Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Challenges not over

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been hard going lately. I've been worrying a lot about Francis' very small intake of food. AND because of that I've been very uncertain about giving him help to evacuate. Even nurse friends thought I shouldn't since there's not much bulk there.

So after 5 days like this, because he looked so sick last night, I called the VNA. I thought he looked dehydrated, and with verbal suggestions what to do, he got over that hump. Then today a VNA came and took blood for several tests one of which is sodium. Is it low again? (Some cancers cause low sodium.)

There's also been this mysterious "spitting" which has increased. Not from lungs either. Is it because of damage to his intestines which "were in the way" of the radiation? Is it part of the process where his innards are healing just as the burn on his back is healing? How come he seemed able to eat more easily while in the hospital? Was it because he was much more drugged there?

In any case Dr. Inhorn will have test results when we see him in his office tomorrow. We'll be able to probe these mysteries with him.

We're both relieved right now since his own body expelled all this build- up after 6+ days! Both ends. Bile too. Twice. But the spitting hasn't stopped.

In spite of all this, even last night, Francis expressed an interest in showing up briefly at the Community and Healing gathering at Portland Yoga Studio on Saturday from 1 - 5. We're hoping, with the help of an almost lifelong friend, Joe Brannigan, he'll be able to climb the stairs to the Studio. It was his idea to use a portable fold up stool to sit on for a rest at each of the two landings. But, he adds: "All this depends on how I feel on Saturday."

With his insides beginning to clear up, test results and remedies tomorrow, and some PT, -- we're hoping he can!

On the pain front, the TENS Unit is helping! Scott, his PT said Francis shouldn't hesitate to increase the degree of stimulation because higher produces better results. As the TENS triggers the brain to produce endorphins -- his own body's natural pain relievers, -- it apparently produces no known side effects either.

All in all it's helpful to look ahead, as our out-of-state doctor/friend advised. And he added: "Getting through radiation is a major feat. You've gotta hand it to him -- to be going through this for so long!"

Thank you all for your prayer & good vibes. And, as several of our Quaker Friends put it, -- keeping Francis and me in the light! Yes, thank you Cush, -- "Lots and lots of light."


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