We were blessed to have Kim with us for the whole Thanksgiving weekend...during the weekend, we gradually increased her oxygen, as she found it increasingly difficult to breathe. We have it up to 2 1/2 liters and it wears her down just to switch seats in our home. Going to the bathroom requires stopping and sitting halfway there. Also, Kim's legs have been getting larger and larger 'I have legs that feel like logs', Kim says. We had taken her to her primary care physician, who advised compression hose would help, but they did not. This morning, Kim was scheduled for a blood draw to see if her values were good enough for her to have her chemo, as scheduled, tomorrow. While the nurse drew her blood, I casually mentioned Kim's growing thighs...she took a look and said 'let's get Dr. Taetle...' Dr. Taetle was thoughtful...he knew Kim did not want to land back in the hospital, but he sensed trouble. He ordered a chest x-ray and a vascular doppler done on Kim's legs.
I got to view the x-ray, as they allow me to accompany Kimmy for all of her tests, and today, she was in a wheel chair, unable to walk, so I was able to navigate her throughout the facility. I commented to the techician 'oh s*#t, is that the tumor?'...she was not allowed to answer, but, although I am no xray technician...the evil there was evident. Dammit.
We had an hour to kill between the chest xray and ultra sound, and Kim was starving - her appettite has remained strong during this whole episode! We went to Beyond Bread, well, I went in and brought her out a huge turkey sandwhich to the car and we shared it together.
The ultra sound was scheduled at St. Joseph's as an outpatient...the tech recognized us right away, she had been so nice to Kim during her previous stay on tests done on Kim. As she performed the ultra sound, we could see the clots, especially at the top of both of Kim's legs...the tech kept Kim calm, telling her how she had told her fiance all about Kim and what a positive person she was - another live Kim had touched during her dark time!
While the test was being done, Dr. Taetle's office called...Kim's bloodwork showed she was horribly anemic, she was a '6' and a normal woman is a '12'. They told us to go down the hall following her ultra sound so she could begin the paperwork trail for another blood transfusion, her 5th so far. It is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
Our tech consulted with the radiologist, who said Kim would probably be immediately admitted.
When they left the room...Kim broke down and cried her hardest yet...so broken, yet telling me she was sorry she could not be strong...we held each other as I reassured her, that she has been stronger than the majority of the patience we had witnessed in the hospital and that we would do this together! By the time the tech returned, she was back to radiant Kim...an amazing transformation. The tech told us that Dr. Taetle was sympathetic and that since Kim had the IVC to prevent clots from going to her heart, she could go home to her family tonight and return tomorrow. Kim had to go down the hall to start the transfusion paperwork, etc...many of the techs their were ones who met her on her first and second trips through St. Joe's, to put in a pick line or access her power port. They went above and beyond to get Kim the most comfortable chair and speed up the process...more lives that Kim has touched while on her journey! Following her transfusion, Kim will be readmitted to St. Joseph's. The plan is to hook her up to a heparin drip to see if they can naturally difuse the clots and to make sure her IVC is holding up ok...we'll go from there...
Meanwhile, the bambinis had expected me to pick them up at noon to take them for their flu shots...I got word to the schools and once again, they stepped up for our children! Mrs. Schrantz and Mrs. Rudzena volunteered to work with Tonio and Aut on their homework after school and Mrs. Rudzena's mom, Patti, said she would give them a lift home. Mrs. Schrantz took Tonio to McD's after school for his very first McFlurry - he chose the Oreo version and was so excited to describe it in vivid detail to us when he got home!! Mr. Mortensen, Cody's principal, made sure that Cody knew I wasn't coming early for him and that our friend, Andrea, was coming to get him. She took Cod to McD's (they did not run into Tonio and Mrs. Schrantz), and got him his favorite, a fish sandwhich! She took him back to her house to hang out while she made our family tortellini soup!! So the kids had a fun time, although it was tough for them to wake up this morning after a nice 4 day weekend.
Carole and Jim have taken this all in great stride. They have kept the house so clean and the kids fed. And, today is Carole's birthday! Kim was glad to be able to come home to help celebrate. The kids decorated the house for her and she got her own cake for all of us.
We'll see how Kim's treatments at St. Joseph's handle the clots and Dr. Taetle has pushed back her next chemo until they are under control. We know we have to fight this one symptom at a time and a fix for one symptom, often triggers something else...I guess that's why they call them 'patients', eh? You have to have patience to be a patient.
Please pray that Kim's transfusion tomorrow goes well and that the heparin can safely break up her blood clots...and that she does not have to stay in St. Joseph's for too long...thank you all, Love, Dave
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
-Thanks for this Bible verse Eva! We appreciate your prayers!!