28 December 2010


Mom is finally home...with some comedy of errors in between.

First, get back from taking the in-laws to the airport and notice that DJP is extremely warm. We take his temperature and it's 100.7. We give him so medicine, a bottle and put him down for a nap. He wakes up 30 minutes later with the same temperature. Jason calls the pediatrician and the reception asks where we live. We can be there in 5 minutes. So, Jason takes DJP to the doctor and I get my car loaded with stuff that I'm taking to stay with Mom overnight.

Second, I was about 3/4 of the way to the hospital and forgot Mom's coat and shoes. So I turned around (thank God I know my exits on 95!) and went back home. Somehow, I missed Jason coming back from the doctor...

Then, I get to the parking garage and the ticket machine makes a weird sound. One of the attendants comes over and says "don't worry, you didn't break the machine. it's just out of tickets." She opens the other machine and I get the first ticket out (this will be important later...).

I get to Mom's room and help her get ready to leave. We hurry up to wait for the nurse to give Mom her prescriptions, new diet and sign the discharge papers. I gather all Mom's stuff and head off to get the car. I get into line to pay. And wait. And wait. About 10 minutes go by and we haven't moved. The man in line behind me finds out that there's some ticket issue. Great. The line moves and finally it's my turn. There's NOTHING printed on my ticket so the attendant has to find some code to type in so that the gate will lift and I can leave. This takes 10 minutes. People come up to the booth and are complaining. I explain what's going on and they just keep yelling at the attendant to lift the gate. Finally, I get out of the garage and get Mom.

We get to Mom's house and I think the easiest way to get her in the house is by the front door. We get to the step and she cannot lift her leg(due to fluid retention). I try lifting her leg which doesn't work. I try pushing her up which also doesn't work. I think for a minute and run in the house and get a chair. Mom was able to get into the chair and turn herself so that she could get in the house without having to actually get up the step. WHEW!

Mom is feeling okay, just tired. She goes next Tuesday for a follow up appointment with the oncology team at UMMC. Hopefully, they will have a new schedule for treatments set up for her then.

ETA: DJP no longer has a fever but is a bit lethargic which the doctor said could happen.

23 December 2010

Surgery went well

After waiting all day yesterday with no one saying the surgery would be delayed until today, Mom was taken to surgery about 8am. One of the nurses called me around 9am to say that she had actually been taken to surgery. I arrived at the surgical floor at 11am and was told that Mom was still in surgery and doing well. About 12:30pm one of the staff came to get me and take me to see Mom in recovery.

Mom was awake and talking when I got to recovery. She was even cracking jokes with one of the anesthesiologists who came to see how she was doing before he left. Mom was in recovery until about 2pm mainly because the nurse and another anesthesiologist were debating whether or not to have Mom on a heart monitor since she hadn't been on a monitor in her room. The reason being is because during surgery she had what everyone was calling a "blip" in her heart rhythm. They almost missed it happening and didn't get a record of it. The recovery nurse explained that it could have happened for a variety of reasons but it could have been that Mom's potassium level was low before going into surgery and that can cause the heart to have an irregular rhythm. So Mom ended up with a monitor-she was thrilled to have the extra cords attached to her, which makes getting up to use the restroom a trial.

Mom got back to her room around 2:15pm and the doctors came around 3:30pm to talk about what they had done. The one doctor said that Mom's gallbladder was basically dead. There was a lot of pus and that's why they left the drain in just in case there was any pus left and it could drain out.

Mom was resting when I left the hospital tonight and hopefully will either be released tomorrow or Saturday depending on how she is overnight.

20 December 2010

9 Months Old

DJP is now 9 months old! He now weighs 20lbs. 8oz. and is 28 inches tall (we think he was measured incorrectly last dr's visit because this measurement means that he's only grown 1/4 of an inch in three months!). He has 6 teeth (4 top and 2 bottom). He crawls faster than we can walk. He stands. He walks along the furniture (has gotten quicker!) and will walk holding onto our fingers. He no longer falls trying to get down from standing but lowers himself.

DJP claps (with noise) and smiles all the time. He plays well by himself but by late afternoon wants someone to be with him constantly (there's a bit of separation anxiety too!). He enjoys all of his toys especially his very own TV remote. He likes to be chased-thinks it's the most hysterical game in the World.

We still have to say that Kitty (aka Ophelia) is his favorite play toy. Even with the gate up now, he will talk to her (more like giving her orders since his voice gets a very demanding tone to it) when she ventures to her food and water bowls.

He's also discovered that he can bounce when he's in his exersaucer. I love watching him do this-one of these days he's going to bounce himself right out of the exersaucer with his very powerful legs!

Updates are all over the place

It seems like there's another update every few hours...information changes from hour to hour, so once I know what's really going to happen, I'll post.

So here goes-

Saturday afternoon, Mom was transferred from Upper Chesapeake to UMMC. UMMC is not the best marked hospital that I've ever been in. I asked for help (and I don't do that often!). The ambulance transport guys were great and so was the admitting RN. Mom did see one of the residents who didn't think she needed surgery right away, but probably on Monday or Tuesday. It took him forever to put his orders in for the nurses so Mom went quite awhile without having any liquids. When I left around 9:30pm, she had just gotten a tray of "clear" liquids-chicken broth, lime jello, apple juice and water. Yum.

Yesterday, the team who is treating the cancer came to visit her and said that they thought it was the stints causing all the trouble and they'd send a GI guy to see her. He came about 7pm and said that Dr. Darwin (doctor who put in the stints) would be seeing Mom today. Well, a half hour later, Chris calls me and says that plans have changed and that Mom would be having another endoscopy done to see what is going on with the stints and her gallbladder. She will be having that done at noon today. Once I know more, I'll post again!

16 December 2010

Another Mom update

Mom is currently in the hospital at Upper Chesapeake. She was extremely dizzy and was vomiting on Tuesday morning, called the doctor and he sent her to the emergency room. Aunt Felicia has been with her (she had planned to spend the week with Mom anyway) and giving us updates as information comes in.

Mom did have a fever yesterday-blood culture results to come sometime today-and they gave her some Tylenol and low-dose antibiotics to reduce the fever. The doctor was telling her that if she has no fever she can go home today. When I talked to her last night, her temperature was 99 (better than the 102 is was earlier in the day!).

Mom sounds good and positive, although a bit frustrated at her roommate who is a bit loud...so loud that it was hard to hear Mom on the phone last night. I did put the speakerphone on so that Mom and DJP could "talk" to each other. DJP recognized his grandma's voice and smiled at the phone. Of course, he wanted to "hold" the phone so he could chew on it with his four new top teeth! (Mommy said no-what a surprise!)

09 December 2010

Latest on Mom

Since my last post, Mom has had two doctor's appointments-one to meet the surgical oncologist and the other to meet the entire team that will be working with her at UMMC.

The plan is to start with radiation and chemotherapy for about 5-6 weeks. Mom will go to UMMC Monday through Friday for radiation and the team is undecided about whether she will have IV or pill form of chemo. If they decide on IV, she will go once a week to the Cancer Center at UMMC for chemo. If they decide on pills, she will take those twice a day. The pills would be easier for her, since she wouldn't have to spend extra time at the hospital.

Once the radiation and chemo treatments are finished, Mom will have a month break, during which time she will have another CT scan to see if the tumor has responded to the radiation and chemotherapy. If it has, the team will schedule her surgery. After surgery, she will be in the hospital for up to 2 weeks since this is MAJOR surgery. Then have about 6 more weeks of recovery at home.

The final step will be to continue chemotherapy for 6 months after the surgery to make sure that there is no recurrence of the cancer.

The doctors are all optimistic and the plan is for this to be finished by this time next year.