Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Funny Feet & Some Signs

My toes are tied. Five cracked, bleeding, weeping infected toes wrapped in puffy cocoon-like bandages versus five healthy toes. I wish the five infected toes were all on the same foot. At least then, I'd be able to hop around on the other foot. But since they're all spread out, looks like all the little piggies will have to stay home.

Graphic, nasty details coming up... skip this paragraph if you get queasy: My toes have gotten much worse since Monday when I saw my doctor. I didn't show her my toes because they were all bandaged up and I really didn't think they were so bad. Now, one big toe is filled with fluid. It's just one big sac of liquid inside and it's all puffed up. When I put my feet up, the pus on the other cracked, bleeding toes dries up and I can bandage them up. But when I put my feet down, the blood rushes into my toes, the fluid-filled big toe throbs, and the other open skin wounds drip enough liquid to flow down the length of my feet and form tiny pus puddles. Anybody else out there experience anything like this? I'd love to hear from you to compare notes.

I'm not superstitious, but if I were, here are some ominous coincidences. Last week, a friend's father died after an infection lead to heart failure and stroke. A few days ago, a friend sent around a mass e-mail about how women who experience cardiac arrest experience different symptoms than men do. Yesterday, I was watching "Grey's Anatomy" and a patient on the show died after an infection lead to heart failure. Later that same day, a friend brought over some magazines for me to read and there was an article in one of them about Christopher Reeve, who died after an infection lead to cardiac arrest. I'd already mentioned Christopher Reeve and his famous bedsore infection death in a post earlier this week.

Also, in the past few weeks, I've had a few bouts of strong pressure pain deep within the chest - on the left side, where the heart is, rather than the right side, where I had radiation. I've told my doctor about this and she doesn't seem to think it's anything to worry about. I've just had an echocardiogram and my heart function is normal. But I actually don't know if an echocardiogram can predict future heart failure due to an infection or other causes. Any heart specialists out there who can tell me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Maybe this is the universe telling me to be careful not to allow these infected toes to get out of control because if this turns into a systemic infection, I'm in trouble. Maybe not necessarily heart failure, but I won't be able to start a new chemo regimen if my body is fighting an infection.

I guess this is the sort of thing that makes people wonder what's worse - the cancer or the treatment? Today, I'd have to say it's the treatment. I don't feel the cancer right now, but I sure can feel the chemo-induced infected toes.


Anonymous said...

I have always loved your toes.
More soon.

Kate said...

Hi Shin
I do feel very upset when I read that things are not going so well. I am so un-medical so have no practical advice - sorry. When I attempted a hike some years back and got terrible blisters I remember having to soak them for ages etc. I imagine you have done all this, or maybe you can't but I am sure someone more medical and useful will have some ideas?!
Take care
Kate x