Hello All of Heather's good friends and faithful readers, since Heather is in the hospital and enduring through the treatment I have offered my services to put a few "maintenance" posts up for her. Obviously, I have very tough shoes to fill in terms of posting on the blog, but this is my attempt. It probably won't be as colorful, but this is a quick rundown of everything since last weeks post
Heather's family came down and spent the day with us. It was good to see all of her aunts, uncles and cousins. The weather was beautiful and we were able to do many things outside. The kids (Kyler, Ella, Grandma, and Grandpa) searched for Easter eggs and played in "Jumpy-Jumpy" (I am sure there will be pictures to come). Saturday was a very busy day for us with all of the getting ready for this weeks trip, but we can't even begin to express how grateful and meaningful to was to see the family on Saturday.
Sunday morning came all too early for us. I had a friend of mine post on Facebook that, without fail, the kids will always be up early on holidays and while the kids did not get us up, we were up way too early. With the coming of Sunday we had an early afternoon flight to Houston, and not enough hours in the day to get ready. We attended Easter Sunday services, and had lunch with my mother. After lunch came the hard part- leaving. I travel regularly for work and getting away for work reasons, even for extended stays, usually is not hard. For these reasons, getting away from the house was very difficult. The tears in both kid's eyes was hard to swallow and Heather and I had to share a rough few initial minutes on the drive followed by strong missing them feelings throughout the week.
Sunday did come with many bright spots though. We flew with Corporate Angels and this organization provides free flights for cancer patients on the empty seats of corporate jets. This was wonderful and the service on the flight was more than superb. We did forget though to arrange ground transportation for when we landed. Oops. However, the Ground Angel crew was able to get us to our hotel with no issue. We had to squeeze into a car, but it wasn't that much of a "squeeze". Everything happened to workout perfectly for us on Sunday.
With Monday came hell!! We had a lovely non-neighbor (meaning there was no one in the hotel room) who left there alarm on. It started beeping about 10 minutes before our wake-up call and continued until we left the hotel. Heather went and got her blood drawn, this was the longest wait we had ever had at MD Anderson and was about an hour. We then went to get her catheter put in, but somewhere/someone did not pull all the blood work for the catheter to be put in. So we had to go back down for them to pull more blood work. This time it didn't take very long, and the cool thing was we actually heard the word "stat" used in an actual medical facility. I thought this was all make believe, but they actually do say it---all be damned. Heather even said that she told the nurse at the blood drawing station that it had to be done "stat" -- aren't we cool to be using the doctor lingo.
After finally getting the blood thing right, the catheter was installed without any real issue. They gave her a sedative and she was under strict orders to be in a wheelchair for a period of time. This was the fun part for me to zoom her around from place to place. We zoomed to get an X-ray, and then zoomed upstairs for a doctors appointment. Turning is a rather hard thing to do, and Heather has given me a hard time about my wheelchair driving skills.
After the doctors appointment began the fun of the day. We went to hospital admissions around 2:00 and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited. I think Heather read two large books, I read half of a small book and did a little bit of work. We finally got into our hospital room at about 8:00 PM. We got about two hours to settle into our room and then treatment began. However we would have preferred to start treatment at 8:02PM. First came saline for about 2 hours, followed by chemo 1 (lasted about 1 hour), followed by chemo 2 (lasted about 1 hour), followed by chemo 3 (lasted about 1 hour), followed chemo 4 (lasted 12 hours).
Heather has been amazing during the chemo treatments. The first three gave her no immediate side effect and at about 2:30 in the morning she told me if it is all like this then I should have no problem. Shortly there after the last drug was started and it hit her hard. She has only felt super sick a couple of times throughout the day, and slept a lot of the day today. She has gone in spurts though when she feels good for about 1-2 hours, sleeps for 1-2 hours, and feels sick for 1-2 hours. This has been repeated (in no particular order) most of the day.
Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. On a daily basis we continue to ask for both the physical and emotional strength to continue fight. I will not lie, it has not been easy and I am sure it will get more difficult for both of us, our immediate and extended families, and our kiddos. At some point in our childrens lives they might not remember this experience but when they look at their mother they will know that she was one hell of a fighter, with a will to survive that I am sure not everyone shares.
Thank you all for the thoughts. Heather, I love you, sleep tight and I will see you in the morning.
Sjogren's and Bicycles
4 days ago