Friday, January 11, 2008

Medical This & That

It seems as though you can’t keep my family out of the doctors’ offices lately. Below are a couple of updates.

My pre-natal visit went very well yesterday. Timmy went with me for the first time. He was very good. The nurse practioner was so good with him (another reason I really like and don’t feel the need to see the doctor – I mean, seriously, the doctor only comes in the delivery room to catch the baby). She pulled a chair up next to the table and let him stand on it. She used the tape measure to measure how tall he was, then let him hold one end while she measured my stomach. Then came time for the heartbeat, she let him hold the Doppler and guided his hand to find the heartbeat. Finally, we ended with him wiping the gel off my stomach. The whole thing was pretty cool for him, but the best part was wiping the stuff off my stomach – that’s pretty much what he talks about from the experience. This morning, during our morning potty session, he told me he needed to go with me again.
During my first labor, I had prodromal labor, which is labor that doesn’t progress your cervix dilation – this went on for 48 hours with Timmy and I didn’t get past a 4. They gave me patocin, and it didn’t do anything for me. Finally, they broke my water. In 1.5 hours, I went from 4 cm – 10 cm and had Timmy – super fast. At the visit, we discussed what will happen if I have prodromal labor again. She said depending on where we are in my pregnancy when she is doing an internal…if she sees the bag of water, and she breaks it, then whoops! See, just another reason I don’t want to see the doctor.
One last update on me. I lost weight in the beginning of this pregnancy. My last visit was the first time I gained weight. I gained 3 pounds, which put me back where I was on my first visit (they don’t count the 10 pounds I lost before even seeing them). Then yesterday, I gained 1 pound. If you do the math, it means that I have gained only 1 pound since my first visit with them. Yeah me! I was so worried b/c they told me I could only gain 15 pounds, and I didn’t know how I was going to make that happen. Clearly, my body has figured out a way to make it happen – I’m not dieting or trying to lose weight, I am just not as hungry and very little sounds appealing to me. The big question now is, will this trend of not being as hungry continue after the baby is born? I hope so!!!

Todd’s Chest Pain Update
For those that don’t know….Todd was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in 1999. The melanoma spread to his lymph nodes, and resulted in a year long chemo type treatment. He was also diagnosed with Melanoma again in November 2007, but it was stage 1 and required nothing more than removal of the offending mole.
Finally, he was having chest pain last week.
Todd has his tests done yesterday for the chest pain. He did a stress test and an echocardiogram. Both seemed to go well, but they will most likely run more tests. The doctor informed him that he had been doing some research on Todd’s case and found something interesting. His melanoma treatment in 1999-2000 could be the cause of this. Current research is showing the when these treatments were created, cancer patients weren’t living as long. Now that they are living much longer lives, the side effects from the drugs are starting to show. The drug/treatment Todd used was interferon, which may be related to heart problems. The doctor is continuing to research it. Most likely, he will be sent to Dartmouth Hitchcock for more tests.
Now…my warning to parents. Melanoma, apparently, is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only can it spread to your lymph nodes and metastasize into other forms of cancer, but the treatments might be the cause of other health problems. No matter your child’s skin tone, please, please apply sunscreen on them every time they go outside. You should even put it under light colored and white t-shirts, as they do not block UV rays. Take it from my husband’s experience, sunscreen is essential. Now that we are more educated, gone are the days of rubbing yourself with baby oil before a sun bathing session.
As far as our own follow-up…it’s time to get back in shape. Todd, and me by default, will need to get in shape. He has no choice other than to diet and exercise to get off the excess weight and to keep his heart as healthy as possible. His treatments may have had an effect on his heart, so now he needs to make sure to live a healthy lifestyle. It will be essential for him to do as much as possible to counteract what the medication did to him.


Rebecca said...

When I are you due? I'm sure you have said, but I forget...

So glad Todd's test are looking ok (keep us updated on new tests) and thanks for the reminder on sun screen...

emily said...

looks like things are going well with you. And always praying for Todd....keep us posted!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Good grief! I hope they find a way to solve the heart issues!

That is a sweet story about you and your little boy! You will be amazed how excited he will be when the baby comes!