Archive for July, 2007

Saturday, July 21st – Day +61

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I called Mike this evening and woke him up.  I hate when I do that but he does nap quite often because he doesn’t sleep through the night with all the nurses running in and out every 4 hours.  Anyway he was tired.  He did get up and do some walking today but had to take a sponge bath because he was too tired to head to the shower.  I hope that he regains his strength so that he can come back home sooner than later.  Once he can be up and about and take care of his ‘daily living’ activities then he’ll be able to be out of the hospital again.  Also, when the virus is totally under control – which they are working on. 

Mike seems to be doing pretty good through these set-backs.  The staff said that these happen to BMT patients and that they just have to take their time and work their way back up again. 

It is hard to know who will get what side effects so the docs can’t really warn you about them all.  Mike has had his share and that doesn’t help in the recovery process.  But, with all the prayers still flying I know that he can do this.

I told him that know that he is clean from cancer he can’t give up!!!  He has his whole life ahead of him and that this is just a short time in the scheme.  It seems like forever when you are going through it but later it won’t seem like it took that long.

Keep praying and you can send cards to the address posted on the site.

love, Ann

Friday, July 20th – Day +60

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Hi everyone,

I just talked to Mike on the phone.  He sounded tired but did say that the PT was in this morning and had him up and walking – she said 2 laps but he said they walked through this one hallway which makes a nice shortcut!  At least he was up and walking with her. 

He is still having some urinary/bowel issues but they seem to be improving.  He is very tired and is hopeful that in a few days he will feel better and be up and about more.

We are hoping that he will be able to go to the Rehab floor in the hospital but we aren’t sure yet.  It is pretty intense there and you need to qualify.  But, the BMT people are doing what they can and he is getting physical and occupational therapy so that should help him. 

The social worker was in this morning and Mike said they had a good talk.  I hope that she will be able to build his confidence in himself so that he knows he can do this.  It is almost more of a mental challenge than a physical one!  It takes a lot to know that you have a long recovery ahead of you and yet push forward with all you have in you! 

Thanks for all your prayers and I will keep you posted.  Bruce, the boys and I are going to try and visit Mike next week.  I know that he needs people to visit so that he doesn’t feel alone in this ordeal.

love, Ann

Thursday, July 19th – Day +59

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, Aaron and I finally got through all the traffic and up to visit Mike around 1:30 today.  He seemed to be doing pretty good.  The nurses had just been in and had him take a shower and that wore him out a bit.  They have him on a special mattress now because he is getting some pressure sores (nothing real bad) and they don’t want them to get worse.  He cannot get up right now on his own and is in bed much of the time.  The mattress will help so that his body isn’t laying in one position all day and night.

His color was better today but I know that his spirits are still low.  Mike just was hoping that he wouldn’t have to go back to the floor.  But that happens to most patients and the nurses and aids are really good about helping them talk about their frustrations and fears. 

It is going to seem like a long road to Mike at this time but if he will just take one day at a time and do the best he can he will get better!

Please keep up being such great prayer warriors!  You have gotten us all through so far and I know that the future will be great once we get through all of this.

If you want to contact Mike please check that page in this website for his new address.  I know he’d love to hear from you.

love, Ann

Wednesday, July 18th – Day +58

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, things were much calmer her at Mom’s house today.  We did some cleaning this morning and taking care of things and then Aaron and I headed to see Uncle Mike.  Mom was to stay home and rest this afternoon and I do believe that she did just that!!

Mike seems to be settling in on the BMT floor.  He is restricted right now to be up and about since they really do not need him to fall and get hurt since he is so weak.  The nurses and the Doc said that his weakness is due to several factors that they need to address first.  He has a virus that is affecting his urinary function.  The blood in his pee is going away.  He did have to have platelets today which didn’t surprise me since we’ve been seeing blood since last Thursday.  They are adjusting his meds too hoping to get some of the steriods lower which will improve his general health.

The PT came in to work with Mike.  The nurse said that he put in a good effort, more than she had seen from him earlier in the morning.  I told her that she probably didn’t push hard enough!  But, that if she pushed him to far he’d call her “Ann”!! 

When we got to his room he was out to an ultrasound of his bladder and lower abdomin.  They are checking everything out because the BMT can affect many things all at once and they don’t want to miss anything.

Aaron and I will go back to see him again tomorrow and then head to our home on the farm.  Mom should be fine.  She just needs to get some rest and get out and visit with some of her friends and she’ll be better.  She hasn’t really been out since Mike came home and that can be very stressful in and of itself.

I do think that Mike, in his heart of hearts, knows that this is the best thing for him at this time.  He may need to go somewhere after his hospital stay, such as a rehab center, so that he can gain back some strength.  His muscles just are wasting away and it will take some reall work to get them back again. 

Please pray that we are all doing the right thing for Mike and that he can really make his best efforts to recover.  He has gotten great reports back on the cancer and it would be a shame to not get back to the Mike we all know and love.  I hung a picture of him in his room “his Buddy Holly” picture and said that this is the Mike we want back – smiling and healthy again!!  He needs encouragement and prayers and I know that he is already receiving both!  Thanks for everything.

love, Ann

Tuesday, July 17th – Day +57

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

If you have been reading the blog for the last couple days then you know that Mike has been going through a very rough time.  He has been battling a urinary virus as well as some bowel issues and has been loosing strength to the point where he has difficulty standing and even walking.  So, today, he and I left for clinic after a hard morning session at home trying to get ready.  Once, we got there I talked frankly about the difficult time we were having with Mike over the past few days and how I was gravely concerned about our Mom’s health and Mike’s ability to deal with his health on his own at this time.  After much talk with the PA and the Doc and some tears Mike did decide to stay at UofM and get some help so that he can regain his strength and come home again.  It will be a while I think before he will be able to come to Mom’s since she really needs him to be able to take care of his own self and be able to be up and about without assistance.  Mom doesn’t mind cooking and doing some wash but she cannot care for him any more than that without compromising her own health, and none of us (including Mike) want anything to happen to Mom. 

His Doc hopes that he can get strong enough to qualify for the rehab floor at the hospital.  I will be honest with Mike and tell him that if he thinks I am tough – he hasn’t seen tough yet — rehab is tougher!  But, I know that Mike can do it if he puts his mind to it.  So, they’ll give him some time to heal from his other issues going on and they’ll start PT & OT on the BMT floor and see how it all goes.  I’ll be going back to see him tomorrow and take some of his personal things with me.  I think Aaron (my youngest) will go with me.  Uncle Mike will like that!!  He needs a smiling face! :)

Please pray extra hard that Mike heals quickly and can get to work on strengthening his muscles!  Thanks for all your support and I’ll keep you all posted. 

Good night and love, Ann


Monday, July 16th – Day +56

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, it wasn’t a real easy weekend for Mike.  I did call the clinic today and talk to a PA.  They just had gotten the results back on a culture they ran last Thursday for the BK Virus, so that has something to do with his urinary problems this past weekend.  He was up and going many times during the night which just makes him wiped out during the day.  Hence, everyone gets frustrated because he’s tired and not wanting to do too much and we’re tired and wanting him to do more!!  So, the PA told me today that they will run an infusion (2 hours) on him tomorrow after his clinic for the virus and that should help – hope it works quick!! ;)

Also, we tried to get his shower in this afternoon – big mistake.  He was way too tired and couldn’t stand up to finish his shower and get out of the tub.  So, he had to sit for about 15 minutes until Rick came to help him stand up.  Once he was up I helped him finish up and get out of the tub.  Lesson learned – shower in the morning when Mike has the most stamina!!

As you can see it is really day to day here right now.  The PA told me that everything actually sounds normal to her since he isn’t that far out from his BMT yet.  That is why they tell the patients that they will most likely not go back to work for a year.  I’m beginning to believe it.  It is going to be a long, slow process.  I did talk to our brother Rick today and said that during the week when I need to be home for an evening that he will need to be here to get Mike off to bed.  That way Mom isn’t on her own trying to do her own night things and help Mike with his too.

Please keep praying.  We are all getting a littled frayed at this point but are really trying to hang in there and get Mike back on his feet.  We know that there is a light at the end of all this it’s just a little hazey at the moment.  Thanks for all of your support it is greatly appreciated!

love, Ann

Sunday, July 15th – Day +55

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I talked to Mike today on the phone.  He sounds tired but had done his exercises once already and done some laps.  I told him to try and do them one more time today.  He is struggling (we think) with a urinary tract infection.  I suggested cranberry juice.  We talked to someone at the clinic on Friday and he is on an antibiotic.  We’ll talk to the PA again on Tuesday.  He says that he is up using the bathroom during the night and then he is too tired during the day. Unfortunately, Mike needs to be able to take care of himself during the day especially when he is on his own with Mom.  I am trying to be encouraging him to do whatever he can do for himself so that he doesn’t wear Mom out.  He doesn’t do any showers when Sue or I are not there.  But he can help get his lunch and such and take his meds and do his blood sugar.  He does get a little out of sorts and I think it is because of the amount of meds he is on.  We need to keep him on track so he doesn’t miss his meds.  All the days turn into one if you know what I mean! 

I’ll be heading there tomorrow and I think Aaron will be going with me.  Keep up the prayers.

love, Ann

Saturday, July 14 – Day +54

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I talked to Mike on the phone tonight and he said that he was doing okay.  He didn’t sleep well again last night – he’s up for the bathroom many times during the night and we’ll talk to his Doc about that on Tuesday at clinic.

He did do his exercises this afternoon so I told him to try and do them again tonight.  Hopefully he will.  The more he moves the quicker he’ll feel better.  It is hard for him to muster and get moving when he is feeling weak and tired.  Keep praying that he can stay the course.  It takes a lot to go the distance when you are in a long term recovery event but he can do it.  I know he can.

Thanks for all of your support.  I can’t say that enough.  Your prayers and cards get us all through during this time.

love, Ann

Friday, July 13th – Day + 53

Friday, July 13th, 2007

HI Everyone,

Well, it may be Friday the 13th but it wasn’t a bad day here in Flint!!!!  Mike was a little tired this morning because he didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.  So, he did his shower and kind of laid around until Mom went into his room and told him that he had to get up and get moving whether he wanted to or not.  You go Mom!!!

Anyway, he got up and Sue was over and I got this brilliant idea to duct tape his IV pole to his walker so that he could go where he needed to go when he wanted to!!  Hey, and it worked too.  In the past one of us would follow him around during the day while his infusion was going on which last at least 6 hours.  Now he is free of us!  It will help him be a little more independent and that is a good thing. 

I left around 3pm and he did his exercises and laps after I left.  Mom said that he had a good afternoon and was heading to bed around 9:30.  He does need to get his rest.  The docs had taken him off a med that he’s been on for years for his prostate and that was causing some pain and bleeding.  It is subsiding and should be better tomorrow!

Thanks for all of your prayers.  Mike is working hard and he is really having to ‘dig in his heels’ and push himself and that isn’t easy.  He told me that he thought he did better during his first week home.  I said that he was like all others – glad to be home and very enthusiastic and ready to go.  A few weeks later and you realize that it is going to take some hard work and a lot of time to get back to life and you get discouraged!!  From the sounds of his afternoon and evening he is digging in his heals and pushing forward!!  Keep praying, you have no idea how much it is helping us all.

love, Ann

Thursday, July 12 – Day +52

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, we were off this morning about 6:40 to clinic and got stopped by a train, which was very cool for Mike since he likes trains and hadn’t seen too many lately.  It didn’t make us late for labs at 8 and we were off to the clinic by 8:15.

No big changes in the meds except adding one and taking off another that the docs changed this weekend while he was in the hospital for his quick tune-up (that’s what the nurses call it when you come in for a short stay)!

He is now exercising with Mom since she pushes him but probably doesn’t get as frustrated as I do!!  Good job for Mom and better for Mike. 

He is tired today.  It is always a big trip when we go to the clinic.  Everything looked good though and Jennifer his PA was very glad to see his legs down to a more normal size.  We are still wrapping them to keep the fluid from pooling in his ankles and feet.  Mike actually wore his shoes today and they were tied!:) This will all be taken care of as soon as he is up and about more.  His Doc and PA both talked to him about getting up and moving as much as he can.  His backside is sore and that will definitely improve when he isn’t sitting as much.

Pray for energy for Mike so that he can get through his day and do all his exercises and walking.  He gets really tired yet and that is holding up some of the progress.  I can only push so hard.

We are going to watch a movie tonight and then get some good rest!!  Thanks for all your prayers and kind support throughout this whole adventure!  Mike is looking better every day.  Hopefully I’ll have a new pic to post soon.

love, Ann

Pics of Mike taken today 7-12-2007 smiling and listening to his tunes.
Mike on 7-12-2007