Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I'm not sure who enjoyed them more - Dad or the grandkids. Dad is doing very well. He has not been back to the doctor or hospital for IVs since he left the hospital on December 15. He is able to eat and drink enough to stay hydrated. Now, we have to work on getting a few more pounds on him. Dad is still quite thin and weak. But, he continues to work hard in physical therapy to improve his strength and mobility. While Dad was in the hospital, a test was performed to measure the effectiveness of the chemo in treating his disease. The test showed a decrease in the amyloidosis ratio. The explanation of the results was a bit technical for all of us, but the doctor was pleased and said Dad is moving in the right direction. We continue to be encouraged by Dad's slow and steady progres.Thanks for all your prayers and visits! You all mean so much to Mom and Dad! We will all be together at Mom and Dad's Christmas Day and I'm sure we'll have more pictures to post. Merry Christmas!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Dad realized he didn't have his glasses on in the first few photos I took and wanted to be sure I got some of him wearing his new glasses.
The girls decorating the tree.
Nathanael and Papa are discussing their next woodworking project.
Thanks for your continued prayers and visits. Mom and Dad appreciate them so much. Please pray also for Mom as she is coming down with some sort of a cold and is getting pretty run down. The last several months have been pretty rough on her and we are concerned about her health as well.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thanks so much for your prayers. Dad still has a long road ahead of him to regain his strength. The doctor at the hospital was very open and honest with Mom and Dad. He explained that with a chronic illness such as Dad's, there will be periodic stays in the hospital. Complications will happen. We should not be surprised by that, but work through them. We have all really appreciated the hospital staff doctors at Lakeland. Dr. Dave and Dr. Sam - Thank You! We appreciate your care, your honesty and professionalism. Dad has also had wonderful nurses. Several of them have become part of our family over the past few weeks. They knew what Dad needed when he needed it and they were there - for all of us. Thank You!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Dad did have a couple days this week where his blood pressure was a little too low, but nothing that wasn't able to be corrected by increasing fluid intake. The doctors are telling Dad that he will be able to go home "tomorrow". But that has been said for the last few days now. So, we'll see what "tomorrow" brings.
Overall, Dad has made such great progress since his surgery last month. It is good to hear the doctors using the word "recovery" instead of simply trying to stop a downward spiral. We are all encouraged that Dad continues to make slow but steady progress. His physical therapy is going very well. He was able to take about a dozen steps yesterday. That is remarkable improvement. Dad is frustrated that he can't do more. But he has come so far. I still don't think he knows just how sick he was. We are grateful for each day. Thanks for your prayers, visits and notes of encouragement. Mom and Dad both appreciate all of you so much. This has been a long and hard journey for both of them. Your encouragement keeps them going every day.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The doctors have also decided that Dad will not be allowed to eat any food for now. He will get his nutrition from TPN. They think that amyloid presence in his GI tract is interfering with absorption and causing an increase in the output in his bag. The increased output is what causes the dehydration and blood pressure drop. Keeping Dad's fluids in balance was very difficult because his output would vary so much from day to day. So, they are giving his GI tract a rest and will likely not allow him to eat food until the amyloidosis is more controlled. He will be able to get TPN when he goes home.
Dad is pretty tired today and his color is not as good as it has been. He will need a lot of rest today. On Wednesday, Dad has an appointment with his hematologist to discuss the treatment for his amyloidosis. Please pray for this appointment that the doctor will have wisdom as to what is the best way to treat this disease. Because the disease is so rare, the treatment is a little bit of trial and error. Controlling the amyloidosis is key to addressing these other issues.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Dad is making really good progress. Even though he does not like being in the hospital, even he admitted that this past week has been really good. He is getting stronger every day. His vitals are remaining at good levels. He is awake and sitting up most of the day, reading the newspaper, visiting with company, talking about what his next goal is for his physical therapy, etc. It is good to see him making positive strides both physically and emotionally.
The plan is still for him to come home on Monday if his chemo continues to go well the next couple of days. He will be set up with an IV for fluids and TPN feeding at home. Hopefully that will help him stay hydrated to we don't have to bring him to the ER every couple of days. We are still waiting on some test results that will give us an idea of the effectiveness of the chemo. We are anxious to get those results and then be able to discuss our short term and long term treatment plans with Dad's hematologist.
Thanks for your prayers and visits!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thanks for all your visits and prayers. Dad has enjoyed lots of visitors this week. Thanks so much for helping him get through all this!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Dad has also had some additional blood work done trying to pinpoint a cause for the frequent drops in his hemoglobin levels. So far, the blood work has come back normal. As of today, his hemoglobin is starting to come up on its own.
So, we really don't know what the next step is. Dad's vitals are all good. We're still not sure when he will be able to start his next round of chemo. We aren't sure when Dad will be able to go home. Dad has been approved to receive IV infusions through home health care when he does go home. That will help with the dehydration issue.
Dad is getting discouraged. He just feels like he can't make any progress. He does enjoy company and appreciates all your visits.
Please pray that the doctors will have wisdom as to what to do next. Also pray that Dad can resume his chemo soon. That is key to fighting the amyloidosis which is causing all these other complications.