Monday, November 30, 2009

News Flash!

Just got the 2nd and last chest tube out! One less leash and one step
closer to going home.

I'll fill you in more as news becomes available.


I'm still here in the hospital. It's the middle of the night and I
I would make use of my insomnia time. Who can sleep in a hospital? I
know that I do sleep but to lay down at night and get a solid block of
4 to 6 hours is impossible. Too much noise, too many interuptions, too
many odd smells, even the high-tech air bed seems to fight you.
Anyway it makes for long nights and days.

I have made a little progress the last couple days. They removed one
of my chest tubes Sunday, the 2nd one is still draining so it remains
in. I am also breathing on my own, without the help of additional
oxygen or breathing treatments. I still work at coughing up the gook
but I do it on my own. Plus they removed my catheter! I have never
been anywhere that is so interested in my pee and poop as a hospital!
Funny in one respect but actually very important. Most importantly I
have gained a lot of strength back; I took a long walk with the
therapist today and also have been getting up and moving on my own
quite a bit. I still have a lot of attachments with the tubes and IV's
and all so it makes it hard to move around without helpers. Jessica
has become an expert at helping me!

I have been receiving IV antibiotics almost constantly since I got
here, they have identified one of the infections in my lung but there
is another that they are still working on. I guess it is a lot
different on TV where they can identify this stuff at the snap of your

Monday I am supposed to have a swallowing study where they can somehow
video record how I swallow. (this got delayed from a couple days ago)
From there they can see if there is some defect in my body or in the
way I swallow that causes my problem. I'm sure hoping they find
something to help. I'm also hoping they can remove the other chest
tube as the nurses tell me they see very little drainage happening now.

I hope that tells you enough because it is about all I know other than
grisly details about each of the general things I mentioned. Please
know that I am deeply moved and thankful that you care enough to keep
up with me. Love you all.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Update

Still here in my itty bitty hospital room/jail cell. Friday was a
phenomomally bad day, it seems like any little thing that could go
wrong did go wrong. I won't bore you with the details but suffice it
to say that I had been a model patient until yesterday and now the
nursing staff quickly found my crabbier side. I kept being told one
thing and then the opposite (or nothing at all) would happen. Very
frustrating. Plus I was operating on very little sleep the last few
nights. I will compliment them on the fact that they worked hard at
getting me some rest last night, I feel much better today.

So I am pretty much in the same place I was Thursday but a little
farther along in my healing. I have 2 chest tubes still in and
draining and I am still working on coughing the gook out of my lungs.
I got 1 unit of blood yesterday and am due for at least 1 more today.
Evidently there are some blood levels that keep dropping that they
don't like and fresh blood is the only way to replace those chemicals.

I did get out of bed about 4 times yesterday for various things which
is a lot of work but also good for me, I need that action moving
around and using my muscles. Strange how just maintaining your
balance can be so much work!

I have no idea when I will be sent home to finish healing. I know I am
nowhere near ready yet. I would hope the tubes can come out in the
first part of next week and then I can work on strength building and
breathing better. We'll see what happens.

Thanks again for all of your support. I thank God every day for so
many wonderful friends and family.

Be Well - Be Blessed!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Well Thanksgiving day has come and gone. I have so many things and
people in my life to be gratful for that I'm going to save that whole
explanation for a seperate posting. I want to keep you informed of my

I spent all of the day Thursday between my bed and my chair. I was
experiencing quite a bit of pain but the nursing staff did a great job
of helping me keep it under control. I have my little friend, the pain
pump button, and when things get too rough I can hit the button for a
shot of relief. I am also still on the patch that I have been wearing
and taking Tylenol as well. I had a few visitors during the morning
which was very nice but we kept getting interrupted by nurses,
doctors, and techs trying to do their jobs. I guess morning is not the
best time to visit.

I have also been receiving regular breathing treatments to help clear
my lungs and airways of any gook (medical term there). The treatments
are through an inhaler (potheads - think bong) which allows the
medication to reach all the small airways and air sacs in my lungs.
They usually cause me to start coughing up the gook which really makes
me breathe better. I still have the lung drainage tubes in and a lot
of the gook goes out that way as well.

Friday I am scheduled for a swallowing study where they are supposed
to be able to diagnose any problems with the way I swallow. Since they
believe the cause of this whole episode is that I aspirated some food
or liquid this study might help a lot. Anyone who has eaten with me
lately knows that I am prone to coughing and choking while eating.
That makes
It very easy for food to go down the wrong pipe.

Well they have been coming in to start prodding and poking so I'll
sign off. Thanks for staying in touch and I'll be back to you soon.

Be Well - Be Blessed


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surgery A Success!

Just a quick note to let you know everything went smooth today. The
mass was an infection, NOT cancer. They drained as much of the fluid
as they could (it was about the size of a lemon) and left a couple of
drain tubes in me which they will remove in a couple days.

Right now I am very sore so I am cutting this short to rest.

God Bless You All!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back in the Hospital Again

Well isn't this a fine kettle-o-fish I got myself into. Here I am -
back in hospital unexpectedly. Monday I had my regular 60 day follow
up scans and bloodwork to see how the fight between my tumors and the
Nexavar is going. I have felt lousy and had a nagging cough for the
last 3-4 weeks so we called ahead and asked if there was some other
test they could run to find the source of the cough. They replied that
the CT of my chest should show them anything and that they would keep
an eye out for my results. Well they were watching close because they
called me before I left the hospital and asked me to come right up to
the office. There the doc told me I have something in my lung which
should not be there. They are pretty sure it is an infected mass but
need to find out for sure. Because I have "compromised" (already have
tumors) lungs they view this as very serious - they wouldn't let me
go home, I was admitted immediately to the hospital. I was so happy.

Of course this mass is in a spot that is not able to be accessed via
needle biopsy so they have to knock me out and cut me open to get a
sample from it. That is scheduled to happen Wednesday morning. In the
meantime today I am having pulmonary function tests and a couple other
teststo keep me busy today.

Today (Tuesday) has been a series of waits and rushes. Jess and I
were hanging out in the room doing nothing for a long time so we
ordered a late lunch. That's when a line seemed to form at the
door. Between doctors, therapists, anesthesiologists, nurses, and
physician assistants we saw about 10 people over the course of about
45 minutes. And then they took me to get another X-Ray. Needless to
say lunch had to wait.

So I'll update you as soon as I am feeling well enough. I appreciate
you keeping up with my plight!