Updated by Alexx. It’s been a very difficult 48 hours for my mother and a very scary time for our family. Thankfully she has started to stabilize and improve and the team remains guardedly optimistic.
She asked me to express how much your love and prayers means to her and our family during this time.
April 10th-11th Day +3 and Day +4
I’m not going to go into too much detail about what happened on Sunday into Monday. I don’t want to scare anyone. But basically my blood pressures dropped really low which was likely secondary to severe dehydration with a possible component of septic shock. I had a lot of diarrhea the day prior and then the Nasogastric tube was put in and took out 1.5L of gastric juices and bile. I’m no longer allowed to eat or drink. I hadn’t peed in many hours so Alexx was asking for IVF because she was concerned. They kept saying it was coming but they needed to give antibiotics and other medications first. When my blood pressure dropped to 70/40 she sprung into action and grabbed the nurses and doctors. They gave me aggressive IVF hydration, checked my labs, and started a medication called Norepinpehrine to support my blood pressure. There were many doctors in here from different consult services including surgery and ICU. They repeated the CT scan to make sure my intestines hadn’t become blocked or ruptured-they hadn’t. They also added another antibiotic for better infectious coverage. They did serial examinations of my abdomen to make sure it wasn’t getting worse. There was discussion of taking me to the ICU for closer monitoring but the problem with the ICU is that there is a much higher risk of infection because a)they can’t isolate me as well b)there are patients there with dangerous resistant infections. The ICU doctor and oncology doctor agreed that I could stay on the floor if Alexx helped the nurse to monitor me closely. Thankfully as the night progressed my blood pressure stayed stable and by 9am they were able to stop the Pressors. My abdomen is still very bloated and uncomfortable. I can’t find a position to lay in that feels good. I’m very frustrated that I’ve had this complications. I didn’t expect to get so sick. I just want to feel better. I just want to go home.
April 12th Day +5
I had an uneventful night. I was woken up many times by the nurses checking my vital signs but I am glad they are keeping such a close eye on me. I sent Alexx home last night to sleep because I have been stable for many hours. I need her to be well-rested so that she can spring into action if I get sicker again. I need her to bring her “A” game every day
I woke up around 7am feeling more distension in my abdomen with some pain. Also my most distressing symptom is my shortness of breath. It’s hard for me to speak in full sentences. That started yesterday. I asked Ricky to call Alexx and she came right over. She checked my vitals signs and reviewed my labs and told me that everything is going to be okay. I feel much more relaxed when she’s overseeing everything. She held my hand and told me she won’t let anything bad happen to me.
My counts are still low. No white blood cells yet. My kidneys have made a full recovery and I am urinating a lot with lasix. When my blood pressure was low they pumped me with a lot of fluids which may be partially contributing to my shortness of breath. So peeing a lot should help.
A team of 10 doctors came in today; on Tuesdays the whole team rounds. Everyone seemed to think I looked much better than the day prior and that even though my abdomen was still very distended, it was softer. A tense abdomen is what is more concerning to them.
They did a chest X-ray which showed no pneumonia or issues in my lungs. Dr Rowe thinks the SOB (shortness of breath) is caused by the abdominal distention pushing up against my diaphragm. Alexx wants them to get CT Chest to make sure there isn’t a pneumonia that wasn’t seen on CXR or a pneumonitis (inflammation caused by chemotherapy). Dr Rowe feels confident that I am getting better and will continue monitoring me closely.
Tomorrow I start Neupogen, an injection that will help to stimulate the white cells in my bone marrow. Alexx says I should hopefully see my WBC count go up in the next 3-5 days. Until then I just have to wait for the healing to begin. Tomorrow I am going to try sitting in the chair I haven’t been out of bed in 5 days
I am excited that my son will be back in Israel tomorrow. His support will be greatly appreciated.
Alexx showed me a prayer called Asher Yatzar. It’s a prayer that religious people say after going to bathroom, sometimes known as the “bathroom blessing”. It’s essentially a blessing that thanks Hashem for good health. It expresses thanks for having the ability to excrete, because without it life would be impossible. Alexx read me the prayer while she and Ric placed their hands on my distended belly. Hopefully the ileus will improve soon and my bowels will start to work.
A few more pictures:
Alexx and one of our favorite nurses Ronit.
A volunteer who gave me an amazing foot massage and then a healing tummy massage He also played beautiful jazz music
Love you all. #VivaAviva