Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jim Seemed Better Today, and Other Things

Jim seemed much better today. He was still weak in body and voice, but his eyes were sparkly and his smile was strong when I first saw him.

I got there at 10am and (maybe because it was that I complained yesterday) he had been fed, bathed, and had a fresh bed. He looked great!!

Jim and I had a nice quiet morning. He wanted to read the sports pages, so I went a couple of places nearby in search of the Philly papers. The GI specialist showed up shortly after noon and said that Jim's morning blood draw showed that his values continue to decline, so even more meds are being ordered. After the specialist left, Jim said the guy is just a pessimist. I laughed.

I just can't keep up with all the meds. At this point, I just have to trust.

I failed to ask the DR, but thank God the nurse did, and the DR ordered physical and occupational therapy. What's the difference? we wanted to know. PT teaches Jim how to walk, to use a cane and walker, to walk up and down steps, to get in and out of bed. Occupational therapy teaches Jim how to take care of his daily needs: dressing himself, getting in and out of the shower/bath, fixing food.

I was so scared this morning, thinking I would find Jim either significantly improved or significantly worse (and maybe in ICU). I was so happy (and teary) when I saw he was stronger.

Here in the Wilmington area, there are three hospitals. Two (Wilmington Hospital and Chrisitiana Hospital) are owned by one corporation: Christiana Care Corp. Jim is in Wilmington Hospital (which is downdown) and I have been getting treatment at the cancer center at Christiana Hospital (which is well south of town).

Tomorrow, I get a full scale pulmonary function test at Christiana Hospital at 10:30. At 12 noon, Jim is being transported from Wilmington Hospital to Christiana Hospital for a pericentesis at 1PM. That is the procedure where a radiologist uses a syringe to draw the fluid off Jim's liver.

(And I'm thinking, KISS! After my right breast mastectomy, I kept draining. For weeks, I would drive to his office and Dr. Boob would draw off that fluid with a little "tap-tap-tapping" to locate it. What's with all the ambulance from here to there and back and a radiologist and a fluorscope to find the fluid. OK, maybe I'm wrong and sticking a syringe into the belly near the liver is different, but my neighbor nurse says she often had done pericentesis at bedside.)

DRs are starting to mess with my schedule for next week, surgery week. On Tuesday, I had been set up for a PAP and coposcopy in the AM, and a lung CT scan and consult with the thoracic surgeon in the afternoon. (That consult was to again evaluate what the heck is going on in my lungs. May I say, I continue to improve in my breathing.) Now the surgeon wants me in his office in the morning.

I have pushed this PAP/colposcopy forward 2 times, trying to get it past chemo but before surgery. (This is the situation where I keep getting abnormal PAP results, and cervical cancer is nothing to sneer at.) Now I have to try to see which office blinks first on rescheduling, but keep both appointments for next week.

Thank you all for your thoughts/prayers and best wishes.


DebandGiz said...

Oh Venita!

Saw your morning update as I was practically out the door for work and have thought about you both constantly today... Even sent your blog link to work thinking I'd have a breather... Not!

Here's what I would have said, but only could "will" to you...

1 -- Meds can take time to kick in...
2 -- Dealing with crap can take time to kick in, and well, deal with...
3 -- Start a phone tree -- You call one person and they call many limbs... It has saved Donna and I countless minutes/hours with my mom's fan club... (Okay, must confess that some of her friends provided the glue which kept me together, so pick your "tree" carefully! So as to enjoy/benefit from the call...) And also saved us both from answering "why were you so late" with "we were on the phone"... Yes, some things might get a bit twisted around from one call to the next, but it saves you! a bit of energy for dear Jim... And just might give you renewed strength...

(Hmmm... Speaking of phone calls, I'm up, in case you still are...)

We adore sparkly eyes! We embrace hope, even when it appears dim... We love you both so very much! And hope that some day, you'll have a moment to explain the separate abodes deal... Methinks you may be on to something!

PT and OT can make the difference between fear and pressing on... I'm so glad PT and OT have entered Jim's recuperative picture!

Now, you my dearest, dearest Venita, get some rest! Fight to keep your appointments... Fight to keep on schedule... Fight! Damnit, fight!

We're holding you both so close now, I fear we're impairing your breathing... But wait! You're breathing is better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh please don't ban me from your blog group... You give more hope than you'll ever truly know! Truly!!!!!

Much love and countless hopeful, healing, keep the faith kind of hugs -- and extras in case countless isn't enough,
Deb & Giz (I broke 300 tonight, dear Venita! Mommy can't stop smiling! Okay, she stopped long enough to cram another friggin pill down my throat, but said my numbers keep her doing it... Hmmm... Maybe it's time to max out that friggin meter! What do you think? While you're pondering my next move, can you feel all my pawpats?)

Alice said...

HOly shit girl. You got a ton of stuff going on. All I can do is send my love and great big hugs. I will be thinking of the both of you. And will say a little prayer too.


cindy said...

Hi Venita - Don't those doctors realize the importance of staying on schedule for you?? Don't let them postpone anything!

Promising signs for Jim. Good.

julie said...

sending lots of love and support..glad Jim is stronger!!!!