Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Sept 16, 09
Please continue to send Val letters, cards and pictures as she gets lots of joy from this.
A lot has happened in a weeks' time. I apologize for not keeping better watch to the days I blog.

Val had chemo yesterday. She received the one dose of the gemzar and the fluids and the steroids and anti nausea medication. She had no side effects. She was able to walk in, but Dad pushed her out in a wheelchair. She is in such a weakened state that Dad and the chemo nurse Tony had to help Val dress and undress for the evaluation that follows the chemo. Finally the MD said that "Val , I recommend that you take a break from chemo as you are too weak physically." Since Val was quiet and didn't respond to the MD's recommendation, Dad said we can discuss this further at home Val. Going to chemo has been Val's HOPE. Dad doesn't want to shatter or dampen any of her hope at this time though we all recognize it is futile. Val was able to make it up to her bedroom last night despite being so tired from chemo.

Egg crates are being purchased and put on their queen bed and the hospital bed as Val is beginning to get bruises on her buttocks, and the beginning stages of bed sores. Her skin is very fragile at this time and other areas of her body are getting abrasions due to skin rubbing alone which Dad is treating with antibiotic cream.

Val's right lung is beginning to sound more raspy and which is more fluid building up around that lung. The oxygen has been increased t0 3% and Dad checks it every day to see if he needs to increase it. The new oxygen machine is coming from Keene Medical to allow Dad to administer the new levels of oxygen above this 3% as we are predicting will happen.

Val's pain levels seem to be under control with the 125 fentanyl patch and 3-4 vicoden by mouth which she is still able to swallow.

Val took another fall this past week as she tried to go to the bathroom by herself from her hospital bed. Dad was outside for an hour mowing the lawn during this time. Needless to say there was tremendous tears and guilt when he found her. He had difficulty getting her up, but did so. They worked through this horrible episode together. A hospice volunteer is coming to sit with Val for the first time on Friday while Dad is gone for an eye appointment. The word hospice is not used around Val as that is not what she wants to hear. All of us are not saying these words, only that another nurse will be sitting with her. So now Dad is investigating getting help from hospice and what services are available to him.

Love and prayers to Val always....Salynn

1 comment:

Decent Steve said...


I saw Val during her chemo yesterday in Burlington. I know from first hand what you are saying. I talked with your father at length. Hospice would benefit him and Val so much. Her constant care is showing on his face and in his own physical and emotional condition. Hospice care would benefit them both and relieve a lot of the physical care that is and will be required in the future. Your father agrees but Val is resistant. I am not sure how best you can approach this and at the same time keep Val's HOPE.
When I speak with her on the phone I will broach the subject gently. I worry a lot about your dad at this point because I relate to his situation as a caregiver of a loved one.

Nancy Boutin