debrafenib, gratitude, happiness, morphine, oncologist, oncology, withdrawal, work
I am back at work and it feels so, so good! I love my co-workers and I love what I do, and I also love just getting out of the house and having something productive to be working on.
I was getting truly depressed being at home and not being able to even participate in any of my hobbies for any length of time. Now my outlook is so much sunnier! I am feeling SO much better being on reduced levels of morphine now.
I did figure out that sure enough, my body was going through withdrawal when I weaned down to really low doses of morphine. There was a period of about 18 hours when I actually had NO morphine at all! The great part was that I felt NO pain. The bad part was that I definitely started to feel yucky from withdrawal, so I am trying to wean off a little more slowly. Happily, I still feel totally normal on 30 mg of morphine, so I’m not also trying to deal with sleepiness or any of the other stuff I had at higher doses. I’m now weaning myself MUCH more slowly, but still working to get it down to hopefully nothing.
I had an oncology appointment last Monday which went about as I expected. I’ll get a scan in about 3 weeks to see if the drugs are working (we need to wait long enough to give the drugs time to actually work, so I can’t get it much sooner), then I’ll see my doc again in about a month. I’m really, really hopeful that the scan will show some changes (hopefully dramatic ones!) because my pain level has definitely decreased since before I was in the hospital. At that point, I started to feel discomfort in my liver/abdomen area near the end of my morphine pill. Now, as I said, I felt no discomfort even with no morphine! The doc was even palpating my abdomen during the visit, which used to have me near tears, and now there was only one spot where it was slightly uncomfortable (!!!). So I’m really, really hoping that all of this means that the debrafenib is actually working!
The debrafenib I’m on typically works for about 10 months, which is awesome because that’s 10 months! That would give me almost another year before we might have to try a new drug (and there are still plenty to try!). So cross your fingers and toes that it’s doing it’s job in a spectacular way and that it keeps on working for a nice long time (maybe even longer than average? I’d take that!).
Cathy Coburn said:
Shannon, what wonderful news! I just have to think –no, know!–that your outlook, so determined, positive and no taking “no” for an answer, matters. I don’t know how energy will one day be better defined but I certainly feel yours.
I so think one’s passions –whether paid for them or not–is vital to our health, too. Certainly our happiness. I was just singing my mother’s praises for her –and her generation’s–inspirational commitment to the right for women to make a parity living (though of course we’re not there yet) in what used to be much more of a ‘man’s world.’ Your post about working and loving it –and needing it–says it all.
Here’s to health, happiness and the village that came before ‘us,’ and is now before us!
YOU ROCK, SHANNON!!!