Thursday, January 24, 2013

More on the home front...

Where to begin…January 14th, I went in to the doctor with lovely pains in my left side.  Unfortunately, I know those pains all to well…my diverticulitis was back…actually, it was probably never completely healed from my episode in December. 

At my appointment, the doctor agreed we would use a different type of antibiotic (I had used this previously and it worked well).  The reason they don’t give this antibiotic on a regular basis is because it comes in IV form or via injection.  There are no pills available to take.  He suggested I do the IV, because even though I would have to come in daily for a 15-minute IV drip, the shot was quite painful.

I elected to do the IV.  The nurse attempted to put a peripheral venous catheter (tube used to get IV’s) in place.  She tried to put it in my forearm…completely missed the vein…then she attempted to place it in my left hand…after much digging around and causing me great pain, she realized that she had just blown my vein…she then moved on to my right hand…the same thing happened…all of the sudden I felt very woozy and light headed…I told her I didn’t feel right…the next thing I know I was waking up…evidently, I passed out…I have never passed out before…that was a strange experience…fortunately, she caught me as I started to fall forward and she laid me back on the exam table.

Needless to say, after having no success at getting the catheter in place, I was given an injection.  Yep, it hurt!  Because I had to have six doses, I had to go in daily to receive an injection…I was so glad to have that over with…thank goodness it seems to have worked…I am feeling better.  In all honesty, I would probably elect to do the injections again if I had to, because it only hurt for about an hour afterward.  It beats taking six antibiotic pills a day and it is more effective!

Because I felt woozy for a while, I called my friend to come and get me.  I was in no condition to drive home.  I am so grateful for amazing friends who help me all the time! She even got to be there to support me while I got my injection…lucky her!

Paul had chemo number two on Tuesday, January 15th.  Because I was not feeling very good, our neighbor took him up to Huntsman and our daughter, Sheila, met him there.  She stayed with him and then brought him home.  Once again, feeling so grateful for the help we received.

Paul actually had been having a few good days…then Wednesday night hit…it was so strange all of the sudden he was so sick…he was so nauseous and started vomiting…he vomited so hard that he yelled out because he said he felt like someone was stabbing him in the right eye.  He could hardly open it.  He said it was very painful…I called our friend who is a doctor…he had me check on some things and we determined that it was something just to keep an eye on…no pun intended!

With time, Paul’s eye didn’t hurt as bad...when we awoke the next morning I noticed that something looked really funky about his eye…well, not actually the eye itself…it was not bloodshot or anything…his eyelid and the area around his eye was really swollen and droopy…evidently the force from vomiting did something to the tissues around his eye…the doctors don’t seem to concerned about it…it is starting to get better.

Paul continued to be violently ill on Thursday, January 17th.  What a sad day to be sick…let me explain why.  Our daughter, Katie, has some friends, Justin and Emily, who wanted to help us by getting a fundraiser set up.  They had arranged for Peter Breinholt, Ryan Shupe, and Nancy Hanson to perform at a private concert for our friends and family.  It was to be held that evening at 7:00, at The Castle Reception Center (which was also donated for the cause).  What an amazing fundraiser!

The fundraiser was a surprise for Paul until a couple days before it happened…then we had to tell him about it.  He was so excited…he couldn’t believe that they were willing to do this for him.  Needless to say, we were both very sad that we were unable to attend this special event…we both cried….we so desperately wanted to be there.

The fundraiser was a huge success.  We heard that it was absolutely amazing!  We are grateful for friends who recorded it for us and for family who took pictures!  A huge thank you to Justin and Emily for getting this arranged!  Also, a huge thank you to the performers!  What amazing people they are to take time to do a private concert in our behalf! And of course, a big thank you to all our wonderful family and friends who came out to support us!

Paul was not doing much better on Friday, so he ended up at the Acute Care Clinic at Huntsman.   Because I had to get one of my lovely injections that afternoon, a friend took him down for me.  Another friend took me to get my injection and then drove me down to be with Paul.  I was still not feeling 100%. 

Paul received a couple liters of IV fluids and was given larger doses of pain meds and anti-nausea medication.  He slept peacefully.  I was relieved to see him so comfortable.  It was determined they are going to put a vent in to Paul’s abdomen to release the pressure from the gasses caused by his bowel obstruction.  This vent should help with his nausea and pain.  The only problem is we are still waiting for it to be placed.  We meet with the doctor who is doing the procedure tomorrow…which means more waiting until it gets placed.  Obviously, if we had our way it would have been placed by now!

Paul has been doing better now that we increased the anti-nausea and pain medications.  He had his third round of chemotherapy yesterday.  Interestingly, last night he started to feel really yucky again and throwing up…now we are thinking maybe this is a result of the chemotherapy…the same time frame as last week…

I am happy to say that Paul only had the one episode last night.  He has done fairly well today.  He has been very tired because of a new medication they started, but other than that he did better than usual today.

Paul is scheduled to do three more rounds of chemotherapy and then have a scan.  If the tumors are shrinking then we will continue…if they are not shrinking…well, I just don’t want to go there right now…

We have been so blessed. My girls have been off track for two weeks with one week to go.  My friend coordinated a sign up sheet to have the girls go somewhere every day while they are off track. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have taken our girls for us while they have been off track.  I have the best friends ever.  This has helped us out tremendously!

Thank you to everyone for all your kindness and concern…the plates of food, the phone calls, the notes, etc.  We consider you our angels!


  1. Thank you for the update. It is really helpful. I pray everyday for your family. I love you all.

  2. We are praying for your family! We love you guys.

  3. I just ran across your blog tonight and read the entire blog. Stomach cancer has touched my family profoundly in the past 3 years. Your husband is in good hands at Huntsman. I agree that cancer sucks, but it is a teacher. You are amazing to be able to see the tender mercies while in the thick of it all. Heavenly Father is mindful of you and your sweet family. I am not sure where you live, but I am in the Brigham City area. I feel a connection and would love to communicate via email, if you have time. You can contact me at Many prayers coming your way....

  4. Hang in there Sandra and Paul. I have the video of the concert and I will get it to you soon. Prayers in our hearts and minds.