Hi everyone – Sorry for the lack of updates –we know this is way overdue. First, this is Sara with a video from my mom – she recorded it a few weeks ago while I was visiting her in the hospital. I had shown her some other videos on my iPhone and she asked if she could make one too! So, here’s her message for everyone:
Second, here’s an update from my dad:
Sorry this is so overdue, but it's been a tough 2 months. In retrospect, Maureen was very very sick over Thanksgiving. She was so sick that she now barely remembers anything from the entire 3 weeks. She remembers visiting with our grandson Brenndan, remembers a visit from our friend Emily, and the table set up for Thanksgiving. And that’s about it. When we got her back to West Virginia, she was septic and way over-narcotized. Dr Hess placed her on massive antibiotics for over a month and she received IV nutrition for 2 months. She has now improved greatly and was able to come home from the hospital a little over a week ago. I have hired companions/aides for about 16 hours a day to stay with her while I am at work. Luckily, we have found some really nice people who are very helpful. Maureen can now carefully do a lap around our house. She still needs help getting up and has to be monitored very closely. She is very happy to be home and is talking more in her normal voice instead of the really scary quiet monotone she had in Virginia. Her comprehension and memory have also greatly improved.
In other good news, her tumor marker has dropped way down from 270, and now was at 99 this past week. Also, this fall, it looked as though her right femur had cancer growing inside the bone. After several consultations, this is been found to NOT be cancer, but is instead a marrow change with red marrow changing to fat. I was very happy to find this out.
We recently decided to sign up for hospice ---DON'T PANIC--- Most people have the wrong idea about it--Hospice is way different than it used to be.---The Hospice agency we found here is terrific, with really caring people. They have helped us with supplies to help Maureen be able to adapt to being home. Our goal is to keep her home and out of the hospital as much as possible and they will be able to help us do that. They send aides for a hour several times a week and a nurse 1-2 times a week. Also, a nurse is available 24/7 for emergencies. There is a very swanky 12 room unit called Liza's place that Marti can stay at for 2-3 days if I need to go out of town. The rooms are like a very nice hotel with suites, large flat screen TV's, etc. Temporary setbacks can also be treated there instead of going back to the hospital. They offer a lot of emotional support for both Maureen and me. Dr Hess is still her doctor, but Dr.Murray, the Hospice doctor, will also see her at home and be available to help with her care. If some new treatment surfaces that would have a good chance of helping her without significant side effects, she can go off of hospice at any time and come back later.
These last few months have been stressful on me, and I have been sick for a couple of weeks, but I am doing a little better now. The good news is that I have lost 39 pounds, and I think you will see the difference when you see me.
Marti has been mostly able to stay asleep from 9-10PM to 8 AM. THEREFORE PLEASE DO NOT CALL DURING THAT TIME. Obviously Marti loves visits from friends and relatives. We had a special treat last week with a visit from Riley – Kathleen brought him to visit from Maryland. Also, our good friends Dick and Charlene Griffin came to see Marti in the hospital before she got out – they brought their dog into Marti’s room to visit with her! Your dogs are welcome to visit with you anytime! We have a fenced in back yard and love the company.
Love to everybody--I will promise to try to do this a lot more often. Thanks again for all of your support.