Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Slow Road . . .

Hi Everyone:

Well, Jeff's having a hard time. His "second week" (of Cycle Three of biochemo) ends today. This was supposed to be the rest and recovery week, however, he has been extremely nauseous since he was released from the hospital. This means that for the past week he has been unable to eat anything of substance or hold anything down. He's frustrated and discouraged because all he can do is suffer through it--he can't change it. Dr. Legha changed Jeff's anti-nausea medications with hope that a different drug combo would work better for him, but so far he hasn't seen any change for the better. Dr. Legha said that Jeff needs to try to drink as much as possible so he doesn't get dehydrated. If he can't hold liquids down, Dr. Legha threatened to put him on IV nutrition.

Jeff had a rough day yesterday as well, in addition to the usual nausea and throwing up, he had blood tests (which meant he couldn't eat or drink anything), and due to an administrative error in the doctor's orders, he was unable to get a time-sensitive Procrit shot to improve his red blood count, and he also had to wait 2 and a half hours in the doctor's office due to a scheduling error. So, he started his day around 8:00 a.m. and ended it around 5:30 p.m., in the meantime he was completely malnourished and backlogged in multiple medical appointments--all of which only exacerbated his nausea and fatigue.

Today, he goes back for more blood tests and his Procrit shot. I pray that all goes well for him and that he can begin to regain some weight and strength. I wish with all my heart there was more that I could do for him. I'm sure having such a difficult recovery week makes him feel all the more alone. Even though he always has people in his presence (generally, me or his mom), we, unfortunately, cannot bear this terrible burden for him. Although we can empathize, we cannot truly comprehend his feelings and fears. Ugh! I don't even know what else to say . . .

On a more positive note, one of Jeff's best friends is coming to visit him next week. Marc Schulte is flying to Houston from Seattle to spend a couple of days with Jeff and Mary. Like Jeff, Marc is philosophical and intellectual, but also fun and an all-around cool guy. Even if Jeff doesn't feel good while Marc is there, I'm sure they'll have a good time.

On the home front, Jack is on the mend but Regan and I have colds. Aubrey is starting to cough. Oh well. That's the way it goes.

I have a work meeting, so I have to sign off. Until next time . . .



Dana said...

Hello Jeff & Kelly,

Sorry to hear that today was a bit on the challenging side. I'm sure that you expected some good and some bad days during this process. Thankfully, the good are outnumbering the bad! However, days like today must be frustrating.

Please know that your family is constantly in our prayers.

Hang in there,
Dana & Shalu

Jim said...

With Easter coming up, I thought I'd give some Easter reading for everyone out there:
- It's an ancient Christian festival that is the pricipal event of the church year.
- For all Christians, it's a celebration of New Life and Redemption through Christ.
- Easter can fall between March 22 and April 25. It's the Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after March 21. If the full moon occurs on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday.
-Easter is a time of remembrance, Christians recall Christ's last activities on earth, His sufferings and Crucifixion, and His victory over death.
- Events leading up to the first Easter...1. Arrival in Jerusalem, 2. Cleansing of the temple, 3. The last supper, 4. Agony in the garden, 5. Arrest, 6. The Crucifixion.
- Symbols: Animals - Chickens and rabbits are ancient symbols of fertility and birth. Lambs symbolize the resurrected Christ. Eggs - These symbolize spring's return, new life and the Resurrection.
- Coloring Easter Eggs: According to one legend, some eggs were colored when Mary's tears fell on them. It became customary to decorate eggs to symbolize the end of the penitential season, the beginning of springtime and renewal of life.

Our prayers are with you Jeff and Kelly, be strong!
Love, Jim Amy Ashton Ikey Peanut and Stripe

Jerry and Lu Olmsted said...

Dear Jeff: We are hoping that this day has been easier for you. We are sending love and prayers. Our thanks to Kelly and your Mom for being there and giving you all the support we all wish to give you. May each day be less of a challenge and may your strength grow. We are so proud of you fighting with such courage. You are the greatest! Love always, Uncle Jerry and Aunt Lu

mka said...

Sorry to hear that you still are feeling bad Jeff. And it sound like colds and the flu are going around in Milwaukee. With the way you are feeling, how would you even know if you got the flu?... Nausea, vomiting, fever, chills? I just hope you get to feeling better soon. And Kelly, you try and get some rest too. Love, Mom Myrna

Katie Clancy said...

When it rains, it pours. I am just glad all of you (Kelly, Regan, Aubrey and Jack) are all sick on an "off" time - when a visit to Jeff is not planned or would have to be cancelled due to the germs. By the time the next visit rolls around, everyone will be feeling better. Jeff, hang in there. All of the appointments and delays have to be extremely frustrating as is the nausea. I pray that all the roadblocks end soon and that the chemo continues to work its magic. With each day passing, you're a day closer to being home and back together again. I hope the time passes quickly and faster each day. Hello to Mary, and best to everyone. Katie

Mark Salmon said...

Hello Dodds,

I must tell you how incredibly impressed I am with your family's fortitude.My day to day bellyaches are frivolous and have become non-existent because of the courage your family has demonstrated.I can only hope that this ordeal your enduring is just a passage to the brighter side of life.
Jeff,I think about you on my daily run and can't wait to see your smiling face leading the troops around the bend at Hawthorne.Stay positive,the Salmon's are all pulling for you.Mark

gardiner said...

Jeff, so sorry to hear of the nausea you're having to deal with. It must be hard to think of anything else. Stay strong. Know it will pass. The medications and treatments are working. People all over are asking of you, thinking of you, and praying for you. We wish we could do more.
Hang in there! You're really doing an amazing job fighting and beating this. Love and blessings,
Meaghen & Brendan & girls.