Logging the Decline to End Of Life

Recalling how the term "Blog" came into use: "Web Log" seemed awkward, so a condensed version was quickly adopted.

Here we are on the Web. Here I am recording remarkable aspects of experience. That is a "log", assuming some influence of chronicity on the entries. Web Log. My Blog.

It begins a couple-three years ago, when we—my Primary Care doctor and I—sort of accidentally discovered a sarcoma, cancerous mass, in my right thigh. Ordinary measures were applied to apparent success, as after radiation treatments and excision, there seemed to be no more hypermetabolic activity in that area. And so it remains today; however, a subsequent evaluative PET scan revealed new problems likely to have indirectly arisen from the first: Metastatic Bone Cancer in several locations.

Status was such that the conditions were said to be "untreatable and incurable". On April 7, 2022, six to ten months was the estimate of remaining life, given no agressive (chemo) treatment, which was thought not to have any worthwhile life- or comfort-extension effects. Enrolled in the "Palliative Care" program, where they try to make a patient feel as well and as good as possible while awaiting the inevitable conclusion.

Some health-related changes resulted in advancment to the "Hospice Care" program, very like Palliative, but definitely more closure-oriented. I get weekly visits from a Clinical Social Worker and a special category of nurse. They assess my mental and physical status, and are empowered to go to the front of the line for medications and equipment needs, as well as ascertaining how the situation is affecting those around me. All-in-all, we'd expect to be well prepared for the denoument.

Why wait until now to begin this blog? Until day-before-yesterday (September 17, 2022), the whole illness thing seemed a not-so-serious inconvenience from time to time, but no more than that. Suddenly the combinations of medication, progressing infirmity, and apprehension led to what seemed to be a shift away from tolerable discomfort. I was several degrees more fatigued and less strong, actually feeling invalided. Still in the down phase, waiting to see if it's a trend, or isolated incident. In either case I reckon it'll be worthwhile to put down the recognizable phenomena.

I'll do chronological headings, but fill them as import seems to dictate.




September 19, 2022:
Awakened at two hours into a dose of HYDROcodone by strong pain in an area distal from the First Thoracic Vertebrae, a place that had evidenced deep, dull pain on several occasions, but the character this time was sharp and intolerable, and unlike earlier episodes, did not respond to massage. Waited for a prescribed time to elapse, took another HYDROcodone dose, the effect of which was to dull the sharpness of pain, but not mask it entirely. Otherwise, weakness and poor balance increasingly problematic.

Prior to the awakening, left arm exhibited "vibrating" behavior that seemed to run the length of it, where I would imagine the nerves are. Over the past month or so the skin on that arm has progressively lost the ability to sense touch. The pain and sensory phenomena seem to me to be associated with the functions moderated by that Thoracic bone, which was identified by the PET scan as a locus of Metastaic Bone Cancer.

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