Posted by: Ken Wheatley | August 7, 2009


It was a long night with very little sleep for either of us. The fever broke around 2am, but she didn’t sleep soundly all night. Part of it was the visits by the nurse every two hours for one thing or another. And Sheila was having problems with the pain management again.

I left the hospital at 5:30am to go home, take a shower, pick the tomatoes she wanted off the plants before they spoiled, and get some clothes and paperwork that she wanted/needed. I arrived back at the hospital around 9am

Dr. Popa had already visited Sheila, and she summoned the pain management doctor to address the continued problem. He arrived around 9:30 and decided to increase the frequency of the short term morphine dose to every 4 hours instead of every 6. That seems to have helped during the day, but she’s in pain again right now. She received a dose at 8pm and is scheduled for another at 12. But the long acting morphine is every 12 hours and the next dose is at 11. It’s now 10:05pm. The nurse, Donna, said that she can get it a half hour early, so that’s good.

I’m watching her sleep. She’s constantly twitching and her brows are furrowed and her lips are drooped in a “sad” smile. She’s mumbling and I can’t make out what she’s saying. Her pulse is 108 and her oxygen s 93. Both rates are not varying as much as they were last night, so hopefully that’s a good sign. She is a bit nauseous, and generally miserable.

We asked the charge nurse, Janet, to check with the doctor on call to see if she can get a sleeping pill. She has to get a good night’s sleep.

As for the brain tumors, we met with Dr. B this morning, and she and Dr. Lawson, from radiation oncology, scheduled the measurement session for 1:30pm. So the ambulance guys came and got Sheila at about 1:oopm and she returned to room at 3:00pm. We are going with the whole brain treatment which will start on Monday.

The immediate side effect is she’ll lose what remaining hair she has, and there’s a possibility of some memory loss. Of course the usually fatigue and nausea – although Dr. B said the nausea won’t be as bad as it is on chemo.

The nurse is back to administer the morphine a little early because Sheila’s in so much pain again. She’s also running a PTT test to determine the effectiveness of the heparin. Now that Sheila is awake she decided to tell me that Dr. Test, the pulmonary doctor, also stopped by this morning before I got back, and he told her that he felt that she and I should discuss her wishes for resusitation in the event that she has a stroke. He apparently said that he’s not optimistic about her prognosis and felt we should be prepared for the worse. I wish I had been here to have that conversation with them. He won’t be back until Tuesday now. That’s why I hate leaving, even for a mere four hours.

The doctor approved a sleeping pill, so hopefully she’ll be able to get at least 5 hours of sleep now. It’s a little after 11 and she doesn’t have to be disturbed until 5am. Just waiting now for all the pills to kick in. I love you, Sheila….



  1. Ken, your blogs are just so touching and heartfelt. I was on the couch sobbing and Allen had to console me. Its just so unfair. I hope Sheila can get some real relief from the pain. And I hope you both get some much needed sleep. I’m glad you have a good support system there. Arm in arm, Christi

  2. Hi Ken, just read your update, I hope she can get the pain under control, when they finally got my husband’s pain under control he improved rapidly. He also is doing HBR, two treatments, already having head/jaw pain, but that should decrease with decreased swelling. You are both in my thoughts. Tammy

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