Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Further Evidence That I'm On Drugs

     Today I had my weekly meeting with Anne, our hospice nurse. I say, "our," because Kristin and I are, for the most part, in this thing together. If I suffer through something then, on some level, she also suffers through it. Thus, today our hospice nurse came by. She's usually here on Thursday but, due to some special long weekend plans, needed to make her "in home visit" today. Which worked out well. We have an appointment with the oncologist tomorrow and had planned to call Anne to see how we could move things around to avoid any complications between the two care providers. Since I only see the oncologist, Dr. Monticelli, once a month or so we work very hard to not change, reschedule or modify any appointments made with the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center (WVCI). Did I have some kind of point here? Oh yes.
The small, metal, circular device is "accessing" my port which is buried beneath my skin.
You can see the scar from when they inserted it just above, and the bio-hazard tattoo
(which I had placed to label the chemicals being put into my body)
just to the upper left (if you're facing me) of my port and all it's accessories.
     Today Anne "flushed" my port. It always leaves a little more pain than I remember it leaving the last time. I'm sure it's not increasing in any way. I just forget that it hurt the time before this one. The port is flushed about once every four to six weeks. At first it was a very painful process. But as I've learned different tricks and techniques from nurses and patients the pain, when the two inch (or so) needle is inserted properly is minimal.

     Why am I telling you all this? I really have no idea. Somewhere at the end of the previous paragraph, mid-afternoon, I had a friend stop by. I saved my work at that point and am just getting back to it now at almost 10:30 at night. Slightly past my bed time. I think the fact I was leading up to was that it's been decided, somewhat mutually by me, that my major pain medication should be "upped" once more. So I am now taking forty milligrams of Methadone, three times a day. This is going to leave me a little moody and quite stoned for a few days. This conclusion was reached because my break-through pain medication was no longer working. A conclusion further was reached that the reason my "break-through" meds were not working was due to the fact that I wasn't taking enough of my regular pain medication. Anyway... That's why I think I was telling you all this.

     This afternoon I was visited by a friend. He used to be more of an acquaintance. But in the last year Sam has been the unfortunate recipient of a diagnosis of Pancreatitis. So, on and off, he and I have had minor discussions throughout the year about our pain, how we were dealing with it, and how it's affected our lives. More recently our conversations have become more intense. Today he drove down from Portland so we could talk face to face. Sam and I know each other through ComedySportz (CSz). I don't know how long he's been at CSz Portland. I was at CSz Eugene until it's demise in 2006. But... Anyway again... That's how we met. (For the record, and it's all for the record [I love saying that a little too much.] his "player name" is Sam A Lama Ding Dong Whittington and mine is Aaron J. Jonah Jamison. Not that it matters to anyone not in ComedySportz. But it was important to me once. I guess it still is.)

     It was great to have Sam stop by today. It's rare that, in our situation, you're able to talk face to face to someone who's experiencing the same kind of pain that you are. We both live with a kind of pain that makes you think about death and/or dying. The average people don't realize how often people in our situation think about death and even taking our own lives. We live by a pain scale. Essentially there's a scale of one through ten with one being no pain and ten being so much pain that you can neither concentrate or function. I can't speak for Sam... Well, I could speak for Sam but it might not be correct and then he'd sue me. (Not true. Sam wouldn't sue me, and I don't have any money anyway. So that would be a fairly pointless act.) But, if he's anything like me, my pain hovers around six and seven on the scale on a daily basis. (The goal of the "upped" meds we started today is going to be to bring that down to an average of three or four.)

     My writing's getting a little muddled. I think I should stop now and get some sleep. It's after 11pm and tomorrow would constitute a busy day for anybody. But for me it'll be a majorly busy day.

Tonight I leave this blog hopeful that my new medication levels will give me some relief from what I've been living in, thankful for the visit of a acquaintance turned friend who is an unwilling member of the same club I've been placed in... More than anything, as I go to bed tonight, I am filled with joy as I expect my parents to arrive for a visit this weekend and Kristin and I continue to plan for Relay for Life next weekend.

Speaking of planning for Relay for Life next weekend... One of the biggest fund raisers our team, Team Choose Joy!, has planned is a $5/ticket raffle for a Limited Edition, University of Oregon, BCS Football. The ball is in University of Oregon colors and features tons of information and facts about one of the Ducks most winning seasons! But we've gone a step better... Maybe even... I don't know.... 21 STEPS BETTER?!?

We were able, through magic, begging and lots of paperwork to get this very special, limited edition ball AUTOGRAPHED! There are 21 team signatures on this ball! Here: #1 Josh Huff, #57 Trevor Fox, #22 Derrick Malone, #87 Brandon Williams, #2 Troy Hill, #5 Darron Thomas, #90 Ricky Heimuli, #31 Kenny Bassett, #80 Lavasier Tuinei, #3 Bryan Bennett, #91 Dane Ebanez, #5 Issac Dixon, #38 Mike Garrity, #13 Cliff Harris#42 David Paulson, #21 LaMichael James, #70 Ramsen Golpashin, #78 Karrington Armstron, #55 Hroniss Grasu, #46 Michael Clay and #20 John Boyett!

So watch this blog! This coming Sunday or Monday you'll be able to start buying raffle tickets for this ball a week BEFORE Relay for Life starts! Then, starting Friday, July 29th, you'll only be able to purchase tickets from our booth at Relay. Ticket sales will STOP at Noon on Saturday, July 30th at Relay for Life on the Willamette High School campus! Think of all that money going to Relay! A touchdown for the American Cancer Society!

I may, or may not, be wearing clothes behind that board.
I promise to wear clothes when I'm at Relay for Life... most of the time!

1 comment:

Jan said...

What a super great thing for Relay for Life. Great job from both you and Kristin. Dad and I are really looking forward to being at Relay with you again this year. It's a super great event, one that we will strive to continue to participate in over the years.