Home for Christmas Then back to ER
The Can Opener finally is able to update you all – but there has been so much happening since our last post, and so many details that she just can’t cover it all in the next hour. So we decided to help her come up with a short version in hopes that we can relieve her a little.
The tumor is huge. And inoperable. There are spots on the liver too. And an ulcer. There has been bleeding when he goes to the bathroom that has been hard to control. He has had over 5 blood transfusions since the 18th of December, and there is a blood shortage.
In the last 2 weeks he has gained 20 lbs (bloating) in fluid. He has difficulty breathing. And had to be put on a diet of baby food and other easy to eat food. The tumor is pressing on his diaphragm, and the opening from the tummy into the small intestine.
The last time he had a transfusion was Dec.23- That’s when they also told him there is a blood shortage. Then they took him off blood thinners, did surgery to put in a port for chemotherapy (after Christmas), and also put a filter in his major artery to catch any possible blood clots that could happen while he was at home for Christmas.
A day before this, the Doctor called the Can Opener while he was in recovery from the proceedure for the chemo port, and told her he needed her to get the family together and decide whether there was going to be a DNR order- this completely caught our Can Opener off guard because they had up until that point, sounded very optimistic about the chemo. They had told her the day before that “fortunately this cancer responds well to chemo…” so she was feeling hopeful and encouraged. Then to suddenly get this call was traumatizing. She asked the Doctor, “if it were you in his place, (regarding the chemo)- what would you do?– What are his chances?” She can’t remember exactly how he said it, but the main idea was, not good.
So she called the family and broke the news to them and the Critters. They all decided because it is HIS wish to fight and to have the chemo so he can live and see the Critters grow up and be at their weddings, that he DOES NOT want a DNR. All of us are supporting his decision. But that doesn’t make it easy. Christmas eve morning he was sent home to spend Christmas with the family –
His hemoglobin levels are low. His body isn’t retaining nutrients from his food. They gave him iron by IV then sent him home Christmas Eve morning (the birthday of their youngest daughter)-
When he was released, the Doctors said to send him back to the hospital if he got worse, had symptoms of another blood clot, (more) breathing problems or any bleeding. And even if those things didn’t happen, they wanted him at a different hospital on Monday to start chemo as early as possible.
Christmas night his leg started hurting again (same leg they had removed the blood clot from and inserted a stent)… once again it was swollen, and so painful he didn’t want it touched. He was in pain from that and his belly and struggling to breathe. Yesterday, (Monday) the pain was worse and he was limping and the Can Opener called 911. Once again he was on his way to ER. Only at a bigger hospital where they could also start the chemo.
He was admitted, a chest xray was ordered, he was put on oxygen, and an ultrasound was taken of his heart. The xray showed his lungs were filling with fluid. No results on the untrasound of his heart yet, he is getting iron by IV again, and they have confirmed he does have a new blood clot in the same leg.
They are trying to stop the bleeding, and that has to happen before they can take care of the clot or start chemo.
We will post again as soon as the Can Opener can handle it. She hasn’t even had time to think or process anything yet.
Prayers are needed for the whole family and especially for the doctors and nurses that are working so hard to help him. They need wisdom to know the best course of treatment for him and strength to get through their day. They are working short of staff and are doing the best they can and are making a huge difference. We love and appreciate all in the medical field for all they do.