Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I am home. Short of getting hit by a bus or getting my hand bit off by a monster pike or some such calamity, I never want to see the inside of the hospital again. Okay, maybe to visit somebody. The 2,000,000 or so stem cells are busy fighting their way to my bone marrow and will then rebuild all the cells that the chemo killed. It is so good to be home and feeling good. I am still fairly weak, and have a little bit of pain, but nothing that my slow release hydro-morph can't control. The doctors feel quite good about my complete recovery, and this from a group of docs who have not shown me any sign that they are believers. So I feel really good.
Today when we were leaving, one of the nurses that extracted my stem cells stopped in and as she was leaving said something about me leaving the hospital as early as I was. Chris responded and said that we had received a lot of prayer and that was why my body recovered as quick as it did. The nurse than waved her hands in the air and made the sound that accompanied the show The Twilight Zone. I was a little saddened to think that that was all she new about prayer. Oh well, one of these days maybe the message will stick long enough for her to ask a question. Because as soon as she said that she left.
But it is great to be home and just hang out in my own house. Thank you so much for all your prayers, and please don't take me off your list.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


John may come home tomorrow. For sure by Thursday. I can't tell you how happy I feel right now.
I feel that I should have more to say about this but I am speechless.

I went grocery shopping today after I left the hospital just in case. Man...that was cold. My legs are still thawing out. I got home a couple of hours ago and legs, just above the knees are still tender!

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Hurry

I stayed home today. I am getting a lot done. While I go to the hospital every day things have a way of sliding. I did pretty good for the first week but after that...well! I have done a bunch of laundry, bathed the dog. I figured he should be clean too! We are allowed to keep him at home because it is not normal for dog disease to transfer to humans. I shall get some baby wipes and clean his feet when he comes in so he doesn't track filth in from going out back to do his business. He does not go on the furniture. I am having a Chai tea break. I got addicted to that at the hospital. After that I have to scrub down the bathrooms, vacuum and wash the floors. Oh..Ya and dust a bit. Fold cloths. I got the I-tunes shuffle on so I will bogey my way through the rest of it.

John doesn't get to come home for at least a couple of days. He is still having trouble with getting fluid in his lungs. This comes from all the IV's they give him and his poor kidneys. They are not going to let him go until this is under control. This is what we had to go to emergency with the last time he was discharged from the hospital. They seem to be acting like this is something new but it is not. We are fine with his staying. His white counts are up to 5 today.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Feeling Better and Better!

John is doing very good. As his white counts rise the pain in his throat and esophagus is improving. The sore in his cheek is still pretty bad but should start to show some improvement soon. He is looking better each day now and has more energy. They removed the I.V. lines today. His white count was 2.4 and he can come home when they reach 8.

I am staying home tomorrow to clean the house, do some laundry and avoid the storm. Blizzard warnings are out for our area. I can hear the wind picking up but there is no now yet. It could get rocking and rolling out there yet so everybody take care.

I send a big thank you to Janie and Shirley for the meals that you made for me. It was a big help. Even tomorrow I can focus on cleaning and getting everything ready for the homecoming and don't have to cook. Thank you for all your prayers. I just can't thank you enough for this because this is sustained us.

Friday, January 25, 2008

On The Upswing

Wee...Haa! The White cells are starting to make their appearance! Today they registered at point1. Now I know that doesn't sound like much but it means a lot. He was told today that he would be able to go home next week. Yeah! Pray that he doesn't get sent home too early though. We would rather stay two extra days in the hospital than have to spend one night in emergency.

I rather...kind of slept in today. John told me that I was a laggerty wife and that he had to spend hours and hours alone in the hospital all by himself. So I told him "sorry". So he said "just kidding". So I said "I know".

Janie left a container of food for us yesterday just in the nick of time too. Due to my laggerty behavior I had not cooked anything for John tonight. It is awful food Friday at the hospital all day today. The food she left is all fine for John's consumption so I am good to go.

Just thought I would let you know...things are on the upswing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hanging In There

John is doing O.K...his condition is stable. The antibiotics have took care of his fever so he is responding well to them. The lab did grow a bacteria in the culture that was taken. The bacteria does like plastic so John gets to get rid of his pic-line before he goes home. He will not shed any tears over that! The pic-line stays in for now as long as it is not causing any problems.

His mouth is very sore. His esophagus is sore. He now has the runs. This is from the chemo. It particularly like to wreck havoc in the mucus membranes. His kidneys are holding their own. He received platelets yesterday. This is normal. His red counts are slowly dropping so he will need a blood transfusion in a day or two. He is more alert. He is more inclined to get into trouble. This is a good sign.

With each passing day we are getting closer to getting through this. John's spirits are good. He can see the end. He was humming today. Amazing!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Johns white counts have hit bottom. This afternoon he got the chills and started shivering. The correct term for this is rigors (rygors) His nurse got right on this and had Dr. M. check him out. He got him on antibiotics (Cadillac version) right away before he spiked a fever. His temperature did go up to 38 C. but was back down to normal at 9:00 p.m. His nurse said there are very, very few patients who have undergone stem cell transplant who get away without having to have antibiotics so this is very normal. This antibiotic covers large groups of bacteria. In other words: DON'T WORRY! So I am trying not to worry. My new motto is: don't worry be praying.

They took a bunch of blood for cultures and are going to see what is growing there if anything. I am sure if there are any problems they will bring in the infectious disease people.

His esophagus is very sore. He is having difficulty swallowing so they have put him on a soft diet. I went and got him some Ensure at lunch. I would feel real bad for him about the soft diet but he really can't taste his food anyway.

He is on a lot of pain medication but seems to be tolerating it well. He is still clear headed if somewhat sleepy. He is having trouble staying awake but maybe it is merciful to be able to sleep a large portion of the day away.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

So Far...Pretty Good!

Yesterday John's white cell count was .9 so today it is probably in the cellar. He is doing pretty good. He does not have a fever. His spirits are good and he is cheerful. He is having some problems with his skin breaking down easily. Dr. F. says this is the result of skin tocicity due to both the chemo and the preservative. They had to remove his pain patch because it gave him a burn where the adhesive touched his skin. He is recieving oral pain medications instead and seems to be doing O.K. with them. He was concerned because those meds had a tendency to make him a bit loopy. He seems to be clear headed to me so far. He has a bit of skin breaking down on his ankles so he is wearing socks all the time and has some cream for them. He cut his hands (paper cuts) and they take a long time to heal so he has to be careful with them. He has pretty much lost his sence of taste. It does have some positive aspects to it as he no longer complains about the hospital food seeing how he can't really taste it. This side affect can last up to three months. He does have sores in his mouth and in his throat. This is very normal and should go away as soon as his white cell counts start to come up.

This afternoon he is watching football so Angela and I are keeping ourselves amused by knitting. I need to go now because she needs me to come and help her out with her pattern. I hope I can figure it out. It is different when you have been doing the pattern yourself. You get a better sence of what is going on with it. I will keep you posted. Thank you all again for praying.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Pics

I don't have that much to write about. The transplant itself was fairly uneventful. All this work to get there you would expect dancing girls and fire crackers to go off, but it only took about 30 minutes and it was done. Here's the pics....without the technical mumbo-jumbo.

Here is dad during the stem cell harvest. He put in a full day in the chair.

The lab techs, thawing the stem cells

Here's where they were stored. Probably the most exciting part cause of the liquid nitrogen. ooooo steam.

The precious stem cells are in the bright bag. So cool.

Here's what dad did during the transplant.

He got a little scratchy throat so he had some nebulizer and it helped. Here's dad doing a demo for the camera.

Then his face got a little hot after.

There you have it. The most anti-climactic transplant.

Dad is doing pretty good. He feels a little nauseated but that's it. His levels have started to drop and he should be neutropenic tomorrow or the next day. Please pray for protection.

Thanks everyone for praying during the transplant. We are positive that everything is going so smoothly because of this. I know I am so thankful.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Angela was going to post this evening and give you a great post on the transplant so I am not going to say much and let her do that tomorrow. She took some neat pictures but forgot her camera at the hospital. So...other than saying all went very well...I will leave it to her!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Day 0

Tomorrow is day 0. The transplant will take place around 10:00 a.m. John is in good spirits. He is feeling pretty good today. We had a nice day at the hospital. Jonathan, Melissa, Noah, Angela and Mike all came visiting. Thats all I have to say for now. I will try to go and get in a post at the hospital tomorrow after the transplant.

No Day Pass

I stayed home this morning hoping that John would get a day pass again today. Angela took John back to the hospital yesterday evening with our car. John just phoned and said it was a no go. I guess his potassium levels are a bit high and his creatinine levels are very high. His kidneys are not very happy with the chemicals they gave him yesterday. They want him to stay put while they try to get these levels adjusted by tomorrow for the transplant. I am sure they will try to flush his system out. Please pray that his kidneys will improve by tomorrow. The potassium is easy to fix. They can just give him the dirt drink. I am going to go have a shower, eat some lunch and then Mike will take me up to the hospital. Angela will meet me there and I can reclaim the car.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chemo Finished

They did the final chemo this morning. Dr. F. did not come around yesterday as we were told he would to let us know what was going on. The x-rays must have been fine or they would not have started this process today. He was allowed home on a day pass this afternoon so he had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening at home. He may be able to come home for the day tomorrow as well but I think that will be about it for day passes for awhile. He is already on a low microbial diet so Angela and I studied that this afternoon. He can't even have pepper unless it is cooked with his food or any old left overs. That is why I am very serious about cleaning out the fridge. He can't have cheese, any fresh fruit or vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, ice cream with nuts or fruits and the list goes on and on. The nurse put it this way: "cook the poop out of everything." John does get a bit growly about all of this but I really don't blame him. It will be very nice for him when he doesn't have a bunch of people telling him what to do all of the time. They will do the transplant on Monday. This is about a two hour procedure. There will be a team of people in the room for the whole two hours that it takes. I guess Dr. M. will be attending this as well as a transplant tech. and a nurse.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Here We Go

John is now admitted. They put him in a four bed room. Hopefully by tomorrow he will get a private room. I am uncomfortable with him being in a public room. Saturday they will do the chemo that takes out his bone marrow. While he will not be neutropenic for a few days I hate the thought of him contracting something with neutropenic on the way. Pray for his protection and that they will get him into a private room soon. Pray that he will get a room with a window. It really makes a difference on how well he feels emotionally. John just phoned and said they put him into a private room with a window. That was a fast answer to prayer! I am so glad and relieved.

The chemo can cause side effects. Many people get the runs. Pray that John will not suffer this indignity. People who get this have real problems getting to the toilet in time.

Monday they will do the stem cell transplant. It is a little more complicated than just hanging up a bag on an I.V. pole and letting it run into him. He has to be monitored closely because there can be complications and they have to be on top of that. It has to do with his heart and respiration. Complications are rare and are manageable when they occur. Pray that there will not be any complications. Dr. V. will be there to oversee all of this. He plans to have a headache. I guess the media that they store the stem cells in get breathed out by John and anybody who has been exposed to this repeatedly gets headaches from his breath. His breath will smell like creamed corn.

The biggest thing of all is that all the cancer cells will die. Pray that there will not be even one cell left. Pray that his kidneys will be protected. Pray that the stem cells will graft well and quickly. Pray that he will not even get one fever or any infections. Pray that John will feel Gods presence and continue to be at peace. Pray that our children will feel Gods presence and be totally at peace.

Going to The Hospital

Well...we are on our way. Admitting just phoned. We have time to stop off and grab a burger on the way. I will keep you informed of what is going on. Today nothing will happen. John will just settle in.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Getting Better Again!

John is feeling much better and hardly coughs at all. Yea to antibiotics and thanks to God. The Cancer Center phoned today. John will be admitted for the transplant on Jan. 14 so we have a week to kick around here. Thats O.K. by me. It gives me a chance to get caught up with the house work and get things ready at a more leisurely pace plus get totally over my cold and rest up.

I got the upstairs tree down today and the whole upstairs cleaned. Tomorrow I can start on the basement although I kinda hate to take all the decorations down. John is downstairs now watching a movie with the tree all lit up cozy like and seems to still be enjoying that. I was trying to figure out how I could just leave it all up and it would be all ready for next year. It is so tempting. That could prove to be very confusing for the grandkids though.

Becky is having a very bad week. Today she got a phone call from home. Harv and Shirley have been coming over to take care of the cats. Today they noticed a very bad smell. Her fridge quit working. Everything has gone rotten. She will have to go home to that mess. Can you pray for her that she would have no more bad things happening. I think that she has took about all she can cope with for now. They are going home on Sunday. Pray that they will have a good trip home.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Transplant Delayed

John cold has progressed to pneumonia. His transplant has been postponed until this clears up. His chest is pretty congested. He is on antibiotics. He is not running a temperature but seems to sub normal now... 35.6 degrees... If he is still like this tomorrow I will phone the cancer center to see if this is O.K. Becky is also pretty sick. They have gone to Glens moms place. We somehow missed telling her about Aunt Anne's death and funeral. I feel horrible about this. She had some fond memories of her and now she missed the funeral. John has medical reason to have a poor focus. I don't. So she is now not only feeling crummy but sad as well. I don't think that I could feel any more discouraged than I do right now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thank You For Praying

Johns fever is gone. If anything he seems to be running a little on the cool side. He still has some congestion but seems to be slowly improving. He slept a lot yesterday. He sweat a lot yesterday. He seems to get into some awful sweats. He hates this. We don't know why he does this. I wonder if this has something to do with his poor immune system. The docs have not gave him an explanation for this. John goes in for blood work tomorrow and to see Dr. V. so I will be able to update you as to what will happen next and hopefully when.