Friday, October 9, 2009

Time only for essentials

Dear Family & Friends,

The challenge is increased by having to keep diabetes under control. It's been quite a balancing act when so many factors are involved. The Diabetic Center's consulting nurse Kathy Bears has been very helpful. So has Francis' VNA Nurse, Kelly St. John and the on-call VNA Nurses I've had to turn to at odd times. After two ping-pong blood sugar days, Francis' blood sugars were ALL normal today though there was a lot stress getting to and facing that first 3:00 pm appointment, -- finding the place, getting the parking card, etc at Southern Maine Radiation Therapy Institute.

We had a long interview with his radiology oncologist Dr. Philip Villiotte, followed by "mapping" and planning the radiation sites for a 3:15 Monday appointment. We've been given a schedule of daily radiation treatments for the next two weeks. Kathy Tosney got us there and back around 6:30 pm and Francis has been sleeping ever since. I couldn't even wake him up to check his blood sugar; had to do it myself and give him the 12 hour insulin around 9:00 (1 hour late.) He's in a very deep sleep now, -- a healing sleep I know.

NO WORD yet from the Harvard University teaching staff!! (I'll share that info as soon as we know. ) After talking with Dr. Inhorn his medical oncologist on the phone Dr. Villiotte told me -- "They know it's cancer, but it's not a garden variety type of cancer,"

In spite of all, with Francis' pain in all positions except reclining, I'm encouraged by our out of state support doctor who said "What's important is that we're making progress! We're on our way. They'll be able to quickly figure his response." And he told me, -- to prevent embolism from all that reclining, "Keep his legs active (passively) as much as possible. I'm doing exactly that.

AND, as Jane, nurse/niece suggested, we'll try to get that PT order through which I asked for yesterday. Still no response! It takes effort to navigate the medical system. That's why I haven't even had time to look at email today. And I need to get to bed now!

I'll also try to get a "transport chair" through Nancy Perkins, the VNA nurse who's coming tomorrow (my former yoga student!) to make it easier for Francis not only to get to the car and to the Radiation Institute for his appointments, but to go the bathroom to take a bath.

Can you believe it, -- though he's been using first a make-shift commode, and a real one delivered this morning, -- I gave Francis a bath in our bathtub last night! He wanted it, and I knew we could do it as we had done on Sept 24 just before the appointment with Dr. Agren from which he was hospitalized. It was difficult for him getting there and back, leaning on my arm, but we did it. With the tub's support bar to help, he slid down partway into the warm water with his head resting on the back of the tub and made sounds of pleasure and relief.

Thank you all dear friends for your powerful prayers and loving support. As a Quaker friend told me tonight, we're being "kept in the light," and we feel the love surrounding us.

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