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PICC line tomorrow

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Well we go in tomorrow at 8:30 for a PICC line for David. The doctor's continue to worry about his nutrition and hydration. We had a doctor's appointment with the radiation oncologist and David had lost 8 pounds since we saw the doctor last Monday. They were not pleased to say the least. David is doing better with the Two Cal, which is 427 calories for 8 ounces. The problem is he can't tolerate more than two cans a day. They had him on a nausea patch, which was working wonders; however, he started to have blurred vision so they had us remove the patch. The nausea hasn't come back full blown, but he is having problems with it. How many had difficulty with blood pressure and pulse rate? David has been running around 95/55 with an average of 105 bpm. He used to have a much slower pulse rate in the 60's. When we were at the doctor's today his pulse was 115 and we really weren't doing anything. I will be so glad when we get through this. He has his first chemo scheduled for Thursday. I am hoping that we get to do that. Tonight he is running a slight fever. So very stressful.

Hard12Find
Posts: 209
Joined: Sep 2012

Sounds like Dave is having a rough ride like I did. The PICC line wasn't too bad a proceedure, and the hydration will help. I finally gave up on formula, and have been self feeding malt o meal gruel thin enough to syringe gravity feed into my stomach. My body seems to be responding lots better to that. I had luck with ondancetron , and fenegren suppositories for nausea, worth the try. Best wishes to you and Dave....
Jim

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Vivian,
I think the PICC will be a good thing for you guys, I honestly do. He can get meds, TPN and lipids and hydration thru it and he won't have to digest it. Right now it sounds like they are planning on using it for meds right? Just know that while TPN and lipids are made at the pharmacy and not from a can, they can really help with nutrition and weight gain. So if he keeps getting too nauseas to use his peg you may want to ask the dr about it.
I'm praying that this will be a good week for you both.
Sending a hug,
Billie

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3851
Joined: Mar 2012

I'm glad he's getting his PICC line tomorrow, that says he is moving forward with his chemo treatments...and as Billie said, it is a safety net for his hydration and his nutrician.

I had terribly low blood pressure all thru chemo...part of keeping the BP higher is hydration. There were times tho, in the last few weeks of treatment that when I got cisplatin, that they didn't give me the amifostine because my BP was so low, and amifostine lowers it even further. I'd think stress would up the pulse rate tho...When I first started treatments I thought I could "tell" when I was stressed, but I found out that wasn't so. I'd feel fine, but suddenly this normally low BP/Pulse person would have a BP of 137/95 and a high pulse rate...I'd go in three days later, and it would be 80/50...and I felt no different than the time before.

They will take very good care of him, Vivian...trust them...a slight fever is ok...always something to watch to make sure it doesn't go up, but his body is going thru a lot...

p

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3089
Joined: May 2012

Hi Vivian,

As far as I am concerned, this cancer crap plays havoc with your body. The day I had my first loading dose of Erbitux the nurses remarked how good my BP was over the 5 hours I was there. The next day I went to get a PEG, have a colonoscopy and endoscopy and that was the beginning of a 12 day stay in the hospital and the start of high BP. I use to have good BP, but I am now on meds for high BP, go figure.

Best,

Matt

I also had a PICC line and it was pretty easy procedure.

NoDuck
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2012

Oue docs said low BP and high pulse was a sign of dehydration. Hubby always had low BP but when he was dehydrated it would get to 70/55 and his pulse would get to 110 or more. After he got IV fluids, it wold go back to normal. He fought dehydration throughout his treatment. IV fluids did wonders for making him feel better.

Deb

luvofmylif
Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

Totally agree...dehydration causes hypotension and tachycardia. It can cause a wealth of other problems also. And, definitely his fever could be from dehydration. So, that will help him feel better if he is not dehydrated. Whenever John gets dehydrated I can just tell by looking at him but after fluids he feels so much better and looks like a wilted plant that came back to life.

David has a lot of issues right now and once they can get a hold of them and treat them he will be doing better. Remember, these are the dog days but better days will be ahead.

Joan

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

The meain reason for the PICC line is to have him come in for fluids a few times a week. They are very concerned about his weight loss and his tendency toward dehydration. The chemo ONC especially is worried about his kidney and how it will handle the Cisplatin. The acute injury he had from his hypercalcemia is still bothersome to his team. I know they want to continue with the Cisplatin, which on the plus side should keep his calcium numbers low. This is really a full time job. I don't know how anyone is able to work. It is killing me staying up late to write reports for my work and then getting up and caring for David all day. I am making it, but I don't even think one day at a time. I am an hour by hour woman these days. I want to again thank everyone for your imput and support. I know it sounds like I am a whiner and believe me I hear it. It is so unlike me, but I've never fought cancer before.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 2008
Joined: Jun 2012

Now that you are in the process and caught up in things, it's good to see you taking it day by day, hour by hour. I recall when you first joined the site and, like so many others, had a hard time trying to grasp any more than the big picture. I think your new approach will serve both you and David well. Best wishes.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

You are handling this like a rock star! Are you kidding me? You are working late into the evening and taking care of your husband and your home...make sure you give yourself some credit girl.
I hope the PICC placement went well and David will feel better after he starts getting regular hydration. Still praying for you both.
Billie

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

You are handling this like a rock star! Are you kidding me? You are working late into the evening and taking care of your husband and your home...make sure you give yourself some credit girl.
I hope the PICC placement went well and David will feel better after he starts getting regular hydration. Still praying for you both.
Billie

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

David got the PICC line this morning. He was pleased with how easily it went in. Unfortunately this afternoon when he went to radiation it started to bleed through his shirt. They had to take the bandage off, clean him up and put on a new sterile bandage. I can say this, he did not enjoy that experience at all. He is running a low grade fever tonight and his pulse is still racing, but he is still alive so I have to be thankful for that. It was so hard this morning when we went to get the PICC. He is so weak that I had to push him in a wheelchair because it was too hard for him to walk to radiation. He said tonight he is really hesitant about the chemo starting because he feels so bad now he can't imagine getting worse. He is staying to himself quite a bit these days. No television or radio going. He doesn't enjoy stimulation at all. I was talking with his mom today and she is having a difficult time with this as well. She said she noticed the last time she came over how much he had aged and how feable he looked. She is afraid he is giving up. I have some of the same fears, but I try not to tell her that. Sheis still grieving the loss of her husband. He will have passed 6 months ago this Sunday. I can't believe David and I were married six months ago yesterday. I thought about that and cried yesterday as I was sitting at the dining room table alone eating Chic-filet. I don't know about everyone else, but I seem to be much better during the day. It's the nighttime that really gets me down. Maybe it's sleeping in a room by myself, or trying to figure out how I am going to take care of everything this winter alone. I love David, but he is no help at all right now. He barely gets up to go to the bathroom, much less be able to help me with anything around the house. So when people tell me I am handling this well, I think you should have seen me after dark. Thanks for letting me vent, it's been a really hard week and we have court tomorrow about the house and then chemo on Thursday. My brain is cooked.

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

I found during my treatments that suddenly things that had been so important suddenly took a back seat to the really important tasks. I was a single parent with two teen-aged boys who really did try to help and in most cases they did. I had a list of things that HAD to be done each day, pay the electric bill or be cold etc. If I got the critical tasks done then it was a great day, if I got something done that wasn't critical (dust a window blind)then I considered it a wonderful day because I knoew when I got well I could catch up on all those other tasks. About 2-3 times a month some friends would come over without my asking and help around the house, bring food and clean house as best they could. That was unbelievable. David is probably your #1 priority so anything else you get done is gravy. When my mother saw me as I neared completion of treatment she did not recognize me at first.

Tell David that if I can get through this without a lot of help then he certainly can give it his best effort as well. He will go back to normal if he will fight the beast - but it is a tough fight.

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

The nights are also the worst for me. I can stay focused on the daily tasks while the sun is up. But when I try to still the mind, all the worries rise up out of the primitive brain. I think if you poll patients and caregivers, I think you will find everyone has trouble with the nights. Don't know what I can say that would help. I can't help you with the night; I can't even help myself. Rick.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3089
Joined: May 2012

Vivian,

I am glad the PICC went smoothly.

I bet if you asked all the caregivers to judge the appearance of their H&N patient, at some time during treatments we each looked like death warmed over. You and David need to stay in the game, use all the advice and medical tools in your arsenal to fight back and defeat this beast. As much as we say it, there is a turning point and things will get better. You will share a full life together, meals, TV and all. I am almost 8 months post and my wife and I only started eating together in the past few weeks. David wants peace and quiet because that is something he can control he is going through an army of stimulation trying to combat the cancer and his own body’s reaction to treatments, if anything he is being over stimulated. At first when my mind would race at night I would take 1 Lorazapam, it would relax my mind, but not make me loopy. There are medicines and activities you might check into to help you relax a little, enough say to get your second wind.

Best always,

Matt

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