Monday, May 31, 2010


Before leaving the hospital they put a 'pic line' in his arm. It is like an IV line, but more permanent. They set it up so he would have TPN every night through a home health care group that would come in weekly to check on him and clean around the pic line to keep it from getting infected. The TPN was a bag of nutritional "food" that got pumped into him over the course of twelve hours. They gave him this because it would provide him with all the calories and nutrition he needed, and eating was close to impossible.

As the healing process began we found that his gag reflex was super sensitive. So he spent a lot of time dry-heaving (was that too much information?). He tried to eat some, but it was difficult. About the beginning of November they discovered scar tissue was building up in his esophagus and it would need to be stretched. He went in for that procedure November 12th. That same day his cousin held a benefit for him/ us. The benefit was a lot of fun. I was amazed at how many people came. Chris was able to eat a little better that day and he made a short appearance at the benefit.

But, eating quickly became pretty much impossible again, so this time they scheduled our original surgeon to do the stretching.

In the meantime Chris had a case of shingles which added to his pain and discomfort.

Towards the beginning of December he also started to get a lot of pain in his abdomen area. It was very intense and would keep him hunched over in pain. We finally went to the cancer center and they ran some tests, including a cat scan, a barium swallow and x-rays. They came to two conclusions. First they did an emergency esophagus stretch because they thought there was something stuck in there. That was a blessing as it was quite successful and he could finally begin to eat again.

Second, they noticed that his right lung was filling with fluid. They thought he may have pneumonia. His breathing was very labored and between that and the pain in his abdomen which persisted, it seemed almost unbearable for him.

They put him on antibiotics but they didn't help. Finally, our original surgeon ordered to have his lung drained. This helped the breathing tremendously but the pain persisted. We had a trip to Florida planned.

We were to leave on December 17th. I think Chris ended up at the cancer institute every day for several days before we left.

No comments:

Post a Comment