Final Blog, January, 2013

Note: "AD" means "Abdominal Discomfort" (as opposed to "pain.")

I'll start keeping the table with my medical stats at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013:

Spent most of the day on/in bed; just "felt tired." Marie stayed home at her house with her company.

Wednesday, Jan 2:

Point form notes written by Connie B
Connie working her Calgary job from downstairs today
Marie came over
Alison from home care came
Decided to go off all meds since there's been no pain or AD
Just 2 codeine today and none tomorrow
Worked on some tax questions with Connie B
Ed and Jenna came for a visit in the evening
Was awake longer today

Thurs, Jan. 3:

Point form notes written by Connie B
Marie was here while Connie worked
Neighbor Florence came by. Had a nice visit
Pretty tired today again.

Fri, Jan. 4:

Point form notes written by Connie B
Marie was here while Connie worked
Joe Erker came by for a short visit
Slept a lot today
Did have about 3 minutes of pain in the afternoon while napping. Lower abdomen.
Had breakfast, no lunch and Shrimp Alfredo for supper was nice
We did the "9 PM Dance" early, around 7:30 and in bed for the night.

Sat., Jan 5:

Point form notes written by Connie B
Lisa came by, but too tired to visit
Napped a fair bit today

As you can see, most of the material above was entered by daughter, Connie B. I just have not been able to get my Get up and Go, to go. Anytime, and anywhere. This will, I'm sure, happen again as I deteriorate.


For supper I had wanted lobster but I cannot sit for long enough so she went out and bought some live. I was greatly disappointed; not her fault; she did all she could.

If YOU see errors in typing, grammar etc, PLEASE do let me know.

Sun., Jan. 6:

lobster

lobster Not a great night; up too often.



Maybe it is time to get a stronger prescription for Flomax.

Around 10:30, Marie took Connie B to the airport.

Connie emailed me from in Calgary, two of her favorite pictures of the lobster fest.

Here they are.

Obviously, Marie took the photos; thanks, Marie Rose.

These lobsters were bought locally, alive. They were not a success even though Connie studied on how to prep them.

Mon., Jan. 7:

Was not up much yesterday so am trying harder today, to take shorter naps. The night was a poor one. Some AD. I get a lot of emails offering comfort and strength to help me get through these days and I think they are helping.

Armand and Ellen visited a couple of hours but I had to lay down instead of visit.

Tues., Jan. 8:

Went to bed at 6:40 last night and was up to perform the "9 PM Dance." Record crowd. Then try to get to sleep for REAL but could not sleep at all. Tossed and turned until about 8:30 AM. Twice during the night I had pains which were not AD; stronger than that but they lasted only seconds so no problem. Bank of Montreal is doing well. It is 9:10 A.M. as I type this and my only complaint is the tiredness and lack of energy. I am struggling with a cold but that is something I've had before.

Allison from Home Care came by for her regular visit. She suggested cutting out the Tylenol since I have so very little pain. I like that; the fewer pills the better. So, starting today, my "New Improved" pills regime is:
with breakfast:
.....1 Adalat 65 (for high blood pressure and for Raynauds)
.....1 Flomax (to keep the urinary system running smoothly)
at bedtime:
.....1 Teva Olanzapine (sleeping pills)
.....1 iron supplement
So, that takes me down to only 4 pills per day; sure beats 35!!

One lady who has been reading this humble blog, wrote this today:

In one of your blogs you talked about Hospice. You felt that it might not be God's will that at the end of our lives we have help with our pain and may be eased into death with the help of drugs. I have been thinking of your comments and so hope that you will allow Hospice to care for you when the time comes. My husband and my mother had Hospice when their final days were here and there was such beauty and peace surrounding them. I think God was there and approved. I hope you will welcome the freedom to depart this world without pain and go to your new home smiling. Always in my thoughts, Geri

In early afternoon, I had 5 or 8 "stabs" of pain in the lower-left abdomen; NOT serious at all. Also a tiny bit of same where I think my heart is located. Very minor.

Laid down at 6:30 P.M. and got up at 9 for the "9 PM Dance" and then eventually drifted off to sleep.

Wednesday., Jan. 9:

Did not get up until near noon; had a stand-up shower - alone and that worked fine. Occasional light pains in chest area and below that. In the mail from Connie B was my Canada Post "Venture One" card which she had accidentally put into her wallet here. This card gives me a 5% discount on postage which amounts to quite a bit due to stick mailings.

In the afternoon, Marie went out to pick up Connie C at the airport. We have the thermostat in the house set at 24C and I'm wearing a T-shirt, winter shirt AND a turtle-neck sweater and STILL I am cold.

Allison from Home Care has arranged for a prescription for Salagen for the "jungle-mouth" problem.

Thursday, Jan. 10:

Got up at about 10 today, after a "not-so-great" night. Marie would have grabbed the bus to Edmonton early this morning so I hope she will be a great support to Rene, Lorraine and their boys.

All in all, not a bad day today for me. Even downloaded and installed the new Income Tax Program (FREE) from http://www.studiotax.com/ and brought forward the information from my 2011 return; took a few minutes.

Friday, Jan. 11:

-29C (-20F) this morning. Think I'll stay indoors today. Unless I don't............

Did the "9 PM Dance" about 8 PM and went to bed; took one half of the little blue sleeping pills and a new pill which is supposed to make the "Jungle Mouth" problem a bit more bearable. Still, it took 2 hours or more to get to sleep. Then I did sleep until 8 AM.

Beno came over for lunch and a nice visit. We've decided, Connie and I, that the stick business is now hers and I'll put the appropriate links on my pages, using this button. It will not be clickable; customers will have to type in her email address:

order button

Saturday, Jan. 12:

Had a very poor night; hardly slept. Did a little bit of updating to my websites to get them ready for David to manage and emptied my Paypal account.

The house thermostat has been at 24C for a long time; finally I turned it up to 25 and then to 26 and yet I was cold.

The van would not start so Connie plugged it in. Two hours later it did start. She went to Burger King for burgers and to Wendy's for Smoothies.

Sunday, Jan. 13:

Very much a "blah" day with hardly enough energy to open my eyes. No AD and no pain fortunately.

Monday, Jan. 14:

Had a pretty good night. Energy level same as Sunday however. Took a shower (standing, alone) and that worked OK but pretty much wore me out.

Did nothing all day but wish I was sleeping. Went to bed early.

Tuesday, Jan. 15:

Much like yesterday; the cancer keeps sucking all my energy into itself, leaving me barely enough to stand. In the afternoon, Connie ran some errands and I snoozed. When she came back, I gave myself a haircut.

Wednesday, Jan. 16:

Went to bed around 7:30 last night and got up around 7:30 this morning. Had a decent night. I lay down most of the day. Not cold; very light snow. Lisa came to visit.

As you may have read earlier, I'm still trying to figure out what it was that caused me to get this disease. One thought came to me today. When I was in high school, grades 7 - 12, I had a part-time job cleaning at a chicken hatchery. The eggs were hatched on trays and those trays needed very thorough cleaning regularly. The disinfectant used was a dark brown smelly stuff. I can't remember the name of the stuff but do remember how strong it was. Now I wonder; was that what caused this cancer more than half a century later?

For supper Connie ran to the Golden Arches and got chicken-mcnuggets. They had no packages of plum sauce and the fellow talking to her could not make it clear whether they would never have them again or if this was a temporary shortage. So, she went to a store to buy a jar of it.

Went to bed at 7:30 PM.

Thursday, Jan. 17:

It seems I got up at about 3:30 this morning and it likewise seems I took a shower at that time. Then I sat up for quite some time before realizing it was night-time. When I was sure I went back to bed fully dressed.

Marie came back from Edmonton via the bus and Connie picked her up.

No AD today, no pain, just that awful feeling of being so very tired.

Friday, Jan. 18:

Another poor night; just could not sleep. No AD however.

Connie C ran across an enlightening website about Pancreatic Cancer. It lives at http://www.craigscause.ca/what-is-pancreatic-cancer/.

In searching a little about P.C. I found a site and dropped them a line. I got a very nice long reply. If you want to read the reply, click HERE. The text is quite small so you might want to open it in Wordpad and then enlarge all the text.

I plan to join with them, hoping to help find a cure for this awful disease. That's the least I can do for the rest of man(and woman!)-kind.

Felt lousy all day; just no energy at all. Went to bed early, hardly ate all day.

Saturday, Jan. 19:

Had a half-decent night. Had a shower this morning, alone, and not with a chair. Worked well. Connie got a phone call from her daughter Tammy to say that George Clark, Connie C's first husband had died last night. George was the father of all 3 of Connie's kids and his death comes after a long illness.

Another "no-energy" day. Went to bed very early. Took a Tylenol and slept until about 5:20 A.M.

Sunday, Jan. 20:

Spent most the day flat; absolutely zero energy nor appetite. Total intake was a cup of tea, a very small bowl of cereal and a glass of carbonated apple juice. The girls went out for Chinese take-out but I could not even look at it. Not a super day.

Monday, Jan. 21:

My little brother's 68th birthday; may he enjoy the day immensely in Arizona where he spends his winters. This was a bad night. Around 3 AM I got up and took one Tylenol; that seemed to help.

No food nor drink that I have been able to find tastes good anymore. A&W Root beer is not bad nor is the carbonated apple juice that comes in bottles much like wine bottles. This afternoon I was pondering that problem when I thought of the 142-gram Mario's "chunk chicken breast" which Connie C likes; it comes from the Dollarama store. Connie suggested a bit of Mayo on it. That's "Mayonnaise spread" and not Mayo Clinic. Just so you know. (That one was for you, Jean!)

After trying it, I regretfully report that the chicken did *not* go down well. The shrimp which Connie served on the side went far better.

Edward L and daughter Lilly came by. I went to bed at 7:45 and had a good night. Seems I need that Tylenol.

Tuesday, Jan. 22:

Gentle Reader, it may come as no great shock to you, I share with you some of the messages of advice strangers email me. Good, honest, helpful folks they are, without exception. Some of the advice they share leans a bit toward the 'gimme-a-break' line though. Just because Jack heard from his co-worker's son-in-law's grandfather (on his Dad's side of course!) that the simple solution of making tea out of potato peels mixed with pineapple juice cured his bad breath, ingrown toe-nails, halitosis, baldness AND (as a big bonus!) his E.D. does not mean it is going to work for me. Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the advice but I am only one person and cannot try every suggestion.

Linda N shared some advice and we promptly rushed out and bought a jar of the stuff mentioned in her email. If it has the effects hoped for, I'll share it with you in this blog.

Allison from Home Care came for our regular appointment to see how I was doing and she took care of some prescription renewals.

Beno L came by but got a phone call that "a compressor is down" and, of course, he has to keep the gas and oil flowing and he had to run. He'd seen fresh cougar tracks; hope he has a gun if he sees that critter! I was laying down on the bed so Beno parked a chair beside the bed and we had a nice visit.

I found today that some cookies go down quite well. Here is my favorite recipe:

Jumbo Raisin Cookies (makes 25)

Add 1 cup of water to 2 cups of raisins. Boil 5 minutes and cool.
Cream 1 cup of margarine and 2 cups of white sugar.
Add 3 beaten eggs and beat well.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the raisins without draining the raisins

Mix separately:

4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Mix these well and then mix into the first mixture; mix well. Drop in fairly large gobs on cookie sheet; bake 12 - 14 min. at 350F

Ice cream seems to go down pretty well also.

Wednesday, Jan. 23:

A poor night for sleeping, no idea why. Marie is off to Edmonton again; her son Rene's wife Lorraine lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer, a very short, very violent war, on Monday. My deepest sympathies to Rene, their two sons and family.

Connie went shopping for new pyjamas for me; guess she figured if the undertaker saw me in my old ones,he might have a minor stroke, saying, "They'll NEVER let him in Up There with those rags."

Then she got us a hot BBQ chicken while I mused as to whether I'd be able to get any of that down. After the sorry event of Monday, Jan. 21, there was some reason for doubt. It went down well. Dark meat only uffcaws.

Thursday, Jan. 24:

Had a poor night and feel poorly all day. Makes for a short blog entry, Connie!

Friday, Jan. 25:

Yet one more poor night of sleep, or lack of same. Sure is getting difficult to type. Odd how tastes change in a situation like this. Normally, my 55-inch HD LCD TV is on all day. Now, though, it has not been on for one single second, in five whole days!

In the past 71 years, two meals I've had remain in my memory because they were so very good. One was a bison burger after a white-water-rafting excursion in 2007. The other was in 1982 when I was visiting my cousin Jeroen and his wife Manon, in Holland. We walked through a fish-market and bought fresh mussels. Manon cooked them up as soon as we got home and they were incredibly good. So, Connie C bought a can of smoked mussels. No go; they were very poor. No comparison. A bit of dark chicken meat had a lot of trouble going down this time.

Saturday, Jan. 26:

Another "so-so" night; could have been worse. Took a shower this morning; alone, and without a chair, and that worked quite well. No appetite at all, all day. Joe E visited.

Sunday, Jan. 27:

Last night Connie C went to the airport and picked up David. I was in bed asleep when they got back. Yesterday was Dave's 46th birthday. Today we're introducing him to doing laundry. This morning he will take Connie out to the airport for her flight back home.

It probably is par for the course with this disease, but I'm finding that even though the thermostat is up to 27C, I shiver a lot. Similarly, I frequently hiccup now; started a couple of weeks ago. Not a long string of them that won't quit; just 2 or 3, very loud ones. Never had that before.

Also introduced David to how my hearing-aids work so that he can replace batteries etc when I no longer can.

And lastly, we even did much of what needed to be done to transfer ownership of my many websites to David.

Monday, Jan. 28:

David shoveled the snow; hardly a job for an Arizona Boy. And it was cold, lower than -22C. I wish I could have helped him.

I *THINK*!

Dave went to get a new prescription filled. When he got back I noted him on the front sidewalk, jumping up and down and waving his arms. Turns out he'd locked himself out and had no key! After he got in and unloaded the shopping bags, it seemed the prescription was missing. So, all the way back to the store again. When he got home he looked more carefully at the bottle and found it was not the product I needed at all!!

Tuesday, Jan. 29:

-32C (-26F) this morning. Quite a winter we are having. A couple of ladies from Home Care (One is a doctor) visited and gave us a prescription for the new drug which Dave had thought he was getting yesterday. This is a derivative from marijuana. Later in the day Dave went and picked it up. It is Ran-Nabilone 0.5mg.

Wednesday, Jan. 30:

Had a good night. More snow but somebody cleaned most of it.

Allison N came by for the usual visit from Homecare. She took blook samples for Johns Hopkins and also for her own records.

On Friday, Jan. 25, I made reference to the burgers. My daughter Connie found the company and discussed my situation. Guess what? They packaged up 12 burger patties and sent them via FedEx. Dave will have to cook them and refreeze most of them. They came from Northfork Bison Distributions in Saint-Leonard, Quebec.

I mentioned that White Water Rafting earlier, and since I don't have any current photos, I hope you will let me share this one; yeh, that's me beside Connie.

white water

I've been taking a very small, white pill "Salagen 5m" to stop the "Jungle Mouth" problem. This is a test to see if I can manage without them.

Lisa K visited awhile. I gave her both pairs of snowshoes.

Thursday, Jan. 31:

Not a great day; had AD most of the time. Off to bed early; got a half-decent night.

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