Tuesday, March 27, 2012

And the results are........

Good news- Glenn's  counts were good enough to avoid a bone marrow biopsy and was able to get his chemo. That sounds kind of convoluted, doesn't it. But Glenn was relieved he didn't have to get jabbed with that big needle, even if he doesn't remember the worst of it, and he doesn't know just how big the needle is. He does remember the wonderful high he has afterward from the Ativan. We never know what to expect when we go to G'ville to appointments. It could end up being a long, unproductive day,  a "short" day, a long day with stuff getting done, and we always are prepared in our minds for him to be admitted, even if he feels fine, but his labs are bad. Today was a long day, (left at 8am and back home at 7:30pm), but we got stuff  accomplished.Tomorrow he gets to go out on his own to the chiropractor and to the VA to pick up a Rx and get a hair cut. I get to be home alone! Ahhh, what shall I do? Cleaning and maybe hanging more things on the walls. Trust me, I won't do any more cleaning than I want to do! I never, hardly ever, get to be here all by myself, now that Glenn is retired/disabled. It's nice to be alone sometimes. Even though I can't go anywhere, I will enjoy the  alone time. And Glenn will enjoy being out on his own. We might like each other better after our times alone! (Just kidding, we like being together, too.) We go back to G'ville in a week.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Now listen, you who say 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city'....." (James 4:13)

Well, that week didn't go as I expected. First of all, Glenn hasn't been too hard to get along with. The steroids are really puffing him up. And I've had to remind him to be calm in stressful circumstances since he is more easily upset when on steroids. Like Tuesday afternoon when he had a minor car accident. He got hit from behind by a quickly moving car that didn't quite complete her lane change,,,,on Blanding,,,,,in busy afternoon traffic. And when the car wasn't in the parking lot where the officer told him to move it until he could get back from the ER, (he went to the ER to get xrays because his neck and back were hurting, but so far he's ok.) And when the officer on the phone told him there wasn't anything that could be done about the car being towed without his permission.That got straightened out. So now we get to "test drive" different rental cars. We had a nice new Caravan with all the bells and whistles, and then got a pick-up truck, which Glenn has wanted to get for a while now, so he can try it and see if he really wants one first, without actually buying one. The insurance company says our car can be repaired.Glenn is leery about that because the car isn't worth more than $3600 at the most, and he's pretty sure there was damage that the insurance company missed . We'll see.
He had a more pleasant experience with the VA Dr. at his second appointment. The Dr. says Glenn should keep on the treatment  he's on with the Dr.s he has now. He knows it's better care than he could get with the VA. An honest evaluation, how refreshing!
So anyway, I didn't get to go to the ice cream social that our community had Tuesday evening, or to play Mah Jongg Wednesday that I was so  looking forward to :-( . Oh well, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, right? That's what we both signed up for. But on the bright side, we get to pretend that we have new cars all the time. And today Glenn got to have a long-awaited-for lunch that has had to be postponed several times, with one of his "buddies", the sheriff  of Duval county. He even came in and had coffee after they got back from lunch. I was not warned ahead of time, but it's all good.
We go to G'ville tomorrow to see if Glenn gets chemo or a bone marrow biopsy: chemo if his blood counts are ok and biopsy if not. He can't tell how his counts are  because he feels the same no matter what they are. He was told at the VA that he didn't look nearly as bad as his labs say he is. But we both look forward to when he gets to stay off of the steroids. He's not quite as hard to get along with and his skinny clothes fit ;-). Next update coming soon.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Our trip to G'ville today, you ask about? Well, Glenn didn't get chemo today because some of his labs, (namely his platelets, for you medical people), are going down instead of up and the Dr. doesn't want to give the chemo when it's down that far. Soooo, he has started him on BIG doses of steroids, (prednisone) because he thinks that is what the platelets responded to in the past. We'll see next week when we go back. His other labs were not too bad, not much change. His kidney function stayed the same as last week. In the mean time, I am going to stay clear of home as much as I can. The steroids make Glenn "aggressive" :-(  Of course, I'll be here to take care of him, but I plan to take advantage of every opportunity to get out. Maybe some Mah Jongg this Wednesday?! Hopefully. Maybe the ice cream social and bingo in the neighborhood activity center tomorrow night. And whatever other activities that come up. This week won't be as much fun for him as last week was. He has to continue to stay away from crowds and wear a mask when he is out. The Dr. also put him on an antibiotic because there is some wheezing in part of his lungs and he wants to be sure that there isn't any infection looming anywhere when Glenn gets his next chemo. He also got a shot to try to bring up his red blood cell count. It isn't worse but it's not better, either.
If you feel like you've just been loaded down with a big load of medical info, trust me, I feel your burden! But, don't worry, I'll carry it for you! In the mean time, please be sending up prayers for peace in this household this week. Thanks. You all are wonderful and I know I can rest assured that there will be much intercession going on for us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun in the sky and airwaves

This week, Glenn has gotten to go flying twice, and co-host a radio show about flying last Saturday and today, (Saturday). It didn't help his health much but really raised his spirits. Last Sunday after his day out at an air show on Saturday, he came down with a fever, low grade, and then a sore throat and then chest congestion. The fever went away after a couple days, just in time for him to go flying again on Thursday. You could say he was on cloud 9 ;-)  The plane was an historic 1929 Ford Tri-Motor, the first model built for commercial passenger flying.  (I'm reading the details from an article he wrote about his experience; I'm really not an airplane buff like he is). He got home this afternoon and promptly fell asleep in his recliner. He has worn himself out this week, but he's happy to have had these experiences. Hopefully when we go to G'ville Monday he will be well enough to be able to have his chemo treatment and whatever else he needs. He hasn't had a fever this week since after last weekend, but his chest congestion has gotten worse. I am glad this week is over because I don't like it when his Dr.s are away. I'll be reporting back to you after Monday's Dr. visit.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Up and down, down and up

Well, the see-saw labs continue. Glenn's white count was better so he doesn't have to be AS careful as he was the first of the week, but still wear a mask in crowds. However, his kidney function seems to be trending back down; it was down from 18% function Tuesday to 15% yesterday, (Thursday). So far there's no explanation for that. Still, Glenn is very happy that he can go out, even with a mask. It means he can go flying this weekend as well as broadcast a radio show from the same air show. He's happy with that. We don't have any Dr. appt.s next week. Yea!!!! We get a week off!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Labs, labs, labs, how they control our lives

Well, today  didn't go the way Glenn had hoped it would at his G'ville visit. His blood counts were lower again and he has to be REALLY careful about keeping away from crowds and possible infections. He was/is pretty  bummed. He had to cancel some plans for this week and is hoping that when he goes back Thursday that the labs will be better. He got a shot to get his white cell count up and a shot to get his red blood cell count up. He didn't have to have blood or platelets yet. On a happier note, he talked to his nephrologist today and he can hold off scheduling the access placement because his kidney function has gotten better the last two times it was checked. The Dr. said we will have to see what the trend is, up or down or steady. That was encouraging.
Yesterday Glenn installed a water purifier in the kitchen sink and he used muscles he hasn't used for a loooonnnngggg time. Last night he got some terrible cramps in his hands. It was very concerning to me because I didn't know if it was that his potassium was really low, or if it was a side effect from the antibiotic he started taking. The cramps finally subsided after he sat still and kept his hands still. His potassium level today was fine, and the Dr. wants him to continue taking the antibiotic and if the cramps happen again we are to call.
I'm feeling a little insecure because both his nephrologist and oncologist will be out for a week. Of course, they always have someone to cover for them, but nobody else has kept up with his treatment and condition. So please pray that nothing drastic happens at least while the Dr.s are gone. Not that I want anything drastic to happen anytime, but you know what I mean. When we  go back to G'ville the day after tomorrow, Thursday,  Glenn is really hoping his blood counts will be better and he can get out and about. He has plans to go to an air show in Lake City and do a radio broadcast there this Saturday. He is really looking forward to it and is hoping that he won't have to cancel because of his blood counts. I'll definitely keep you posted.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Unpredictable lab counts

Hello all you faithful followers. I have three Dr. visits to tell you about. We went to Glenn's Wed. appt. with the oncologist in G'ville and his blood counts were down so he wanted him to come back today and possibly get some platelets and/or blood. His kidney function was about the same: 18% down from 19%, which is not a big deal, just depends on whether it's a trend in one direction or the other. We also did Glenn's "prep" to have the access placed at sometime in the near future. That just involved getting an EKG and talking to the anesthetist. The surgeon wanted Glenn to have the surgery done the following day, but we told him that we want to see the nephrologist first, because of his kidney function increasing and to make sure that he should go ahead with it. So that is on hold for now until this next week when we see the nephrologist.
Our visit today ended up with Glenn not having to receive platelets or blood, yet. His platelet count went up a little so the Dr. held off on that. His blood count didn't go as low as the Dr. thought it would so he didn't have to get blood, yet. He wanted Glenn  to come back Monday but he has appt.s with the VA Dr.s so we go back Tuesday to see if he needs the platelets and/or blood. He also will get a shot to get his white blood cells to hurry up and mature because those keep going down. The result of that for now is that he has to stay away from crowds, or wear a mask when he's out, and he can't eat any fresh fruits and vegetables, raw meat, or anything that comes out of a dispenser. These are all to keep his risk of exposure to bacteria down. So he has a list of things he wants to get done this weekend around here, since he can't go out. He still is feeling pretty well. His swelling in his legs has gone down a little bit because I made him take the second diuretic he has for when  he is too swollen. He still needs to take another one to get it down better. I just wonder what would happen if we left his body alone and didn't keep messing with all the levels by taking so many meds. But we won't do that.  He is feeling pretty well these days so we won't mess that up.  I'll be back here next week to fill you in on all his appointments. And I'll let you all know if and when he gets a radio show going. That won't be for a while yet.