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2016-01-31 05:02:47 (UTC)

Ron Price's Health: 1/2/'16 to 29/2/'16

A. Ron Price's Health Beginning 1/2/16:

On 1/2/'16 I entered my 6th month dealing with this cancer, and on 29/2/'16 I entered my 7th month. Given the complexity of the exercise of writing this account, I'm sure there are many inaccuracies. It is the best I can do given the nature of the illness, and my limited understanding. One day I trust my wife will edit this statement since her understadning and grip on the subject is far greater than mine.

As the month of February opened I was hoping a new drug which I began to take on 1/2/'16 would deal with my nausea. The drug was provided by a Palliative Care doctor in Launceston, a Dr Woods. I began coming home daily for varying lengths of time, and going back to the hospital for the night. On 11 February I was discharged from the hospital and began staying home for a full 24 hours. Future information here will deal with this home care period.

The new drug is called cyclizine and I had 12 days at the lowest dose with a doubling of the dose beginning at 3 pm on 13/2/'16, a tripling on 16/2/'16, and a quadrupling on 17/2/'16. In the first 24 hours on each dosage level it had an ameliorative effect. The nausea has not gone but it is far less intrusive.(1 to 3 instead of 4 to 8 out of 10) Cyclizine is an antihistamine drug used to treat postoperative nausea. I leave it to readers with the interest to learn more about cyclizene.

As I write this latest update for 27 February 2016 I have had 6 different Home and Community Care Program Service nurses(Palliative Care Team) and Hospice-At-Home nurses who work for various agencies like 'Pulse' come to my home. Each nurse performs/ed different services and each dealt with aspects of my pancreatic cancer. The services were, in the main, changing my portable syringe driver for the cyclizene. Other subjects were also discussed like my developing hernia and hemorrhoids.

I now have 3 files of many dozen pages which record the various visits and the topics these visits discuss/ed with these Community Nurses(CN) from the Tasmanian Health Organization-North(THON) and the Hospice-At-Home. I make no attempt here to record the details of these visits or this statement would be far too lengthy. The details are recorded in a special file and they are added each time a Community Nurse comes to my home.

My wife plays an invaluable part in these contacts with the nurses and all those who provide support. In introducing this latest post about my health, I cannot overemphasize the role of my wife as a paid Carer. An income supplement is paid for carers who provide additional daily care and attention for someone with a disability or medical condition, or who are frail & aged. To be a paid Carer the care must be provided in either one's home or the home of the person one is caring for.

B. Ron Price's Health Beginning 14/2/'16.

With my nausea nearly gone, or at least slowly lessening in intensity, a new world of daily experience has opened-up. I am able to write and read more than the two lines which had been my limit until 14/2/'16. On 16/2/'16 and 17/2/'16 my cyclizine dose was tripled then quadrupled because my nausea was still plaguing me. My nausea has now been managed successfully with a minimum intrusion into my daily life as I say above.

Subcutaneous (SC) drug infusion by portable syringe driver has had a significant impact for years on pain and nausea management. It allows the continuous delivery of a range of therapies to aid patient comfort. It is most frequently used in palliative care, particularly cancer care. I have had it used on my cancer since 1/2/'16. Dr Mooney installed a new syringe, as well as what is called 'a butterfly' for the delivery of the drug. He increased the dose of cyclizene to 100 mgs. He also emphasized eating for weight gain, although my weight was normal. As I write this update for 27/2/'16 my nausea, as I say, has been successfully managed. On 19/2/'16, 21/2/'16 and 23/2/'16 another new butterfly was installed by a Community Nurse, and the cyclizene was kept at 100 mgs.

On 17/2/'16 Chris and I had a visit with my GP here in George Town, Dr Tim Mooney. We visited him again on 26/2/'16. I still have little energy to write, read and edit my writing. Quality of life is, for me, found in these activities. In the end, though, just being comfortable and nausea free is at the centre of my 'quality of life.' Most of my time was spent dealing with discomfort, with bowel movements and just trying to be comfortable. I now sleep from about 9:00 9 a.m. thanks to the quetipine/ seroquel, my anti-psychotic; they are good sleeps even though I get up to urinate several times during the night. We also discussed using a truss for my hernia and I got a script for ondansetron. The next visit is in 10 day's time.

C. My Mental Health:

My bipolar disorder continues to be treated. My psychiatric treatments have changed over the past several decades. In the past, psychiatric patients were often hospitalized for six months or more, with some cases involving hospitalization for many years. I am in the former category. Today, people receiving psychiatric treatment are more likely to be seen as outpatients or going to a psychiatrist. That is the case with me. My medications have been altered many times while in hospital to deal with my pancreatic cancer and my continuing bipolar disorder. Readers with the interest can Google "RonPrice BPD" if they want an account of my BPD.

My bipolar disorder exists in the affective domain and represents one of the three divisions described in modern psychology: the cognitive, the conative, and the affective. Classically, these divisions have also been referred to as the "ABC of psychology", in that case using the terms "affect", "behavior", and "cognition". In certain views, the cognitive may be considered as a part of the affective, or the affective as a part of the cognitive. This account of my continuing BPD makes no attempt to describe the changing medication regimes.