Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taking It Easy At Home

Taking It Easy At Home
Watching TV.
Using my brand new white Kindle!
Watching Jack prune some roses and watching the hummingbirds go to my feeders.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tests, Tests, Tests At Heathcote Hospital and Prince William Hospital

Tests, Tests Tests At Heathcote Hospital and Prince William Hospital

Thursday, July 15 I had a sonogram at the Heathcote Hospital that is less than two miles from my
House. It was for checking on my leukemia status. Then on Tuesday, July 19 Jack and I made a trip to the Heathcote Hospital because I was having a terrible headache, pains on my heart and I was spitting up blood in my mucous. The doctor at Heathcote had me transferred by ambulance to the larger Prince William Hospital after blood work and a cat scan indicated that I had possibly had a heart attack and that it looked like I had bacterial pneumonia. I was admitted by a very nice doctor, Amitkumar Dave, who placed me the intensive care unit.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon I had nonstop medicals tests and nonstop visits from many medical personnel. Everyone who entered my room had to don a mask to keep from spreading germs to me and my weakened immune system. I finally was released from the hospital late Friday afternoon. While in the PW Hospital I had five cat scans that checked my head, chest and heart.
And I received three different antibiotics by infusion. I also received lots of steroids, drugs and platelet transfusions. Also during this time frame I had visits from the following people: the admitting doctor, two oncologists, a heart doctor, an infectious diseases doctor, an endocrine doctor, a dietitian, a physical therapist, a social worker and the local Catholic priest. Needless to say I was so busy that I didn't have time to rest until late Thursday night. Oh, and did I add that I got weighed, had three chest x-rays and an echocardiagram on my heart that indicated that I had fluid on my heart?

Now here is when things got really interesting. When a cat scan of my throat could not verify that I had some type of lesion on the left side of my throat an MRI test was ordered for my throat. Have you ever had an MRI test?

This test is where they put your entire body in a metal tube with a magnet to do magnetic imaging of the body. The noise from the machine is very loud so you wear earplugs and your face is covered with a cloth before they put a metal helmet on your head. The MRI tech person then leaves the room and the test begins with the tech calling out don't move and expect very loud noise for the next 45 minutes that is only broken up by quick breaks. So you lie there thinking of what can you relate to all this very loud noise. It sounded like guns and cannons going off so I tried relating it to the beginning 150'th anniversary celebration of the start of the Civil War which was being reenacted near Manassas. Now here is where I had a meltdown. Thursday evening when this MRI test was given the temperature in Manassas was 102 with a heat index of around 110 degrees outside but the air conditioning in the hospital lab was not working correctly so I'm lying in a metal tube and the magnets are getting hot and increasing
the temperature in that metal tube. The tech person had to stop the test twice to replace the cloth on my face because I was sweating so much that the cloth was getting wet and you can't do an MRI test with anything wet in the helmet which was inside the metal tube. Obviously I was not a very happy camper!

Then when I got back to my room close to 9:00 P.M. I was hoping to chill out by watching my favorite summer show, Big Brother. But I was told that I was going to have to move to my third
hospital room for the week. Now this is where things really got a little scary. When I got to my new room I discovered that there was a Prince William County Police officer wearing a gun who was there to guard a psychiatric? patient from the Prince William County Male Detection Center.

This fellow was not a happy patient and was throwing a fit or two. Holy Cow! At this point I thought to myself that if that police officer has to draw his gun and use it on this man and a bullet went thru the adjoining wall I might get hit with a bullet. I already had a plan if this happened. I was going to hop under the hospital bed even though I was hooked up to an IV for meds. Needless to say it was a night that I will never forget for many reasons. Oh, also during my four day hospital another test in the basement found me staring at two more police officers who were guarding another patient from the male detention center. I have never been so upclose and personal with police officers wearing guns,bullets and handcuffs before this past week.

I really received exceptionally good care at both hospitals although I got very tired of getting stuck for tons and tons of blood for my many tests to determine what was happening to my weakened immune system. I had my third and final chest x-ray right before I left the hospital. Let me tell you that it was so great to get home and chill out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No Recent Blog Posts

No Recent Blog Posts
Reason: Spent Last Four Days
At Prince William Hospital For Medical Tests/Evaluation Of My Leukemia
I'll Write About Within Next 24 Hours
Stay Cool
Going Up To 102 Degrees Today
Heat Index Will Be Around 120 Degrees!!
Holy Cow!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Fourth Of July Hot Dog!

The Fourth Of July Hot Dog!
Isn't he cute!
This is Sammy in his sparkling red, white and blue color.
He stopped by with his owners Bev and Shorty
to deliver to us a Wegman's white cake decorated with an American flag.
Thank you Bev and Shorty!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guess What Happened In Kentucky?

Guess What Happened In Kentucky?
I spent three summers in the '70s at the University of Kentucky to earn my school librarian certificate. One summer I had a roommate who was a nursing student. She was finishing up her nursing degree at the University of Kentucky Medical Center and immediately after that she was getting married so she was under a lot of stress.

One night we both had gone to bed in our dorm room. Around 2:00 A.M. in the morning I heard her bed creak and I saw her get up. I assumed that she was going to head down the hall to the communal bathroom. But instead she walked over to her desk and picked up a rubber tourniquet that she was using to practice giving shots and giving blood transfusions. Then she picked up a very sharp lead pencil and started walking over to my bed. What! I didn't know what to think. Was she going to play a joke on me in the middle of the night or what. So I lay there waiting to see what was going to happen next.

When she got beside my bed she started talking. She said, "I need to give you a blood transfusion." Holy Cow! What's going on here I thought quickly. Then it hit me. This girl was sleep walking so I knew I couldn't just wake her up. I had to do some fast thinking. So I threw my arm up in the air and very forcefully hit her arm away from me while I said very loud I don't need a blood transfusion so you get back in bed and go to sleep. You have class tomorrow. Well, lo and behold she listened to what I said. She walked back to her desk and put the tourniquet and pencil down and went back bed and almost immediately started snoring away. I was a little scared to go back to sleep but eventually I did.

The next morning when I told her that she had been sleep walking last night she had absolutely no recollection of doing so. But she did believe me because she said that her family had told her that she had done some sleep walking in the past. That's one funny but true story that I will never ever forget.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Body Reactions

Body Reactions
Part 1
On June 11 I went to the Prince William Hospital outpatient blood clinic to get two units of eradicated o positive blood. Within a few days I started to have but didn't realize that I was having a delayed reaction to the June 11 blood transfusion. I had always assumed that if you were going to have a bodily reaction it would happen while you were getting the transfusion.

Here's what happen to me. First, I lost my appetite. Everything I tried to eat tasted bad and I would regurgitate it for 6-8 hours after eating it. I discovered that I didn't like the taste of some of my very favorite foods like bacon, spaghetti and meat sauce, and French vanilla ice cream with strawberries on top. Second, I started having diarrhea 24/7 which was no fun at all. Third, in spite of not eating very much I was gaining a pound a day! I went from 152 to 157 within five days. Finally I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror and discovered that my face was swollen, especially my upper eyelids and cheeks. Then I noticed that my ankles and tummy were also swollen. When I had my next appointment at the Lake Manassas Cancer Center Dr. Marsh took just one look and said I looked awful! Thank you Dr. Marsh! He said that my skin had turned yellow and also the whites of my eyes! Holy Cow!!!! What to do? He ran some blood tests that showed that I was having a delayed blood transfusion reaction and that that was also affecting my liver. He had me take Benedryl to bring down the swelling. This all occurred around June 23. Today is July 13 and I am better but not over this crisis. My appetite is coming back and my diarrhea is much better and my color is better but I'm still slightly swollen around my eyes. Tomorrow I will get an ultrasound to see how my liver is functioning. I'll keep you all informed.
Body Reactions
Part II
I've been doing seven days of chemo---four days last week and three days this week. While doing chemo you can't help but notice all the other cancer patients who are also there doing chemo along side you. Last week Jack and I got to witness something very scary. There was this gentleman who came in for chemo after I did. When the infusion nurse started his IV he immediately started having a very bad reaction to the infusion chemical and complained that he was starting to itch around his head, back and groin. When the nurse pulled up his shirttail to check his itching back I happened to look over and I couldn't believe what I saw. Within just a few minutes his entire back had turned as red as a raw red steak with lots of big welts appearing all over his back. Luckily I have never experienced anything like that with my chemo treatments.

But let me tell you that the entire infusion lab sprang into crisis mode. Every infusion nurse ran over to help this man deal with his reaction. First, the chemo was stopped and a large bag of Benedryl was given by infusion to bring down the swelling and redness. His whole body including his feet had become swollen within a few minutes. They had to remove his sneakers to give him relief. With all the chemo and Benedryl in his system he then insisted he had to use the restroom. Two female nurses carried him to the restroom where a male nurse helped him use the restroom. The nurses then said that they would let him rest for about 45 minutes before they tried using a different chemical for his cancer treatment. This whole event was very scary to witness. I was relating this story to another cancer patient yesterday at the clinic and she informed me that before I arrived yesterday there was another patient who didn't react well to his chemo treatment. He started complaining of chest pains. Immediately an ambulance was called and this patient was taken to the emergency room at the Prince William Hospital for evaluation.

Come back here tomorrow and I will relate a blood transfusion story I experienced in the '70s at the University of Kentucky where I was working to earn my school library certification. Everyone have a good day and try to stay cool by staying inside and drinking lots of water.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Turning Four With Four Birthday Parties

Turning Four With Four Birthday Parties
Jack and I went over to Jenn and Terry's Friday night to give him our birthday card, gift and money. When he saw the money he asked his Daddy to get his big blue piggy bank so he could put his bills into it.
Fold and stuff, fold and stuff and get that money into the pig. Jack's second party was Saturday morning with all his little friends at the moon bounce. And his third was Saturday afternoon when he got to open all the presents with his parents. he got from his buddies.
See the sign on the fireplace mantle. Later in July Jack Aidan will have his fourth birthday celebration up on Cape Cod with his paternal grandparents and his first cousins. Also, in this photo Jack is checking out his birthday card from us that turned into two cars from the Cars 2 movie that he went to see the other week. That was his first movie experience in a real theater.
Jack is getting good at ripping into presents and finding the gift inside.
Daddy, help me play this new pattern game from Grandma and Grandpa.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spiderman Cupcakes For The Birthday Boy

Spiderman Cupckes For The Birthday Boy
Look at these adorable cupcakes complete with a chocolate web that Jennifer's girlfriend created for all the birthday attendees at the Pump It Up Moon Bounce Birthday party in Manassas on Saturday!
They fit with the Spiderman theme in Jack's bedroom.
Jack Aidan in his Spiderman costume.
Jack throwing a web on Thanksgiving Day last year.
Grandpa watching Jack throw his webs.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Worst Pictures We Ever Took!

The Worst Pictures We Ever Took!
Yes, Yes, The Worst Pictures We Ever Took!
Yesterday our front door opened and our grandson high on cupcakes and pizza and juice from celebrating early his fourth birthday with 14 little buddies and their parents at the Pump It Up Moon Bounce in Manassas came in like a whirling dervish wearing his guest of honor crown and swinging his sceptre at us. Grandpa and I and Mom and Dad tried to get him to settle down so we could take a photo or two but he was just too wound up as the photo above and the photos below will attest to.
Look out everyone I may just throw this sceptre at you.
Keeping his sceptre and right foot in constant motion here.
Daddy held him for this shot but the right foot and sceptre are still in motion.
Mommy held him for this shot which didn't make him too happy.
Oh, Jack Aidan.
When you are high on sugar you are a trip!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Coneflowers Are Now In Bloom

My Coneflowers Are Now In Bloom
They Bloom For About A Month
Then In August When The Blossoms Turn To Ripe Seeds
Lots Of Beautiful Yellow Finches Will Sit On The Flowers Devouring The Seeds

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chemo Week

Chemo Week
I'm looking forward to the weekend after this week's chemo sessions
for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Everyone have a great weekend.
I know my relatives will be heading to that big country concert in the hills near Fort Laromie, Ohio.

Go to site above to see who will perform---Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Julianne Hough will be some of the entertainers thrilling the crowds.

News Flash: If you have an extra moment to spare go to my blog roll and go to my daughter's blog: Jenn and Terry to see some adorable pics of my little grandson, Jack Aidan. I know I'm prejudice but I think this is one adorable little boy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Have A Great Fourth of July Celebration!

Have A Great Fourth of July Celebration!
The flag Jack is looking at is the American flag
that we used during the time of the Spanish American War.
I like how the white stars are grouped on this flag.
So different from our flag today.
We saw this flag in a museum in Norfolk, VA last year.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank You!

Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who has been showering me with both flowers and cards.
You know who you are.