Unexpected pain

Geraldine is having a very rough time right now. Out of the blue, her pain spiked up to about a 9 on the scale of 10 yesterday. By the evening, it was a 10. She had to get a morphine patch to take the edge off. She’s also very nauseous and in so much pain she can’t really talk a lot. You might recall that she has a pretty high threshold for pain, so a 9 and 10 are seriously debilitating.

I can’t go see her at the moment because I have a cold/virus that I’m almost over. She is neutropenic, meaning that she has a low white blood cell count which results in a severely weakened immune system. Her platelets are also low, which means she will bleed and bruise easily – the blood has a hard time clotting. I’ve been trying to research some sort of therapeutic treatment for alleviation of this pain. Getting a massage is out of the question because of the bruising.

I’ve started researching acupuncture, but was worried about the bleeding from the needles. There are techniques that don’t involve needles, which I am also looking into.

I’ve checked the National Cancer Institute’s website, and they somewhat endorse or acknowledge that acupuncture and other techniques are commonly used to treat nausea, vomiting, and pain from cancer and chemotherapy. I am checking the backgrounds and availability of some reputable, certified acupuncturists in the area today.

We will likely use the money we raised from friendsofgeraldine.org for this, but may need to begin a fresh round of fundraising after this.

I’m letting you guys know this because she needs encouragement, support, and anything else that can be done, now more than ever. Stress is making this worse on her because it has a direct correlation to her pain. Anyone who has talked to her over the past week can see that.

They are worried that her cancer has come back out of remission and may delay or even cancel her stem cell transplant. There has been some surprise and concern from the medical staff at how aggressive this has suddenly become. One possibility is that the cancer has come back out of remission and is now resistant to the ICE chemo regimen. She may be going for a donor transplant instead, which is more dangerous and lengthy. There is a lot of uncertainty and we simply don’t know what the next step is at this time.

Obviously, she is very scared at the moment. We all are. I wish there were better news, but I will keep you up to date as things unfold.

3 Responses to “Unexpected pain”


  1. 1 Harvey Lynch November 22, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Dear Geraldine,

    Wow, this posting of the sudden incidence of pain is a bad surprise to us all, especially to you. Although I am far away, I hope you know that I am close at hand in heart. What Malcolm is doing to look for ways to help is remarkable, and I have a great deal of respect for him. He raised the question of using the donations received so for to help in this direction. I cannot speak for the others, but so far as I am concerned, the use of my donation is certainly appropriate if that seems suitable to you. If it comes to needing more donations, you may count me in.

    Of course, Malcolm cannot put everything into this posting, so I’ll ask if the physicians have said anything about possibly related side effects to other treatments you have had recently. Such information could be crucial in determining treatments, because of other possible side effects.

    You have many people who are part of a support network, your family, your friends in the Yorktown/Norfolk area, and your friends spread all over the world. I am surely not alone in sending moral support and encouragement to you. We knew that this journey would not be without some rough going, although we could not know just what it might be. Maybe it would take your mind off it for a bit to remember years ago when I did the imitation of the very formal receiving line clip from the Greta Garbo film. You always used to laugh about it. Give me a smile 🙂 !

    Love from the loony man,

    Harvey

  2. 2 Pensees November 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Am I united with my friend in the heart?
    What matters if our place be wide apart?

    Anwar-I- Suheili

  3. 3 Laura (Qora) November 28, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Malcolm, while you are researching acupuncture, you might also look into what NAET can do for these symptoms. If you read the naet.com website you will probably think it is totally whacked, and in fact I do too. But the truth of the matter is that we had absolutely miraculous results with it for our daughter’s multiple severe food intolerances. Obviously you are dealing with something different here, but NAET has a wide range of applications and it is possible it could buy Geraldine some relief!


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