November 26, 2008

  • So far this isn't going noticeably well, I am afraid.

    Yesterday I asked the doctor how he'd categorize Don's condition and was swiftly told "Critical. He's on life support."

    Oh. Sorry I asked.

    Later that evening the night nurse (a man from India I like very much) told me he thought Don was a bit better, giving the reasons for this belief. Don was having a restful night (no alarms going off in three hours!) so I went on home about 11 p.m. This morning the doctor said his recent x-rays, while showing no improvement, also didn't show any worsening, and this was a positive sign, we agreed. He wasn't happy with the ventilator tube so called for the bronch team (the same machine, etc. from Sunday) so he could send a camera down to see why it wouldn't stay in place. I was cordially invited to make myself scarce for a bit, and went downstairs for a coffee and cinnamon-pecan muffin (those are wicked good muffins!).

    After an hour I went back upstairs to be told they'd figured out what was wrong and had switched the tubes, and give 'em fifteen more minutes.

    Fifteen minutes later I returned to Don's room, where the equipment was gone and the doctor took me aside, saying he had good news, bad news, and "news" news. The good news was he was able to suction quite a bit of gunk out of Don's right lung, the "news" news was about the ventilator tube, and the bad news.....the pathologist had just called. He'd found cancer.

    Neither he nor I had expected that, and for a moment we stood and stared at each other. "The situation is definitely worse than it was ten minutes ago," he observed in a truly masterful display of understatement.

    First things first, however, and the cancer's a moot point unless the pneumonia's eliminated, both because, well, he was in trouble just from the pneumonia, plus they can't discern the scope of the cancer until the pneumonia's gone from the x-rays, etc. Right now it's impossible to decipher the x-ray and try to distinguish this from that.

    Prayers would be appreciated as we try to navigate these rough waters in which we've suddenly been pitched.

Comments (9)

  • God have mercy. We are all praying here. May Romans 8:28 and 1 Thesslaonians 5:16-18 take on mew and deeply comforting meaning for you in the days ahead. You are surrounded by the Church, and the Church by the Spirit, and these are on your side. Dear Anne!

  • Continuing to pray, Anne

  • Anne,

    I'm a long-time Internet friend of Elaine's, and she's kept me up-to-date on your husband's health. Just wanted you to know that one more person is praying. Truly.

    Melissa in Tennessee

  • Anne's brother here. The news seems to be getting worse. This morning (November 26th) Anne was informed that they had determined that Don has NO pneumonia at all; that all the shadows seen in the lungs was cancerous. However, since he has not run any fever they will start steroid treatments. The doctor held out one thin sliver of hope: perhaps, after the lung tissue swelling goes down, the amount of cancer that they have to deal with will go down (i.e., that the swelling has magnified the cancer, so to speak). The doctor admitted this was a very thin sliver of hope.

    God bless and keep you Don!

    Keep up the hope and strength Anne, Kirstin, Jonny, Jessica, Alex, Charles and Dema.

    We are all thinking of you.


  • Still praying, Anne.  Thanks for the update, Louis.

  • @legalsea - 

    Thanks for the update, Louis. Please give Anne big, big hugs from all her long-distance, Internet-maybe, but very real friends. Let her know how much we love her and that our prayers are going constantly and fervently for Don and all those who love him and who are treating him.

    me<>< (aka Cindy Matthews)

  • I am continuing to hold Anne and her family in prayer.

  • Will continue to pray for Don. {{Big HUG}}

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