Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Myspace Graphics


Well, its been five days since my return and I think I can comfortably say that things are slowly getting better. While the couch and tree at Hospice made for a nice backgound for a family picture, they all came out a little fuzzy and I was excited about the new wig so we had mom''s co-worker Missy bring her mom Linda out to take some new family portraits and they turned out great. Definitely a fun assortment! Mere, Nick & Drew:

Im lovin' the Argyle!

Ladies in red:

Mom & Dad:

J-Mac, Dad, Drew, Nick, Me, Mom, Mom, Mere.

Me & J-Mac:

Visitors come over for a little Mama Mia Action...

So, this was pretty funny...we wanted to watch a "chick flick" when Mere, Ang & Trace were coming over Sunday night and we've been kicking the idea of picking up Mama Mia. Earlier that day Kelly B (I know its different now but remember? Newer, friendlier, no last names blogs?) Anyhoo, Kelly and her mom BRING ME MAMA MIA!!!! Crazy!! So that worked out. That was not an exciting story at ALL, but Kelly has been requesting more driver frustration stories and since I havent driven in a month....well....Im graspin' for straws here.

I dont know if Im holding a box of kleenex in my shirt or WHAT HERE. Really I have no clue. (Mere, Ang, Me, Trace)

Nick was actually supposed to be in this picture but he was embarassed to be connected in anyway to this movie. He headed upstairs to watch football.

Earlier that day, I took my VERY FIRST road trip outside of my bed to Tar-Jay and it was WONDERFUL! We wanted to get the wheelchair and the oxygen cannulas tested out because I anticipate more of these little roadtrips coming up in the future. It was a just a little bit frustrating for it being the first time, thats all. The Oxygen tank was kind of pressing into my back at first so we had to run out to the car and get a blanket but that helped to remedy that problem fairly quickly.

Here were my chauffers:

We didnt stay too terribly long since I only had like 2 hours on my tank. Im pretty pumped about what I got for mom and dad. Often times thats because it benefits me as well....and the whole family....I wont lie. They ARE going to love it though

Old leftover pics from Hospice!

Here were a few shots that never made it on the any of the old Hospice posts...or maybe they did, I dont think they did though. Im slowly coming out of the fog. Bear with me.

Drew wanted in on the wig action too!

Me & my Godfather, Mike:

Howard & Drew - I dont know if Ive ever given Howard any props on this blog before, but he has always been my "Uncle-that-really-wasnt" who is one of the most amazing people Ive ever known. He's kind and has racked up crazy volunteering hours at Hospice for many years. He's a veteran with an impressive sinking ship story. He's amazing. There's nobody like him.

Mere, Drew, Me, half of Alisa's face & Vivi:

Santa & the Elves visited Drew. We werent expecting them so unfortunately we werent prepared with some some super cute outfit, but he did pretty well considering!

REFELCTIONS ON FIVE DAYS POST-HOSPICE:I will bullet point below some of my reflections on life post-Hospice. Im not promising insight, only honesty.

  • Hospice nurses are a rare breed. They take their jobs personally and each bring their own unique quality to the task at hand. There's nothing they havent seen and make sure that you know that and are comfortable at all times.

  • Since Ive been home I have FOURTEEN medications that I have to take throughout the day. 6a, 9a,12p, 530p, 9p (I think) I have my cell phone timer set but it seems as though mom has reset hers so that she can slide in 7 minutes earlier. At 5:57am half the family storm troopers the living room to make sure I take my two 6am pills. (at least I think theres 2 at 6a)

  • Visitors in socks, you will shock me. Ang spent the night the other night and woke up at 4am to find that my cannula had slid out of my nose. (Not good) she bends over and gives me a whammy of a shock to the face. She didnt slap me, she just gently poked me right up the middle to try and push up the cannula.

  • Visitors in general, watch out for my oxygen tubing. Everyone trips over it, especially dad. He left for work the other day and almost fell on top of me, no joke.

  • My friend Kelly from OU came to visit me today with her little boys. She asked me if I was scared. I told her that in all honesty, I wasn't. I really want to get better and get back to work. Thats it. Im still trying to sort out all the emotions and fear is not breaking in thank Goodness.

  • Mom happened to be sitting there when she asked that question (Or something similar) and she said that it was scary when I was taken to the ICU when my HR went through the roof. She said it was quite scary when they had to give me two shots that stopped my heart. It was one of those "DUH" moments. I completely forgot about that night. I completely forgot there were 60 people that showed up that night. I do remember them giving me two shots that made my heart stop but I dont remember much. I remember it hurt like hell and people were actually coming in to watch. One of the nurses actually looked at me and was all, "Yeah, we dont get to see this very often" like she was excited to see it! Wha?

  • Hospice has set my parents living room up into a pretty sweet little bedroom for me. Ive got a nice reclining bed smack in the middle of the room with a rolling table, not too shabby!

  • Im reallly trying to do as much as I can by myself but I am getting a lot of help physically and entertainment-wise. Ive been yet to be denied the smallest task and between my brother and Angie, there are no movies I have yet to see.

  • One little perk of Hospice services would have to be the Massage Therapy - WHAT? YES! Massage Therapy! I have some serious back issues that could use some deep tissue massage and some knots pressed out in the worse way.

  • I also had my first appointment with a physical therapist last night, which basically turned into a one hour long Health Q&A of questions Ive been answering and could answer in my sleep...Allergies....Surgeries.....General Health questions..... Didn't we get all this information in the last five years? Doesn't the entire tri-state area know my health history? But that was her job so she had to do it so I cant blame her for that! I think we both agreed that the next time she comes, I just need a few of those little bands and some worksheets with exercizes I can do to strengthen my quads. Im having a really hard time getting up off the toilet because I have no leg muscles!

  • I can do something I NEVER thought Id be able to do...CROSS MY LEGS TWICE! you know, cross them over one knee, and then tuck my foot under my ankle. THANKS MUSCULAR ATROPY! Unfortunately my legs dont look fit, they just look wobbly and dry, but Im working on it.

  • John and I have gotten some amazing contributions in the last few weeks....the AD at Kettering Middle School dropped off $300 from the wrestling squad who just completed their winter fundraiser chose to give us their money - apparently there are a number of wrestlers who also played football for Coach Fortener (my dad) and knew I was heading into Hospice and suggested they make the donation. I know my dad was really touched by the gesture.

I think thats about all I can contribute to this post today. Hopefully as the days pass, Ill start feeling better, maybe dedicate

Here are some pics from today - Kelly with her kiddies visit, and later, a visit from my rugby teammate Netti en route to Ottowa - OHIO!

Tomorrow Ill be heading off to Hospice in the morning for another transfusion. WHOOPIDIDO!
Everyone have a great Christmas eve. If I get some good transfusion stories/pictures, Ill be sure to post. Doubtful though!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last night at hospice.

My last entry before they ship me off tomorrow back to mom and Dad's for this next phase of my my life. Here are some possibilities -

Run over to Romers for some blood work? CBC tests? tumor marker tests? Forgot. Cant do that, going home in a ambulance.

Need a throurough oxygen % test, maybe? Mom & Dad are both sleeping on either side of me in their recliner cots, Im still kind of wired, as could be figured, Rachel Maddow is talking about Dick Cheney torturing here and there, my sinuses are acting up....its like its five months ago!

I dont even know exactly when Im going to be getting out of here.

Sounds likes Ill be going home in an ambulance so that will make for an interesting morning. Maybe Ill have them stop by them stop by the donut man & visit some of my regulars. That might be asking a little too much, though.

So Ill probably be a nervous wreck all nite and then some, and who KNOWS how crazy the next week will be....I gotta get my ducks in a row and figure out what tests I need to get taken...yikes.

Just another reminder, I am still HORRIBLE at getting back with my voicemails (I still have TWENTY -FIVE new messages unread in my cell phone so if you are still desperately trying to get ahold of me, please TEXT ME ANYTHING URGENT THAT I MIGHT HAVE MISSED!!!



Ill definitely have an update tomorrow afternoon as well!!

Everyone have a great Friday!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Whadda you think of the wigs?
So, yesterday, Jan, Judy, Jean & Mere all went out and picked me out a few a few after I threw an all & out tempertantrum when the head nurse and my mom decided it wasnt such a good idea....when they got home I was too tired to even play dress up so I ended up half falling. asleep with Hula, Hater and Ziggy.
Who-ohoo!!! How's that for some makeup!?!??!?

Here's the other wig - the brown one. All the guys seemed to like this one best. Looks cute with a hat on it too. What do you think??

Awww me & Dad. That hair looks so fake. Im still going to wear it.

Look who came to visit Drew! VanBuren's Santa crew!! Drews been getting this weird smiles. I think Pavlov's dog has kicked in everytime I half-notch my camera and give drew the red light, he gives me his little ackonowegement that he knows what's going on. I dont like the face so Im going to bedoing more to turn that around.


Still being a good baby for santa!
Crazy baby and Mommy having fun!!

Babe-zillza aout to bout puunce!!

Drew was doing some heavy duty pushing arund today!!

Nick and Mere havent gotten a dog yet, but I can promise drew shouldnt have too much trouble. This dog was a big'in!.

Glaser & Aracri stopped by and hung out with Dad & John for a bit...

Diana, Mary, Drew (apparently giving "Bue Steel) and Grandma hanging out ...
Well, cant say it was an over the top Tuesday, but I did have some exciting wig developments, some new visititors so I wasnt all in all dissapointed.
One thing I will leave you with is the What's going in? Question. No body wants to read it, but I knowit on everybody is qurious. Peeeking? Ready??
Ok wussies. Im probably getting out on Friday. Jon will have to make sure my car is working inside & out, Ill probably need to take a driving lesson forboth of us.
As for what happens next. We wait.Everybody just keep feelin groovy at this point, and hoping for the best. Honestly? I really just just need to keep a sharp positive focus on everything coming up. EVERTHING!!
Could things just disappear like Ive been prediciting they would? OF COURSE!!! Could they slowly start slowly acting up again???
But then of course we make everything go away again.
Now Im off to put my laptop and make my momahppy for the first time all night..baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Sh's reallly pissed at my right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

OMG!!! She's blogging!!! Alive!!! In a HOSPICE!!!

So.....here I am all pissed off that Ive been attempting to tackle this blog post for THREE gard-dang days and what I have I acomplished? Nothing.

When I was in college, I could get a TON done stuff by just putting something off - Jami and Stacy know just how much could be acomplished when exam week was on the horizon. Fort was a cleaning spree!! Things were incredible.

Apparently this most recent blog posting as evoloved into a college exam of the past.

This is without a doubt because Ive waited so long. I cant even remember how to post correctly. Four pictures or so shifted to the left? Pictures out of order? Columns CENTERED?.......CENTERED??

I suppose the concept of being put into a Hospice is enough to put a shock into your system for awhile. Remember when I would sputter out there every now and again about my "Preminition I was having" about having one last more"Big one" before my fight with cancer was over? I really was having those preminitions. And I dont know if ever uttered that deepest and most sacred word outloud, but "Hospice" was always floating around back there. Im not sure why it was.

During the last five months while I was enduring these last five months of Ixempra, my mom would cheerfully nod and say, "I think this is the "Big One" you were talking about. This is the last one you have to get over. But I would always respond the same. "No Mom, sorry." In a way I was trying to show her to show a little respect to the disease. Cancer isnt going to make me go through all of that THAT for THIS. I sadly knew there was at least one more visit we were going ot have to make on this journey, and it wasnt a place most people think they're going to make it out alive without proper flowers or some respectable casserole dish.

So lets run back to Kettering Hospital where where I was struggling to keep up with the heart scans & oxygen tests....DO'H!!!! you cancersuxfans are WAAAAAY to kind! (Robin, you tipped me off today didnt you?)

Seems as thought I throughoughly updated the blog up through Friday, Dec 5th, BUT manually (incorrectly typed it in as the 12th)....so if you have flipping back and through your calendars trying to figure out where a disappearing week went, thats where it went!!

Ok, so in looking back, it looks as though Ive actually updated you a little better than I had thought. Theres mom, John and I posing with the First of my left two thorocentisis's done last week and the contraption that held my chest tube as well. This was the calm before the storm.

I too, had to to admit that that I thought the "Your're going to Hospice" event was going to be more dramatic, but as it turns out, Romer visited me twice over the weekend and I was so yapped up on meds I didnt have much of an idea what what really going on anyway. And like I mentioned before, the "Big H" wasnt some something I was exactly on the precipice holding onto from Romer's tight, sweaty fingers. Sorry. No biggie there. Romer came, and he saw that Hospice was good, He said you dont have to stay, and I lightly beat my chest with a tap and "Peaced" him out.

Im sad to report to you all that as of today, they will be cutting back CONSIDERABLY on my meds. Specifically my pain meds that come via IV. What this basically means that that If I want a pain med, I cant get it through the IV, which, as it turns out, is way more fun.

When the nurse came to see if I needed any pain meds tonight, I shot back, "What cha got?".

She looked at me a little awkward. "You know, just wanted to see what was on the menu."

She laughed and walked out. In passing Ive been hearing of some LOVELY discussions Ive heald with some under the influence of Dilaudid to name two. According to mom it was mostly just a lot of me saying things and following it up with saying, "Im sto stupid, I dont know why I said that.

So for now, Im just patting myself on the back for the little accomplishments I can make here and there here in the privacy of my own little room.

Ok, its just one big accomplishment. And thats getting up out of bed by myself (Im not supposed it) and taking myself to the restroom (not supposed to be doing that either.

So thats All Im doing right now...

Nurse Jane from KMC~ Who wants a wiseacre nurse giving bunny ears before such an important procedure?? I DO!!!!

Erin & Laurie - my DIVA-LICIOUS N.A's, who took care of all my whining and complaining before we left KMC
Caught Pauly for a Mug before he and Elizibeth took J-Mac off to Tanks for dinner on Friday night. Goood times!
Merry Christmas! We'll probably need to take this one over, all my shots were a little dark and think we do have overall room for improvement.

Again...this is just another thanks to all the blog supporters who have been posting such great comments and sending all the prayers and positive thoughts. Im reading them all and Im sorry I dont get a chance to respond to you each individually!!

MySpace Comments
Special thanks to Miller who came all the way out from Denver to visit my sorry ass. (photo below)You're the best. (and Pam did have the letter so no worries) I may post that this week if you dont mind. Also - check it out - the oldies keep rolling in!!! Missy Shumate guest stars in Kettering this afternoon at Hospice. Ladies, she's making those burbling noises again like she was going for a our five year (That she was a year late for)...lets hold her too it this time!

And last but not leastly, here's a scrumcious view of John (or Pam depending on the day) at my Home Sweet Hospice. Just wanted to pass it along.

John below~

MySpace Comments

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oops....I did it again....

Another day that should have been focused on "resting" and updating my blog didnt turnt out as we had hoped. Now Ive got to share my new found obsession with Facebook with my mom....so, now, here's my new promise for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12th:

Tomorow you will be updated on the following rumors/facts:
  • Again I apologize for the five day blogging hiatus. I REEEALY have o excuse, Really I don't. I have time to do it.
  • The day finally got around to deem my chest tube clear enough pull, they also ran an other ultrasound that showed quite a bit of fluid on my left lung (previously untouched). The ultrasound showed just over 500 ml AND the offcial amount came out two about 1500 ml....crazy, huh.
  • Felt great afterwards.
  • Had another "episode" that night where I couldt breathe and was rushed to the ICU.
  • Ended up in the ICU for 3 days. These dates will be detailed tomorrow to the best of my (Mom's journals) abilities.
  • After three days, I was awaken by a stern looking Dr. Romer. I saw this coming. His suggestion was Hospice. Shocker! The ambulance showed up probably a 1/2 hour later.
  • What a treat! Nice big rooms, and lets face it, I havent gotten a breath of fresh air i like TWO WEEKS!!!

Anyway......this is what Ill be updating tomorrow and mom, I apologize for all the empty promises of the last two hours. Here you go.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday, Dec 12th UPDATE:

Well, I know yesterday evening I was all giddy about how great the prcedure went and im guessing maybe the cosmos decided to punish me for spreading the rumor about what a simple, easy process this was.

Fell asleep with no problem whatsoever. I had been informed that the side effects from the talc could range from chest pains, breathing problems and fevers. Around 11, I was lying on my right side (always the right side, no?) and I woke up and realized I needed to turn over because I didnt feel so good.

Mom shot up and noticed my blood-oxygen level was in low 70s. I have the nurse paged, but mom runs out into the hallway and flags a nurse in before they can respond.

I am now quickly running out of breath as each second passes. My low blood oxygen level now had some 4-5 nurses and doctors in my room and I am gasping for air in what I can only describe as the most frightening event of my life. I can handle any new cancer procedure but this was something I had never experienced before.

Poor mom could only sit on the edge of my bed and rubbed my arm as I took in one frequent, shallow breath after another, my eyes bugging out of my head with fearful tears welling up. I remember one of the nurses looking up at my mom saying, in the mist of the chaos, "Our jobs are never done, are they?" Some moms, sadly, are done at this point, but Im thankful Pam still feels an obligigation to keep my feet lotioned and my legs shaved and my back rubbed and scratched at all times.

I dont know when the first phase of the fever/breathing issues subsided. I want to say it was around 1-130 and I slowly began to fall asleep.

Around 3pm, I woke up and it started again - couldnt breathe, room is packed with nurses and doctors, and this time they're sending up the transport x-ray machines which was all torture because for ONE, my oxygen, BP and Heart Rate all get crazy when I sit up or try to move around and TWO, they put that big metal board behind my back and then asked me to either hold my breath in for the shot, or breathe out for the shot - - - WHAT?!?!? I cannot breathe, I cannot talk.

Phase II lasted even longer. I was on a temporary dose of 100% oxygen and the guy wroking on the oxygen was trying to switch me to a oxygen mixture. (I dont know why they dont want people on 100% but they dont) In the middle of one of my spazouts, the guy messing with my cannula and my mask, he took one of them off for just a little bit too long and I got one of those coughing spazms that quickly turned turned into me getting sick - mom, like a championn, quickly pulls over the trashcan and I swipe the oxygen mask from the guy.

Im too tired right now to give you anymore details, but I just wanted to let you know how incredibly AWFUL last night was. Things will get better.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Night Update! 6:32 am

Good news! Had the procedure done and it was so NOT a big deal that mom was allowed to stay and take some photos of the doc injecting the talc. It was over in less than ten minutes and DIDNT HURT AT ALL. There was a little bit of discomfort when I started turning around on each side, just what I would describe as some internal burning, but now Im on my back so Im way comfortable now. Actually ordered dinner which I probably wont eat, but Ill give it a shot.Mere, Nick and Drew stopped by for lunch this afternoon and of course these two were hamming it up for the camera - does ANYONE doubt that Drew is going to grow up to be just like daddy?

A BIG THANKS to the Raterman's for providing dinner for mom and dad tonight, they were such happy little campers!
Also, a PART II thanks to the coaches at Fairmont who have provided me with an entire spirit wear ARSENAL to wear for posterity. Im so pumped!!