Real News

Nurse Nancy, the Hospice nurse, brought very good news today. First, to alleviate the worst tendency over the last few weeks, the rapid increase in pain, she called Dr Ellison, my palliative care doctor from Geisinger (Danvile), and he made the following changes:

Base dosage (every 8 hrs, unaffected by breadthrough doses)

20 mg Methadone -> 35 mg Methadone

PRN (breakthrough) doses, not to exceed every three hours, unaffected by base doses.

7.5 mg Methadone -> 10-15 mg Methadone, set at 10 originally by Nurse Nancy.

20/8 –> 35
7.5 –> 10

The progression of the cancer is what it is, of course, but this should make it liveable for a decent period of time.

It wasn’t just the progression, but the location of the pain. It went from displaced to the hips straight to the lungs — that is, the back. Think a metal constriction band squeezing until it crushes your vertebrae and ribs. That’s an accurate, if slightly less intesnse, description.

The control of the pain isn’t just meds. It’s posture. One thing repeatedly that has been recommended is an air mattress. The Hospice found one of imperfect size (long enough, but not wide enough), and we’ll try it.

All but one approval has flown through for a motorized wheelchair. Only one more, and I will, once lifted into it, be able to fly up and down the halls.

Finally, I met the Orthodox chaplain of our Hospice, a Fr Stephen (AOCNA). Sure, I know, I already have two priests and two deacons who see me regularly, but I figure the more, the merrier.

All in all, good news, I’d say.


12 Responses to Real News

  1. weaver says:

    That IS good news. Thanks for the update. I especially love the image of you racing around the building in your fancy wheels.

  2. Danielle says:

    you’ve had a very very good day it sounds like!! i’m glad for that! (still thinking about you all the time and praying for you, of course!) i think it will be good for you to be able to fly up and down the halls 🙂 hehehe love you!

  3. Wyatt Earp says:

    Wheelchair races at Prof’s place!!!

    (I got $20 on you.)

  4. April says:

    No wheelies in the hallway. Glad to hear you have some good news, and people there to listen and care for you medically on a daily basis! Big, non-constricting, virtual hugs 🙂

  5. Bev H says:

    Let me know…I know a good hog detailer from my graduate school days…we could do some cool stuff on that thang…a couple of dragons on the arms…
    Thinking of you every day and you are in my meditations…

  6. D. says:

    Now, you can go around the halls spreading Christmas cheer. 🙂 I’m glad they are working to help you with your pain. You are in my prayers.

  7. Janine says:

    I’m SO glad for a ray of hope. The chair races will be fun. Be careful doing wheelies you might run into something and hurt yourself! We are ever hopeful.

  8. KBH says:

    You DO remember the motorcycle days, don’t you? Somehow the idea of you in a motorized wheel chair evokes those days. Speed limit…corners…pedestrians..take care!

  9. s-p says:

    You are getting better attention than my friend Gary. Your description of the pain is one he will say AMEN to. Pray for him, if you will. The nursing home he is in is not very attentive to say the least.

  10. Pam says:

    Glad the hospice help is there! Continue to pray for your comfort! Good to visit with you this weekend!

  11. Jean says:

    Great news! To get out of the room and feel some moving speed and check out other views will be wonderful!

    So….what does one call a group of priests? A herd? A flock? A gaggle????:)

  12. Lisa Bou says:

    Oh, Clay. I go away from my computer for a day, and I miss all this news! So good to hear, honey. Have fun with the new chair! You know I do. On the straightaways, when you have a hand free, practice your Queen Elizabeth wave. I find that particularly gratifying. Maybe we can race when I get there.

    Love you,


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