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Archive for February, 2012

Home again, home again…

I mistakenly sent out the following blog post before it was finished.  Here is the completed post:

Tuesday morning the phone rang and mom left a message saying that the dr was letting her go home. Yay. It is now 4:45 and she is happily at home. She said that she even made dinner for tonight. Will wonders never cease?

Her counts are still low, but she was able to walk around and was much better than when she went in on Monday.  She still has the bruising which the dr. said would be around for a while because of her low platelet counts, but at least she can put her weight on her knee.  Unfortunately, her ribs are still very painful.  Whenever she moves, sneezes, or laughs hard she grabs her chest in pain. 

Now…we wait.  We wait to see if her counts go back up on their own.  We wait to see if she can fight off any infections that may come her way this coming week.  We wait for her test results to be shared with us on Monday afternoon.  She had a CAT scan yesterday and a PET scan is scheduled for Thursday.   Then on Monday we meet with Dr. Hernandez to tell us the results.  He will let us know how the tumors are responding to the chemo.   Does she need one or two more rounds of it or is she done for now?  We wait!

 Praises:

  • Mom is home!

Prayers:

  • Her counts would go up and she would be able to fight off infection
  • The pain in her chest would ease and go away completely
  • For peace during “the wait”

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The Bathroom Floor

Mom fell again.  But this time it was in the hospital bathroom.  It happened two nights ago at about 1 am.  That is the bad news.  The good news (and slightly miraculous news) is that she did not hit her head or break any bones.  The bruises that she has are pretty… epic though. 

The details of the event are unclear, but it seems that she was still asleep when she got up to use the bathroom.  We do not know if she tripped, slipped or passed out.  Either way she was on the floor and calling for help.   She called me after the event (no phone call at 1 am is ever good) and was very shaken up and emotional. I spoke with her for a while just trying to calm her down.  I talked to the nurse who said that the doctor was coming to send her for x-rays.  The dangerous part was that she had extremely low platelet count which means she would bleed very easily. 

Amazingly, she had no broken bones.  Her knees are very swollen and bruised, her one shoulder and upper arm is very darkly bruised and her ribs on her left side are very tender.  Laughing is not a very helpful thing at this point.  She grabs her ribs and moans every time someone says something funny. 

The nurses have been helpful and kept on top of her pain meds.   She has mostly been just lying in bed since then, except for today.   Today, I brought my girls and David in to see her.  She was sitting up in her chair, eating, and reading.   It was a beautiful sight.  The PT had also taken her for a walk “around the circle” which is just amazing.  We all can’t believe that she can put any weight on the swollen knee.  It is crazy. 

While we were there the three doctors that have been watching her stopped in.  Dr. Patel, Dr. Ross and Loretta.  As they walked in the room, Dr. Patel said, “Wow, I have never seen her sitting up in a chair before.”  I think they were all very surprised with how she was .  They did mention that her blood counts are extremely low and that they are just not ready to send her home yet.  She is too inconsistent with how she does.  They want her walking around more and gaining more strength first.  It was hard for my mom to hear, but we all agree that it is right.  She does so much better when she is at the hospital.    So at least for now she is there for a while longer.

But to make that a little easier, my brother has come in to be with her.  He is always able to cheer her up.  I think a trip to the Anchor Bar (the location of the original Buffalo Wings) is in the plans for my husband, dad and brother.  The girls and I will watch tv with Nonnie. 🙂

Praises:

  • That mom did not break anything or hit her head
  • My brother was able to make it in again to visit
  • The doctors seem to be very wise in making decisions for her

Prayers:

  • For pain control as she heals from her fall.  Her ribs and knees, specifically.
  • Next week are her CAT scan and PET scan to see how the treatments have been effecting the tumors.  This will determine if she will need another round of chemo or not.
  • Always, for peace of mind and comfort!!!

 

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Today

Mom is doing much better today. The iv seams to be doing its job. They did a lot of blood work and cultures to make sure that something else was not going on, but so far it looks good.
She is eating some jello and Popsicles and no longer passing out.
They told us that this chemo would make things bumpy, but this is BUMPY!! It’s a roller coaster of hospital visits, emotions and all over craziness.

Thankfully we believe in a God who is our Rock.

2 Samuel 22:3 My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior–

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Back to Roswell

It’s been a long day. Who am I kidding? It’s been a long month. I wrote yesterday that mom was pretty sick. Well, it continued into today and got worse. Her stomach was very sick (not going into detail there) so she became dehydrated. She was not able to eat or drink hardly anything.

As a result of this she became very light headed and began passing out whenever she got up. My dad had to walk with her to the bathroom and put cold rags on her the whole time.
We called the dr and talked to them. They said to bring her right into buffalo general ER. This hospital was the best choice because it was physically connected to Roswell and they would have access to all of her records.
So, my husband David, dad and I all tried to get her to the car. It did not work!! She passed completely out about 3 times on the way out the door. Thankfully I am married to a very strong man who was able to get her back to her bed. We ended up calling an ambulance again. They were very helpful and kind. She passed right out when they got her up, but they had her safely on the gurney.

They did all of the normal things in the ER and then something amazing happened. A bed opened up at Roswell. The doctor who was seeing her said that was “unheard of”. There are never enough beds at Roswell and there is always a waiting list. Well, not this time. As I write this, she is being admitted there.
I am sure we will find out a lot more of what is going on tomorrow. But tonight we are happy that she is safe and being taken care of.

Praises:
• A bed was open at Roswell
• She never hurt herself passing out
• Tonight she is getting the care that she needs

Prayers:
• I am struggling to know what to pray for…. Everything. Comfort, healing, peace, clarity, wisdom, etc.

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Still prayin’

Well, mama is home, but is pretty sick.  She has an anti-nausea pill, but it won’t work if she can’t keep it down.  She is taking some small sips of water to try to stay hydrated, but even that is difficult for her right now.  She is also experiencing a lot of light headedness.  It may just be because she has not eaten much or it may be the medication, but either way she is very nearly passing out when she gets up to use the bathroom. 

At this point, we feel like it is probably pretty standard stuff that she is going through.  We don’t feel the need to rush her to the hospital.  She has NO fever and is not dehydrated yet.  We are concerned that dehydration may occur over time, though.  She is sleeping a lot and has little to no energy, but again that is to be expected at this phase of the treatment.  What we pray for is that over a week or two that she will gain more and more strength and the chemo killing the cancer will actually make her feel better, not worse. 

I want to share with everyone the honor that my family had last night.  Our church, Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church,(where I am currently on staff) asked me if I would share about my mom at their weekly Saturday night prayer/worship meeting. I was there with my family and my Dad was able to come also.   I spoke about 2 minutes, giving a brief update on what is going on and then the whole group (about 160-ish) people prayed powerful prayers over our family.  I wanted to list the three specific things that I asked prayer for so that we could be united.

1.  That mom’s body would be able to hold up under this aggressive treatment and be cancer free.

2.  That our family would have grace during this time.  If mom’s healing happens on this side of Heaven or in Heaven, our family would like to walk through it gracefully.

3.  That our unsaved family members would find comfort in God during this difficult time. 

And, today I would like to add to that
4. That her stomach would settle so that she can eat and drink to gain her strength back.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. 

 

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Quick Update

Hey everyone, just wanted to send out a quick update for anyone who is wondering how things are going. Mom’s Chemo started last night and is going very well. When I walked in the hospital room this morning around 8:50am she was sitting up, had eaten breakfast, and said to me “Where have you been?” Huh?? I never know what I am going to face when I walk in this room. On bad days, she is curled up under her blankets and won’t open her eyes, but on good days (which this is one!) she is happy and chatty.

So, two doctors have come in to talk with us. He said that she was doing well and he thought that she may need one more round of chemo after this. He said there was a chance of needing two more rounds, but he would not give her more than that.

The second doctor was Dr. Ross who specializes in bone marrow transplants. She stayed and talked with us about that for quite awhile. Basically, after the last round of chemo they assess her. They decide if she is strong enough to go through the transplant or not. She went into a lot of detail telling us what it entails, but really, the only thing we need to concentrate on is getting her strong enough to do it. It is a long and sometimes dangerous procedure where she will need to be in the hospital 3-5 weeks. She basically focused on mom eating well and moving around some to build up her strength. Obviously her body, liver, kidneys, etc…need to be in ok shape to handle this procedure also.

That is a summary for now.

Praises:

* Mom is doing very well, so far, on this round of chemo. It is early, but she is feeling well.

* Her mood is upbeat and DETERMINED!

Prayers:

* That her body would be strong enough to bring her through the transplant successfully.

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Phew

We got a lot of info today, but I will try to summarize. Overall, it was all good news.
• she is receiving 4 hours of Retuxin as I write this as an outpatient.
• she will be admitted for three days of chemo tomorrow afternoon.
• her blood counts are all doing well
• the nurse felt around her abdomen and said it felt good except one little spot
• And the BEST NEWS is that her ldh is almost normal. What is that? I am so glad that you asked. Lactic dehydrogenase is some kind of enzyme in the bodies tissues. It monitors the progress of certain diseases. Typical numbers are between 313-618. Mom’s number was 2,000 when we started this journey. It is now ….. 702….. That is ALMOST NORMAL.
I don’t totally understand this, but the nurse practitioner was very happy with this number. If it makes her happy, it makes me happy.

So, mom will then be having a cat scan on feb 27 and a pet scan on march 1. Then the dr. will see us on march 5 to go over the results and let us know if she needs more rounds or not.

Mom has had an epiphany that is helping her. She says that she only needs to remember ONE thing: there is one God who is actively assisting her in this journey. She is strongly depending on the prayers of the “body of Christ”.

Praises:
• good numbers on her blood work
• things are moving forward
• again, Roswell impresses us by giving my mom a free wig made to fit.

Prayers:
• this round of chemo would be successful and go smoothly
• that mom’s emotions would stay up even in the hospital
• mom’s mind would remain clear and focused

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