Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sorry I've not been keeping up very well... We're home...

Got home Monday afternoon... The docs combined (GI and oncologist) finally got it together and got the diarrhea stopped. A combination of Imodium and a cholesterol drug called Questran (it's main side effect is constipation... so it counter-acted the diarrhea). Took them for forever, but now we know! The GI doc had just switched him to the pill form of the Questran, Welchol, so we got a Rx for that sent home with us... Since the diarrhea is considered to be chemo related, we'll be proactive with his next treatment (next Wednesday)... We'll have our Imodium and our Welchol at the ready. We're not doing THAT again!

Compared to the last time we came home from the hospital (early February), Joe is 100% better this time! His mental state, his physical state... he's just sooo much better this time around. Of course, last time, he still had the diarrhea when he came home. He was weak... his spirits were low. He'd taken a week before he went back to work, and he was still dragging his hiney. Of course, they'd done chemo that first week out, and I think that just added insult to injury. He was already low, and that just laid him out. This time, the diarrhea has been stopped, so he'd not losing all those vital nutrients like he had been. His appetite is back to normal. His attitude has done a 180* from even last Saturday.

He'd been at a really low point the last couple of weeks... he was ready to quit chemo... go on disability... just hang it up. Sunday, our dear friends/Joe's Boeing boss came to see us at the hospital. Au had gone home from church and made Panzit and egg rolls... baked a pineapple roll cake... brought all of that up to us. We ate and visited. Tony was telling him how much he was missed at work... how things are ramping up with the new plant being built... that they're fixing to start picking up some of the contract workers from Joe's company as Boeing workers... He got Joe all fired back up. He's chomping at the bit... raring to get back in there and get to it. He's been calling down there almost daily since we got home to see what's going on. A new lease on life.

I certainly wasn't going to push him if he didn't feel like he could go back to work, but I'll be honest, I wasn't prepared for him to give up and just lay down and die. I know that there may come a day when that becomes necessary, but... just not yet, Lord... just not yet.

Things are hopefully looking up all around for those in this household... Joe's got a stronger promise of better things to come, hopefully SOONER than later. Josh is starting a new job... the husband of a friend of ours (that we met at chemo) works for a construction company here in the Charleston area. They're starting to do some hiring for some new jobs that are coming in. Since Josh has been working construction for 4 years up to his layoff in November, Rich got him to fill out an application and got him hired on. He had his drug test today, and his indoctrination... It's raining today... and maybe tomorrow... but he's hired! and for $12 an hour vs the $10 he'd been making with Truluck, and the $9 with the landscaping company he'd been with since. Go Josh! Daniel had been with a company since back around the same time Josh got laid off... placed by the temp company he'd gone through for his last job. He'd started out at $18 an hour... had just gotten a $1 an hour raise, and now the company is maybe getting to bring him on with them directly. He's had his interview, just waiting for an answer back. He gets on with them, his pay goes even higher. The scary thing for them is that he could be transferred, but... maybe not.

Things could be better, financially, but they could be worse too. The first 3 weeks Joe was out of work, the folks he works WITH donated time for us to get a check. He's supposed to be getting short term disability, which isn't much $... the lady "in charge" at his company had said that the donated PTO wouldn't affect it, but the lady with STD is saying maybe differently... depending on how the company codes it. We've been so far behind on stuff, a little extra would be a big help... but looks like now we may not get any extra at all. If the Boeing thing would happen just real soon... it would be the biggest answer to prayer of all. Joe's pay would at least double, which would allow us to maybe get caught back up, if not a little ahead, which would be WONDERFUL! I don't mind pinching pennies, but squeezing blood from turnips is getting a little old.

Well, Joe's going to nap, so I'm going to sneak off here and find something constructive to do. He wants me to sit with him, which I don't mind doing, but I've got a bazillion things what need doing... so I'm going to slip off here and do a few of them.

Keep the prayers coming... they're working! Hugs, Susan (*"*)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Figured I needed to update...

We DID end up coming to the hospital... and we're still here. Trying to figure out the diarrhea... trying to get the diarrhea stopped...

Joe's been losing so much of his nutrients due to the loss of fluids, so they've been pumping him full... Saline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus... He's over acidic, so he's getting sodium bicarbonate in his saline, as well as pills two times a day... and more.

He lost his appetite due to the Flagyl that the PA had prescribed. He has a hard time eating some things since he's had the sores in his mouth (and apparently throat) due to the chemo. I've tried sweet talking, threatening... Sometimes he'll eat a bit for me, sometimes not. Frustrating.

Tomorrow will make a week since he got himself admitted. I spent 3 night sleeping in a recliner... then Joe got mad at me and made me go home Tuesday night. I came back Wednesday tho... with a couple bags of foods that I know that he likes and will eat, when he can.

Right now, he's napping. We had a looong night last night. Supper was beef stroganoff... it was very good... until about 11:30-12 last night. I got diarrhea... he got worse diarrhea... we were tripping over each other getting to a bathroom. Fortunately, there is a public bathroom just outside our door. We were double timing. It went on until about 4 this morning. From 4 to about 7:30 we were finally sleeping, and they came to take him down for an xray. He JUST got settled back down around 10. He's napping good now, and hopefully will be able to rest pretty good the rest of the day.

Sis and my Lochy Buggie Girl will be here around noon to visit a bit, then I think Mom and Dad may come up later tonight. Our Friendly Neighbors have been up two nights in a row... Gary's been really worried about Joe. They is brothers from another mother.

That said, I should get off of here and make sure I'm ready when the girls get here. Just keep us in your prayers... this isn't a pleasant time...