tom's blog

Home Again

Anna had a solid week of progress in the hospital. She recovered from her sinus surgery, though does remain a little stuffy. As the week went on, her numbers also started coming back to relatively normal levels. They felt good enough about everything to perform another round of the Lumbar Puncture/Spinal Chemo on Friday afternoon. With this procedure, there was a bit of drama... She wasn't supposed to eat all day, but got hungry and had a single skittle... the anesthesiologist wasn't happy that her stomach wasn't completely empty, so they wanted to postpone the procedure. seems a bit crazy over one single skittle, but they didn't like it at all. she really wanted to get through this, as it meant she could likely go home the following day... so, they decided to do it with just some hard core pain meds that wound up putting her mostly to sleep. She got through it, and  I guess she learned not to have even a single skittle.
She was able to come home from the hospital this afternoon. Her hair has been falling out over the past few days, so it was time to shave it. We got most of the heavy stuff off, and tomorrow, we'll go through and make it nice and shiny. Other than that, she's been in bed for most of the day. Although, she is able to sleep at the hospital, it's not really a good long sleep. They wind up in and out of her room every few hours, so she sleeps in small increments. I think she's had a good sleep so far today, but we'll see if she's able to keep going through the night, or if this is going to keep her up all night. Regardless, it's good to have her back home.
Assuming all continues on track, she'll be back in the hospital in a little over a week for the start of the next round of the new chemo regimen. It's kind of crazy with all of the back and forth stuff, but it is nice to see her home. I know it gets tougher to leave TJ each time, but I think it really does help everyone to have her home ever few days. We've really been using a lot of skype video lately, so TJ winds up seeing her via the computer almost every day. I've been hooking it up to the big screen TV in the living room lately and he really gets a kick out of it, and it's a good way to communicate with her.

Surgery and Recovery

Due to Anna's congestion, they decided to perform sinus surgery on Monday evening to clear up the congestion. Additionally, while they were in there, they wanted to do a biopsy to confirm the buildup was not Leukemic cells. The surgery was scheduled for 7:30pm on Monday night, but didn't get started until a little later. I was able to get over to the hospital before everything started, so we spent a little time together. I could tell she was a bit nervous as this was the first time for this procedure and it was full blown anesthesia and they wind up going up your noise, down your throat and it doesn't exactly sound like a lot of fun. When we were in the holding area for the Operating Room waiting for the Doctor, I think the nurse was making both of us a bit nervous. She needed to receive a fax with her marching orders, but after replacing the paper, she couldn't get the fax to work again. She had opened the top part, and couldn't figure out how to close it again. Seeing her struggle to close up the fax really made me question whether or not I wanted her to be involved in anything surgical with Anna. I realize it's not her thing, but you'd like to think she could close the damn fax machine. After watching her struggle for about 5 mins she asked for help, and I had the fax working in about 15 seconds. I asked if I should scrub up for surgery, but I don't think she got it.
By the time the Doctor was done with surgery and came to find me, it was pretty close to 10:30pm. She looked pretty beat up, had a fair bit of swelling, a steady flow of blood coming from her nose, and was a little bit out of it. It was nice that i was able to sit with her while she recovered. After a while, we went back to 5300 and they wound up moving her to a better room, so that was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, they got a little mixed up in her antibiotics and pain meds, etc so because Anna was a little out of it, I stuck around pretty late and wound up getting home close to 3am. I didn't want to leave until I knew everything was settled and under control for the night.
Today, she was in much better shape by the time I went to the hospital. She had a pretty good amount of energy, the bleeding had stopped, and the swelling was pretty minimal. Also, the pain from the congestion that she had been having had completely subsided. So, she's on the road to recovery.
Emotionally, she was doing really well tonight. She's managed to keep her spirits up through all this. Unfortunately, there's someone else in the unit who will likely be passing soon. I think the priest was there last night. The family has been camped out for a few days. We don't really know them but we know their faces, we know why they are there, and we know that look in their eyes all too well. It's sad to watch. We wish them all the best and will be thinking about them.

Quiet Day on 5300

I started the day at home. I took TJ out with me to Costco, A&P, and Babies R Us. It was good to spend some time with the little man. He's pretty low maintenance and has a good time helping me find stuff. I came over to the hospital around 4pm to check on her. She was running a fever again today (100.7) and had a fair bit of congestion. They ran a CT scan on her today, and saw that she has some inflammation on the right side of her head that is related to the infection. It's not visible in person or anything, just some congestion/swelling that's been causing her a bit of discomfort. She's on some pretty good antibiotics, pain meds, and pretty much everything else imaginable. All in all, just another day of moving forward and nothing all that exciting.
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