Saturday, July 30, 2016

Melinda Update

It has been a week already, so time for an update on Melinda! Seems like a bad remake of "Groundhog Day" with an endless repetition of the day before... Our last post gives a good synopsis of the events - turns out her infection caused her to go into septic shock, due to the pasteurella and her lowered immunity from cancer treatments and radiation therapy. Fortunately she was only in the ICU for 48 hours, and has remained since then in a normal hospital room in the oncology ward. Starting Wednesday she has been able to continue her radiation therapy, and after today's session, only has one left on Monday. With the proper antibiotics she has responded well, and the 20cm (8") red blotch marking the infection in her leg has all but disappeared. The original plan was for her to be released today, but several scenarios has caused a rethinking of these plans...

For Melinda, the highest priority has always been to follow the course of treatments outlined by her oncologist. In her mind, nothing should stand in the way of that battle that has raged for nearly 3 full years! The plan was to discharge her to an in-patient facility for rehab, since she has effectively been bedridden for a week now. There has been no attempt to administer rehab or occupational therapy while in the hospital. Unfortunately, all the rehab places do not have the mechanism in place to allow transportation to her radiation or chemotherapy treatments. As a result, Melinda turned down that offer and then the plan was to discharge her to home, with home health-care nursing visiting every day. Of course, since she has not been up, I'm reluctant to take on the responsibility of assisting in her mobility around the house to use the bathroom and other activities. We got to the point that the home health team brought her meds over to us and in the image at left, Danielle is instructing Melinda in giving herself the antibiotic and flushing her port afterwards...

But Melinda hasn't been feeling well the last few days and really didn't want to come home either.  So her doctor approved her staying until Monday.  She will get her last radiation treatment Monday morning, then be released to a rehab facility, and hopefully recover in the week she has off treatments until her chemo starts up.

So that is the plan - a couple more nights at Banner University Medical Center, and some more in a rehab place.  We both feel better with that plan.  Note she has been getting near-endless interruptions to her rest from calls and visitors, so I've taken to carrying her phone with me so as to not wake her while she is napping.  So if you try calling, don't be surprised if I answer!  You are officially up to date!

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