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What’s going on.

November 27, 2010

Can’t sleep. 2:46 a.m. In the hospital. So, what’s going on?

I’ve updated a few people via email, just seems more polite to update the closer few first…. Plus I’m not thinking all that straight. Here’s what’s been going on. Scroll if you’ve read this.

I don’t remember how much I’ve updated anyone, so scroll if you’re bored. Hank and I decided my breathing was too difficult to be home Thursday (Thanksgiving) night so we got to the ER at 12:30 Friday (note: no holiday in the ER). Got lots of tests, stayed overnight, and by 1:00 Friday(supposed to be 8 a.m, but who counts in hospitals?) got another 1 and 1/8 liter drawn off my lung. They wanted to put in a drain, but the drain doctor is gone for the holiday.

I also talked with the oncologist from my group and the radiologist. I told them I feel much much better after getting my lungs drained, but it is not taking care of the rapid heart rate, the shortness of breath, etc. I said, “Would you please look at my ankles?” They’re pretty darn swollen, as is my abdomen and  — looks like I’m probably retaining water around my heart too. This can be taken care of with Lasix (however you spell it), so right now I started on that and they’re “monitoring my output” overnight right now — Friday night to Saturday morning. I told them I would not go home if I couldn’t walk up and down their hallway without getting short of breath and maybe even take on a stair or two since I have to deal with stairs at home.

The unfortunate thing about retaining water in your heart and lungs is that it’s a sign of congestive heart failure. This can kill you as you know. Or you can manage it. Since this all started less than a week ago, but came on very aggressively, it looks pretty bad and it’s likely caused by the adriamycin I had 6 years ago when I was first diagnosed. Needless to say this makes me mad, but it’s a Catch 22. It did keep me cancer free for 5 years, so extended my life in that way.

What we’re looking at next week is scans and possibly major lung surgery to stop the pleural edema. That surgery has about a 66% success rate. If it doesn’t work, well then it’s a drain tube for me until I die. Lots and lotsa fun, eh?

I’m still breathing heavily, though my heart rate (counted by me at this point because I’m not in the ER where the monitor it all the time, so not all that accurate) has gone down to 92 from 120. Again, highly not accurate. My ankles are slightly less swollen and my face looks a litle better. I really need a shower, but I just can’t imagine that kind of exertion even with all their little helps here at the hospital. We shall see what happens overnight. They might send me home tomorrow (hahahahaha) depending on medical rules. Given how I feel right at this moment, that would make another scary night for Hank and a rush back to the hospital some time Saturday or Sunday. Again, we shall see.

I have no idea what the immediate future holds, other than lots of doctors appointments and scans. I’d like to just stay in the hospital and make them come to me because I can’t get there from here. I mean, I know I will with help, but my goodness…. Help like a wheelchair is what I mean.

I have gone from fairly enabled to nearly completly disabled in a quick week. I might end up in the hospital for quite some time.

Please continue to pray as I know you do. Wisdom, strength, and good decisions.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Murray permalink
    November 27, 2010 6:16 am

    Hi Jill,

    We’ll keep offering prayers and asking for blessings… for wisdom, strength, good decisions and healing.


  2. heidi permalink
    November 27, 2010 6:31 am

    I agree with you to stay put at the hospital at this point. The middle of the night trips must be so scary and stressful. What a rough week it’s been. I don’t suppose you are up for any visitors?
    I keep praying for God’s will in everything.

  3. TulipGirl permalink
    November 27, 2010 6:35 am

    Oh, Jill. . .

  4. Mina permalink
    November 27, 2010 8:21 am

    Love you very much Jill. Praying for you and your family. You’re in my thoughts often.

  5. Ellen permalink
    November 27, 2010 9:53 am


    Jill, letting you know that you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers and hoping that this was “just a bad week”.

    Love you,

  6. November 27, 2010 10:45 am


  7. Karen Moore permalink
    November 27, 2010 11:36 am

    Hi Jill – SO Sorry – I can’t even imagine. I look on your blog often and pray for you as the Lord lays you on my heart. I’m continuing to lift you up.

  8. Marie Barth permalink
    November 27, 2010 11:38 am

    So sorry for all the issues your are experiencing and those you are facing in the days ahead.
    Our prayers are with you and we send love to you and you precious family.

    Marie Barth

  9. Sarahtee permalink
    November 27, 2010 12:47 pm

    Jill, more prayers from here,

    Sarah xxx

  10. Lisa Welch permalink
    November 27, 2010 1:25 pm

    Had the “catch 22” conversation with my sister’s mil the other day. The drug that kept her from dying of an aggressive cancer 7 years ago is the likely cause of the current congenital heart failure problem (I wonder if it’s the same drug as yours). Her doctor has been very apologetic, but, being in her late 70s, Carol has been able to be somewhat philosophical about it – 7 years has allowed her to meet 4 more grandchildren. Totally not fair in your case, if that’s what’s happening.

    Will you please ask Hank to call or e-mail if he’d like me to bring some meals for him and Daniel to use/freeze for later? I do’t know how else to help.

    We’re all (you know who the all is) thinking about you.

    • November 27, 2010 3:00 pm

      I’m going to fill up their freezer tomorrow. I’m the same as you – this is the one way I can feel like I’m helping.

      • Lisa Welch permalink
        November 27, 2010 8:52 pm

        Jill told me you were – I’m so glad.

  11. Gina permalink
    November 27, 2010 2:17 pm

    Thinking of you and your family every day.

  12. Resa permalink
    November 27, 2010 2:39 pm

    Give the Lasix a chance to work. It makes you pee like a race horse, but it is a good drug and it has brought three of my grandparents from the brink of congestive heart failure a number of times. My grandmother has it whenever she has a little blip in her health, and she’s nearly 96 years old. Tough broad, she is. So are you.

    This is also the nature of major health issues. One minute, you’re clipping along at a good pace, and the next you’ve been knocked flat. I have seen people who get knocked over rally more often than not and I think you will too.

    The hospital is a good idea if only to relieve some pressure from Hank and Daniel. Their knowing you are in good hands and them not having to fight treacherous roads to get you help, was a good decision on your part. Good for you for making it, although it made for a less than ideal holiday, but that can probably wait. I am sure there is a measure of relief on your part, knowing you will be more closely monitored and not have to wait for the morons in the ER to actually do the job they should have done when you went in for the fluid the first time.

    So, hang in there and try not to be discouraged. You have a long way to go yet and lots of things to do. Cling to that and endure what you must for now.

    Much love

  13. Laura (Bayou) permalink
    November 27, 2010 4:53 pm

    Jill, I have been reading but never thought to comment (duh…I am slow). Just wanted to let you know, I guess. I don’t know what to say really – Resa said it all. I’m thinking of you and yours. /////manly pats/////

  14. Babs permalink
    November 27, 2010 6:23 pm

    listen to what people are saying: you are loved, take their help, try to enjoy the holiday season no matter where you are at that moment.

    FAMs are circling the wagons………


  15. Jennifer permalink
    November 27, 2010 7:00 pm

    Dear Jill…You are just so loved…So very, very loved. Don’t ever forget it. Not ever.
    Enjoy “Big Foot” (…oh, and when “she” runs out of air, let me know and I’ll race over there and put my foot up in the air for you…). Hugs, love and lots of prayer, Jennifer

  16. Mimi permalink
    November 27, 2010 7:18 pm

    Jill, no great words of wisdom for you, but posting so you know that I’m thinking of you, and you’re in my prayers.

  17. Tammy permalink
    November 27, 2010 8:08 pm

    Praying for all good things for you, Jill, especially good drainage and a good night’s sleep. You are always in my prayers.

    • Lisa Welch permalink
      November 27, 2010 8:55 pm

      You’ve got to admit, Jill, you probably never anticipated receiving prayers for “good drainage”! lol! I agree with the thought, though! (Love you, Tammy! *g* – assuming you’re the Tammy I think you are!)

  18. Rachel permalink
    November 28, 2010 11:49 am

    Saying prayers for you… I hope they let you stay in the hospital, especially as this is all changing so rapidly. And even more, I hope they are able to knock this, so you can go home and heal. So, like Tammy, I’m praying for good drainage! Many hugs (very gentle, of course), and much love.

  19. Kim permalink
    November 28, 2010 1:50 pm

    Your puppy is sitting next to me asking for leftover mashed potatoes and gravy and green bean casserole. She helped us put lights out front on the sequoias and then helped with the tree in the house. Pictures soon for you.

    We love you very much!

  20. Bemused Boomer permalink
    November 28, 2010 2:09 pm

    Thanksgiving is definitely not a good time to be reminded we originally came from the sea and are 80-90% water. When it gets out of balance, we are like little fishies who start swimming sideways. I have confidence this issue will be resolved to the point that you are comfortable and more “abled” than you are at this moment. Hang tough; this isn’t what we who live on the San Andreas Fault call “The Big One.” I think you’ll be home soon.

    BTW, my great aunt lived an good, reasonably active life with congestive heart failure from age 85 to age 97.


  21. Penny permalink
    November 28, 2010 5:09 pm

    Praying, Jill. So frustrated for you, with you, for all the bumps in the road. I’m sending cyber love across the miles from me to you.

  22. Sarahtee permalink
    November 28, 2010 5:16 pm

    Jill, hoping that things have improved today, and praying here,

    Sarah xxx

  23. Marcia permalink
    November 28, 2010 6:36 pm

    thinking of you. praying. (smiling with Lisa about Tammy’s prayers for good drainage and echoing them)

  24. Arzelie permalink
    November 28, 2010 6:38 pm

    Sending good thoughts your way.

  25. Sami permalink
    November 28, 2010 8:12 pm

    I second what Resa wrote. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope you have been able to rest. Do you need us to send you any books or anything to pass the time????

    Take care and know that we are constantly thinking about you and praying for you.

  26. Barbara Austin permalink
    November 29, 2010 5:38 am

    I don’t know how you are able to keep up this post…I’d have a hard time doing that…wanted you to know that you are continually in our prayers at Burien Evangelical ….

    I know you don’t know me but I just wanted to tell you that you are in my prayers and loved by so many people. I know that you are in capable hands (Gods)…he is walking through this with you.

    Stay positive.

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