Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mary is home from Hospital

Just a quick post to let you know Mary is home from the hospital.  Her temp was stable at about 37 celcius and the doctor allowed her to go home on oral anti-biotics.  She is feeling okay, tired but happy to be home.  We have a video conference with the oncologist tomorrow and have the 6th chemo treatment next week.  Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mary is in Hospital

We got home from Sudbury last Thursday and the weekend went okay.  Mary had been tired and weak but did manage to get out to Grama's for supper on Saturday and to her doctor's appointment on Sunday.  On Monday she was tired but restless and wanted to get out.  Her temp was 37.1 and a BP or 102/62.  She convinced me that getting out to the garden would be beneficial.  I took her out to the garden and she spent an hour weeding etc.  She loves just sitting in the garden getting her hands dirty.

When I picked her up she was tired so I took her home to bed.  She spent the afternoon in bed, her bones were sore and she was beat.  I was working on a new planter for Grama's patio so when I got home at 5pm, Mary temp was up to 37.7 and the doctor has said 37.5 was the signal to take her to the hospital.  I loaded her in the car to her mild protests and took her to the Thessalon hospital.  Needless to say they admitted her and started IV anti-biotics.  She has been in the hospital since Monday with low blood counts and a temp that fluctuates from 37.1 to 38.8.  The doctor says her blood count have to be above 1.5 and a temp less than 37.5 for 24 hours before she can go home.  We are praying that she has some good readings.  This morning her blood was up to 2.8 but she had a temp of 38.8 in the night.  This morning her temp was 37.1 so hopefully that will continue.  We really appreciate your prayers.  We are very thankful to have the hospital so close and wonderful care.  I am on my way over to the hospital now with some fruit and a smoothie. Take care.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 10 Update

It has been sometime since the last update so I thought I would recount the last 3 weeks or so.  After coming home from Philadelphia,  we went directly to Sudbury for treatment  number 4.  Mary wrote the following to a friend so I thought I would include her words.
"The chemo is definitely harder than we expected. But we are kind of finding a routine. The treatments are every 20 days and i have been feeling pretty rotten usually for the first 10 and then have about 10 days of feeling pretty good. The effects are cumulative and so with each treatment, I am more exhausted and find myself doing less and less but i sure do appreciate the good days.  The last treatment I had 2 weeks ago, they changed the type of chemo  drugs and I came through much better- no nausea or vomiting which was so great but then I ended up in the hospital for 5 days this past week on intravenous! I came home yesterday and today made supper for the first time in 2 weeks!  I think Tim appreciated it!  He has been spending days at the Lighthaven home in Bruce Mines helping to put on a new steel roof. I think he is hoping they will finish next week. He never seems to run out of jobs to do .
Aly's wedding on May 7th went really well. The day turned out to be beautiful and warm and no bugs yet! We had the wedding on my brother's farm. People sat around on hay bales and lawn chairs and it was very relaxed and enjoyable. She wore her running shoes and a knee length dress- definitely an Aly wedding.  A friend of ours bbq 150 lbs of beef- overnight on a spit over a wood smoke fire. It tasted great! So everybody had lots to eat. When they said their thank you's- aly said it was the wedding of her dreams!  It so great to see the joy in their faces all day. We were excited and happy for them! They are now living in Moosonee. Matt has a job as a youth/probation worker and Aly is hoping to get a job at the hospital after she writes her RN exams in June. Josh and Lynne were able to come for the wedding and we got to spend a couple of days enjoying our little grand daughter! I was so thankful that I was able to enjoy the day although i was pretty tired.  Tim then flew down to Philadelphia the next week and was able to be there for Katie's graduation from Eastern University with her Master's degree. She won outstanding thesis of the year. Now she just needs to find a paying job!! " 
Katie had a wedding to go to in Toronto and then has come home to Thessalon.  Her boyfriend, Jared came for 10 days to visit and Aly came home for a few days after writing her RN exams in Sudbury.  It was nice have everyone here and we spent a couple of days at the cottage.  After being in the hospital Mary was weak but I think enjoyed the time and some good talks with the girls. 
This past week has been eventful as well.  Aly made the long trip back to Moosonee on Sunday.  She left here about 1:30pm and arrived in Cochrane about midnight.  There was an accident on Hwy 144 so she had to make a long detour.  She got a motel room and be ready to board the train (polar bear express to Moosonee) at 5am Monday morning.  In Thessalon we snuggled into our beds only to wake in the morning to find that our vehicle was entered an Mary's wallet and some change was stolen.  The thief took the ashtray as well as the change, but the worst was Mary's wallet as she had medical info, drivers license, health card, credit cards etc.  Not a great way to start the week!
Tuesday we started the trip to Sudbury for Chemo treatment number 5 but the highway was closed due to another accident near Nairn Center.  We waited out the delay but missed the chemo appointment so stayed in Sudbury and had the treatment on Wednesday.  It is a four hour treatment and following we just found a bed at the Daffodil lodge and went to sleep.
Thursday we made the trip back home in time to say goodbye to Jared as he started his trip back to Memphis.  It was a good chance for us to get to know him and show him some Northern Ontario hospitality.  Mary was feeling tired but okay.  Friday I started giving her the injections of Neupogen.  I give her 8 injections to try to build up her blood.  This drug makes your bones ache and tired with fever sometimes.  We hope that she will not end up in the hospital again.  I keep close eye on her temp and BP.  If I notice any signs of infection,  I must get her to the hospital. Mary has one more treatment of this kind of chemo the end of June.  Then she will have a year of  Herceptin every three weeks.
 It has been great having Kate home as she spends time with her mom and they enjoy each other's company.  Kate has also been doing odd jobs around.  Friday she cut grass at Tim's and she helped Harold,  Rick and I lay out patio stones at Grama's.  Kate will help me build some planter boxes next. 
I am missing Mary's hair.  Although I am getting used to baldness she will always be a teenager to me.  I thought I would include a picture of Mary, when she was Mary Stewart.  This is how I see her and her hair is beautiful.
I will try to update the blog sooner than later.  Thanks for your prayers, notes and email, they really do make a difference.  Tim

Teenage Mary