Monday, June 21, 2010

Kathy in Hospital but Doing OK

Kathy has been having respitory problems for a couple months along with everything else. On June 8th she went in and had the fluid taken out of the left side around the lung (not in the lung) and we thought that would be all she needed as it seemed to be helping. Last Tuesday she had her new chemo treatment and on Wednesday she was sick which is what they said might happen the first time. She actually threw up for the first time in all her chemo treatments.

Thursdsay she was feeling somewhat better and Friday morning she felt a lot better. But after lunch on Friday she started feeling sick again and threw up again. Very unusual. As she was preparing for bed she took her temperature and it was 102. She called the on-call oncologist who suggested we go into the Emergency Room. We got there at about 10:40pm (does anyone go there in the daytime?) and she was quickly (in ER time, not for anywhere else) admitted to the Emergency Care Room with a separate room for those who need to be isolated. They soon determined she was not nutropenic (low white blood cell count) so not such a risky situation. However, even after getting the fever down she was still not feeling well and they weren't sure about the lungs and fluids etc. She got a big needle put into her back to take out some of the fluid in the right side (I was right there and watched intently) to be tested for infection.

Finally at 4am they told us she was going to be admitted and no more tests for the night. I went home and slept til 9:30. When I got up Kathy had just called. She had just gotten in to her room. I thought she was on her way basically when I left. Sheesh!!

Anyway, she has been there for a few days. They took a CT scan last night and determined that she has a lot more fluid in the right side and it needs to be drained today or tomorrow morning. They suspect some sort of infection in the lungs and the antibiotics are working on that. I don't think she'll be home until Wednesday at the earliest but all is looking pretty good.

What a roller coaster ride we are on.

No chemo this week but next infusion is next Tuesday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Drug, More Procedures

We found out the last chemo wasn't working so Kathy begins a new treatment on Tuesday. The CT scan also showed a lot of fluid build up around the lung. Not in the lung but in some sack around the lung (who knew there was a sack around the lung?). She has been coughing a lot and uncomfortable when getting up and lying down so it really bothered her. Her doctor told us that she could go in and have it drained. A routine procedure 99% of the time.

My problem with routine procedures is that they aren't. Kathy rarely if ever has a routine recovery from routine procedures. Infection, ineffective, needs to be redone, stiffness, soreness, errors. That is our experience with hospitals and treatments. When the routine procedure involves putting a needle thru your back and into the sack around the lung it doesn't sound so good. Especially when the 1% issue is usually that the needle goes too far and they puncture the lung. That is bad as it collapses the lung.

So, after feeling worse and worse after the doctor visit last week, Kathy decided she needed the stuff drained. We went in on Tuesday and it went pretty well. Not as much pain as we feared (is it ever?) and more fluid then we had imagined. They only do one side per day so they drained the left side and out came 1/2 liter of ugly looking fluid. It was amazing to watch it shoot into the container but sorta gross and depressing as well. The other side has almost as much. She is still considering whethor to do the other side or not.

So Tuesday new chemo. Can't wait. One of the side effects: tiredness. She is getting sorta down by all the tiredness. She has to pull back from her temple service and that really bothers her. She doesn't feel like she has much fun but hey, isn't laundery, cooking and taking care of me fun? Hmmmm. I've suggested she help at the library or some other service that doesn't require such a precise schedule. Usually my suggestions aren't too good.

We've also been troubled by her sister Darlene's emergency surgeries and recovery process up in Seattle. Kathy wants so badly to go and help but can't because she has treatments and problems right now where she needs to stay close to UC Davis Medical Center. We'll see how that goes, she is anxious to go. We are praying for Darlene's recovery.