Friday, November 28, 2008

We Are Decking the Hall with Holly

Thanksgiving was a wonderful blessing.
Surrounded by my children that could make it home and their children. My sweet Hero was alternately grateful for all the attention and overwhelmed.
He loved the fun of watching them play board games and watching the leaves falling from the large window in the living room where his bed is situated.
We had a traditional meal with the dressing being my one disaster this year. The turkey was so fat that the dressing was just swimming in the fat. We disposed of it and enjoyed my son-in-law's favorite mashed potatoes with the meal. Now it is the day after and we have all leaned back and just tried to
relax for the early part of the day until most have dispersed. My number 4 child
is still here and setting up Christmas decorations for us. She is a blessing too.
Christmas promises to be a special time for us. So far, Heavenly Father has been blessing my Hero with his strength increasing daily. Does this say the cancer is gone? No, but he is busy searching for things to do that are uplifting and good for others. I so love him. He is uplifting to me, even when he is sitting and thinking for the next thing for me to do. LOL
We are having to work on what we thought might be bed sores beginning. I am beginning to think that maybe it is the same stuff as the gangrene he had on his groin. All that nasty stuff inside must have a way of getting out...if skin is the closest area...that is what it will be. Enough negative. We are excited about the upcoming holiday. God is in His heaven and He loves us all so much that he gave his only begotten Son.
Through Christ's atonement, we are afforded the ability to overcome.
I love Christmas so I will be enjoying posting this month to use my free clip art.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some Things are Priceless

The Hero made the following comment as he hung up his phone from talking with a treasured old friend. With tears in his eyes he said, "I can never be poor, when I have the wealth of such friends."

This is such a truth.

We are excited! We are going home! It is still under the supervision of hospice, but it will be just 2 or 3 visits a week. The rest of the time he can enjoy home. Blessings do hold our hopes up.

Tonight the Hero is exhausted. An old friend from college came by, a cousin, and three friends from church. The visits were wonderful and he laughed and joked and reminiscing of times past. Now that the excitement has diminished, he is resting quietly on his pillow.

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that is mindful of his lowly servants needs. What joy to know, we will be in the gentle surroundings of our own home. Praise be to His name.

Love to all

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Things I Have Learned

This is a sunset. Sometimes during the storm, it looks so dark then the clouds start dispersing and you see a glorious sunset and know that there is still great beauty around.

That is how I feel today. We are at the hospice. Lovely people, but all still have the same mindset that the doctors at the hospital did. It is over just keep him sedated and he will just be fine. WELL, my hero just needed a break. Yesterday the family that was closest all came by and visited with him. By the end of the day, he was more alert, but still very weak. They finally started moving his pain medication back to where it was before we went into the hospital. I had been worrying about having a new doctor to start all over with. (The hospice doctor takes over the care and all other doctors disappear.) God steps in and wa la...the doctor comes in (and while he is not the only doctor, he is one of them that will see the Hero) and surprise of surprises, he was the doctor that inserted the chest tube in the Hero's pleura space to drain the fluid off his lungs at the hospital. He, after visiting with the Hero, increased the pain long acting medication back to what it was before hospitalization.

That relaxed the hero so much that he fell asleep after being given the medication and slept from 9pm to 3 am. Now when you are in the room and want to sleep until 6am...not so cool...but when you are awaken by a wide awake time oriented and alert spouse that you have not been able to have a sane conversation with for 8 days...the sleep dissipates and you sit up and take notice. This is were we had a strong discussion with the night nurse. Her thought was just sedate him and it doesn't matter that he won't be able to think. I said 'no'...he wants to be able to make choices. The Hero after listening to the exchange, then told the nurse he needed pain relief, but did not want to be sedated. So she went to the doctor at 4am and asked for his pain medication to be completely put back to his home meds. Woo hoo...he now has a mind...they were giving him an anti-psychotic, and sleep medication. It pays to ask questions about what are you giving "me".

As I was contemplating all that has happened, it came to me that going through these times have given us lessons in enduring to the end. Christ says "endure to the end that you may have eternal life." I thought "hmmm, if we just sedate ourselves with "whatever", then we miss the opportunity to learn how to endure." I have learned that endurance is done with a clear mind and accepting heart.

Our children and the Hero too have frequently wondered why the blessings of healing when he goes through so much. It has sometimes had an appearance of Job. The Hero, even when his mind was clouded, found solace in trying to say a prayer. He remembered that prayers of gratitude to the Lord were important. Sometimes the prayers were a simple "Heavenly Father, please help me". I have learned that comfort permeates the person who has a prayer in their heart. There is great peace in him. Unless of course I leave and he didn't really realize that I had left, then it can be a challenge.

I must stop and pay attention to my hero. May the Lord be with me and thee. Hummer

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Preparations Must be Made

Just letting everyone know what the oncologist said today. He said that the cancer is so extensive and the Hero is so weak that chemo and radiation is not an option. He was interested in Dad's hopes and said that keeping his hope alive was important. However, the decision to not do extra measures (such as CPR) if he had heart failure etc. was made. That is what the Hero wants, he never wanted to be on a machine. At this point, Dr. Patel ( The Hero has faith and trust in him and had asked him to continue on the case if he could.), has the goal to get him home. It may be via inhouse hospice...and kind of medical halfway house...then home on hospice. The Hero was asking yesterday to go home. It has been determined that since he has a damaged liver, that the medication is not being metabolized as it should and that is why he is so sedated. So hmmm... hope is that we can discontinue the Haldol a strong antipsycotic drug that was given to aid him in the confusion experienced after ICU. Prayers are in order. All is in Heavenly Father's hands, I am at peace with whatever He has in mind. I will do all I can and strive to keep The Hero's hope alive until he is called home to Heavenly Father. I am writing, because I love all of you and my sinuses can't handle the tears I experience talking about this. The Hero is my special friend, we have had a wonderful life of 38 years together, 7 marvelous children and 13 awesome grandchildren. The years have been filled with fun, challenges, laughter, and love.
I don't like facing this...but I can do it and Heavenly Father is with me always.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Fall, especially November, is a time for expressing our gratitude to Heavenly Father for the bounteous blessings that he has given us through out the year. For our fore- fathers, it was for the crops and actually living for another year. It is not so with us, there are too many things that distract us from properly expressing that gratitude. Many have big family dinners, then mom or grandmother fall exhaustively into a chair afterwards. Others consider it a great day to shop or go play on the lake etc. Considering the size of our countries population, only a few take the time to reflect and meditate on the blessing they have received. ....Off my soap box.
I want everyone who reads this to know, I know that there is a loving Heavenly Father who listens to and answers our prayers. I know that He is mindful of our every need. Sometimes, it is hard to distinguish between wants and needs. I am thankful for a righteous man who has been a good steward over his church duties, family duties, and as a husband. I am very grateful to my Heavenly Father who has blessed me with special time and love with my hero.
Today, we have been told that there is excessive fluid in the hero's left lung. They will draw off the fluid tomorrow. And that should allow the lung to re inflate. I am grateful for the blessing that the fluid can be drawn off. I pray for the hero's safety and the arms of Christ to encircle him in his time of need.
I would also like to express my love and gratitude for all of those that have prayed for the hero and put his name on prayer rolls and have extended helping arms and hands. I love all of you. It is uplifting to know angels are here with me. God bless you all.
The Hummer

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Infections Reveal Themselves

Like a rainbow revealing a pot of gold, the hero's temperature has revealed two infections going on.
The urine test came back that he had a bladder infection. That is not unusual for someone with an indwelling catheter. (They have not learned as I have to listen to the hero because he lives close to the spirit and many times has told me things which were true but not things I wanted to accept because I did not see the evidence...which later presented itself.)The bladder infection still did not answer for me why the hero was experiencing shortness of breath. Today one of the several disciples of doctors ordered a x-ray done. We waited to find out the results.
At 3 pm they decided to change his morphine to Fentayl. A very strong opioid. First he was given Lyrica. A new potentiating anti-inflamatory drug for the Fentayl. Then they started the Fentayl. Everything seemed to be going fine until about 8pm, when they were doing his wound care. (Which, by-the-way has closed and he has beautiful new skin. An indication that his immune system must be working.) All of a sudden he was unable to get his air, not just shortness of breath, rather difficultly breathing and his oxygen level fell below normal level and the O2 did not relieve it, and he became very distressed. His blood pressure went up to 190/92. They began asking if he was on blood pressure medication. NOT!. I looked up Fentayl. Important side effect...difficulty breathing.... The nurse waited 30 min rechecked his blood pressure. Still high. So she called the doctor on call. The hero has told her he does not want to continue with the Fentayl. The doctor came in and said well it could be the pneumonia that was causing the shortness of breath. The hero and I were surprised. We said, "where did the pneumonia come from?" She said the doctors apparently had not seen the x-ray result and that the radiologist has summarized the report in that it appeared that he had pneumonia behind the cancer growth in the lung. The hero said that was all well and good but the onset of the breathing was so sudden that it was not likely to be from pneumonia as that would have been building slow growing shortness of breath. He felt it was the medication. She said okay that she was going to order the morphine restarted stop the other and proceed to treat him for pneumonia. He now has an O2 mask on; they have started breathing treatments. He has calmed down, but he has dark circles under his eyes and is tired. They have also started 2 new antibiotics. I sit here working on the blog keeping and eye on him. God is good. I am so thankful for such a wonderful hero and it wrenches my heart to see him suffer. He was musing that he had gone through the gangrene and yet the Lord had spared him...for what to go through this excruciating pain? I reminded him that he still has a work to do.
He is working hard to overcome. Prayers are our support under our dragging arms.
Will update as things break through. : )


This is my own paintart picture I entitled "Confusion"

Monday was an up and down day. The hero was first told, that they were changing his pain medication to hydromorphone....Dalaudid. We were not familiar with the name hydromorphone, so we didn't realize it was dalaudid until the nurse came in to change the drip. Even under the influence of the heavy morphine, a flag went up and he wouldn't let them give it to him until I got back from moving the car. ( I stupidly had put his phone in my purse...duh) The Spirit works! Dalaudid makes him totaly zoned out to where he gets depressed and can't even remember what day it is etc.
Next the nurse relayed that they were going to do a pelvic bloc at 1 pm. We had been told they would come by and discuss it with us. 30 min later they came back and said no we will do it tomorrow. 2 hours later the internal systems doctor came by and said..."They will not do the nerve bloc because the cancer is too near to the area they need to work in." That was a blow to the hero because he had not been told that there would be a time limit on obtaining the bloc. 30min after that, the Hero had a 101 fever. Now they have done all sorts of cultures. We thought that may be it was the constipation from the high doses of morphine. A doctor at UTMB had figured that out last Jan when they couldn't find a reason for his 102 temps. Whatever, he has felt like there was an infection going on so could be your prayers for his welfare. The surgeons said they would not do surgery on him. The Internal Medicine team said they were just interested in his chronic pain control. If anyone will do anything, it will have to be the oncologist. That would be the doctor that he had at intake. They upped his dose of morphine again, so he is not really alert and drifts off. He can wake up to eat. etc. Tomorrow will be another day.
Stay tuned to the latest saga in the life of "The Hero"
Love ya all