Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quick update

Not to leave people hanging, I thought I should give a quick update.

So, Monday I was discharged from the hospital.  They took out my chemo port that I have been toting around in my chest for the last 2.5 years in case it was the source of my infection.  I'm glad to have it gone.  Maybe this marks an end of an era.  No port=no more cancer.  It seems like a reasonable thing to hope for.  They put in a pic line to give me IV antibiotics for two weeks.  Now I have a really fashionable fanny pack and a kind of high tech pump to put in it.  Almost like being on Star Trek.

I was still pretty weak coming home but every day was better than the one before.  Thursday we had an open house for our son Jarom and his sweet fiancĂ© (now wife) in our back yard.  We had so many neighbors and friends who pitched in to make that happen.  It still amazes me how good the people around us are.  We are so blessed.  It was a truly lovely evening.

Friday I went in for my follow up with the infectious disease doctor.  Everything looked good.  I was still having pretty bad headaches so I asked him about that.  He is a really nice Russian doctor.  He said "Dr Vogel, this condition is often lethal, so I think that headaches are not so bad, eh?"  (I don't know how to write that with a Russian accent so you will have to use your imagination)  Frankly the headaches are now pretty much gone and I am very grateful.

Friday we traveled to Boise for Jarom's wedding.  That happened on Saturday morning.  In the temple I looked at Jarom, Natalie, JoLynne and all my endowed children except Peter who is in Spain.  There was such a sense of peace.  Everything in the world seemed as it should be.  I am so grateful to still be here to be a part of such events.

Sunday we drove home and got to sleep in our own beds.  So good to be home.  I am continuing to improve.  Sunday I thought, "You know, I'm not really hurting that much, maybe I will skip my usual tylenol and motion dose."  So, I did.  I have been taking Tylenol and Motrin every 8 hours for the last 11 months.   Ever since my high dose radiation therapy.   I don't like to think about how many of those I have swallowed.  So, I haven't taken any since Sunday, Amazing!  Today I went back to work and had a pretty good day.

All in all, I am doing very well.  Thank you for all your faith and prayers.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Time shares

Well. I haven't blogged here for a long time. I have been too busy being well to sit down and write much. It has been good to feel good again

Unfortunately this last week I have taken another turn in the road. Monday I had an unpleasant meeting at work and came home with a splitting headache.  I just figured it was from the meeting. Tuesday it wasn't much better. My head hurt and I just didn't feel good.  At one point I laid down in my office on the floor and closed my eyes for a few minutes.  Right then my receptionist, Lori, came in and gasped. I think she thought I had fainted or died and fallen to the floor. At least that was a bright moment

By noon I could see I wasn't well enough to work so I went home and had patients changed. I still felt pretty rotten so we got an appointment with an ENT friend of mine. He cultured my sinuses, recommended an oral antibiotic and took a tissue biopsy of an area of my mouth that looks weird

I came home still feeling pretty rotten. Basically every time I sat down I fell asleep. I tried taking the medicine but everything I swallowed I threw up again. Tuesday in the middle of the night I started shaking so bad I thought my teeth would fall out. I couldn't stop. JoLynne woke the boys and was going to have them carry me to the car and take me to the hospital. I threw up again and the shaking seemed to subside so we stayed home

Wednesday I called my oncologist and he suggested coming to the clinic where they could do the antibiotics and fluids IV.  That sounded good so we went. They did some blood work and rehydrated me and I felt a bit better. I was still sleeping all the time. My temperature went up to 104 so that had us worried a bit. Thursday we went for fluids again and more antibiotics. I was finally starting to feel somewhat better. My neck was really sore and I was weak but walking. Friday they called and told me that blood work was back and I had two positive cultures for staph infection in the blood and that I needed to be in the hospital. Also the ENT called and said that the tissue sampled had areas of comcern for cancer.

Home sweet home
We checked in Friday. I told JoLynne as we were pullng up that if I had known how much time I was going to spend here I would have looked into a time share option. She thought that there were better places for a time share

The doctors were very thorough. The infection control doctor seemed especially knowledgable.  I'm glad that they found this. Unchecked it could have gone bad really fast. As it is I will be here on really powerful antibiotics until Monday. If I am responding well then I will go home with an IV pump and continue for another two weeks. They were worried it had damaged my heart. If that were true I would be on the sntibiotics for months IV instead of weeks. The tests showed my heart was fine

We are still waiting for Mayo to read the biopsy slides. I can't worry about that now. It will be whatever it is.  I asked my doctor this morning, dr Wallentine, if he ever just thought "will this guy either get better or die once and for all". He sweetly said "I only ever think the first one Eric"

So, here I sit in this overpriced hotel working on getting better.  We have a wedding the end of this week a granddaughter coming to be tended, bike rides and sandbox time and somewhere in there I need to build a rocket ship (Vivian's request). I had better hurry and get better

Preliminary design on "the rocket"