Archive for June, 2007

Saturday, June 30th – Day +40

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I cannot believe that we are at day 40 already.  I am sure that Mike doesn’t think it is going fast but it is going faster than I would have thought it would.  Ten more days and we are half way home!

Mom and Mike did have a surprise call last night at 11pm.  It was UofM Hospital calling and asking Mom to bring Mike in so they could redo a blood draw.  It seems one that was taken at 8am Thursday morning was contaminated.  Anyway, not the time of night for mom to be running around and she and Mike were the only ones home since I had left that morning for home.

This morning at 8am Rick took Mike to McLaren Hospital in Flint and they did the blood draw.  Mike needed to stay there several hours and they ran an IV Antibiotic too.  I am curious to see if the contamination was in one of his lines or was at the hospital.  We use one of his lines daily to run his Infusion and we try to be very careful, so hopefully it wasn’t from something we did. 

The rest of the day was uneventful and Mike did nap this afternoon after his unexpected morning run with Rick.  I am very grateful that Rick was able to take Mike today.  It helped us out alot.  Mom even went to church this afternoon because Chris, our friend and mom’s neighbor, came down (as she did last Saturday afternoon) and stayed with Mike. 

I got a call today from Bruce’s (my husband) cousin who is a pharmacist.  He was offering his help.  Boy, we are both so blessed to have professionals in both our families who are trying to help us during this time.  My cousins, Ron and Sara, have been working with us and to add another is just great.  I’ll be talking to Pat on Monday to see what he can do for Mike. 

Thanks to everyone who has been so helpful.  You don’t realize how even the littlest thing can make a hugh difference!  Please keep up the prayers because they are the most helpful to all of us! 
Love, Ann

Friday, June 29th – Day +39

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I came home early today because my youngest was having belly pains – trip to the doctor and he’ll be fine – a little acid reflux!! 

I wasn’t really planning on leaving this morning because I wanted to make sure Mike got a shower and his infusion done while I was there to help.  Our friend, Sue, came to the rescue when she got out of work this afternoon.  I started the infusion in the morning and she came and unhooked the IV and then helped Mike with his shower.  She has been really helpful.  Mom just can’t do all this alone and there are times that I just can’t be in Flint so we are very grateful to our friends who have been able to help out at the house.

Mike seems to be improving.  He still needs to get up and walk around more but it just isn’t in his nature to be real active -so – I told him that he needs to walk from the front door to the kitchen back door 6 times a day right now!  That doesn’t include meal times either!  At the hospital he had goals of walking laps and so my neighbor suggested that we set some goals for him at home!  Good suggestion – not sure Mike would agree.  Every step at home is a step closer to going to his home in Alaska.

Mom said she was going to try and get him to play some Scrabble tonight.  Hopefully he’ll play!

I’ll head back to Flint on Monday to spend a few days and do his trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday.  I’ll be talking ot both Mom and Mike daily so you’ll still hear from me. Keep praying it is helping loads!

love, Ann

Thursday, June 28th – Day +38

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I am blogging early today since I have been at the computer updating Mike’s Med chart and his daily schedule.  We headed to Ann Arbor this morning at 6:30am and went to the lab, had his Clinic with his Doc and PA and then waited a while to get the bone marrow biopsy done.  Picked up refills and headed home about 1pm.  Mike did great.  Dr. Yanik, his oncologist, is so pleased.  He said that Mom and I (and friends) are doing a great job and that that is what is keeping Mike out of the hospital!  That’s our goal! :)

There were some changes in his meds which indicate his improvement.  He is taking less Lantus (insulin) and less Medral (GVHD drug).  He actually had two blood sugar levels today that didn’t require any insulin.  These little steps are giant ones on his way back to his life!!!

Keep praying.  We do appreciate everyones cards, support and prayers.

love, Ann

PS  I am looking for an uneventful evening with an early bedtime for all!! :)

Wednesday, June 27th – Day +37

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

HI everyone,

I am back from Houghton Lake and all went well there – we usually have a good time!  My son Andy and I arrived back in Flint about 7:30 this evening.  Mike and Mom seemed to be doing good.  I came in and checked all Mike’s meds for our trip to Ann Arbor bright and early tomorrow morning.  It takes some time to keep up on what meds need to be refilled when, but I think I have everything written down.

We need to be at UofM by 8am tomorrow which means we need to leave Mom’s house by 6:30am.  That isn’t a time fit for man, woman or beast in my book!!!  Then he has labs at 8:15, clinic at 9:15 and a bone marrow biopsy at 10am.  That was originially scheduled for 4pm so we are very glad that it got moved up to 10.  Then we head back to Flint.

Hopefully all will go smooth tomorrow.  Mike and I did fine last week and he is a week further out from being in the hospital so a I am confident that it will go great.  Hopefully, he’ll be relieved of some of his meds too. ;)

Thanks for all the prayers.  Thanks to Joe for his long distance blogs so his sister could have a break!!!  It ia greatly appreciated Joe!

love, Ann

Tuesday, June 26th – Day +36

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

blog by Joe:
Just spoke to mom, it’s 10:15 her time she’s heading to bed after a long busy day.

  1. 9:00am Home care nurse came and changed all Mike’s tubes.
  2. 2:00pm Physical Therapist came.
  3. 2:30pm Sue came by helped Mike with a shower. (I didn’t get too many details there)
  4. 6:30pm Joyce came over and brought Turkey Casserole for dinner, sounds like Mike’s getting his appetite back…

Ann should be back to Flint tomorrow to take over all her responsibilities. You’ll get filled in on all the details that I’ve left out over the past 48 hours.  Mom says Mike’s watching some TV, which believe it or not is a GOOD thing. He had lost interest in that in the hospital.

Thanks again for reading!

Monday, June 25th – Day +35

Monday, June 25th, 2007

blog by Joe
Ann asked me to blog today because she’s hangin’ at Houghton Lake with her boyz. Houghton Lake is approximately 124 miles north of Flint, 2,309 miles east of Garden Grove. (maps & directions) I can’t write too much because  I’m not in Flint experiencing every second of the day but I talked to Mom tonight, she and Mike are hangin’ in there, doing well and getting everything taken care of.

A nurse came this morning at 9:30, and Mike was ready for her by 9:00. He’d gotten up, checked his temperature, blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, gave himself the prescribed amount of insulin, ate breakfast and took his dozen morning pills before she arrived. …hmm, those nurses seem to get the boy moving… It sounds to me like he’s doing pretty good to me.  Mike’s current prescription count is 29.  Ann has everything charted out so everyone can figure out what’s supposed to happen when.  Mike needs to check his blood sugar and give himself insulin four times a day. He’s been keeping up with that on his own.

I want to thank all of you for reading, praying & supporting Mike and our family during this time. It means so much to all of us.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 24th – Day +34

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I headed home from Flint around 6pm tonight.  I am very tired.  It was a trying time both physically and mentally because there is just so much to learn and get organized the first few days.  Definitely went better today because we are getting used to the routine.  I am also hoping that it goes smoothly for Mom and Mike for the next few days.  The Home Nurse is going to make visits the next two days and help mom with the IV Infusion and changing Mike’s dressing for his Hickman.  Mom can do it and she does very well, but she is like me and it just makes you nervous to be in charge of some of these medical things.  But, we both did it and Mike helps when he can and that makes a big difference!!  Also, our friends Joyce and Sue will be in and out along with others to help them out.

Mike is getting really good at taking his blood sugar levels and giving himself his insulin shots.  Somethng that I pray I never have to do since I HATE needles.

I had to push him today to get up and move several times.  It is bad when he said he’d sit on the toilet until I come back on Wednesday!  Needless to say that isn’t happening since I told him to get his butt up and get moving!!!!  Nice sister as I am.

Anyway, he did better after that.  It is really hard to move beyond mental blocks that we can make for ourselves.  When you aren’t feeling well and you are depressed because of just everything it is hard to force yourself to get up and start the day and continue through the rest of the day.  I keep telling Mike that he is on the way up now.  His tastebuds are coming back a little and that helps so much when you can taste your food.  Although you should have seen his face when he tried my home canned applesauce – oh I forgot, I don’t put any sugar in it and it can taste a little tart! 

Well, keep praying.  I am going to ask our brother Joe to blog the next two days since the boys and I are going to the lake with the neighborhood moms and kids.  Remember Joe?, he’s the one who uses bullets in his blogs!! Just teasing you Joe!

I’ll be back in Flint on Wednesday night to go with Mike on Thursday to his clinic appoint. and tests. And, I’ll be back to blogging then too! :)

love, Ann

Saturday, June 23rd – Day +33

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Hi Everyone,

We are about a third of the way to Day +100 – great news!  Each day is getting a little easier.  Today was nice because Mike could just be here at home.  My son, Aaron is here with us and helping out his ‘Uncle Moike’. It was a long day because we are trying hard to get into a routine.  Mike is very worried that he will forget something or that one of us will.  I have a “Daily Schedule” posted for anyone who is here helping Mom and Mike, or just for Mom and Mike to remember things.  I have a “Shower” page posted for Rick, me or anyone who may help him when he takes a shower – of course he cannot do this when he is alone with Mom as his caregiver because it is tooooo much for Mom.  I also have a chart for his “daily numbers” – you know, weight, BP, temp, blood sugar checks and BM’s!  Bet you didn’t need to know that last one did you?! :)

Mike did shower for the first time today here at home.  I went out and purchased a shower chair because he is still very, very weak and we want him to conserve his energy for other activities.  It went very well for being his first time with the new chair and in a bathroom where he isn’t used to showering.  It only took about a half hour from getting everything ready to being squeaky clean!

The IV Infusion went smoother today.  Mom was doing it with my help.  Tomorrow she will ‘solo’ with me watching the proceedure.  I have done it a few times now and am feeling much more comfortable.  Also, the nurse should be coming back too and she can help.

I am hoping to go home tomorrow and head to the lake with my boys and the neighborhood mom’s and their kids.  It is an annual event.  Mom has the phone number and I won’t be too far to come if she needs me.  Mike has expressed several times today that he is worried about me leaving.  I keep assuring him that I will return.

I will be going to Clinic with him on Thursday and for his Bone Marrow Test that will be in Ann Arbor.  Rick may go with us too.

I am really proud of Mike.  He is doing very well considering everything he has been through.  Please pray for him to let go of the worries and concerns and use his energy to get better.

Thanks for everything.  Your support is so important and I know that Mike really appreciates it.  And so do all of us, his family.

love, Ann


Friday, June 22nd – Day +32

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for not posting last night but it was a rather long, learning day here at Mom’s.  The Home Health Nurse came after 2pm with miles of paper work and by the time she taught us how to start the IV Infusion it was a little after 6pm.  The infusion takes at least 6 hours.  We’ll I went to bed at 10:30pm until 11:30 pm thinking that the bag of stuff would be empty by around midnight.  Ha!!  Not so, by 1am I had had enough and the bag wasn’t totally empty but I shut it down, flushed his three lines and sent him back off to sleep and I went to sleep until the loud alarm woke me up at 6am to head to Ann Arbor.

Mike and I headed to the clinic at 6:30am and everything went great.  The Doc’s and PA are happy and he looked good.  Went over all meds and concerns, checked his blood sugar, did his drugs, ate a little and headed for home.  Arrived here around noon and when Mike got out of the car he was pretty weak.  His legs started shaking so I just sat him down gently on the grass and lay his head back for a few.  Soon, he got up and went in the house and is now waiting for me to start his IV.  He’s also very hungry and he’s going to eat.  Notice that we are starting the IV much earlier because mom and I are way tooooo old to be up late doing stuff like this.  Actually, he can do this IV during the day all the time and the proceedure is explained very well, in writing so it will be much easier the more we do it.

Oh, he needs the infusion because he is on heavy duty steriods and he needs to have his magnesium replaced.  This will go on for about a month to 6 weeks or until he is off the steriods.  They already lowered the dose of one today! ;)

Keep praying!  Mike is doing much better emotionally and mentally being home.  Cousin Sara is coming out this weekend to help out.  Mike’s next clinic and tests aren’t until next Thursday the 28th and I’ll be taking him to those appointments. 

Thanks for all of your prayers and support!  It is veyr much appreciated.

love, Ann

Wednesday, June 20th – Day +30 continued

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Hi again,

Well, Mike got home about 7pm tonight.  He will be living with our mom in Flint, MI.  It was a little hairy tonight staring at 34 bottles of pills and trying to figure out what he needed to take tonight.  It took some time but they figured it out with help from our friend Joyce.  I am heading to Flint tomorrow to help out and will be bringing some pill sorting boxes with me.  I figure the kind I use to sort embroidery floss should work great.

I have to have Mike in Ann Arbor by 8am on Friday for blood work and a doctors visit.  He is going to have some drugs infused at home and so mom and I will learn how to do that tomorrow from the home care nurse.

Thanks for the prayers.  He is home and that is so great.  He even said his taste buds must be coming back a little because the egg and toast mom made were good!!!!

love, Ann