Thursday, April 18, 2013

home sweet home...

Those words never sounded any better than they do right now. We have been waiting to hear those words for a long 24 days.
After two broken ankles, two different hospitals, one collapsed lung with pleural effusion, two different surgeries, cancer confirmed in both lungs and her chest wall, a night when the doctor told us she may not make it through the night, AND after being transferred to the palliative care unit, I am thrilled to tell y'all that she is home tonight.
Thank you to everyone who has given so unselfishly of their time and financial support in preparation of her coming home. But most of all, thank you to EVERYONE who has lifted her up in prayer!!! We know that these prayers are what have given her the strength to come home. Thank you seems so little to say to the many of you, who gave so much. May God bless each and everyone of you.
We are going to take things one day at a time.
We love you so.
Here are a few pics from her stay in Birmingham.

This is her music therapist who came and sang her favorite songs and church hymns to her. Mom and Dad both said her voice was like an angel. It was, by far, the best part of her day.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, April 6, 2013

UAB day #2...

Physical therapy came by today. She sat up for the first time in over a week! She even got to let her feet touch the floor. She won't be able to put any weight on them for at least 8 more weeks, but just letting them touch the floor was a huge accomplishment.

They also took off her boots and bandages for a little today. The ortho team will come around Monday to make sure things are healing properly.

She has a burn on the top of her left foot. We are pretty sure that this is from tegaderm bandaging after her ankle surgery. She is highly allergic to tegaderm. The wound care team is also going to come around Monday to help with the healing process.

She still has a lot of congestion in her lungs. It's hard for her to talk, and the chest tube is still pretty uncomfortable. Good thing we had a pretty sweet nurse to take care of her today. We love you!

Thank you for your prayers. We are comforted knowing we have so many people praying for her.

Friday, April 5, 2013

UAB and a surgery...

It's been a couple of days since I last posted, and I need to catch y'all up.

Her ankles are doing well. She was able to take her boots off for a couple of hours yesterday. What a relief! Her orthopedic surgeon is pleased with the way the are healing. She still can't put any weight on them, but we know she has come such a long way since this time a week ago. We are so thankful for this progress!

Monday afternoon things got a little crazy and scary. Without going into too many details, she started having some major breathing complications. After working on her, Dr. Wood found out that her left lung had already filled back up with fluid again. Before they operated on her ankles last Wednesday, they drained this fluid off. It was also drained off the week before in Birmingham when she went for treatment. He was concerned that 1)there was so much fluid and 2)it had already come back so fast. Her oxygen levels dropped pretty low and he moved her into ICU to be monitored more closely. He told us that this fluid was a result of her breast cancer.

We knew then that we needed to get her to Birmingham. For the next few days we played the waiting game. All the beds at UAB were full. Finally last night at 12:30 they got the call that Birmingham was ready for her. They had a bed for her and the surgeon had accepted her case. Talk about answered prayers! By this point in the week we were all very anxious and more than ready for her to be there. Our patience had just about ran out. The ambulance picked her up from ICU and got her to Birmingham just in time for her surgery.

Dr. Cerfolio did surgery this morning. He drained all of the fluid that was surrounding her left lung. She had so much fluid built up that it was causing her to have a collapsed lung. Her also cleaned out her lung. Since she had not been using it, it had mucus and saliva that needed to be out, before it would inflate and work properly. He also put talc powder in the area where the fluid was, to prevent it from coming back as easily. It acts like concrete in her chest wall. Sounds a little strange to me, but I'm no surgeon. Whatever makes her feel better.

So now I think we are caught up. She is hurting tonight from the surgery. She still has a chest tube in that will continue to drain the fluid. She will probably have it in for the next two days. She has a horrific cough and she's got the oxygen cranked up.

Tonight I'm so thankful that another surgery is behind us. You would think it would get easier with time, but I think it's the exact opposite. It gets harder and harder. She is such a tough cookie, and I'm thankful for her will and determination. I'm also thankful for a Christian surgeon who was placed right in the middle of her care plan today. Dr. Cerfolio shared his story with us tonight while he was in the room with us. His wife is upstairs fighting leukemia with similar symptoms to mother. He was so compassionate and had us all in tears before he left. It is just a God thing. No other way to explain it.

Thank you for praying with us today. His love was made so evident to us throughout the day today. We love you all so.

Tonight we are also thankful for chocolate pudding cups and sweet nurses. They make our stay much more pleasant.

Be back soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 31, 2013

no fun...

Hey Ya'll. 

Not much change here.  She's still in the hospital.  She's still in pain.  She's not eating.  I don't think she's really been to sleep since she checked in on Tuesday.  She will nap, but usually wakes up from dreams from all of the pain medicine. 

Hate to sound like Debbie Downer tonight, but just keepin' it real.  We are all a little anxious about the upcoming week.  As far as we know, she will be transported to Birmingham to begin rehab tomorrow.  Not sure what all this is going to entail.  She's pretty much immobile.  The nurses adjust her and keep her as comfortable as possible, but with both ankles gone, and her not being able to use her left arm because of the lymphodema and cellulitis, she's lost her independence.  I can't even begin to imagine just how she feels.

Thank you sweet friends and family for all of the visits, calls, texts, emails, messages, and gifts.  We love you and thank you for making our days brighter.

My heart hurts for her tonight.  Please continue to pray for her and us.  I hate you cancer.  I hate you for taking away her independence.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

broken ankles...

A lot has happened since this time last night.  Let me fill ya'll in...

Mom had a pretty bad fall last night.  Long story short, she was walking from her bedroom to the kitchen when she had a little "spell" and fell.  Thank goodness I was at their house when it happened.  I immediately knew from her scream that this wasn't just another fall. 

Turns out she broke three bones in her left ankle and one bone in her right ankle.  She had surgery this afternoon to fix her ankles and to also draw the fluid off of her lungs.  She is in the hospital in Troy and will remain there until Monday or later.  After that, the game plan is to go to Birmingham to begin rehab.  This will last six weeks or so.  Things get a little complicated because she broke both ankles.  Her freedom and independence have come to a crashing halt.  She will have to learn how to stand and walk again.  

She is such a trooper and has overcome so much.  With her will and determination we know she will overcome this, too.  She needs your prayers tonight.  I left her, not too long ago, and she was hurting a lot.  The next few hours, days, and weeks are going to be extremely painful for her.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you so much for all of the visits, calls, and texts today.  Hard days like today are made easier because of precious friends and family like you.  We love you all so!

It's been such a long day.  Be back tomorrow with another update. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

short and sweet...

Not much change since the last post. She ended up not getting the nerve block. Doctors said that would only be a temporary fix to the pain, probably lasting no longer than 8 or so hours. So, the came up with a new plan with different pain medicines. So far, so good! They seem to be doing the trick. Her pain has been tolerable and under control since starting the new pain medicines Thank you Lord for providing.

She's back in Birmingham tonight. She will start a new cycle of chemo tomorrow morning. Her chemo schedule remains the same. Once a week for three consecutive weeks and off the fourth week. She wishes the "fourth" weeks came sooner and lasted much longer. She will also have a mammogram tomorrow. This is just to double check to make sure everything is going well with the treatment. Prayers tomorrow for a clear test.

She has been very tired and weak the past few days, but her spirit remains strong. Rob continues to be the best medicine for her!

As you say a prayer for Momma tonight, please say a prayer for the hostage situation. Our hearts are broken for this precious little one.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

home, birmingham, and nerve blocks.

Hip, hip hooray!!!!  She was able to come home from the hospital yesterday!  The pain is still very much there, but the change up in her pain medicines and the addition of the pain patch seemed to work a little better for her.  She was SO happy to be able to come home. 

She was supposed to go to Birminham for treatment this past Monday.  Because of being in the hospital, she wasn't sure when she would go back.  Her treatment nurse called yesterday afternoon to let her know she was scheduled for scans, chemo, and an oncologist visit today...starting at 8:15.  So, she only got to spend a few hours at home resting, before packing and jumping in the car to head to Birmingham. 

We always get that nervous feeling in our stomachs on scan days.  The time spent between the scan and the doctor visit seems to drag by.  All of the "what if" questions fill our minds.  So happy to report tonight that her scans were good!!!  Her cancer has not grown any, so this means that the chemo drugs that she is on are working!!  Praise the Lord!!!!

It was so crowded today that she had to go over to the hospital for her treatment, instead of the usual Kirkland Clinic.  She said it seems like everytime she has to go for treatment the number of cancer patients grow more and more.  There is so much sickness everywhere you look.

She also met with Dr. Stewart, a pain doctor, today.  Her oncologist and this new pain doctor have decided to give her a nerve or multiple nerve blocks to try and reduce some of the pain that she is in.  They are going to discuss it with another team of doctors in the morning, and we should know more tomorrow afternoon.  She will probably have the blocks done either tomorrow afternoon or Friday.