Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back Home From Being With Richard - Day 3 / 100

Above is the bag of stem cells from the wonderful stranger! The bag looks darker than it really was. The little tube into which it drained, is a much more accurate visual of the stem cell colour.

Below is Richard watching it slowly drain into his Hickman Line. You can't see how watery his eyes are, but he was definitely 'welled up'. Not sure if it was fear or joy or just everything all built up to this moment.
That was at around 11pm on Wednesday night. October 27th, 2010.

How Richard's Doing:

When I left, Richard still had the hiccups, but they didn't sound near as bad as they do in the evening. His sleep last night was only slightly better. From where I'm sleeping in his room, he sounds like he's choking many times in the night and gasping for air from the hiccups. He assures me that it sounds worse than it is.

I'm hoping he took advantage of the offer of a sleeping pill for tonight. When he falls asleep, he isn't hiccuping, so I imagine it would be nice for him to go an entire night without hiccups.

Earlier today, he wanted a break from the pain in his throat/chest area. He didn't want Morphine (not to mention, slow drip morphine can be one of the hiccup causes). He didn't want Codine because he was worried about constipation aggravating his diverticulitis. He's not allowed to have Advil (Ibuprofen- I didn't ask why). He just wanted Tylenol. He wasn't really allowed to have Tylenol because his temperature was running high at 37.9 and they didn't want the Tylenol to mask his fever. The nurse (one of my faves) allowed him to have the Tylenol "just this once" to give a little break from the pain. He was quite happy with that!

On the hiccup topic. My curiosity led me to this site on chemo hiccups. I found the part about drinking upside down funny since that what I recommended to Richard. It's a good thing he doesn't listen to me.

The Visit With Richard:

It was really great to be able to stay with Richard for the three nights. I was glad to be there, and likewise, he was happy to have me there (even if he slept for a lot of it). The last day resulted in us creating a code word for when he doesn't want me to talk while the nurse is You know, like "Serenity Now". We decided on "Woman.. Shut up!"

It was pretty funny. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't speak up about my worries about Richard's gasps for air. It was my favourite nurse who was on staff who seems pretty 'cool' and easy to talk to, so while she was in the room, I expressed my worries....

"I'm not going to be able to sleep if I don't say something, and I know that I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but I ..... blah blah blah... feel like a new mother waking to every sound her baby makes in the middle of the night... blah blah blah... is he breathing? Blah blah blah.... are you okay?..... blah blah blah.... did he pass out?... blah blah blah.... gasping for breath and looking scared... blah blah blah...... he wasn't near the call bell when he was gasping... blah ... I had to press it.... blah.... worried he's going to pass out and no one's going to know for like an hour."

She was really great about it, and funny too, but it brought up the part about Richard's sleep being interrupted when he needs to go to the bathroom and the hiccups starting all over, hence the gasps, and then the vomitting. She mentioned the possibility of a bedpan or a catheter at night so he could get rest undisturbed. Ooooooh, he gave me the evil eye!!! Hence his new phrase that will be uttered if he wants me to not be such a 'mom'.

"Woman... SHUT UP!"

Aaaahhh. I love that man. Glad he puts up with me.

Visit With Norma:

Norma was by again today. Luckily, her scratchy throat the other day was just that, and not a cold. Had another nice visit with Norma, as all visits with Norma are. Norma, if any of you readers do not already know, is staying at the Cancer Lodge, about four blocks away to be close to Richard during the transplant process. Eases my mind to know she there. Eases Richard's too. I imagine it also eases Norma's.

Norma knitted Richard a nice toque which is great for his bald head and the cold weather for when he'll eventually be at the Cancer Lodge and walking to outpatient appointments, I imagine.

Norma's looking great and is a nice ray of sunshine in the room when she arrives. Thanks for that, Norma!

Picking up the Boys:

Everything went according to the plan for the boys:

*Kim and Jared stayed over Tuesday night - check
*Wednesday they watched the boys while I was at work - check
*Wednesday night they watched the boys while I headed straight to the hospital - check
*Thursday Kim took AJ and Makenna to preschool in their costumes - check
*Thursday after preschool, Kim and Jared took the boys and their pre-packed-by-me bags to mom's for their
Thursday night sleepover
- check
*Friday the boys hung out with mom who did not have a shift that day and filled them full of sugar and cookies
- check
*Friday night, the boys spent a second night at my mom's - check
*Saturday, the boys spent another day with Gram eating sugar, but having good naps - check

The added bonus? Paul had three friends over this evening all getting ready for a Hallowe'en party. They were crazy and rowdy with AJ and Dexter burning off lots of energy and giving them the rough play they've been missing while Daddy's been in the hospital. That was wonderful!

I got back home with the boys around 10:15pm or so. Aaaaaah. Relax.


Norma - For staying with Richard while I'm home with the boys. For the awesome Starbucks card to help keep me sane. For some nice little visits!

Mom - For watching the boys and letting them have sugary-Gram fun (with fruits and vegetables too - I believe you).

Kim and Jared - For staying at the house to watch the boys and taking AJ and Makenna to preschool.

Paul, Matthew, Matthew, and Spencer - Thank you for fighting with the boys and tipping them upside down and rough-housing with them. I'll talk to you later about Dexter saying, "Call of Duty with Uncle Paul". ;)

Dad - For driving me to the hospital on Wednesday night from your place, then having my car washed inside and out, filling it with gas, picking me up on Saturday, taking me for lunch, and bringing me back to your place so I could drive home!

Ryan - Thanks for the card! I just got it today! I'll take it to Richard when I see him next!

Terri (from the gym) - Thank you for the Starbucks card!

Toboo, Shakespeare, and Sassy - For not subjecting me to cat-barf at my front entrance or at the top of the stairs.


Anonymous said...

anyway we can get the address to where Richard is so that I can send him a get well something or other?? any ideas on what he can have/like? thanks for the quick updates. i make sure to check this and his blog each night for progress. hang in there!


AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Hey Stacy!

I'll have to ask Richard his room number. I'm not sure if you can send mail to him there or not. I would guess so.

I'll find out for you.

I'll ask him if there's anything he wants right now. His intestinal track is just starting to get very sore now from the chemo and such, so he's not really into eating anything.

Lee Ann said...

You guys are awesome, it is great to have the updates. You are all on my mind the whole time. I hope Richards hiccups pass soon, that would drive you crazy!! Love and cuddles flying over the pond xxxx