Sunday, November 29, 2015

Home Again

My last post had me in the hospital with the beautiful caring people at Kaiser's San Leandro hospital.  On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we decided coming home would be best for me.  No further chemo would help me and my oncologist Dr. Kuan told us home would be best.  We talked to Patti the social worker and she told us about the care we could get from Hospice. 

Our next thought was how we could maneuver the 26 steps into our apartment.  Gurneys would be too big and bulky to work.  I figured I would have two studly good looking men carry me up.  No, in fact two beautiful petite young women showed up.  They were strong as an ox.  We arrived at home and we waited for a handsome man to bring a special gurney chair.  They carried me upstairs backwards.  It was a wild ride.

After settling in I was transferred from Kaiser to Hospice.  Hospice came later in the day to make an assessment and go over procedures they would use.  4 days a week someone from Hospice will be here for about an hour to go over what has transpired from their last visit, bathe me and help with light housework.  The next two days we spent rearranging the apartment to accommodate a bed for me and other equipment.  Our son Erik helped with moving things around too.  On Saturday they delivered my bed.  The bed is electric and my brother and Marty bought rich red sheets to cheer me up.  Red matched other furnishings in the room that are red.

Every day my legs are stronger but  I am still very weak.  I'm trying not to be cranky but seems like everything upsets me.  Then I am  mean and feel like a bitch.  I am eating more day by day as I get further away from my last chemo treatment.  Little brother Hank and his wonderful wife nurse Ann have been a godsend to us.  They have taken care of me and helped us cook, wash dishes and clean the apartment.  When they leave it is going to really get hard.

Posts will be more irregular because we are overwhelmed with this change in our lives.  We want you to be informed about my condition but just check Facebook and my blog because it is difficult to keep up with all of the phone calls and texts.  If you are healthy and will wear a mask you are welcome to visit for a very very short period because my energy level will not let me be sociable for very long.  My voice is also very weak.

To all of the prayer warriors to pray for calmness bravery and acceptance.  Pray for Marty as my caregiver He has also been writing this as I tell him what to say.  God bless each and every one of you with much love.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Things Just Got REAL!!!

This is Marty and I am taking orders as usual. J Taking dictation.

Since I came home  from the hospital a week ago I just got weaker and weaker.  Noodle legs kept me from walking and my recliner became my best friend.  It’s a good thing it is electric so I could get in and out of it.  Marty had fun giving me a ride to each room of our apartment in the wheelchair.

Thanks to my friends Janet, Kirsten, Lourdes, Sue and Vallery for coming to sit with me while Marty could do some of his work.  I also had our Elders from church, Lonnie and Roy bring communion and a visit from my minister Russ.

This past Saturday my blood pressure was 70 over 60 and I was too light headed to do anything so it was back to the ER in the early afternoon.  They started hydrating me and giving me antibiotics.  Got moved to my new suite at the hospital later in the day.  From the CT scan the week before my Oncologist confirmed this damn cancer had spread to my liver.  It’s been a week of crying, bitching and trying to be brave.  It’s easier to be positive because I am using less energy.  

Even though I am weak I am stronger than when I came in and can walk short distances.  I am getting better each day and hoping to go home soon.  Every day they come up with a new test that I have never heard of.  I am getting tired of being probed, prodded, poked, stuck and bled.  I know all of this helps in my treatment but it can be annoying.

My brother Henry and his wife Ann flew here from Kentucky Monday to be with us for Thanksgiving.  We may have turkey day in the hospital.  They have been great support to both of us.

Marty and I have to make a lot of major decisions in the time I have left and I am asking my prayer warriors to continue praying that Marty and I can get through this new time in our life together.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Another Midnight Run - The Drama Continues

This week has been another week to try to get some strength.  It has also been one of more side effects of Chemo raising its ugly head.  I still have extreme weakness and dehydration.  I had blood work on Monday and then on Tuesday no Chemo but rather had hydration to give me some fluids.

The twenty six steps  have been a big problem getting me in and out of the apartment.  My legs are so weak it has been a major chore coming and going.  I am trying to walk more and more each day to build my strength back up.  Walking from the living room to the kitchen several times a day is helping.

On Thursday we had something else to deal with.  I was having shortness of breath  late in the day and by 10:00 it was so bad we called the advice nurse.  Must have been a busy day for them because after 30 minutes on the phone, she and the doctor agreed that  we should go to ER to be evaluated. Once again the Kaiser team went to work on me.  They immediately put me on oxygen and did a chest x-ray and an EKG.  IV with fluids to hydrate me and drained me of blood to start the detective work.  Also I did a 15 minute treatment of deep breathing with an albuterol brohodilator to relax my muscles in the airways and increase airflow to the lungs.  More than what you wanted to know right??

After that the doctor came in and said the words that I hate, CT Scan.  It hasn't been but five days since I had that done but they wanted to compare the two.  Since I had trouble breathing they wanted to check for blood clots in the lungs.  Thank goodness, no clots.

All of the problems relate back to Chemo, the tiredness and the weakness. It wan about 12:30 am that all of this was completed so I had to lay and wait for the evaluation.  At about 1:15 the nurse came in and asked if I was ready to go home.  Surprised I said yes.  All of the tests showed no issues other than what we knew so I was ok to be released.  I dressed and we got home about 2 am.

Today I feel a little stronger but it is just a little.  We will see what the next few days have in store as we prepare for Thanksgiving week with a visit from my brother and his wife.  Pray for more strength.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kaiser to the Rescue !!!!

This week has had more drama than usual.  Monday the lab work (blood work) came back with lots of different issues.  When they took vitals I had a low grade fever.  They told me to check my temperature every hour or so,  parts were out of the normal range.  Tuesday instead of chemo they hydrated me and gave a mineral cocktail.  They told me that if my temp got to 100.4 or more to go to the Emergency Room.  The fever was staying in the normal range, but it jumped into the dangerous Will Robinson land after 9:00 pm.  So off to the ER at 9:30 pm ( we had to get dressed from PJs to clothes).

They hydrated me on arrival and then took "gallons" of blood.  Some of the tests would take three days because cultures had to grow.  About 2 am they decided to admit me to the hospital because there were so many issues going on.  I was still very very weak like last week, and maybe even worse.

From early Wednesday through late afternoon Saturday I was in the hospital.  During that time I was hydrated, on antibiotics (IV) and many minerals that I was low in.  They also fed me antibiotics during my stay to fight the infection.  As usual, Kaiser provided fantastic care and attention to me as if I were their only patient.  The blood tests came back including the cultures and all were in the good range except for one minor infection that I am treating with antibiotics for the next week and a half.

After i got home last night, I am resting more because the noise level is lower and Marty does not check my blood pressure every two hours.  Also the moaning and yelling patient down the hall is not here with me.  I am trying to walk more (with a walker) to regain my strength.  I am forcing myself to eat more even though food tastes awful.  Not because of Marty's cooking ,but because of my taste buds.

Prayer warriors, its been a tough week and I appreciate it so much.  We do not expect it to get much better so I need you to kick it into overdrive,   God bless each and every one of you.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It has been a bad week

This week I have been weak as a kitten. We used a wheelchair to get me in and out of Kaiser.  I just couldn't walk that far.  Chemo went fine.  And they set me up to have two units of blood on Wednesday.  That was supposed to give me more energy.

I was a little nervous about the transfusion  First time things always scare me.  It went well and I had high hopes for a burst of energy.  Didn't happen, if anything I was weaker.   Blood pressure was low, I couldn't walk or stand without help.  Marty was wheeling me to the kitchen, bathroom, where ever I needed to be. He had to lift me off my chair which was hard for him.  I kept collapsing on him.

Then just to make thing better, I developed no warning diarrhea. Not a nice three days.  Today, Sunday, I am a little stronger,  I have walked down the hall several times.  No wheelchair today. 

This is short because it takes energy to think and write.  It is nap time again.