Archive for August, 2007

Sunday, August 19th – Day +90

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Wow, ten more days until Day +100!  That is so cool.

Mike had a quiet weekend.  No therapy and he didn’t mention any visitors.  He said the time went fairly quickly so that is good.  He sounded good and visited for a few minutes on the phone.  He will be back to his regular schedule tomorrow – therapy, therapy, therapy!

Mom had a bunch of visitors today so I only spoke to her for a few minutes this evening.  Didn’t want to interrupt her visits!  She sounded good and I think she was all rested up from our outing on Friday.

Keep up the great job with the prayers and support!  They are still very necessary and needed!

love, Ann

Saturday, August 18th – Day +89

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I started my day of with a mighty Migrain headache.  I’ve had massive headaches before but this took the cake and a call to my doc for some serious meds.  Glad that’s overwith and I could talk to mom and Mike tonight.

Mom sounded good she was waiting to take a shower so we didn’t talk long.  She also has a new phone number – please check the ‘Contact Mike’ page for that information.

Mike sounds great!  He didn’t have any therapy and said he wasn’t tomorrow either.  It is nice for him to have a break.  He may just get to read the magazines his friend left him!  I asked if there were any activities on the floor that he could go to but he wasn’t aware of any.  Up on the BMT floor they would offer different activities for the patients. 

I told him I’d get out to see him mid-week.  We just chatted about different things.  It was just fun to talk to him and have him sound up and like he was feeling better.  He said he thinks being off more of the meds is helping.

Hopefully the next couple weeks will show some continued progress and he’ll be well on his way to getting out of the hospital. 

Thanks for the prayers – keep them up please!!

love, Ann

Friday, August 17th – Day +88

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I spoke with Mike on the phone and he sounded good.  He said that therapy went pretty good today.  I know that one of the Social Workers sent me some reports that I haven’t read yet regarding his therapy.  I received them earlier and will let you know if anything new is said.

Anyway, he also told me what doctors were on his care team and that they took him off more of the steriods.  That is a big relief since they are what cause many of the side effects that Mike has been suffering through.  Rick went to visit him yesterday and even exercised with him at therapy!  Did better than me – I just keep count for Mike!

Mom went to her spine appointment today.  the doc gave her some suggestions for exercise and said that she should keep walking.  Also wants her to do the spirometer to keep her lungs in shape.  The type of treatment we thought might help mom isn’t used for her problem it is for spine fractures that are new.  He was very nice and I think we all felt like he gave some good advice to keep mom healthy!

Thanks for all of your continued prayers and support over the last few months.  I know that we have a ways to go but am feeling very confident these last two days that all will be fine.

love, Ann

Thursday, August 16th – Day +87

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I tried to call Mike this morning but he didn’t answer and then I tried again about 1:15 and he was just heading back to PT.  I told him that all of us totally understand if we call him and he cannot talk for one reason or another.  Noone is offended and thinks anymore of it. Mike gets worried and then feels bad if he doesn’t have time to talk or is just too tired to talk.  I told him to let it go and not to worry.  Everyone knows this is a stressful time both physically and mentally!

But, he called me this evening and sounded so much better.  He talked to the BMT doc this morning for a long time and they talked about everything.  He got many questions answered and was reassured that everyone is working to help him not trying to make him feel bad about anything.  Anyway, he also explained how all the meds Mike is on can really make things harder for him.  i know Mike was feeling much better and he did great this afternoon in PT and OT.

It was good to hear him talking about how he is doing and also asking about others.  It is so hard to turn the focus off ourselves when going through something difficult so I was very pleased to talk with Mike about other people in his life.  Hopefully he will continue to get stronger and feel much better too.

Thanks for all your prayers.  I feel much better tonight than I did last night.

Sally and I take Mom to the spine doc tomorrow.  I’ll let you know what he says!

love, Ann

Wednesday, August 15th – Day +86

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am totally exhausted tonight.  I’ve spent much time on the phone today trying to see what options are going to be available to Mike once he finishes his time on the rehab floor at the hospital.  He will most likely still need some rehab since he has about 3 weeks left and so I am looking into other facilities or the possiblity of him coming to stay with me and my family.  However, we live on an active farm and we are 2 hours from Ann Arbor.  The Social Worker is talking the BMT team to see if that is even a possiblity at this time. 

If Mike goes to another facility or back to the BMT floor it looks like he will be private pay since (from what I understand in a recent email) he has used his max for his insurance.  So, I will be talking with our sister-in-law Barb and we will be figuring the finances.  I wasn’t really expecting this.  I did know that we’d be private pay at another facility but not at the hospital too.  I’ll be doing more calling tomorrow.

I also finally got ahold of Mike tonight after trying since last night.  His phone doesn’t seem to be within reach and so it rings and rings and he can’t get to it.  So, by the time I talked to him I wasn’t happy and then he wasn’t having a very good day emotionally either.  So, we were quite the pair!  Anyway, I do suggest that you just call him once and if he doesn’t answer try again another day.  He also gets upset if someone calls and then he is busy and has to tell them he can’t talk.  He takes it personally and then he worries that the person may be upset too.  I told him not to worry if he can’t talk – people totally understand.  I think everything is getting to him and he does just with this was all over with!  We all do.  But it isn’t so we’ll just keep plugging alone.

Keep the cards coming to him.  I know that they lift his spirits.  Also, keep up the prayers they are helping us all.

I will see Mom on Friday.  She’s doing pretty good.  Needs to get a little bit stronger but she’s doing it!

love, Ann

Monday, August 13th – Day +84

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Wow, what a day.  I left around 9am and sat in construction, moving 1 mile in 1/2 hour.  Luckily about a half hour later I was out of the construction zone.  I got to Mike’s room and he was still in therapy.  So, I did his laundry – which I found out I won’t have to do again because they’ll let him do it during his therapy time!!  Cool – I think I’ll take some of our laundry for him to do too! ;)

I ended up having lunch with him and then going to his afternoon PT and OT.  I counted while he exercised.  He does have a hard time staying awake when he is doing his leg exercises while lying down after lunch.  Plus the amount of meds don’t help with feeling awake!  He did a good job however.  It was good to see him standing up again.  He isn’t walking at every session very far and they vary his exercises each time.  But he is getting a workout.  Hopefully he can continue to keep up the pace.

I got to get a list of his meds also.  And I talked to the ENT when he stopped in to check on Mike.  He said that his infection in his neck area should feel better real soon.  Also, Mike said that he is sitting easier too because they are getting his bottom wound under control.  He does have some problems on his hipss from sitting and moving but they will heal soon too.

I told him how proud I am of him and to keep up the good work!  I also told him that Barb offered to send him a flute to work on in OT.  His OT thought that would be really cool – I’m not sure Mike did!

Mom is doing pretty good.  She talked to her doc today and they are attending to her issues.  I’ll see her on Friday.

Thanks for the extra prayers.

love, Ann

Sunday, August 12th – Day +83

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am heading to Ann Arbor tomorrow to see Mike.  A little earlier in the week than I planned but I think he needs me to come down.  Mom called me today saying that Mike needed to talk to me and couldn’t find my number.  I called him and he had had a cat scan of his neck.  He has a virus that makes him look like he has the mumps on one side of his neck and it is very painful.  A BMT Doc saw him again today and sent him for the scan.  Of course he was very upset, he even asked again if it was the CLL returning.  While I was on the phone with him an ENT came in and said that it looked like he has an inner or middle ear infection.  They are treating it.  Mike was relieved to say the least.  He was also thinking that I might be visiting him today and was totally upset thinking that I might not find him when they took him for the scan.  I think he is still on many meds and they do have an effect on his thinking.  So, I told him I’d come tomorrow and do his laundry and visit with him in between therapy if he has some sessions.  I told him that if I came to his room and he wasn’t there – believe me – I’d find him.  He was much calmer after we talked.

He is getting close to the 100 day mark and I think that he is nervous.  They will be doing a bone marrow biopsy and other tests at that time and they are the ones that really show that all the CLL is gone.  We already know that it is gone since his 35 day test was clean.  But I am sure that when you are in the midst of this you want to know again and again that all is fine.

Mom was doing good.  She didn’t have therapy or see a doc again today.  Sally (Rick’s wife) is supposed to call her doc tomorrow and check out when someone from his office will see mom.  Sally and I are also taking mom to a spine specialist on Friday to see if anything can be done about her severe Kyphosis (hunch back).  I’ll keep you posted on that!

Thanks for the prayers – be prayer warriors right now for Mike because he is definitely still in a very fragile state.

love, Ann

Saturday, August 11th – Day +82

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

Well, 6 steps forward, 1 step backwards – Mike has another virus.  Not sure what it is but his left jaw is swollen like he has the Mumps.  He saw the docs from the BMT team and they put him on another antibiotic.  They said it is just a virus.  He said he hopes it isn’t his CLL back but they said no – just a virus.  Anyway, he was at therapy today and feel asleep while he was doing his therapy – maybe the cause is the drugs he’s on.  Anyway, they sent him back to his room to rest up.  He was very disappointed when I talked to him at 3:30pm.  He is trying hard and he’ll get back at it.  He just has these little bumps in the road he has to get over.

So, keep praying for him.  He needs an extra boost right now. 

Mom is doing pretty good.  Hasn’t seen a doc in a week and isn’t happy about that.  I’ll probably call the office on Monday and see what the deal is.  But she is progressing.

Thanks for the extra prayers.  We all need them right now!

love, Ann

Day +81 continued – 8:24pm

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I talked to Mike this evening.  He had another big day in therapy.  He was able to get in and out of the simulated car without as many problems today.  He wasn’t able to do the stairs however, which made him a little frustrated since he did better on those the other day.  He also had a tough time trying to get in and out of the bathtub.  These are all things that the therapists have him working on as well as machines to build strength, riding the exercise bike and walking.

He is still using a special mattress on his bed (air type) be cause of his sores on his bottom.  It helps to relieve any extra pressure.  The problem with that is is that he can’t get in and out of bed without a lift and helpers.  I reassured him that with time he heal and then he’ll be able to do more by himself.  The doc thinks he is doing good.

He sounded pretty good.  Asked about Mom and I told him she is doing great – which is the total truth!! 

I am really proud of both of them and their progress so far.  They are both working hard to get back their strength so they can get out of rehab.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. 

love, Ann

Friday, August 10th – Day +81

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that I am already typing Day +81.  Wow, only a 19 more days until the Day+100.  That is when patients are usually off many of the heavy duty drugs and such.  Not sure in Mike’s case since I haven’t talked to a doc of his in quite a while.  Hard to see them when you don’t visit until after 4pm.  Most round in the mornings.

I talked to Mike late last night because I wasn’t at home.  Sorry no blog yesterday.  Anyway, he said that he had a tough day in rehab and had to go back to his room during the middle of the day and he slept for 2 hours.  I asked if he went back to rehab after his nap and he said yes.  I was glad that he did and didn’t just bag it for the day.  It’s hard to do rehab and it is a very tough schedule. 

Mike is walking a little and using the exercise bike.  He also does other machines and exercises.  He still is a 2 person assist when he wants to get up and the staff needs to do that – not family members.  Hopefully he’ll keep working because I know to him it seems like the progress is slow but it is working!

Like I said the other night in the blog, Mike looks good.  He still has his round “steroid” face but his legs and arms are slimmed down.  Just keep the prayers, cards and support up because that will help him to stay motivated!!

Oh, mom had a big day at therapy yesterday but did well.  She doesn’t go every day.

love, Ann