Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday Night Update


It's New Year's Eve in the hospital. Not exactly where we pictured ourselves this time last year. Or even last week. But we're together, so that is all that matters.

He's having a rough day with all the diarrhea. It just doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. They've tried imodium and the pills literally just fly right through him. It's crazy. 


This photo is for Rich. This is the "Roast Turkey Dinner." We added some salt and pepper. And there was some sort of congealed gravy on the side. Eric only ate a few bites. I helped a little too. He also had chicken broth and a few bites of chocolate pudding.


Eric is keeping a diary. A stool diary. There are 3 more entries since I took this picture. Poor guy. 

We hope everyone has a Happy New Year. I'm staying until midnight then heading home. We're hoping for a much better 2017.



Saturday Afternoon Update


Eric's mom came by for another visit today. As you can see he's very happy about that.

We had a talk with Eric's doctor earlier. Looks like Eric will be here a couple of more days. His potassium and phosphate levels are low. And they're having a hard time getting them high enough. And he's super swollen on top of that. Plus he's still going to the bathroom just about once an hour. Nothing is sticking in there long enough to do its job. Even the pills he's taking are going right through. So he's back on the IV for the potassium. And gets any shots he needs through the IV line.

It's been a very slow process getting back to normal. A lot slower than we thought it would be. He had a big hill to climb though. But he has come a long way since Tuesday.


Saturday Morning Update


Eric is having continued improvements. Although there are still some things going on that are concerning. We noticed last night that his feet were really swollen.  They weighed him today and he was up 10 lbs from last Thursday, which was odd since he hasn't eaten in a week. But they said it's fluid retention. His legs are huge (for him) and his right arm is swollen too. They had to take off his wrist band because it was too tight. It was loose when he got here 6 days ago. So he's currently off the IV which pleases him very much. He's not hooked up to anything at the moment. We're waiting for the doctor to come around to discuss. The Dr on duty today is actually his oncologist.

Eric had an adventurous night last night. He got up at 4:30 to go to the bathroom and noticed the floor was all wet. He thought he'd had an accident, and called the nurse. She realized the IV bag was leaking. So they cleaned that all up and saw his IV entrance on his arm was all bloody, so they decided to access his port for the IV instead. After a failed attempt (owww), they got it. 

He tried scrambled eggs for breakfast but had a hard time eating them. His mouth is extremely dry. 

He's now trying to figure out what to order for lunch. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Night Update


Eric is continuing to improve. He even put on real clothes today. 

He continues to have bowel movements about every 45 minutes and they are pretty much still liquid. So they're concerned about that. They've been giving him imodium every 4 hours. So far it's not working. He has moved up to creamy foods and has had cream of wheat twice and cream of chicken soup. He also had some pudding. He's starting to get an appetite back.

 He has also been battling constant hiccups. They're annoying and also keep him from getting any real sleep. The doctors have prescribed a lot of different drugs but nothing has worked. Hiccups have been one of his chemo side effects, but they've never been this bad or lasted this long. 


We've got a lake effect snow band over us. I'm prepared to stay the night if necessary. 


Friday Morning Update


We're on day 5 at Crouse Hospital. We had a little snow this morning, expecting a bunch more later today.


Eric is doing ok this morning. He's still on a clear liquid diet. Had more chicken broth for breakfast. Not sure when he'll be allowed anything more substantial.  He's really hoping it's soon. 

He's very weak and gets winded just going to the bathroom. Which he visits several times an hour. Which seems concerning to me, since it's a  just liquid coming out. But at least something is going through.

We're waiting for the doctor to stop by today to see what the plan is and how things are going. He's being fed a lot of potasium through the IV because it's very low. And he's still getting fluids too.

If anyone is local and would like to visit, let me know. He has enjoyed people coming to see him. 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday Afternoon Update


We've had some big improvements today. Shortly after getting the NG tube removed, he got to have lunch. Which included jello and chicken broth. He's handling everything well so far and it seems to be moving through the bowels as it should.


He had a special visitor today. Paula was amazing and brought Sheila (Eric's mom) up for a visit. Eric was very pleased to see his Mommy. 

The doctor said he'll be on a liquid diet until tomorrow then start introducing a few more things like creamy soups and cream of wheat. A possible release could be Saturday or Sunday. As soon as he is able to sustain himself with liquids and foods.

 This photo is taken from Eric's new private room on the 4th floor. (He has friends in high places here at Crouse!) 


Thursday Morning Update

Eric will be moved out of ICU today and into a regular room for continued care and observation. This is really good news. He still has the  NG tube in, but we're hoping that comes out today. They need to make sure there is sufficient movement going through the bowels first. According to a text I got from him at 5am, there was a "situation" that included some movement, so maybe that's a good sign!

He's actually a lot more alert now and even texting. If you want to try to send him a direct message, he will see it and maybe even respond depending on his energy level. I've gotten a few from him this morning.

When the tube is finally out, he can start drinking liquids and maybe even eating. He hasn't had any food intake since Saturday afternoon. He needs to regain his strength before he can go home. I'm heading back up right now and I'll post again this afternoon, hopefully from a new room.



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon Update


Looks like Eric might have finally rounded a corner. The doctors are now leaning towards severe dehydration. They think the intestines basically shut down, causing the stomach to fill up with liquids because nothing was getting through. It's very serious and very painful. They are still waiting for blood cultures to come back to rule out infection, so he'll still be on antibiotics until then.

In the meantime, he has started to have an urge to urinate, which he was not having before, so that means things are starting to get through again. Slowly but surely.

His blood pressure has been good all afternoon. It had been really low. He's pretty weak and has slept a lot today. He's getting some color back in his face too.

The plan for him as of now is to stay in the ICU at least through tomorrow. Then if he's doing well enough, he can be moved to a regular room on the 4th floor for continued care until he can go home. It would be nice to be home by the New Year.

Quick Update

I'm getting ready to head back up to Crouse. I called the ICU, Eric is still stable. They're still taking fluids out of his stomach via the NG tube. He's also still receiving lots of good fluids via IV. They said his stomach is getting softer (it was very hard yesterday) so that is a good thing.

The doctors will do their rounds this morning and update us after. I will post when I know more. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.

ICU

 

Eric had quite a day. He's now resting comfortably in the ICU. The series of events that led to the ICU was pretty scary, but he's there and he's stable and he's in really good hands. 

They're still trying to pinpoint the exact kind of infection that he has. It's in the intestines, they know that and they're treating it with strong anti-biotics while they try to figure out the exact cause.

One thing that was worrying the doctors was the fact that there was no noise coming from his intestines, which could signify a blockage. The CT scan showed no blockage, but something was definitely wrong. And there was a LOT of liquid in his stomach (which they saw on an ultrasound) that was just sitting there and not moving. They ended up having to put a tube through his nose and down his throat and into his stomach to get the contents out. They filled 2 big containers full of liquid pretty quickly. He started to feel a little bit of relief. 

The photo above is his new room in the ICU. I am so thankful that Paula and Gary were there tonight. Not only for support, but for the questions they asked and the answers they got. I could not have gotten through tonight (well, last night since it's now 2am) without them.

We felt confident enough to all go home around 1 am and get some sleep. Eric is in excellent hands. The ICU staff at Crouse is amazing. 




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Evening update

Eric's having a really rough evening. With all the meds going in and the fact he hasn't eaten in days, he's not feeling all that great to say the least. He's very weak and in a lot of pain He's currently sleeping, hooked up to a heart monitor and getting oxygen. Please send positive thoughts and prayers this way.

Tuesday Morning Update


The view in the daylight. The building on the left is Galisano Children's Hospital. And notice we have no snow, it was 50 degrees yesterday. 


So we're still not sure what exactly is wrong. The poop did not test positive for c.diff. but the doctor thinks there's an infection somewhere, so they finally just started antibiotics. 

Eric's abdominal pain is pretty severe. They have him on morphine. He also has extremely painful hiccups, they have him on another drug for that. Needless to say, he's pretty out of it. They took more blood today and are running more tests. I really hope he starts feeling better soon. He's drinking a lot of ginger ale and had some jello. First food since Saturday afternoon.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Update


Eric got into a private room around 8pm. They think he may have c.diff. (Feel free to Google it.) Not sure how long he'll need to stay here. 


Novak was with us today. Sporting the gown we have to wear here in isolation.


One nice thing is the view from his room and it's a private room with a bathroom.




ER visit


We were getting ready to go to the ER this afternoon when Eric ended up passing out. He was so weak and really out of it, so we called an ambulance. They came pretty quickly with a police escort even. It was quite a show.

He's currently resting and receiving fluids. They're running a bunch of tests. Hopefully he will get some relief soon. He's in a lot of discomfort.

I'll post updates as we get them.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Magic is in the Mess


A lot goes into getting ready for Christmas and this year was no exception. Gifts were bought, the house was decorated, expectations were there for a nice day. But sometimes things don't go as planned. And today, nothing went according to plan. We've had a tough year, so we've kind of gotten used to wrenches being thrown into plans and improvising the best we can to make the most out of any situation. So that is what we had to do today.



Eric had a rough night last night, woke up around 8am and was throwing up among other things... (I'll spare the gory details...) I called the doctor and they suggested we go to the hospital. But Eric wasn't really into that. So we didn't go. He slept a few more hours and drank some Gatorade. He was able to go downstairs and open a few presents. 



We opened gifts with masks. Novak had a cold and we're not sure what Eric had, but he doesn't need a cold to go along with it. Novak was really great about washing his hands and wearing the mask. Eric looks pretty wiped out here. 



This is about the point where Eric went back to bed. We ended up bringing the rest of the gifts upstairs later and finished Christmas up there. He's still sleeping as I post this.

So it may not have been the Christmas we planned or dreamed of, but we were together and that's all that really matters. We made memories, managed to have a few laughs and were just there for each other. As someone posted on Facebook this morning "The Magic is in the Mess." It's true. Always try to look for the magic, even when there doesn't seem to be any at the time.



Oh and on a side note, Jenny got her much anticipated Bark Box. All was well in her world.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Pt 2



I made us some pancakes for breakfast. They were well received and delicious.



Jenny continued to wait for Santa and pretended to be good.



We went to Erika's house for a wonderful dinner and gift exchange. 



And Novak brought Buddy. Buddy is such a sweet dog. 

After dinner, we went home and finally watched "Christmas Vacation" and had some hot cocoa. Eric's currently not feeling that great, but he's hoping for a good night sleep. He's pretty tired and still out of sorts from the busy week and difficult chemo. 



Christmas Eve Morning


Jenny is very excited for Christmas! Her newest Bark Box is waiting for Christmas morning. (She knows it's in the house... and it's driving her crazy.)


Alex came and went. He's spending the holiday weekend in NH with his grandparents and father. I'm happy the weather seems to be on the mild side for safe travels. 


And Novak is here for the weekend! Eric is thrilled and is enjoying the visit very much. 

The side effects from Round 7 are pretty intense. Eric's hands are hurting him the most, they're swollen and painful. And extremely sensitive to cold. He also has very little appetite, however he is eating. We got Chinese food last night and that seemed to go over well. (And we tried a new place so nobody got food poisoning. Another plus!)

We're looking forward to a weekend spent with family and hope that all of our blog readers have a wonderful Christmas!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lucky 7


Today was a chilly 4 degrees when we got up, but the sun was shining. 




Eric had his 7th Chemo infusion today. We were told the 7th infusion was a "plateau" of sorts. And with the 7th infusion, he would also be getting some more drugs in case of any reaction to the high levels of chemo drugs that are now residing in his body. 



Bob was there again (and chauffeured Eric home.) Bob was the Grinch, Eric was Santa. This was completely unplanned.




So the new drugs really threw Eric for a loop. They completely wiped him out and made him feel drunk. He says he doesn't remember a lot of the afternoon. He went right home and slept almost until I got home from work. He was pretty comatose. He did eat a good dinner and is resting now. I thought I'd put a list together of all the drugs he took today. It's quite a cocktail. The first 5 drugs are for side effects, the last 3 are the actual Chemo drugs.

1. Fosaprepitant - anti-nausea
2. Dexamethasone - steroids
3. Palonosetron - anti-nausea 
4. Lorazapam - anxiety, anti-nausea
5. Rantidine aka Zantac - Antihistamine (helps prevents chemo toxicities)
Chemo drugs... (the FolFox regimen)
6. Leucovorin 
7. Oxaliplatin
8. 5-FU or 5-Fluorouracil





video

I took this video with my phone, I have no idea if it will play correctly.
Eric doesn't remember this, he was pretty out of it. 




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Funday



This is where we hung out most of the day today. It's very cozy and festive.



I also made Eric's favorite cookie. Which we all enjoyed. (Alex is home too.)



My parents sent us this beautiful centerpiece. It's real and smells so nice! I love that it lights up.



And this morning we went out for donuts! (Of course.) We tried the new Regional Donut Authority in Liverpool. They were delicious. (Of course.) We also briefly went to the big mall. We were there pretty early in the morning, so the crowds weren't there yet. We were in and out in 45 minutes, and now our  Christmas shopping is done. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

WBC's

Eric had his blood tested yesterday. His white blood cell count has improved greatly, it more than tripled since last time he was tested. So the shot worked and he'll have round 7 on Tuesday. And he will be getting the Neulesta shot each week now to ensure the WBC count stays high enough.

He's been feeling pretty good the last couple of days. He said he's able to taste some foods again, which he loves. He still has some mouth sores and it's difficult for him to eat anything that is hard or has a hard shell or even nuts. I made some Pretzel M&M treats today, he had a hard time with those. But he's still ok with plain chocolate and things like that. (And donuts.. and soft cookies...) We're going to have a date night tonight and have dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. We'll see how that goes! Looking forward to going out together.


Syracuse has had 45" of snow already (as of yesterday) and it's not even winter yet. I feel like we live in a snow globe. Thursday night it took me 2 hours to go 13 miles. Worst commute I've ever had. Thankfully most everyone was just going slow and being safe. It just takes a lot more time to get anywhere when it's snowing that hard! I think we're in for an interesting winter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Working Hard


Eric sent me this picture of himself today from his desk. 


It was in response to this photo that I sent him of me (and my co-worker Mary.) My company took us to a long lunch "meeting" today at the local Movie Tavern. We got to eat lunch and watch a fun movie and go back to work 3 hours later. Work perks are so nice! 

Eric's doing ok though (other than being thoroughly jealous of my fun day), he's got some mouth sores that are bothering him and his stomach hasn't been very happy. He's eating and drinking as he should be though. Hopefully he's kept the few pounds on that he gained last week. I've been buying him lots of donuts. He seems to be tolerating and enjoying the sugar filled, calorie loaded treats, so I pick a couple up whenever I go to Wegmans. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Update



Not much new to report. Eric is doing ok. The side effects from the Neulasta shot weren't as bad as they could have been, so that was a plus. We'll find out Friday if the shot worked and brought up his white blood cell count. If it did, he'll probably be on the schedule for another infusion on Tuesday the 20th.

Is everybody ready for Christmas? I just realized it's next Sunday. I've got lots to do still. Shopping to finish, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake and packages to mail. (Sorry mom, I'll get it out this weekend!) Here's to a busy (and hopefully healthy) next couple of weeks.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bugs

Well, this weekend didn't really go quite as planned. I went to my company Christmas party on Friday without Eric. We were concerned about him picking up germs. I was only there a couple of hours. And he had a friend visit while I was gone. So that was all good.

On Saturday we just hung out. I got some groceries and picked up Chinese food for dinner. Hours later, I was in the bathroom for the night. I picked up some nasty stomach bug. (Or food poisoning... we're not really sure.) By the morning I was feeling well enough to start bleaching everything I might have touched and laundered everything I was in contact with. And now we hope that Eric won't get the bug. Or whatever it was. We ate different things, so if it was food poisoning, it wouldn't hit him.

So that's all I really have to report for the weekend. Hoping for a good week ahead.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Side Effects Suck


Eric says "Fork you, side effects!"

He's starting to have a rough time with all the side effects. Not only does he have the usual chemo side effects, now he'll have the Neulasta side effects too. He came home tonight exhausted and not wanting to eat. He ended up taking a nap then got up and had some eggs. He's got the cold fingers (and neuropothy to go along with it). The mouth sores are coming back already too. And the general overall "blah" feeling.

He had his pump removed today and had the Neulasta shot. They said he should stock up on Aleve to help with the bone pain he may endure, beginning in a couple of days. That sounds pleasant, doesn't it? Poor guy. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

We're Half Way There.


So, the good news is, Eric had his 6th Chemo treatment today. The bad news is, his White Blood Cell count was still low. But they had him do the Chemo anyway. Eric was a little concerned about that. (I was too.)

Last week his WBC count was at 1.1. It's supposed to be higher than 1.5. Today is was 0.8. On Thursday he'll be receiving a Neulasta shot. Neulasta helps the body make white blood cells. He can't have the shot until 24 hours of having chemo. And since he'll be having the dreaded pump removed on Thursday, they will give him the Neulasta shot at the same time. He's not looking forward to any "extra" side effects from the shot... the Chemo side effects are back with a vengeance today. 

In the meantime, he needs to stay away from germs and people with germs. I do wish he'd just stay home, but he insists on going to work. He did pick up a mask today that he can wear so he doesn't catch anything. 



Today he had a couple of visitors. Gary was there (and he also drove him home) and Bob P. stopped by again too. It's so nice that Eric has such a great family and friends. Once Bob got there, I headed back to work. It's such a relief knowing that there are people there with him so I'm able to go back to work without worrying about him. We've both pretty much run out of time off, so conserving what little time we have left is a very good thing.



That blanket you see on Eric's lap -- it's heated. And it's lovely.



Santa stopped by. Eric thinks he might have passed gas while passing out gifts. 



Monday, December 5, 2016

Jammin'


Eric is spending the evening creating music. He's mentally preparing for what lies ahead tomorrow. 


Jenny spent the evening playing with her new duck.