'fraid so. Dino's mom brought him to Oakland's Alta Bates Emergency this morning about 3AM with extreme bowel pain from constipation. That's sounds kinda graphic, but there's really no other way to say it. Dino had bumped up his pain meds as per the doctor's orders, but one of the side effects of high doses of Dilaudid pills is constipation. So it's an endless tradeoff - trying to hold the incision pain to a 3 or 4 without going through the roof on pain pills. He asked if I'd do a quick blog to bring everyone up to speed, so I think I'm gonna do a "Just the facts, Ma'am" thing for tonight.
I got there around 11 this morning and he was still in emergency - waiting for admission to a hospital room. When he finally got "officially" checked in around 1:30 to Room 2386 and cranked up the hospital bed to "Dino position", boom . . . off to the bathroom and a long-awaited major sendoff to all the Milk of Magnesia he's ingested over the last several days. What a relief!
The doctors had done an earlier CT scan and were guestimating one of two scenarious: either fluid accumulating in his stomach or possibly tumor growth in his bowel. So they started him on a nasal drain which they eventually removed around six this evening. Still no clear diagnosis, though when I spoke to him awhile ago, he sounded OK (probably because the nurse was about to install the "Sister Mo" pump like he had at Stanford). He said the bowel pain was gone, but the incision pain was still a bit more than he wanted to tolerate. This incision recovery seems to be taking forever.
Mary and I had our first formal meeting with Dino's Alta Bates oncologist yesterday. He hasn't decided on a chemo regimen yet because he wants Dino to be more recovered from the surgery. He said the chemo treatments for this type of sarcoma are pretty rough and Dino needs to get healthy before he begins the program.
So that's the lowdown for tonight. I realize, as all of us go through the changes resulting from Dino's "life-changing" experiences, it's really easy to move in and out of "hospital talk". It's easy to lose focus and forget that the rest of the world is still going round and round out there. For Dino, his focus is the tightest - still pointed unflinchingly at beating this thing - and the same applies to us, even more so. But, nonetheless when he told me this afternoon that he wasn't depressed, I know that's one emotion that will visit him sooner or later. So keep sending your love - he needs it, we all need it.