Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moving A Little Slow

I haven't updated in awhile as there really has not been much change. Dad has gone to the Dr's office a few times for IVs. The home health nurse comes almost everyday to check on him. Mom and Dad chart very carefully Dad's input and output to be sure he is getting enough fluids and nutrition. There are concerns that the amyloidosis is interfering with Dad's absorption and that is why he has to get periodic IVs even though he is drinking what should be plenty of fluids. The Dr's are all pleased that Dad has been able to stay at home this long.

Dad is also getting much better at communicating to us and the nurse when something doesn't feel quite right. Last week, he just kept feeling a little dumpy. His normal bloodwork looked good. But he just didn't feel good. Well, they discovered that Dad has a urinary tract infection. He is being treated for that with antibiotics. After doing further testing, they realized the antibiotics that were originally prescribed were not the right ones for the particular type of infection Dad had. So, he started new antibiotics this week. In the meantime, the infection had gotten worse. So, Dad is just moving a little slow this week. The infection is taking its toll on his already weak body.

Dad goes back to his hematologist next week. They will discuss his continuing treatment plan. When Dad was at Mayos, the original chemo treatment was scheduled for 5 rounds. Dad has completed all 5 rounds. They will do another light chain test which measures the amyloid levels to see if the chemo is effectively reducing the levels. Based on test results and Dad's overall health, the next phase of treatment will be discussed.

Thanks for all your prayers. Please continue to pray that Dad will be able to fight this infection and get back to work on improving his mobility and strength.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is Mom's birthday.  I won't tell you how old she is, but she turned 60 last year!

Dad is doing well.  He continues to work at getting stronger and regaining mobility.  Some of his muscles have forgotten what they are supposed to do and they don't seem to be remembering quite as quickly as Dad would like.  Dad is able to get out most days now whether it is a trip to Lowes, a doctors apt. or out to eat with friends.  We are grateful for each day and all your prayers!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Look, Ma, no hands!"

Dad is becoming quite the show off!  This week, he has decided that he is going to start walking - by himself, no walker, no cane, no nothing.  We were at Mom and Dad's house a few days ago and Dad started to get up out of his wheelchair.  I asked him what he needed.  He said that he was going to walk to the couch.  I said, "do I need to be close by?"  He said, "Oh, probably".  But before I could get there, he was off on his own.  When he plopped down on the couch, he just beamed!  

Dad is progressing very well.  He still has his ups and downs.  Yesterday, he had what he would call a dumpy day.  He had to go to the doctor's office to review blood work to be sure all his levels are OK for his chemo next week.  While there, they decided that Dad needed an IV bag since his blood pressure was too low and he was looking a little, well, dumpy.  They could only give him a small bag since it was very close to time for the office to close.  He probably could have used a little more, but hopefully that will give him the boost he needed.  That is the first IV Dad has had in almost 3 weeks.  That is quite remarkable since we were expecting him to be sent home from the hospital with orders for regular IVs and possibly TPN feedings.  Dad also saw the GI doctor this week.  He was very pleased and has released Dad.  He no longer needs to see the GI doctor on a regular basis unless complications develop.  Dad's blood levels have all improved, he has gotten good test results this week and overall he continues to do very well. 

The photo below is from Christmas Day.