So the weekend went by and it wasn’t great for Mathew. The first night on the new 90 mg dose of morphine went well, in that he slept from 11 pm to 6 am or so. That is a whole night for him these days.

Other than that there doesn’t appear to be much of a change as far as Mathew’s leg, arm and head goes. The palliative care doctor called to follow up today and we discussed current events a little more. The morphine is not working for the areas I mentioned. Over the weekend Mathew just sighed when he told us he was in pain and wondered the use of breakthrough morphine because nothing helped. He mentioned the pain is worse during the night (his leg).

In order to know how to proceed, Dr. Hemmings wants to do a CT scan to see what the issues are or to rule things out. The aim is to look for tumours on his spine and in his head. I requested that if those areas are being done for a scan to also be done of his lungs. We can see what changes happened in the last 4 months.

Dr. Hemmings thinks Mathew’s pain may be nerve related in which case morphine is not going to work. She chatted with Dr. Naz today ~ Mathew’s Radiation Oncologist ~ who feels the symptoms may be new tumours. I pointed out that should there be something new in the spine, along where the original tumour was/is…. then he already had his lifetime dose of radiation to that area. Meaning no more radiation.

That point is moot anyway because Mathew adamantly reiterated NO RADIATION. Dr. Hemmings said it would only be a week or two of radiation and that Dr. Naz could do most of the preliminary work without having to see Mathew.


Okay, so let’s move on then. I believe the CT scan may help Mathew’s team decide on how to best treat whatever is going on. There was no mention of that ultra-drug, the “Hydra- or Hydro-” something. Before doing much more tweaking of medication, the CT results are desired.

Mathew agreed to a CT scan today when I talked to him. It is the quickest and easiest test between the ones he gets. The MRI takes a lot longer and there is the matter of the tube in which a lot of people get claustrophobic.

Meanwhile, we are dropping Mathew’s morphine back to 75 mg in the morning and observing any changes. Perhaps it is helping with the chest area pain because he didn’t comment on that this weekend. He will still get 90 mg at night in the hopes of better rest. That nerve drug I mentioned in the last post will be postponed, again until the doctors see what the tests show. The clonazepam will continue ~ Mathew needs a small amount of Ativan in the morning and then nothing else. That decadron is a squirly drug that messes with his mood when it first gets in his system.

Mathew ended up sleeping through the weekend. He started one of his down periods which begins when he feels awful when waking up. Today is now day #3 without eating… sigh… and he has no interest in food.

John and I are becoming old hands at bed changes. On some days Mathew’s sheets need changing up to 3 times ~ if he lets us. I have taken to running a facecloth over Mathew’s head and upper body when he soaks everything, in addition to stripping the bed and changing out the pillow.

Mathew’s a little compulsive… obsessive… about his bed these days. The covers and sheets have to be just so and any wrinkles bother him terribly. Sometimes those sheet sets don’t pull very tight and so I am often straightening the sheets and tucking them in again.

Gimley likes to sleep with Mathew and often he is allowed to do so. After his 3 pm meal Gimley has a particular meow that is unique. It is the cry of him asking where are you and where can I nap with you? Mathew hates the sound but I remind him that Gimley is just looking for us. He hops up (er, scrabbles and tears his claws into the mattress as he drags his fat body up is more like it) and passes out on the other side of the bed from Mathew. If it is before his dinner then Gimley hauls himself up to the back of Mathew’s recliner, where I sit, and huddles there staring at me until it is 3 pm. So long as the cat is quiet, which he usually is, then Mathew enjoys the company. We aren’t allowed on the bed presently so Mathew is indeed feeling off.

Not too much else is going on. The snow melted and spring is trying for a comeback. All the birds are singing up a storm and the hawks and eagles are fishing for their supper in our lake. There is a pair of geese who like our backyard and waddle up close to the house ~ making looking for a nesting spot? They figured out, somehow, that we don’t have the dogs anymore so no worries about that.

More as it follows, as always