Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New physical therapy

When Marshall saw the spine doctor for his post-op visit, the doctor gave him a prescription for physical therapy for his back, as well as to strengthen his legs.  His first appointment was yesterday and it went really well.  We go back for the second session tomorrow.

The reason we chose to use the physical therapy clinic here in town rather than having the home health care provide it is because the clinic has lots of equipment while the home physical therapy person pretty much relies on just stretch bands.

But in the meantime, when the home health care people learned that Marshall was leaving the house, they discharged him again.  I tried to explain that he is unable to leave the house by himself, he needs me with him to handle getting the walker in and out of the vehicle, but they said that if he is able to leave the house at all, even if it's being carried out, he is no longer housebound and their services come to an end.  That's the dumbest thing in the world.  It's like saying someone needs to be on death's door to get any help.  I hope when we relocate we have better luck with home care.  So the nurse came today for her final visit and she took all of the home equipment with her.

Today I painted the shutters on the house and bought some potted flowers to put on the patio -- giving the house a little curb appeal.

I was contacted by Bayer Healthcare to participate, along with many others, in a Virtual Summit for Prostate Cancer Bloggers and Caregivers scheduled for June 1 (to help Bayer better understand the life of a prostate cancer patient and his caregiver).  They sent me a webcam that they wanted me to use for the Summit and it arrived today; however, it is for a PC and I have a Mac, so I'm not sure if I'll be part of that Summit.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rainy days

It is now officially Colorado's monsoon season and we're getting rain every day.  So the roads are basically mud pits.  And the real estate agent won't come out to take the photos until we have a few sunny days.

Marshall felt better yesterday and today than he has in a few days.  He hasn't needed any oxycodone for two days.  He is still very fatigued, though.

Today our neighbor Dan spent the day (bless him) helping me get everything out of our garage loft and down into the garage so I could start weeding stuff out.  I felt so good all day, carrying things and lifting things and working pretty hard.  We got everything out of the loft.  Now I need to start going through it all.  I'll bet half of it will get thrown out.

When we were all done for the day and I came in the house, after a full day of no heart palpitations at all, as soon as I sat down and relaxed, the heart went into overdrive and here I am 5 hours later and still have a heart rate of 110bpm.  I just don't get it.  But at least I can live with 110bpm.  It's annoying but bearable.  It's when it shoots up to 120 or 130 and above -- and the legs get weak -- that it's hard to handle.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Lab results

We got Marshall's lab work results yesterday and it all looked pretty good, EXCEPT for the PSA which has gone up to 64.9 (two weeks ago it was 48.8).  But the white blood cell count has gone up into normal range so that was awesome.

However, since Marshall is having quite a bit of pain again, the oncologist will call us on Tuesday to advise if more scans are in order and/or a change in treatment.  (He is out for the holiday weekend and won't be back till Tuesday so we talked to his nurse today).  In the meantime, Marshall is on Percocet again.

Our house is now on the market but they still have to come and take photos.  And today I started the tiresome task of going through things to see what to keep, what to throw away, what to sell and what to donate.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Marshall still in pain

We were scheduled to go to the Cancer Center yesterday for Marshall's 2-week lab work and checkup since he's not been feeling good at all.  He has pain and he is totally weak and exhausted.  But when I got up around 5:30A, it was snowing like crazy so I made the decision to canceel the appointment.  (Of course, it stopped snowing within an hour, but the decision had been made.)

I called the oncologist and asked if we could just get the lab work done this time closer to home and he said absolutely.  So we called our primary care physician and he sent us to the lab he uses in Canon City.  So this morning we drove over there and got the blood drawn.  Hopefully we will have the results sometime tomorrow.  If the white blood cell count has gone down further, we'll have to see what Dr. Flaig wants to do.  They will also check Marshall's PSA again.

In the meantime he is glad that we don't have to go anywhere tomorrow and he can spend the day resting.

Tomorrow I'm going to call an acupuncturist here in town and make an appointment for Marshall.  He'd like to try a couple sessions and see if it helps.  I will probably do a few sessions myself.  I've had a few A-fib episodes and they sure are scary.    Yesterday I felt so weak and out of breath that I could barely walk around the house and that's the first time that's happened.  And the weird thing is that -- at least to the extent that I can tell anything -- I was NOT having an episode.  My heart rate was perfectly normal.  So it is evident that the blood wasn't pumping properly and that was very disconcerting.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Marshall had a bad day today.  His leg hurts and his shoulder hurts and he has absolutely no energy.  He felt awful.  He napped a bit and then went to bed early.  On Tuesday we see the oncologist so we can ask about it.

Tomorrow the real estate agent comes to the house to do an evaluation.

I've discovered that very cold food or drink (such as a smoothie) brings on a mild A-fib episode.  I Googled it and learned that the esophagus is right behind the top of the heart and the cold stuff can definitely trigger an episode.  Boy, the list of things I can't eat is growing by the day.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Good report from spine surgeon

We drove up to the University on Thursday to see the spine surgeon for a post-op checkup.  They took x-rays and told Marshall all the screws were right where they should be and the incision has healed nicely.  They removed all restrictions with regard to how much he can lift and bending over.

We spent the night at the Residence Inn and on Friday went to look at a townhouse in Centennial.  It was darling but was just too small for us.  But at least we got the ball rolling.  On Monday one of the local Westcliffe realtors is coming over to take a look at our house and do a market evaluation and let us know what price to put on our house.  It should be on the market in a few days.

Today I started the slow process of going through things to decide what to take and what to get rid of.

Marshall felt okay for the 2-day trip to Denver, but had a little trouble walking.  Today it got worse and his arm was also hurting.  Not sure if it's arthritis but he's taking Aleve.  I put a brace on his knee but he said it didn't help.  So he's down in the dumps.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

First, today we were able to get Marshall's motorcycle out of storage and into the shop for some repairs.  After that it will go to an airbrush painter for some touchups.  He wants it ready for this year's bike shows.

Second, we talked all day today and finally made the decision that we need to move to the city.  We both absolutely love it here, but we need to be realistic about what we can and can't do.  It is obvious that neither one of us can handle the maintenance on this property.  And finding people to come out where we are isn't easy.  And let's face it, as we get older and older, the whole process of selling and buying won't get any easier.

Also, the 360-mile round trip travel to the cancer center (which is now every two weeks) is very very tiring.  Being closer to medical care would be so nice.  Where we are, it's sometimes iffy whether or not an emergency vehicle -- if one is available -- can even find us, much less get to us.

So next week when we get back from the various cancer center visits we will have a real estate agent come out and tell us what we can ask for our property and go from there.