Oh, where to begin?
I'll try to give you a succinct update but there have been so many things that have arisen, changed, are very detailed, or are still up in the air that it is hard for me to remember all the details and the timeline. What else is new right? I've been on a steady stream of Dilaudid as well so that my have something to do with it. But I'm very happy. :-)
We were discharged on Thursday from CTCA to go home and immediately get admitted on Friday. Doctors at CTCA were worried about some of my blood count numbers, liver enzymes and proteins, and a few other medical indicators. They were also concerned about the source of the fluid that has been draining consistently from my abdomen since Thursday. If you saw me in Pennsylvania while I was teaching Monday through Tuesday I probably looked pretty "puffy" in the belly region. No I don't have a beer belly, it was just a lot of fluid accumulating.
So we tried to get admitted back home and long story short the hospital wouldn't admit us with out checking us through ER first. Once in ER they determined they were underqualified to deal with my case. I could have transferred to Grand Rapids a much larger hospital but we felt more comfortable just heading back to Chicago, where my doctors who know me, know my case, and have all the experience you could imagine with complicated cancers.
My dad and I got into Chicago around 8:00 EST. After checking in (they were waiting for me) it was a matter of 20-30 minutes before I was admitted. The gave me two units of blood Friday night. However they didn't start until around midnight and at about 2.5 hours per unit. I spent a lot of my night getting woken up by nurses who were just doing their job, so I hold no grudges, it was just a long night.
Yesterday and today the focus has been on getting my counts back higher which they appear to be doing. My hemoglobin has risen by 2 points, and my biliruben has dropped by 1.5 points. Other liver enzymes and proteins appear to be normal or close to normal. The fluid draining has seemed to slow down a little bit, however there is still a lot of blood in it which is concerning for the Dr.'s.
One of the priorities for the Dr.'s tomorrow is going to be trying to discern the source of the leaking. They seem to think it might be the tumor close to the colon. If this is true that colon is "weeping" or "seeping" fluid which is not abnormal. The good news is the chemo we're looking at starting if effective should really attack the fluid discharge from the tumor. So treatment might start soon!
Really I don't know much more at this time other than my counts seem to be improving and there are many doctors coordinating on my case. They will all meet tomorrow sometime to put the plan together. Once we have that information, hopefully we'll know rough timeframes for how long we might be here, what the severity is, and how we're going to attack it.
Kendra and I are doing relatively well. The medical part is very difficult for Kendra, however the separation might be the most difficult. I'm staying very positive about my prognosis, and view this as a speed bump. However, an indefinite stay at a hospital (no matter how amazing and incredible it is) is not my idea of how to spend my time. I've had to cancel a couple speaking engagements that I was really excited about. They were, of course, very gracious.
Please pray for my family and my extended family. There are many, many unknowns and as we've experienced things can change so fast either to the good or to the bad. What we take peace, confidence, and joy in, is that my God, the God who created me for His purposes is running the show and calling the shots. I've had a number of opportunities to share my faith, encourage others, and be a light to those around me. Pray for more opportunities.
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