Friday, February 01, 2008

Brighter Days Ahead…

We have had yet another hospitalization under our belt.
On January 17th David received a blood transfusion. His hemoglobin and hematocrit counts were very low. This is not unusual for patients receiving chemo and his Neuro-oncologist decided he needed a packed red-blood cell transfusion. The nurses in the transfusion clinic were amazed that David had been on chemo for over a year and a half and had never received one…but we all know David is not your average bear.

They did a ton of compatibility testing to make sure his body wouldn’t reject it and it took 7 hours once the transfusion began. It was amazing to think that someone at some point donated their blood, which was intern processed and distilled down to just the core red-blood cells where they remained in storage until someone…and in this case David…needed it. It truly was a gift and I never really appreciated just quite how much of a gift it was. Within hours David was looking better and his counts were looking great. We went home but by the next day things were not going well. David began passing copious amounts of blood. It was quite scary. They didn’t think it was related to the infusion...but there were serious concerns that he was bleeding out somewhere and all of those precious packed red-blood cells were being lost.

We ended up in the ER again, which seems to becoming a habit on Friday afternoons. Why is it he always ends up in the ER on a Friday? One of our friends said he cringes every time he receives a call from me on Fridays…because more often that not it’s bad news. David was admitted to the ER immediately because they too were concerned that he bleeding internally somewhere. Once admitted to the hospital and after further testing they decided that he wasn’t bleeding out and they just kept a close watch on him. They think it was the C-diff back once again and reeking havoc on his body. They doubled his heavy duty anti-biotic and within a day noticed a drastic improvement and reduced bleeding. I wonder if the C-diff was ever under control after the initial diagnosis back in October?

But for the first time in 4 months David is actually feeling better. I think we finally have a handle on this and we’re moving forward. It’s been a hellish couple months. It’s hard to believe things could have gotten worse after David’s initial diagnosis…but these bacterial infections have been nasty. They also discovered yeast in his blood during this hospitalization. It was easily treatable but was probably why he had been running low grade fevers for weeks. We were concerned the blood bacteria had returned…but thankfully that’s gone. They’re unsure how the yeast found it’s way into his blood, but the most likely explanation is that with all the antibiotics he’s on…they have killed pretty much everything good and bad in his system. And thus yeast was able grow in his colon or stomach. And then it was absorbed into his body and found it’s way into his blood stream. It was easily treatable and we’re lucky they found it.

So, although all of these hospitalizations have been awful, they did serve a very important purpose. Both the blood bacteria and yeast in his blood might have gone undiagnosed for a long time if he hadn’t been hospitalized and they hadn’t been testing the hell out of his blood to see what was going on with his system from all the other stuff going on. And these would have become much more serious, even life threatening if they hadn’t been discovered.

This has been a reminder to us that things do work out. If not always in the ways you had envisioned. The doctors still can’t believe that David has been up and moving around in the last couple months considering what his body has been going through. His body has basically been having a war going on inside it for months. They're amazed that he was even able to function nominally...seeing as his pulse, heart rate and blood pressure numbers were extremely bad. They kept asking him if he was passing out or feeling lighthead. He felt nothing. Even with the blood bacteria at the stage of developement it was at, they couldn't believe he was up and walking about...let alone still going to work. But that’s my David. He is one hell of a fighter. He keeps fighting and never gives up. He's like the energizer bunny on chemo!

So, although 2008 isn’t starting out as well as we had planned, we're heading in the right direction and brighter days are ahead...


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