The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Weesa Goin’ Home (1/30/09)

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Mom is doing well today.  Several doctors came by and looked at her thumb and they all agreed that it looked better to them.  Still, we need prayer because we’re not out of the woods on this yet.

Everything is looking pretty good for Mom except her platelets are still a bit low.  No one is really sure why.  They’ve cut back on her meds and we’ve stopped giving her any of her “at home” alternative meds and we’re just waiting to see what happens with that.

However, they feel comfortable discharging Mom tomorrow and have scheduled her Gamma Knife surgery for next Tuesday.  So, while we’ve waited a very long time for this, we’re very excited to finally have it happen next Tuesday.  Better late than never, huh?

One of Mom’s fantastic nurses, Sarah, brought in a water-heated pad to keep under Mom’s arm and hand to keep her thumb warm.  It’s working great and so much better than just changing out warm blankets every hour or so.  This works all the time to keep her thumb warm all day long.  I’m not sure why no one thought of it before Sarah came on shift.  But, we’re grateful to her for bringing it in and letting Mom use it.  It’s helped a lot.

[Note to Judie:  Mom’s vascular surgeon didn’t come in today, so I couldn’t ask about the hot/cold treatments.  I’ve used it in other things when I’ve needed to move the blood along, but I’m not sure it would work in this instance.  They don’t want her thumb to get cold ever.  Even when she showered today they didnt’ even want cold water to touch it.  But, I will ask him when we see him next about the alternativing hot/cold treatment.  Thank you so much for the suggestion.  I hope you’re doing well and your hand is healing up nicely.]

Mom’s main doctor said he thought it would be okay to bring her home tomorrow and let her recover a bit more at home until her Gamma Knife surgery on Tuesday.  We are all very excited to have her back home again.

Her neurosurgeon has also lowered her Decadron dosage to 4 mg every 8 hours (it was at 4 mg every 6 hours).  This will continue to be lowered until she’s off of it completely in 5 weeks.  We are most thrilled about that.  I’m convinced that Decadron is the most insidious drug I’ve ever seen.  It’s probably really great for short-term usage, but being on it this long (which was caused by her primary care doctor’s delay with getting the referral cleared with the insurance company) has devaastating effects on a person and on their family.  If you’re out there and you’re reading this and considering taking Decadron, please make sure to move quickly to resolve your brain issue so you can start to wean off of it quickly.  You definitely don’t want to be on this stuff long-term.  I’ve heard it referred to by spouses and children of patients taking it as “The Boss Pill,” the “Insidious Drug,” and “THE DRUG.”

Mom’s wonderful physical therapist, Al, came in and saw Mom today and recommended some equipment we can get for the house that will make it easier for us to care for Mom during her recovery.  He was really encouraging and said he’s seen this type of steroid-induced myopathy before and that Mom should have significant improvement in 3 or 4 weeks and could be fully recovered in 6 weeks.  So, that was very exciting to hear.

Mom is very weak right now, so I know it probably seems impossible to her that she could be up and around again in just a few short weeks.  But, hospital stays definitely take their toll on the physical body and we often feel worse just being here than we do once we get home and start to recover.  This will be an 11-day hospital stay for her and that has certainly taken its toll on her.  However, I think Mom is going to make a wonderful recover and I believe her thumb is going to completely heal, as well.

Mom is an anomaly here.  Everyone who cares for her asks her questions about her treatment.  They can’t believe she’s never done any conventional cancer treatment.  Many of them have loved ones who have cancer, so they’ve been extremely interested in getting information from Mom about what she’s doing and who her Naturopathic Medical Doctor is.  If you’re in the Phoenix area, Dr. Jason Porter is Mom’s doctor and you can see his website at:  He’s fantastic and even called me back last Sunday when I had a question about Mom.  If you’re looking for a good Naturopathic doctor to treat cancer and you’re out of state (and not in a state with good Naturopaths or any) he would be a great choice.  We have nothing but wonderful things to say about him and the treatment he’s given Mom.

So, as it stands right now, we’re looking at busting Mom out of here sometime tomorrow.  If that happens, I’ll post tomorrow night once we have her home and situated.

We’re so excited to have her home for Superbowl Sunday so we can watch the big game (Go Cardinals) at her house instead of in the hospital!!

Thank you all so much for leaving her comments on the blog.  She has really enjoyed me reading them to her here in the hospital.  I have my laptop here and the hospital has wireless – so I’ve been able to keep up with the blog while I’m here.

I think that’s all the pertinent stuff.  Until tomorrow…



Written by Tracey

January 31, 2009 at 12:05 am

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