Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Cancer Crisis: an update

Updated 6:00 pm 5-9-10

This is an update of what I know as of right now.  Yesterday J.V. (Virginia’s best friend in the whole world) came and sat with Gin most of the day.  She reported to me that Virginia was sleeping most of the time.  She was concerned about the difference she saw in Virginia in just a week.

I got to the hospital this morning.  I was encouraged by the difference I saw in her from Thursday night to Friday night to this morning.  Her speech has improved and she’s not slurring her words.  She is sleeping more but given her condition that’s to be expected…

That’s when Dr. R. hit me with the news.  According to Dr. R. the cancer is VERY aggressive and is overwhelming the liver at an accelerated rate.  This is what caused the apparent drug overdose, the liver is not processing the medication as it should.  The swelling of the liver is what is causing Gin the pain.

Dr. R. is currently suggesting taking Virginia off the chemo because it is now doing the body more harm than good.  Dr. R. is no longer recommending the SIRS-Spheres.  What she is recommending is hospice and keeping her comfortable.  My Grandparents entered hospice in their last months of life.  I’m not stupid, “keeping her comfortable” is doctor-speak for “There’s nothing else we can do, death is coming.”

Hospice is coming to talk with us this afternoon.  More info as it becomes available.

added: 5/9/10 6:00 pm CDT
Hospice has been by.  Dr. B. has informed us that we are looking at 2 weeks to 2 months.  The cancer is VERY aggressive.  Virginia basically has a tumor where the liver is supposed to be.  I’m spending the night with Virginia at UIHC.  PIT #2 is watching his brother at home.  Pvt Black -Spartan has been put on Red Cross alert.

Virginia is sleeping more often than not.  Her speech is slow and slurred but it is an improvement over Friday.  They aren’t watching her vitals anymore.  They are keeping her comfortable and will be looking to put her into hospice nearer to the family.

I am not handling the news well.  I’ve been in tears most of the afternoon.  This is my wife we’re talking about.  I’m trying to be clinical about but I’m choking up as I write this.  I’m afraid that this series of articles will be ending sooner rather than later.  The thing is I believe that I will see her again some day.  That does not change the fact that I’m hurting like H*ll.  I don’t want to think about losing my wife of 23 years.  I don’t want to think about raising two boys alone.

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May 9, 2010 Posted by | Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Cancer Crisis: Spending the night at the UIHC

Tuesday May 4, Virginia and I both took off early from work to transport her to Iowa City.  We had the three-week follow-up after her first round of Xelota, a chemo pill.  The appointment was scheduled for 2:30.  We arrived at 2:00 pm and Virginia was taken to the lab area for some blood work.

We waited until almost 3:00 before we were called back to talk with Dr. R.  Almost as soon as she entered the exam room she expressed concern over Virginia’s fluctuating temperatures and uneven white cell blood count.   Dr. R. wonders if Virginia has an infection of some sort.  The cause for concern is that if ‘Gin starts the next round of Xelota, her body’s immune system will be compromised and unable to fight off the infection.  Dr. R. admitted Virginia yesterday afternoon to run some tests.  She wants to determine the cause of the fluctuating temp and white blood cell count before starting the next round of chemo.

This caught us completely by surprise.  We were expecting to be heading home no later than 5:00.  Suddenly we’re scrambling to make contingency plans to get the kids fed, cars picked up, work called, relatives notified….  I finally left UIHC at about 6:30 and after retrieving the T-Bird made it home about 10:00 pm.

Yesterday after I left, the doctors ran a chest x-ray, conducted lots of blood work and took an MRI of Gin’s head.  Right now we are waiting on an ultrasound of the liver.  Last word was that the white blood cell count was high, protein levels were low, and sodium levels are low.

Dr. R. and Dr. H.(the resident)  just stepped in.  The MRI preliminary result came back clear.  The chest x-ray came back clear.  Dr. R. is thinking that depending on the results of the liver ultrasound, we should be able to head home today.

We’re upping the dose of the Xelota and Dr. R. thinks Gin should be able to finish off the school year.

More later.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight | , , , , , , | Leave a comment