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It’s been some time since I’ve delivered an update for everyone. Tiah has posted some small updates on the Facebook Page, but we realize not all of you use Facebook. I had a grand vision for regular updates here this summer, but while I avoided much for side effects for much of my treatments, July presented some not entirely unexpected complications.

The Beginning

July started quietly enough, but as we got into the last round of treatments it seemed as if I got punched in the face. Nausea, while minor, came upon me more frequently. Despite sleeping the majority of each day, I was always tired. Consistent back aches had me at the chiropractor 2-3 times a week. The strong appetite I had been maintaining was beginning to wane, and during the summer heat I always felt a chill.

So Called End

As we got into the last scheduled week of treatments, I was describing my cough and side effects to the nurse, and she thought the oncologist should weigh in. What we expected to be a short treatment and small celebration of completing the 4 rounds of chemo turned into a full day at the hospital as we checked blood work, got x-rays, and a CT scan. It was determined I had the early stages of pneumonia, was prescribed antibiotics, and they decided it would be best to cancel the last chemo treatment.

But Wait, There’s More…

Just a few days later, Tiah came home, took my temperature, and with the ear ache I developed that day I agreed to go in to the hospital. The emergency room determined my blood pressure was different enough that another CT scan was warranted, which led to the determination there was not only pneumonia but also blood clots in my lungs as well. This began my 8 day stay at Sanford which included more testing, lots of blood work, way too many fluids via IVs (because it took 2 to for my veins to handle them), and slightly compromised kidneys. It took a few days to get things stabilized and confirm my kidneys were sufficiently improving before they allowed me to go home.

Home, But…

It was such a relief when I could finally go home, but back aches and exhaustion continued. I was also prescribed blood thinners, and had to remember to take that pill every day, along with continued blood work to make sure my blood was within a certain range. We soon had a follow up with another doctor, whose concern with my continued coughing and shortness of breath ran more tests and determined I still had pneumonia. I had been sent home from the hospital without antibiotics, but now was given a shot which jump started my immune system and had me feeling better within a day, but again added antibiotics to my daily pill regimen.

The Tunnel

That is my summary of the events of July. I often describe this journey as looking ahead see the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t realize at the beginning just how long the tunnel is. Or that it’s under construction, and there are detours in the tunnel, and the tunnel is on fire, and the car keeps breaking down. Seemingly every time I have had something good to look forward to, the end of a process, or just maybe being able to put a relatively definitive time frame on when life will be sort of normal again, some new thing punches me in the face and says not yet. But we keep getting back up after we’re knocked down (it’s ok if you’re thinking of Chumbawumba now) and getting to the next thing. Thanks so much for all your prayers helping us through it all.

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