February 2009


There’s not much to post tonight, but I know that you are wondering what is going on with the infection in my lungs. This morning I was scheduled for a 8:00 a.m. bronchoscopy at Mount Sinai Hospital. A bronchoscopy is where the doctor uses a camera to see what is going on in my lungs and to take some samples of what’s hanging out in there. The procedure was over before I knew it.  I slept through the whole thing, slept through the hour in the recovery room and was woken up to go back to my family.

We’re still waiting the results of the tests and I expect to hear tomorrow. I’ve been on meds since Friday to fight the infection and, well, as always, we’ll just wait and see.

H.

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There hasn’t been much time for reflection this week. In fact, with three full days down at PMH, there hasn’t been time for much of anything this week. But I did want to send out an update for today. Nothing fancy, just the facts.

My Aunt came with me today for the fun. I am thankful for her flexible schedule and willingness to join me on this journey. (And for the white mocha from Second Cup at the end of the day!)

First off, blood work.

Next: CT scan… and listen to this… I didn’t have to drink any “juice” (you know what I’m talking about… that gross peach flavoured whatever it is) not even one drop. And, no IV with dye. Just lie down with my arms above my head. Breathe in, breathe out.

After looking at the scan, Dr. Crump scheduled for a “Breathing” doctor (work with me, it’s late and I’ve had little sleep this week and, yes I realize that it would be best if all my doctors were breathing…) to come and take a look at the scan and make some assessments. 

While, it was decided that for sure I have an infection in my lungs, the jury is still out on what kind of infection it is, either bacterial or fungal. For that we’ll have to wait for a broncioscopy (as in, looking right into my lungs!). That’s scheduled for Monday.  They tried to get things arranged for today, but with it being late on Friday afternoon, it was impossible.

So, where does that leave me? I was sent home with an antibiotic that should help to make me feel better. We’ll just see how the weekend goes.

Love to you all.

H.

I’ve only got energy for point form tonight. Here’s what’s been happening today.

*After much confusion, had blood transfusion at PMH

*Still having fevers and cough

*Doctor will call in the morning with scheduled CT scan at PMH for tomorrow to further determine the cause of my ongoing fevers and cough

*Left hospital at 5:30 p.m…. That’s right, during rush hour… and dinner time… with a 2 year old

*Did the most normal thing I’ve done all week: We went out for dinner as a family at a restaurant. Who knew that going for dinner could bring so much joy. (Although it did have some rough spots… remember the 2 year old.)

*Arrived home and got Nathan in bed by 8:45

*Put some laundry on for tonight (I’m having night sweats throughout the night so each morning I wake up to a new pile of laundry and need to make sure that 2-3 sets of p.j.s are ready for the new night.)

*Arranged for my Auntie to take me downtown for tomorrow’s appointment

*Watched some CSI (special thanks to my sister who PVR’d Survivor for me)

*Off to bed. Eager to sleep, fever’s or not. So tired.

H.

I did have a few hours of rest from my fevers last night and that was a real treat. I told one friend that I had traded my “fever red” cheeks for “pasty winter white” cheeks and that was okay by me. I (cautiously) thought for sure that the fevers had stopped and that I would get a good night sleep. I was wrong, but equally thankful that Jeff and Nathan slept well.

We did head down to PMH today after dropping Nathan off at my sister’s house for a play date. I was so feverish that Jeff drove with his hat and mitts on while I had my coat, hat and mitts off and the window down. That’s love. Thanks Jeff.

The doctor was obviously concerned about my cough and sent me for a chest x-ray. The whole thing is digital so he had the x-ray in minutes. So cool. That said, it didn’t show anything profound that was wrong.

And, (I can hear you asking) what about that blood transfusion that I was waiting for? It didn’t happen today. I had misunderstood thinking that it was scheduled for today. What actually took place was that the blood work that precedes the transfusion (blood matching) had been ordered for today. That way, if I did need a transfusion, they would already be looking for a match. That said, I do have another appointment tomorrow afternoon for the transfusion and I am counting down the hours. 

On a separate note but related note: Jeff gave blood yesterday at one of our local clinics. He has O- blood, which is universal. He had been called the day before asking to donate because there was an immediate need at Sick Kids. Jeff has given blood many times over the years (I tried watching once, but I waited over at the juice and snack station…). Often he is told that Canadian Blood Services had been waiting for his donation and that it will be rushed down to a particular hospital to meet an urgent need.

Oh… I’ve got so much more to say about blood transfusions and blood donations but I’m going to wrap this up for tonight.

I will ask you this though: Would you consider becoming a blood donor? Perhaps you’re a first time donor. Perhaps you haven’t donated in a while. At least take the time to consider it.

Two of the most significant gifts that I have received have been from two friends who have sent repeated emails to me saying: Heather, I just gave blood today and I thought of you.

Love to you all,

H.

There’s no other way of saying it, it’s been a rough week.

Since our romantic evening out at the A/P Hospital there hasn’t been much of a change in how I’ve been feeling. I’m still having fevers around the clock, night sweats, coughing and congestion. I have been in and out of feverish sleep for most of each day. 

I wrote in an earlier post about Keeping Your Eyes Fixed on Jesus. That has been hard to do this week. Not only because I’ve been asleep most of each day, but when I am awake, my thoughts have often turned to me and my own situation. This is a lesson that I still need to learn. Probably one we all need to learn.

And so there it is.

We’re off tomorrow to PMH and Blood Transfusion.

Big thanks to Jeff who has taken the Lion’s Share of the work this week. He has gone above and beyond… on his birthday no less. “For better, for worse. In sickness, in health.” I love you.

H.

Well, Jeff and I have had some interesting Valentine’s Day celebrations over the years. Yesterday was just par for the course.

We were scheduled to attend a Family Small Group potluck with some friends at our church. About 5-8 families gather each month to celebrate “Life Together”, share a meal and visit together. And even though I had been sleeping throughout most of the day I was determined to attend the gathering.

One of the things that my doctors ask me to monitor is my temperature for signs of a fever.  If my temperature goes above 38.5 degrees I’m to pack my things and head straight away to the hospital. And as I checked my temperature each hour, I was happy to be hovering in the “stay at home” range.

And then, just as we were getting ready for the event, my temperature exploded to 39.1 degrees.  No fooling around. No arguing. No “wait and see”. Just pack my things and head out to the hospital. We called our friends and arranged to drop Nathan off at the potluck so that he could have some fun. 

When I got to triage, where they take the initial review of my symptoms I was given a mask to protect myself from whatever germs and the like that might be out there. It was just a short wait before I was ushered into my room at the back of the ER. In fact, such a short wait that Jeff hadn’t returned yet from dropping Nathan off and picking up dinner! 

Blood work was ordered and a chest x-ray too. The x-ray came back clear (but doesn’t explain the bark of a cough that I have right now) and the initial look at the blood work didn’t show any problems either. We’ll know more in the next 24 hours as we wait for the blood culture results.

I was discharged from the hospital with a prescription for antibiotics around 8:00 last night and despite everything, we all slept fairly well.  Even Nathan stayed in his bed, asleep, until 7:00 this morning.

I have spent more time than most in the Ajax Pickering Hospital as a patient over the years. I often recognize the nurses, and they recognize me (and not in a “oh no not her again…” kind of way). I am so thankful for the care that I have received there over the years, and the opportunities to heal and find rest.

So where does that leave me today? I have been continuing to fight a fever for most of the day. I spent the afternoon resting, sleeping and trying to cool myself down from the fever.

And while the “health part” of this weekend was difficult, I was unprepared to battle with my own expectations of how I wanted to celebrate this weekend with my family. Valentine’s Day, Family Day and Jeff’s Birthday  make this a special weekend and I had my own plans on how I wanted to make the weekend special for them and for me. I am reminded that these celebrations are not about heart shaped cookies, special meals, cakes, heart decorations and the like. They are about celebrating the lives of the loved ones in my life. 

And so, with that said, I should go and spend some time with them before Nathan goes to sleep and before I drift off too.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family at this time. We’ll keep you posted as things change. 

H.

As you know, I took chemo on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week without any fanfare or excitement.  Yesterday (Wednesday) I was feeling pretty tired in the afternoon even though Nathan and I had good naps.  Today I woke up and knew I needed help.  Auntie Edith came to the rescue.  She came and spent the day with Nathan as I went in and out of sleep for the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon. I’ve got play dates planned for tomorrow so I think Nathan and I should be taken care of for the day.

I will forever be thankful for CBC Kids and Treehouse TV as it made for some pretty easy and restful days.  And, whoever makes Play Doh also gets a big thumbs up for the hours of Barber Shop fun yesterday and today.  Dad would never let us play with Play Doh in the house, for good reason, the stuff makes a mess, but it sure did save the day.  And anyways, isn’t that what brooms are for.  I guess while I’m at it, thanks to the Broom Makers because Nathan loves them too.

One more thing, and I’m not really sure how this fits in so I’ll just say it.  I am so thankful for my family.  Not just Jeff and Nathan, but all the extensions and branches of my Family Tree. I am thankful for the legacy that each of my parents families have left to us to carry on in my generation and in the generations to come.  I know that our family situation is not a reflection of what exists in so many of your stories, and that breaks my heart.  Family, I love you guys.

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