just used for business related expenses. But I guess that is going to have to change temporarily.

I seriously hope that before I die I get to meet one of the people who do this sort of thing in a dark alley somewhere, with no witnesses. I don't need any sort of weapon, I will just chew his throat out like some sort of wild animal. Just kidding. Well, no, in the frame of mind I am in now, no I am not.

Seems we can't have even one day without some BS screwing it up for us. Of course, with the yellow flies, there are not going to be ANY days for a while that will seem like "nice" days where we can go outside and just have a nice walk.
 
Old 05-21-2022, 11:09 PM   #36
Dyscophus antongilii
I am sorry Connie has a cough. I hope that it does not get any worse, over the weekend. Hopefully, it will be better by tomorrow. Let us know how she is doing tomorrow, please.

Yeah, credit card companies suck. That is all I can say. Be glad, they canceled that very large transaction. I would rather them do that. Then needing to "argue with them" about not making the purchase.
 
Old 05-22-2022, 12:32 AM   #37
WebSlave
I don't think her cough is related to her lung issue. She found that if she eats or drinks something, it seems to sooth her throat and she doesn't cough for a while. So I think she has an irritation in her throat, perhaps from the chemo treatment she had.

She says she feels pretty good, and matter of fact it's hard for her to believe she is really sick. So she turns to me and says "I am really sick, aren't I?" What do you say to something like that? I said, "Yes, you are. Cancer is serious. But I believe that together we can beat it. I am hoping that just like that blood clot that was in your left leg that the ultrasound girl was amazed that just vanished, so to will the alternate things you are doing and the chemotherapy get rid of those cancer cells."

If prayer has any influence in the future, that is exactly what will happen. She has a role model in her sister Karen that happened exactly like that. They are sisters, pretty much same genes, same blood type (O negative), and honestly Connie has been living a much healthier lifestyle for years.

I just fight off the darker thoughts, and have gone for days without taking a valium. I think I took one when Connie was having that anxiety attack, but not sure. Seems to me I declined taking one thinking I was going to be taking her to the Emergency Room. So it has been a while.

Honestly, it is SO easy to slip into denial when I see her walking around and smiling like everything is normal. I hope she doesn't get blitzed when she has her next chemo treatment on June 1, when they will be giving her 3 drugs at once instead of just the one she had on 05-11. I am hopeful that she will be one of the lucky ones that doesn't suffer some of the worst side effects of chemo. But if not, well, I may be popping valiums during that time having to watch her in distress and not being able to do a damned thing about it. I am sure I will be a basket case.
 
Old 05-22-2022, 04:34 PM   #38
Lucille
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
popping valiums
Ivermectin can potentiate the benzodiazepines.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post

She says she feels pretty good
I am happy to hear that and I hope her feeling of well being continues. I hope that the annoying yellow flies go away soon so that y'all can enjoy the outdoors before it gets too hot later in the summer.

I am sure that all of us will send special thoughts and prayers on the day of Connie's next chemo, and hope that all goes well.
 
Old 05-22-2022, 06:03 PM   #39
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
Ivermectin can potentiate the benzodiazepines.
Ah, so those 2 mg tablets I got prescribed might be more than enough. Actually I have been tapping into that very old stock I have, cutting the 5mg tablets in half, so it is more like 2.5mg I took a while back. Been several days (I think) since I have taken any at all. These are sort of a last resort for me when I feel my seams coming apart on me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
I am happy to hear that and I hope her feeling of well being continues. I hope that the annoying yellow flies go away soon so that y'all can enjoy the outdoors before it gets too hot later in the summer.

I am sure that all of us will send special thoughts and prayers on the day of Connie's next chemo, and hope that all goes well.
Thank you.

Actually I believe Connie is supposed to be avoiding direct sunlight while doing the chemo treatments anyway. But I would like to bundle her up and drive down to the state park on St. George Island and sit in the open air pavilions they have there right on the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe even early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun would be low and perhaps we could even walk on the beach for a bit. Depends on how she feels, I suppose.

I am thankful they have the treatments 3 weeks apart, so that she can recover somewhat between if she does get some notable side effects after each treatment. They are doing blood work each week in between to see how things are going.

I seriously hope she doesn't have REALLY bad effects from the chemo. She has talked about the possibility that if she ever did get cancer that she was going to refuse all treatments. So when the surgeon/oncologist told me about chemo for her after the surgery, I told her that was going to be a real hard sell for her. But it actually surprised me when Connie agreed to it without kicking up a fuss. Maybe her going through surgery first changed her perspective on things.

Frankly, I am deathly afraid that if the chemo side effects are too much for her, and she sees me falling apart, she might decide to take her own life. So I sure as hell can't let her see me crumple up and collapse from this. That is one of them main reasons I mentioned above that I CANNOT tell her I have to go to the doctor's to be checked out for heart issues. She would not allow herself to be the cause of me having a heart attack. I have to make her understand that the reason she needs to fight this is because I NEED her to be here with me. I don't believe there is any greater truth than that. Which means I have to be strong enough to be there to support her, but not putting on an act of being so strong that she feels I can get along just fine without her.

On a different note, I think I have been using sleep as a sort of escape from all this. Waking up has been very difficult, except when Connie calls my name needing help. But lately even sleep is slipping away as an escape because lately I have been having dreams of meeting people I haven't seen for years, decades even, and having to go through the pain of telling them what Connie is going through. That is difficult for me to do, even in a dream.
 
Old 05-22-2022, 07:14 PM   #40
Dyscophus antongilii
I am very happy that Connie is doing well. I think what people think will happen, when they are confronted with something like cancer, is very different, then when it actually happens.
 

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