Tuesday, July 28, 2009

IMC Update 2

It seems like we've spent an eternity inside various hospitals! I think we're finally a bit closer to escaping this one. The biggest news is that Sean's NG tube was able to be removed today. His bowels have started waking up which means the obstruction is lessening. He's been promoted to being allowed to have liquids but he's still taking it very easy because he doesn't want to have a set back and need to have the tube placed again. Yesterday he received a couple units of blood in a transfusion because his red cell counts were low. He's been up and walking on his own, and has had several visitors over the past couple of days. We've noticed that the nursing staff at this hospital is good for the most part. I think they're short staffed because it takes them 30 minutes to respond to anything he needs but at least they are competent and know what they're doing and why they're doing it. His spirits are much higher now that the NG tube is out. He doesn't have something constantly gagging him and making his throat sore and it means he's closer to going home. He still has a couple more days, most likely, in the hospital and won't be released until he can eat solid foods and keep them down, and until he can take oral medication rather than IV.

So that's what's going on with the bowel obstruction. As far as the blood clot in the vena cava goes, they've done all of the imaging tests they possibly can in order to determine whether or not the clot is a clot or a suture and aren't able to determine it for sure. Therefore, they have to treat him as if it IS a clot. Since he's a cancer patient and has been through chemo, they are going to send him home on a blood-thinner called Lovanox. It's similar to Coumadin but it's an injection similar to an insulin shot. He will have to give himself 2 shots each day for the next 3-6 months. He has had a few of the injections here in the hospital as they have taken him off of the IV heparin drip (also a blood thinner) and says that the only side effect he notices is a slight burning at the site of the injection. We had a case worker come in to see him today while I was visiting him on my lunch break and he said that we're lucky Sean has good coverage on his insurance (meaning he's met his out of pocket and deductible for the year) because the injections are very pricey but the insurance will cover the costs.

As far as the kidney failure goes, they're just going to leave it at that. They're not going to remove it because 1/3 of it is still functioning and they're confident that he won't have any major problems throughout the rest of his life because his left kidney is still fully functioning. We'll cross our fingers and pray that nothing else happens and that this is the end of all of this cancer-related mess. We're both exhausted and worn out, and it's really hit us how serious his condition really has been. We're thankful, though, for all of the prayers we know are being said on our behalf and we trust that God will show us the way to get through this.

Sean had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Chandramouli tomorrow but that needed to be moved because of him being in the hospital. He will now go in the first week in August for his follow-up appointment. We'll have more information on his AFP levels and post-surgery plans at that time. It's Dr. Einhorn's intention to do bloodwork once a month for the next 12 months to monitor Sean as closely as possible and so we trust his judgement on the matter. Hopefully when we update next Sean will be out of the hospital or very close to it.


1 comment:

Angelina Kump said...

I am so glad to hear he is getting better. I know its such a hard thing to go through (ask Jeff and Kathy about the odd similarities the Martella family shares with mine.)

We are still praying for you guys and have fasted a dew days. Thank you for the updates.

I don't know Sean or you very well but I know the rest of his family but I love you as if I do. Tell Sean my whole family is rooting for him.