Honeymoon to Hollywood

Posted on August 10th, 2011 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Big hello from Hollywood! The lights are not as fancy as they rave about but they will do for now.

I will be taking a back seat for a little while from writing for now as my eyesight has depleted to where it is quite difficult to type with double vision.  In the meantime, Ash’s editing skills will be on high alert.

I will continue, however, to take credit for any humour that appears in the text, unless otherwise stated.  I will now hand over to Ash to fill in the detail of what has been going on and the plan from this stage.

A continuous thank you for all your support, love and prayers for us.

Go the Eagles!  (Yes, things are worse than we first thought).

Over to Ash


This blogging thing is new to me so I’ll do my best to fill you in with as much detail as possible and I’ll try not to bore you.  Updating the blog makes it easier for both of us to keep everyone informed without having to repeat ourselves too often.  Firstly, thank you to everyone who has sent text messages and emails.  We apologise to those we have not been able to reply.  Please know that your love and support is definitely needed and deeply appreciated, even if we don’t reply.  To know that so many people are praying for Cam and I and sending loving thoughts is held dear to our hearts more than you will know.

We had a really lovely time away in Margaret River.  The villa we stayed in was cosy and warm and tended to our every need with an eco fireplace by the lounge and a jacuzzi on the deck overlooking one of the lakes.  Surrounded by 66 acres of trees, lakes and grassy paddocks, we had no phone reception and it was just what we needed to get away and have some time out from ringing phones, hospital noises and doctors appointments.  Cam was feeling quite upbeat and reasonably well for the first few days.  We were able to go out for lunch and dinner most days and spend some time out and about exploring wineries, the Calgardup Cave and of course the Fudge Factory (that one may have been my influence).

On Thursday night, Cam started to comment about having double vision double vision (stole your joke Carms… thanks!).  I had noticed his left eye was puffy for about a week by then and wasn’t getting better.  The next day, the double vision still remained and Cam slept all day as he felt very run down.  The double vision was causing nausea and headaches.  My heart dropped when Cam said to me, “I feel like my body is shutting down.”  Not the words anyone wants to hear their husband speak.  By this stage, it was too late to leave Margaret River and head home so we decided we’d drive home first thing Saturday morning and arrange for the Silverchain Hospice nurse to meet us at home that afternoon.  The nurse came and completed all the initial consult paperwork and when she did the usual checks over Cam, she found a temperature of 38.5.  Cam didn’t feel feverish so it came as quite a surprise.  The nurse called the doctor and they were both concerned and agreed that it was necessary to get Cam admitted into hospital so she arranged for a bed in Hollywood immediately.

The last few days have been spent between doctors and tests to work out what’s causing the double vision and temperatures.  He’s had blood tests and blood cultures taken, an x-ray and two CT scans.  The double vision is being caused by a small tumour behind his eye in the orbit which is putting pressure on his left eye.  Once the doctors work out what’s causing the temperatures, they can decide whether radiation is an option to blitz the nodule in the orbit.  In the meantime, Cam’s adopted a new pirate personality, complete with eye patch and all.  The eye patch (creatively created by Rach) helps him to see one of everything through his right eye.  But I think, who wouldn’t want to have two of me around??  Cam should feel doubly blessed to have two wives take care of him!

As for the temperatures, the doctors say it’s being caused by one of two things.  It’s either the myeloma itself, affecting his central nervous system.  The CT scan of his brain has shown a few extra lesions on the skull.  They said they can’t see it in his brain but unfortunately that doesn’t mean it’s not there.  The other possibility is that he has caught some sort of fungal infection.  It takes quite a few days to test for this so although they’ve taken blood cultures earlier in the week, it still hasn’t been confirmed.  The doctor informed us that the easiest way to test for fungal infection is to do a lumbar puncture, but understandably, Cam doesn’t want to have that done.  So the next best thing, is to take a biopsy of the lesion on his chest to test for infection, which is being done today.  It will then take another 2-3 days for this to be tested and confirmed if an infection is present or not.

Just have to sit tight until then and keep Cam functioning with prayers, as well as fentanyl patches and hydromorphone for pain relief combined with coloxyl, movicol and lactulose to counteract the constipating side-effects of the pain drugs; dexamethasone to reduce the swelling in the tumours which also perks him up, temazepam to counteract the dexamethasone so that he can sleep at night; combined with a cocktail of other drugs to help with one function and then more drugs to counteract the side-effects of the other drugs.  I honestly don’t know how his body copes.  His body is like a walking pharmacy at the moment.  So heartbreaking to watch.  And I can see it’s taken its toll on him emotionally.  The poking, prodding, needles and answering the same questions over and over is beyond exhausting.  How many times can one be asked “have you opened your bowels today?” before you crack?  I can’t help much, but I do my best to answer what I can for him, take any load off him that I possibly can, just be there and do whatever I can to make life a little easier during this most difficult time.  It’s so hard to not be able to do any more than that.  I don’t even know how to pray now.  All I have left is let Your will be done.

Mrs Ash Harris (love writing that!)


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