We are waiting on a consult with the back surgeon, Dr. Abraham, before the Oncologist makes any further decisions regarding Mathew’s care.

We saw the Oncologist yesterday but it seemed an empty appointment with no clear-cut reason for being there. Dr. Burnell affirmed that Dr. Abraham will see Mathew and the thoracic surgeon will decide after that if he will remove Mathew’s lung lesion.

Dr. Burnell wants to discover what is causing Mathew’s pain. There must be a source cause and she believes Dr. Abraham, a back specialist, is the best doctor to determine what it is. She wants to rule out Mathew’s primary tumour being the cause of current pain.

The 3T MRI showed no changes whatsoever in Mathew’s spine from any other MRI previously performed…so I lean towards it NOT being the reason for Mathew’s pain. It is more due to all the damage done to that exclusive area of his back. Right in the small of the back. If you pull a muscle there or pinch a nerve then it puts you out of action until things feel better.

Mathew’s pain meds were altered a bit; now he is on 15 mg slow release morphine every 8 hours. He still has the 5 mg morphine quick-release for break through pain if needed. Additionally I now set the clock alarm to keep us to a strict schedule. His regular, daily meds are included in this regime so it keeps him calmer and the drugs he needs steady in his body.

We also met with a psychologist and will try it for a little bit. The psychologist’s aim is clear and focussed on short term visits with results. Mathew seemed amiable and ready to chat, always a good sign. That is something we’ve done on our own.

Dr. Burnell is lining up the hospital’s psychiatrist to meet Mathew as well. It is high time someone reviewed his medication to ensure it continues to serve its purpose. Mathew is a bit complicated with all these things going on simultaneously and one does not help the other out! John and I are no mood experts and we too, are in the middle of this cancer journey and all that it entails. It is time for Mathew to get professional help to cope with the myriad of emotions and fears he has. I am here for comfort but am out of my depth in helping with the emotional side of this wretched roller coaster life Mathew has.

If the green light is given for another thoracic surgery… we were advised it won’t be the simple VATS procedure that removed the last 3 lung nodules Mathew had. It is the bigger and more involved surgery. I’m not even going to think about it unless and until we are faced with it. It sounds nasty.

We are still headed for Disneyworld in just over 2 weeks. Mathew is getting excited about it; it is THE trip for him! We are all going but the focus will be on what Mathew wants to do. September is less crowded and hopefully a little cooler than summer. It is hurricane season there for the next while and I’m crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen while we are in Orlando. Neither Mathew nor Kristen have been to Disneyworld… and I don’t remember if John has. I was there many, many years ago and I hear there are lots of new entertainment to keep us busy! John and I are fine if Mathew can only go to the attractions for a couple hours over a couple of days. We are relaxed and whatever will be is fine by us. One person will hang with Mathew at the condo while the other goes out with Kristen ~ if Mathew needs a quiet day or two.

After Disneyworld Kristen is making a move to Ottawa. Dominique, my youngest sister, has a place and a heart to share. She is delighted to have a roommate and Kristen is eager to go. Dominique visited over this last weekend and John and I got to see my little sister all grown up. She is 36, beautiful and with a fabulous personality to match. It was wonderful to catch up and spend a couple of days laughing and chatting. Mathew loved having her around and she got to watch some of those lovely games of his. Kristen and Dominique hit it off from the word go. I am going to miss my girl when she moves to Ottawa but I look forward to her spending time in the company of my family. The odds of her finding steady work are better in Ottawa than here. Kristen is a city girl at heart and our home in New Brunswick isn’t the place she wants to be.

Meanwhile, Mathew sleeps a lot and isn’t very mobile. Every few days he will go out for a couple of hours. His pain level seems to be down a little since his 15 mg of morphine is given 3 times in 24 hours. We have some tv shows to watch and there is always a crappy movie or two. It has been terribly muggy and humid for the last 2 weeks which means I’ve hidden inside, where the air conditioning keeps me sane. Hot and humid makes me cranky!

There are quite a few appointments coming up before and after our Florida trip. The doctors are keeping an eye on Mathew to make sure he stays in travelling status. I will take my camera and take lots of pictures. If Kristen permanently moves to Ottawa it will be the last “family” photo of my kids at home.