Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have a Fun Filled Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend,

We started off this week by pulling off a surprise 88th birthday party for Ralph.  Our daughter
Sue came up with the idea and did the arranging.  We made calls and it came together nicely
with friends and family sharing the special event with us.  Sixteen of us enjoyed a meal at
Quack's Diner in Madison, NY.   Several of the guests also attended his 80th Birthday Party
when he was younger!

On the way home, I glanced back to check on him in the van.  All I could see was birthday
balloons.  He was completely submerged in the balllons and sound asleep.  And I didn't
even think to have Paul take a photo.  I'm slipping!

After a hectic week of Dr. visits and 2 more units of blood yesterday for Ralph, I'm very happy
to just stay quietly at home and get in a good nap this afternoon.  Finding the sink buried
in dishes was the first order of the day.  And I started a good book as well.
A perfect Memorial Weekend for this year.

I'm learning more than I wanted to learn about cancer and the caregiver role.  I can't imagine
trying to deal with all that is involved without a medical background.  A nurse told me yesterday
they have to 'learn fast and be assertive'. 

As of 2 weeks ago,  my husband's prostate test (PSA) was  up to 117.  We are still in limbo to start the
new hormone pill.  Very expensive, so has to be processed through insurance companies, the
pharmacal company, help from the cancer center social worker, etc.  I received a call saying the
copay was $2000.  Shock time!  So, coordination and help is hopefully going to get it all
implemented, sooner rather than later as the other med obviously hasn't been working for
sometime now.

Since he has so much bone involvement, he can't make enough red blood cells on his own. 
Hence, the 3rd round of blood transfusions so far.  The first in Oct., then 6 weeks ago, and again yesterday. 
We have that done at Fox Hospital in Oneonta.  Their ambulatory department staff have been
super each time.  They are extremely patient with him.  He comes in very weak and needing lots of assistance.  They have been wonderful to me also.

Two units of blood takes approximately 5 hours to transfuse.  He slept most of that time, all the
way home, and all evening.  What a difference this morning.  He was more alert, had some pink
in his cheeks and praise be, was abit more hungry.  He hasn't been taking in enough nourishment to
maintain his body needs.  

Because his protein level was low,  he was retaining even more fluid than usual, so we've been
dealing with that also.  That doesn't help his congestive heart failure issue.  They hit him with
20 mg of IV lasix times 3 along with the blood.  One can appreciate the fine balance our bodies
try to maintain to keep us in good health.

Thank you for thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Springtime Update

Hello to my followers,

I hope you are all having a wonderful spring.  I'm quite happy to have the weather warming slowly as
I like the cooler weather.  Having my window open for sleep again is so nice.  And I can hear the
mighty chorus of peepers from the nearby swamp and ponds.

We made it through this frigid winter in this old 1880s house with the high heating bills along with the
rest of you.  Another reason to be thankful for spring and warmer weather.

After the radiation, my husband had a 4 month break from the pain from the bone cancer.  Not
completely painfree, but very much less and actually had periods without pain.  He was
able to walk without assistance which was nice.  However, that has been wearing off.  He was to
have another radiation round after another bone scan.  The results were similar to the Sept 2013 one
with slightly more concentrated areas.

In the meantime, he was getting weaker.  His blood count was down and 2 more units of blood were
given.  That didn't help as much to bring up his appetite and strength as the first blood given in Oct.
He is back to needing help with every step either with a walker or someone to assist.

The PSA (prostate test) got down to a low of 25.9 which made everyone happy.  Unfortunately, it
didn't remain there.  It started climbing.  Up to 37, then 60, and on up to 94.7.  The present
hormone therapy isn't working, so another one is to be tried.  Plan B in the regime!

That is pretty much where we are at.  Thank you for saying a prayer and wishing him luck.

Share your family all you can and do fun things.  God forbid, but all too soon you may not be able to do either one. 

I wish you a wonderful summer.  Donna