Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

As we reflect back on this year, there are so many things for which we are thankful.
a.  For our many family and friends who have support us as Carla has gone through this myeloma experience.  Your thoughts, prayers, friendly phone calls and uplifting words have meant a lot to us.
b.  For the great doctors and researchers who have persevered in their hunt for a cure for this terrible disease called multiple myeloma.  Dr. Barlogie is leading this charge.  We are thankful that the Myeloma Institute is within driving distance from Springfield.  Many of the myeloma patients and their caregivers have to fly to Little Rock for each of their sessions of therapy and for their many checkups during maintenance.
c.  For Home Away From Home apartments for which we have been able to use for all of the chemo treatments but one and during this stay for Carla's surgery.  It makes me wonder what needs are in our community back home that need to be addressed by us.
d.  For God's sustaining strength as Carla "walked in the shadow of death" during each of her six chemo therapies and stem cell transplants. 
e.  For good medical insurance that has spent upwards of a million dollars on Carla's treatment.

Update on Carla's condition:
Early in the week it seemed like they could not control Carla's pain.  Tuesday evening they installed a morphine drip and a couple pain pills besides her oxycotin she has been on since her August 2009 back surgery.  Once the pain subsided, Carla was able to get her badly needed rest.

Wednesday she was able to get up and sit in a chair a couple times.  This was a good break from the bed.

Tuesday night her temperature went up to about 100.5 and stayed there for about 24 hours.  It is only slightly elevated now.

If they can get her off the morphine today there is a good chance she can be discharged to our apartment tomorrow.  If not Friday at least by Saturday.  She has an appointment to see Dr. Barlogie at 2:00 on Monday.  We plan to head home whenever we determine Carla is up to the four-hour trip.  We have the apartment rented until December 5.

I thought I would share a couple pictures with you.  Carla lost her hair during Induction 1 the first of December 2009.  Since the completion of her chemo the first of September, her hair has returned.  The myeloma patients are always concerned about what color their hair will be when it returns.  You can see a red tint to Carla's hair.  The scab on her scalp was where a needle sensor was inserted during her surgery to monitor her brain signals. 

Carla is on the eighth floor of the "new" hospital.  Her large east window looks down Capitol Street.  The tall tower on the left is the new Rockefeller Cancer Institute.  This is building houses the Infusion Center.  During each chemo sessions Carla would go to the Infusion Center each day for her blood draws and any necessary IV's or blood transfusions.

The tall building on the immediate right is the Eye Institute.  The next building on the right is the Spine Institute.  This building houses the Myeloma Institute.  Dr. Barlogie's office is in this building as are all of the MIRT physicians.

Far down the street that runs by the Spine Institute is the Arkansas Capitol building.  It is near the two tall buildings in the background.  This is a nice view at night.  I thought I would get a picture of the lighted Capitol but the last two evenings have been too stormy and foggy for a good picture.

Here's wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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