Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quick entry...

Its 11:04 pm

      Dropping by to wish everyone a Happy Easter...tomorrow is check-up day in Ann Arbor and I'll be posting a detailed entry after we get back...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Medical Update,Giving Back and many thanks..

Its 9:41 pm

     Spring is finally really starting to show up here in SE Michigan. Today it reached 56 degrees,a relative heat wave compared to the last couple of months. But I'm so ready for warmer weather,to be able to get outside and enjoy the warm sun...I told Lori I'm pushing her to the mailbox tomorrow to get the mail and taking the long way to get there...
  Yesterday was our first day of home hydration,a visiting nurse,Ashley,came out and showed us how to administer the gravity drip I.V.

Each bag is supposed to drip 2 drops per second for a total time of two hours per bag. Ashley suggested we break up the hydration into two sessions,one during the morning and one at night. She showed me how to change the bag and perform the S.A.S.H. routine with the I.V.
  I admit,I'm a bit nervous when it comes to doing the session in our living room as its carpeted and the IV is not very heavy meaning that if Lori trips while going to the restroom,she could pull out the needle and tubing and cause a major event. The first bag went well yesterday and the change over went well except I slowed the drip too much and after 2 hours we were only half way done..since Lori also threw up during the session,we called it a night and pulled the plug. We followed the clean up protocols and called it a night.
  Had a rough night sleeping last night as I lay there watching her sleep,this is where my deepest sadness kicks really hits me worst at the night time and I can hear all the dreams we have just go up silently in smoke.
   Today was Good Friday,I had to work at 7 am and couldn't take Lori to the CT scan...because we need the money just way too much now. My job is only 25-29 hours a week now and the pay is flat-out embarrassing for someone with my experience. But try and find anyone willing to hire me with what is going  is a pipe dream. No one is going to want to help someone get a good job while knowing their spouse is slowly dying. Not in these times.
  We reached out to our friend Cheryl to help us with taking Lori to the clinic for the CT scan. We were blessed that she was able and willing to drive 10 miles to take Lori across the street for her test.

 What was rough about this test is that Lori couldn't eat anything two hours before the test,then drink the contrast at 9 am,wait an hour,then do the test and come home at 10:30 am. I got up early to give her the early meds and also drink a Boost,which along with Carnation Instant Breakfast,seems to be our main food item as just about anything just doesn't stick with her.

I gave her the meds and put the Boost down before heading to work. She said she meant to just close her eyes just a second but woke up at 8:30 am,too late to drink her breakfast. This turned out to be a rough morning. She asked the CT scan to be allowed to drink only one cup of contrast because she was afraid she would throw it up before the test could be completed. They agreed and were able to run the CT scan.
  Afterwards Cheryl took Lori to get a cold drink at Tim Horton's when all of a sudden,she asked Cheryl to pull over in the parking lot where she promptly got sick.
  They then headed home....where Cheryl then unloaded a wheelchair for us to borrow from her husband Jerry's leg surgery from earlier this year. This will be a huge help for us in getting around,not every place has a public wheelchair available for use.
   When I called and heard what had happened,I suggested to Lori we stay sort of low key tonight and she agreed. We had planned to go to Good Friday services but I didn't want to press our luck. I finished my shift,bought two Easter Lilies for our neighbor Kathy and Marlene (Crash's mom).

I then drove over to St. Thomas a Becket's church after work to donate a another pint of blood for the American Red Cross. This was my second pint donated this year which leaves me five behind the seven that U of Michigan has given Lori so far.
  The church was very busy with donors and church folks planning the Good Friday service. I walked down and was whisked away to a room outside the main donor area...felt a little weird about that as I could see folks who had made appointments being seated in the main area. Nonetheless,I went through the pre-screen and before I knew it,I was giving the gift of life.

I really hope that it can help do just make a difference in someone's life. And I know in 57 days,I'll be back again to donate once more.
Got home at 5:30,delivered the Lilies and then asked if the CT results had revealed seems like Lori's bowel is swollen and they could see a lot of liquid in her tummy (no shit! really???) They have advised us to not to eat or drink anything much over the weekend. That is really rugged because we sort of need food intake of some kind for the meds we are taking. The vomiting is still happening and Lori's stomach is very sore from that. I am angry for first time at the oncology team,they had a perfect window to see what we are going through but they elected to let that NG tube stay in and we couldn't present Lori's troubles at night.
Now we have to wait for the entire weekend on a very limited diet before our appointment with Dr. Johnston...

  Lori had a box on the table,she asked me to look at it....our lovely friend Theresa (Lady T) sent a beautiful card and Rosary to Lori. I cannot say "Thank you" enough for the cards....I have taken to rotating 3 different cards on our fridge to help brighten Lori's day.
  I also want to create a "Fun List" for her as going to a Tiger's game,seeing a live concert,eating at her favorite Iron Chef's restuarant...Roast which is owned by Michael Symon,another trip to Put-In-Bay and most of all,a return trip to Chicago..I already am hopeful about the Tigers game but will have to wait til the weather gets much warmer and she can get stronger.
I don't want to end this on a sad I'm going to post another videoblog from actress and animal activist Elaine Hendrix,this is actually Week 12 of her Love and Compassion series but since its Easter,I thought it was more timely to share this now.

Thank you for everyone who has started to help push this blog,especially Sabine Flynn,a dedicated Twitter PR guru who has promised to help me get the word out. It means so much to me to say the very least...

Happy Easter!

Theresa- Thank you for the wonderful Rosary!
Cheryl- Thank you for the wheelchair and for taking Lori to her appointment.
Scorpion- Another great blog!
Sydney - Good luck in Las Vegas! Hit the ground running...
Brad Meyer - Good to know there is a fellow Emergency fan among us!
Jessica- Thank you for leaving comments,you understand what comments mean to us bloggers!

As always,a special thanks to Amy and Michelle Ball for their love and compassion....

If you're new to the blog and like to send Lori a card...

Lori Sullivan
45249 Lemont Rd

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A picture

Its 11:13 pm

   Just wanted to post something here before calling it a night. Got the call from the oncology team,we are doing the CT scan on Friday morning.
Had a quiet day today,did some errands and paid our water bill. Then came home,picked up Lori and went to Target. She was too weak to walk so I pushed her in a wheelchair around the new remodeled store and picked up some items we needed. I got tears in my eyes when I put my hand on her shoulder and she rubbed her cheek against it.

Below is a picture of my Lori when we were on vacation a couple of years ago....I know I have never posted any pictures but now you have a picture of the love of my life. I also threw in a bonus shot of Derek Jeter in my drawer waiting for me to put away my socks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back to Ann Arbor and other adventures

Its 11:00 pm  Friday

     Long day up early to give Lori her meds. Last night's plan to attack her pain and not let it get to nausea was working great...had a good day of food intake and water as well...even climbing the stairs was good as she managed to climb them without stopping once. I stand behind her just in case she loses balance,she doesn't climb the stairs until I am home. Things were looking great...I gave her the last med of the day,the vankomycin at 1 am and we both went to bed.
   At 3:10 am I felt her jump out of bed,I was right behind her...just in time for her to become violently ill.It was just awful,all I can do is hold her and help her through the incident. I then clean up everything,have her rinse her mouth out and get her back to bed as soon as possible. Its back to square one all over again...
 Today we puttered around the house a bit,we have started gleaning through Lori's clothes...tackled a huge bag and divided them up...we kept some,gave 3 bags full to our neighbor Marlene (Crash's mom),put two aside for Purple Heart who will be by Saturday.
  Then she cleaned out a hutch and I took some boxes to the local consignment store. When I switch my wardrobe to the summer,I too,will start the process of downsizing. Its just an another step in the journey.
Lori then took a nap for a couple of hours before we had to head over to St. Thomas a' Beckett for a 2 pm appointment.
   We met Debbie Miller who ushered in Lori into a private room,she was going to join the church and also ask about a Catholic burial. I sat outside and read a little church journal that they give out after Mass on Sundays. The secretary came out and started moving the boxes,I chipped in and moved the four boxes to where she directed me to and then sat down.
  As I did,I noticed a pretty blonde woman coming out from the pastor's office and a young man heading in.
She was looking at the CDs and I couldn't help but ask if they were for a wedding meeting. She shook her no and I could see tears in her eyes. I stood up and apologized for intruding,she said it was okay.
  Turns out she had just gotten a divorce,one she never wanted. She and her husband had only been married about 2 years. Seems like he was more in love with his work then her. Turns out he was a engineer at Ford and they had moved him to Louisville,Ky to an apartment for 10 months while he worked on the 2013 Ford Escape. She stayed here to work and continue to go to school. She mentioned that she even turned down a promotion because it would cut into the time she could spend with her husband. She said when she had visited as of late,he wasn't happy to see her and seemed resentful. She said she knew it wasn't another woman but his job that he was in love with and soon he asked for the divorce.
  We talked for another 5 minutes and then she hugged me and left....
I sat back down and started reading my booklet again...15 minutes later Lori came out,both women had tears in their eyes. I thanked the pastor for her help and gently walked Lori back to the car. I shared with her the woman who I had just met...we made small talk as I stretched out the drive back home.
 Friday night was quiet and we celebrated as Lori didn't have her nasty nausea that leads to her having a vomiting episode. This was pretty exciting to say the least!
  Saturday rolled in cold and brisk,after washing up...I headed down stairs to get Lori's morning meds and her breakfast. I quickly cleaned up around the house and pulled some steaks out. Lori's brother and his wife were driving down to stay with us this weekend. We were both very happy to have them both,Brian has really been aces these past 3 years when it has really counted. They got here at 12:30 pm and we enjoyed a soda (Lori had lemonade) and chatted before I had to leave for work. Turns out that they had made a ton of good food that they wanted Lori to try and eat. Normally,this would have been great but since they don't really know how restricted a partial bowel obstruction diet really needs to be. Brenda(Brian's wife) is a great cook and she made a lot of homemade soups. They really felt that Lori could handle this okay,we were both very sure this would be a mistake but we agreed to try it.
  Our neighbor Marlene and her son Dylan came down to meet Brian and Brenda and we ended up borrowing Marlene's grill to cook our steaks. I set up the table and helped prepared Lori's soup.
Dinner was good but the soup was very rich and Lori only ate half.
 An hour later,she lost it....but after that they seem to finally understand that we have been trying anything and everything to help Lori eat AND retain it. Sunday morning found me saying "good-bye" to Brian and Brenda as they were leaving at noon to head was a great visit overall and we really enjoyed our time together.
  Monday morning came round and we got early to get ready for our visiting nurse whose name is Amy...those of you who have read this blog for a while know why the name Amy is so meaningful to us. Our nurse Amy is a no nonsense yet compassionate nurse who really seems to like her patients,she is the one who taught us how to injection the antibiotics that were needed to kill Lori's E Coli infection and she'll be the one to show us how to do home hydration as well.
   At 10 am Amy came by to draw blood for Lori's appointment with Infectious Diseases but couldn't get ANY blood. This was a bad sign as it meant Lori was dehydrated once again because she had thrown up a huge amount the night before. Phone calls were exchanged and Dr. Rusk instructed us to head to the ER again and he called ahead to clear the flight plan so to speak. It took me an hour to help Lori get a shower and dressed,she was pretty weak in the legs. Finally we were on our way once again....the 20 miles flew by,I turned on the Tigers baseball game and she fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the backrest.
We rolled into the ER and walked into a full house of patients. I got a mask for Lori and checked her in,based on what I was seeing,I should have brought a book because there was no way we were going in front of at least 30 people. I got my visitor's badge and started to wheel Lori to the waiting area when the  nurse said "Nope,we have been expecting you and held a bed for you". I was very grateful and said "thank you" to all the nurses at the Triage desk.
  We were put in Room 47 and I helped changed Lori into her gown as a nurse got her two warm blankets.
As we sat there,the nurse did vitals and said that Dr. Rusk wanted X-Rays done. Our nurse,Mike,said he would be back to start the hydration...5 minutes later X Ray came and got Lori. Now that just doesn't happen hardly ever that fast so it pretty cool to see Mike come in and see Lori was already gone to x-ray.
Soon she was back and hooked up to her hydration IV. Two different doctors came by and wanted to do a CT scan and to do this meant Lori would have to have a NG tube placed down her throat again...she really didn't to do this as it was such a awful ordeal last time. I was absent when it happened the first time because the room was too small...but I was going to see it this time. She started crying because she knew it was going to hurt...a lot.
  The two nurses came in and told us what to expect...and can I tell you,it was awful. I held her hands as they inserted the tube,but they were missing a couple of pieces they needed and start scrambling to find them while Lori was crying. You sort of want to scream "What the fuck!!" but you don't,you have entrusted these two to take care of your loved one. I only said "Really????" as they hurried to finish the inserting of the NG .
   Lori said the tube was in too deep and asked for it to pulled back a little...we ended up having to wait an hour for doctor's orders for another set of x-rays. While we were waiting the ER doctor came in and said it looked we had a full bowel obstruction and if the CT showed that,he said we would be facing surgery. We both looked at each other and quietly shook our heads "no".
 Soon after Lori was wheeled into x-ray again and sure enough,the tube was in too deep and it was a painful process to withdraw it a little. While we were recovering from that,Dr. Brown from Lori's oncology team showed up looking none too pleased with the fact they had inserted the NG,she said they should had waited for a consult before doing that and that Lori didn't have a full obstruction. She canceled the CT scan because she wanted Lori to rest overnight.
  Now here is what sort of twists us up..see,Lori really didn't get a chance to eat like she usually does. During the course of a day she can drink 3 Boosts,pudding,chicken broth and other clear food items...its at the end of the day where she will present the vomiting. But with a empty stomach and already throwing up due to the NG tube,she wouldn't show in the hospital what we have seen here at home. We're afraid they're going to observe nothing,send her home and then we'll be back in the same cycle.
  Because that is exactly what has happened....she had a painful night with the NG tube but did not have a measurable bile output nor did she throw up. Dr. Brown pushed back her CT scan until Thursday and we can do it at the medical clinic where we get our infusion.
 I picked Lori up at the hospital after a 2.5 hour wait to be discharged and drove us home. I made a quick run to CVS for a prescription and then stopped at a Chinese diner and picked her up some soup which she ate with no problems so far. She has been sleeping pretty much since we got home...

  Tomorrow I have to make a appointment to take Ginger in,I'm afraid her kidneys might be failing. I am really hoping I'm wrong but my heart is telling me I'm going to be right....not the news we need to hear right now.

Got more lovely cards today....another sweet card from our journalist friend Amy,my old bosses from my music days Ann and Jacek (your words made us both choke up Ann,you are a wonderful writer!) and Lori's co-worker Jo sent her a Easter card. Thank you to all of those who continue to send cards and notes. Including a wonderful tray of jello from our friend Cheryl,a very talented piano teacher who played at our wedding....feel free to keep them coming!!

I'll write again after Thursday's CT scan and results.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday night

Its 8:00 pm

   What started out as a hectic day has turned into a slow moving yet progressive one. Its still bitterly cold here in Michigan,it reached 30 degrees with snow flurries.
After having a bad night yesterday,we once again got up early and headed for infusion,we were expecting to head to Ann Arbor right after that. But a funny thing happened,the hospital urged us not to come..not because they couldn't help but they are afraid of Lori catching another infection. Sort of made sense and as I chatted with Melanie this morning,a thought crossed my mind....I noticed a common thread when Lori got sick...she was complaining about stomach pains. See,when I had my kidney stone,my lower back hurt but as the pain got worse,that is when the nausea was really that bad. Now I'm thinking maybe that is what is happening here....the stomach pains are causing the vomiting issues. So I'm trying a new tactic....we're going to hit that pain with Norco when it shows up...(Norco is basically Tylenol on steroids). So far so good,she has drank 2 Boosts and two pudding cups with no issues. Tomorrow we're going to try soup again....I feel if we can get 3-4 days of good eating in without any problems,we're going to be on our way that is my most fervent hope and prayer.
   The ground swell of support is continuing..another sweet card came in the mail today,I got permission from  my FB friend and fellow Starship Trooper fanatic Arek to post our story on his 800+ Starship Trooper fan page. I think that is just amazing and I'm very,very grateful to you Arek for this.
 After reading last nights blog about how much Boost costs,my friend Theresa wrote and offered me a tip on a way to perhaps getting some help there which I will be doing tomorrow.
  Friday will be a day on the house,driving Lori to St. Thomas a'Beckett to formally join the church,paying the water bill and other small tasks in order to be ready for her brother's visit on Saturday.
I won't see very much of them as I'm working Saturday afternoon and then back at it Sunday morning. But that is okay,they need to have private time to talk. When I get home,we'll either head to Ikea or perhaps just stay home and watch a movie...just as long as we're all together.
Can you believe over a million Americans have been murdered by guns since John Lennon was killed back in 1980??? 1,057,000 so,that  is just beyond staggering,its a national epidemic!

Thank you again for your support and love....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

If it is Wednesday,its time for a Update!

Its 7:28 pm Monday

    Another bitterly cold day here in Michigan....we're about 20 degrees colder then we are supposed to be. Now I like winter but sheesh,enough is enough already....I want it to warm up so we can go outside and warm up,walk around a bit.
 Right now I'm upstairs typing this entry,Lori is downstairs in the quietness of the family room....trying to hold to her dinner...its been a rough couple of days on the food front. While we made it through the weekend is decent shape,our experiment with some simple mac and cheese last night proved a huge mistake even after we had mushed it to almost like baby food and taken two Ativans before she ate. 25 minutes after she ate,she lost it....I think our mistake was two fold,she didn't eat enough throughout the day so there was nothing in her stomach and she laid down right after eating and the food was too heavy for body to digest it.
  So we are adjusting,making the food even finer and walking after the meal to encourage her body to start the digesting process...a one step forward,one step back process.

Its 7:54 pm Wednesday

   Once again light snow is falling outside...its in the 20s and I'm wearing a Grand Valley State hoodie to stay warm here upstairs.Derek is sleeping in his Christmas bed....Lori is getting ready to watch American Idol. So far all is good.
  Monday morning saw us back at the infusion clinic for hydration...our guardian nurse Mel was once again there and waiting for us. Back we went into Chair One with a heated blanket. We told Mel about what Dr. Johnston said about our case,she was pretty surprised and very sorry about it. The rest of the nurses all came by and said "hello" and wondered how we were. We chatted with Mel for about 20 minutes while her assistant Karen hung up the hydration IV drip.

Soon after Lori fell asleep and I surfed on the iPad. Two hours flew by as Lori got another bag as well. As we were talking about when we could come next with Karen,Mel said "Come tomorrow at 7 am,I'll be waiting for you." Karen nodded her head and said "Me too". That being set up,I put Lori back into her wheelchair and pushed her out to the car. Sadly,we both agreed that we'll be needing a wheelchair,Lori's legs are just too weak right now for any long term walking.

After our treatment,instead of heading home,we headed to JC Penny to get Lori some better fitting comfy pants. We have been keeping track of the downward spiral that Penny's has been in the past couple of years. Its really a shame as the stand alone store we shop at is just beautiful in its layout and the prices are just awesome.
  But between the nasty court battle with Macy's over carrying the Martha Stewart collection and a huge layoff of several layers of middle store management,you are getting the feeling the Penny's is running out of time. Putting all of your hopes on a Canadian clothes maker that hardly anyone knows of is downright risky as hell. Which is a shame because the stores within the store concept is very charming to say the least. It does feel like a shopper is visiting several different shops while getting great prices. You just wonder if JCP managed to roll it out fast enough to make any difference.
The linchpin to their hopes for the spring and summer looks nice enough,its very colorful but is it enough to

you drop everything and rush out to shop it? Sure didn't look like it at our JCP store.
 I walked in and noticed how they only had 2 cashiers up front while a line was forming up. The cashier who helped me get a wheelchair was very kind and professional. They used to keep the chairs upfront but I guessed they moved them back because I had to wait almost 10 minutes before someone wheeled one up. I wasn't upset,I felt bad because it wasn't the employee's doing,they just didn't have the staff anymore.
  I went and got Lori and we went inside. We walked through a near empty store back towards the women's section. Once there we priced several comfy pants,the prices were good but the selection was a little thin.
We picked out three pairs and Lori had me push her to the clearance rack. Amazingly,we found three pair of pants that were half the price of the new ones. So I put the new ones back and got the 3 on sale.
  We decided to stretch our little outing a bit as I pushed Lori around the store looking at the new layout.
We not only didn't see hardly any shoppers but also hardly any employees. The ones we did see,we could see the stress and uncertainty on their faces. We both know the feeling,we too have seen the companies we worked hard for close out from under our feet. Its very sad to say the least.
After picking up a nice work polo for 7.00 in the men's clearance,we headed up and paid for our things. We left the wheelchair at the front and I slowly walked Lori to the car and we headed home. That was about as much as she could do.
  Tuesday morning we woke up at 6:00 am to get ready for hydration. As Lori got dressed,I ran down stairs,fed the cats,got fresh water for them and then prepared Lori's vancomyacin.

We left the house at 6:50 am and got there at 6:55 am. We checked in and then were told to go straight back to infusion. I rolled Lori down the hall...and saw Mel and Karen waiting for us. We were the only patients! They had come in early just for Lori...the normal start time is 8 am,we were very moved by this to say the least but hey,you can understand this if you have had the chance to meet Lori...*s*.
  After hooking her up,the nurses and doctors held their weekly meeting in the felt sort of strange to be able to sit there and hear how the clinical staff worked to solve any issues.
  90 minutes later we were done and I took Lori home before heading to work. I asked her to call the diet specialist in Ann Arbor and ask about more food choices. This led to the request to stop by KFC to pick up mashed potatoes and gravy. I had my doubts about the gravy,I didn't think that was a good idea. But hey,nothing ventured,nothing gained...

I picked up the potatoes and gravy and headed home. We enjoyed our day and I prepped a very small bowel of the potatoes and gravy. We then took two Ativan pills before we ate....and after she ate,we walked a few laps around the house. Just when I thought maybe we had a winner,she got very sick. The gravy was a bad idea to say the least. She started crying but I held her very close and said it was okay. We are just feeling our way through this. I cleaned up afterwards,got her tucked in and warm and rubbed her feet.
   Today was better,she drank two Boost (which is wickedly expensive!!!) plus a small bowl of chicken broth plus a 20 oz bottle of water,all which she kept down.
  Looks like the trip to the Karmanos Center is off the board because our insurance doesn't cover clinical drug treatments. We are going to try and see if her employer will change this for us so we can at least get a chance at this treatment. While I have faith that we may get this,I'm thinking the partial bowel obstruction is what will hold us back from being considered.

  The mail has become very important to Lori,getting cards is a major boost to her morale.We got three very cute cards from some incredibly kind people and I can't thank you enough for them!

If you are reading this and feel like dropping a card.....feel free to do so.

Lori Sullivan
45249 Lemont Road
Canton,Michigan 48187

Thank you very much for reading!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Its 6:00 pm

    Its a cold day here in SE I was at work,the only thing that kept going through my mind was that I definitely should have dressed warmer. Its sort of weird,we have had a lot colder days but today,I really seemed to feel it in my bones.

  But the day was beautiful,blue skies with patches of light clouds...winter is trying to hang on but baseball is coming and so is spring!
 Been watching my Yankees sputter through a miserable spring,they seem to in such a mess in terms of having a decent roster this year...with A-Roid on the shelf until July (barring a 100 game suspension that MLB might hit him with),Derek Jeter slowly coming back from a broken ankle and the rotation a bit iffy,still am forecasting a 4th place finish behind Tampa,Baltimore and Toronto yet will still finish ahead of Boston.
Of course this will tickle my favorite baseball fanatics Brad (who roots for the Twins),Slade Wilson and Tom Leyden (both diehard Mets fans),Sydney (who can talk some serious trash despite rooting for the now dangerous Indians) and Coco (while rooting for the Red Sox,still has a soft spot for the Mets). I love talking baseball with these folks and I am hoping Brad will be doing his baseball blog again so I can share it here with you guys!

Of course it goes without saying that every friend who roots for the Kittens,err,Tigers,is telling me in no uncertain terms that they are going to win this year...but we'll see. They look good but I really don't any improvement on defense and as the Tigers found out painfully,hitting wins divisions but pitching and defense wins championships.

 Lori is resting on the couch today,her friend Deb came over and spent the day with her while I was at work. Deb is Lori's best friend and was her maid of honor at our wedding. They had a good visit just talking about memories and old friends. I got home and did the medicine rounds and fixed her cream of tomato soup. Sadly we now know that tomato soup will not be a food we can have at all...she lost her dinner after 35 minutes. I know tomorrow she'll have to be hydrated across the street but I'm okay with this. I would like to figure out why she isn't drinking more water. I bought a case of Ice Mountain water

which I think is a good bottled water. I know many think bottled water is a waste of cash as water is water but I don't agree. I do feel Ice Mountain is the best tasting one out there and I hope it can help Lori drink a little more then she does now.
  Today was a little better,managed to keep some chicken soup down and after I finish this entry,I'm making warm pudding for her...which is pretty exciting to say the least.

So how many of you folks had some sort of fun on St. Patrick's Day? What did you see,eat and drink? I hope someone will drop a comment below as to how they spent the day. I know Detroit does a big parade and that Chicago dyes their river green every holiday. But I want to hear what traditions other folks and towns observe. Come and share a little bit...

   So Lori and I are watching the 3rd season of "The Vanilla Ice Project" on DIY Network. We stumbled across the show when it came on a couple of years ago. Seems like Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) has settled in Florida and started flipping houses that a group of investors bankrolls. Turns out he is a whiz at and has made a very nice living at it. He has a small core crew that goes with him and spends months taking busted,foreclosed homes and flipping them for large paydays. The show follows Vanilla as he transforms the home,including adding his own personal touches throughout the project.
  Its a very cool show to watch and it really comes out that Vanilla Ice has really made peace within himself,that he has found his place in the world. Oh he still does small shows and even pops up in films once in a while but ridicule he once got seems very much in the past. He comes across as a pretty mellow guy and a good father to his daughters who have helped him on the 2nd season house.
  The current season is now half way done but you can find more info about the show by going here:
The Vanilla Ice Project.

Thanks for dropping by and saying "hello"! Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you think it would help. You can also join the Follow list as well.

You can follow me on Twitter @Jinzo_2400

Debbie T - Awesome bonus for your excellent work!!
Tom - Go Gaels!
Scorpion - Time for a new Stomach already!
Denise V. - still waiting for your results.
Michelle,Christa,Cheryl - Thank for the cards and beautiful words
Brad - I need a link to your baseball blog.
Amy,Michelle B- thank you as always for your support.
John Branch - Congrats on the engagement! I wish you both a long and HEALTHY marriage!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Medical Update: Thursday/Friday

  Its 12:13 am

     Chilly night here in SE Michigan...just when we dare to think about spring,winter reaches out and says "Not so fast my friend" and then throws another round of snow at us. Tomorrow night we are expecting to get 1-2 inches of sloppy snow,just enough to annoy folks but not enough to get excited about.

  Today was a long one....had to get up early to give Lori her vankomyacin at 5 am. The team has doubled her dose and switched her over to a liquid version of this drug as she threw it in its capsule form. Vanko tastes pretty wicked but one of the RNs at the hospital came up with a novel way to get it chase it with Coke. So I pour 5 ml of vanko,add coke and then Lori drinks it. She then takes a gulp of Coke to help clear her mouth. Its been working wonders so far.

 Later we had lunch,Lori drank an entire bottle of Boost down and then I microwaved a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup and drained the broth into a cup which she then drank. Small steps forward to say the least but still overjoyed at seeing this.
  Still having a hard time getting her to drink any water,her urine levels are pretty crappy to say the least.
While I was trying to figure out this bump,the visiting nurse called to say she was coming over...15 minutes later we met Amy,she works as a visiting nurse for the U of Michigan health system. She was a nice but very firm nurse who you sensed really loves her job.
  While she talked to Lori,she had me set up the medical supplies on the table,the antibiotic had to stay cold so we keep it in the fridge and take it out 60 minutes before the injection to allow it to warm to room temp.
She watched as we assembled the four syringes that the treatment comes in...this means we put a fresh needle on each part,charge the tube to take out any air bubbles,check the dates on the medicines and open a box of alcohol wipes.

Once assembled,we then get our clock ready....and lay out the syringes. Amy said to remember the order,think of the term "S.A.S.H",which stands for saline,antibiotic,saline,heprin. We then use our wipes to clean the pic line Lori has connected to her chemo port. You wipe the line after every injection,every single time. Then we injection the first saline and put the needle in a large sharps/biohazard bottle. We wipe the line and then slowly in a 3-5 minute segment,push the antibiotic,repeat,then saline and finally the heprin which reduces the chance of a blood clot.

We have to do this on a daily basis for 14 days. Plus all the other meds we have to keep track of and the times we are supposed to take them.

Its now Friday
 7:31 pm

Rough day,Lori has been pretty quiet. She started to clear our her jewelry boxes and wanted me to take them to a local resale place. I sort of did laundry while making sure she took all of her meds. We carefully walked downstairs where I set the tray for the S.A.S.H. My legs are sore as I have to keep climbing up the stairs over and over. I got her on the couch and relaxed while we waited for Amy.

   I told what happened at my job the day before yesterday. We were in our breakroom and talking about seeing the Tigers play,a couple of folks are going to Opening Day against the Yankees. One woman asked if we were going to go and I commented that "No,we are going to wait until June when its warmer. My wife can't handle the cold weather now". The woman commented "Cold weather? You need to get a new wife!" A couple of my co-workers held their breaths,I just walked out to compose myself. After a couple a moments I went in and privately told her what was going on...she started crying that she didn't know. Well of course not,how could she,right? But I know and it hurts very much hearing something like that being said. I don't want a new wife,why can't I have the one I have now for another 40 years??
  I think I did pretty well in holding it together and not letting my emotions get away from me...

Amy came by and we quickly did the treatment,she said we were like a well oiled machine,funny how after 19 months of fighting this monster,you either are a well oiled and smooth machine or you're probably divorced.
  After Amy left,I went and did some errands at Sam's Club,bought 3 cases of soup,a couple of cartons of half and half,a flat of water and a huge 45 rolls of toilet paper. Got to the checkout door only to find the cashier had forgotten to charge me for my water. Sheesh....
  Then I bounced over to the Dollar Tree for some trash bags,this will be a duo downsizing,I'll need to cull a lot of my stuff as no more books for me! *L*.
Came back to find the psychical therapist with Lori,seems like her BP was too high for him to work with her so he called Dr. J and told her. Then in turn had me take Lori to a local Urgent Care to get a set of vitals. Her heart is a little fast so I'm thinking I'll be taking her in for another set of vitals in the morning,if its still high,I'll take her back to Ann Arbor.

   She is really touched at the cards she has been getting,Renee and,those were some beautiful cards and words and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Theresa,the wonderful lady who hired me at Farmer Jack those many years ago..just beyond sweet,so very grateful for showing up such compassion...

Speaking of compassion,I need to run another videoblog from activist and actress Elaine Hendrix.
And you know we have to run one more since I have fallen behind a bit....
I know,I know.....she loves dogs more then cats but hey,no one is perfect other then my Lori.

Sunday will see her Deb come over to visit while I have to work. I think being home and having company will be a real boost to spirits!

Thanks for reading!

You can find me on Twitter at @Jinzo_2400

Feel free to share this blog with anyone who you think it will help....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Home at Last

Its 8:03 pm

   Just a quick entry.....Lori is home at last after 12 very days at the hospital. Very happy she is home to say the least. She is sleeping on the living room couch for now while I type this out. Tomorrow will see a R.N come to the house and show me how to inject a med into her port. I just returned from CVS where I picked up 6 new meds and refilled two others.Our little bag where we keep Lori's meds is going to need a serious upgrade...."you're going to need a bigger bag".
I don't know how often I'll be able to write,depends on how well she is feeling to tell you the truth...

But for now,all is good here at our house.

Still in Ann Arbor...

Its 10:47 pm

    So what was supposed to be a somewhat joyous day has turned into a long day of uncertainty. I was supposed to be able to bring my Lori today. I called her and she said she was ready to go...but she had yet to see the medical team to get the official thumbs up for a discharge.
  I had to call off from work because we don't have anyone else whom I feel comfortable placing her with as far as picking her up. I have people I trust,but with her medical issues,I wouldn't want to put them in that position in case something went wrong...I got there at 2 pm and asked how she felt,if she had eaten anything. She said she had been drinking a warm cup of Ensure,she had eaten tomato soup last night and had thrown it up. I started getting a sinking feeling in my stomach,this was not good news. That and the fact she hadn't dressed sort of tipped me off I would be driving home alone tonight.
   We talked about eating,Lori is now scared to eat,scared to throw up....scared of having the neogastric tube put in place. I do understand that,I just know unless she can eat something and hold it,she isn't going to be able to come home. She agreed to let me order some tomato soup again...seems like the doctors were waiting on how well she would do with some food before possibly discharging her.
 The team came in and talked with us,they showed the IV equipment that would have to go with me today. We talked meds and dosages and introducing a new med called Tamoxifen which in theory is supposed to help block any new growth of her tumor. In reading about it,I commented to Lori that it has a nasty side effect,it can cause cancer. We both laughed gently at this...anyways,the team said they wanted to hold Lori one more night. After they left,she threw up a small patch of bile and said her stomach was hurting.
I feel extremely defeated as I write this...I know now I waited too long before get her into the E.R.,but what the hell was I going to do...I was trying to follow the doctors orders in getting her to drink/eat before taking her meds. I had no way knowing that she was getting a partial bowel obstruction...I know if I had waited another day or so,I may have killed her...which is something that is gnawing on my heart right now.
  I tried getting her to take a walk with me but she wasn't feeling up to she slept while I packed up the medical supplies and excess stuff that she now had and took it to the car. I came back and just watched her sleep,my heart is breaking into so many pieces right now...I'm really trying to hold on to my self,to stay strong but its so sad watching this to a great person like Lori....its so not right,words that have spoken by so many families who have lost loved ones to this monster.
  Finally it was time for me to go,I gave her a kiss goodnight and came home to a empty house once again.
I unloaded the car,put the medicine in the fridge,ate a bowl of sloppy joes that my neighbor made for me and then did a load of laundry...I also called the hospital and left a message for Dr. Schenk to call me,I want her to tell Lori that its okay to push a little harder as far as eating goes.
  Talked for an hour with my brother Philip,he really is hurting along with me. He loves Lori and told me he looks for the same sweet spirit in a woman that Lori has...of course that made me cry...
We talked about a lot of things,he told me again if I needed him just to call and he would be here but I am going to have to keep that in reserve because the hard work has yet to be crossed.

 Seems like a local journalist who we like quite a bit found himself in some hot water this past weekend. Fox 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff,who specialty is exposing city government screw ups found himself drunk during a St. Patrick's Day parade in Corktown,the Irish section of Detroit. He was spotted taking a public piss in the street,a local group who was having a party,got him off the street and invited Charlie and his brother to relax with him. Charlie then said some crude things to three women who happen to be policewomen. When the host tried to calm Charlie down,a big fight broke out in which a security guard was bitten by Charlie.

  Now we are waiting to see how Channel 2 handles this,especially since another local station decided to report on it,thus turning up the heat on the GM of Fox 2. Charlie admitted he most likely had too much to drink and caused some sort of ruckus. Sort of interesting that another local station is airing out this kind of story about another reporter,thought there would be sort of a unspoken rule about not doing this....but then again,what do I know?

  Alright then.....I'm heading to sleep now. My emotional gas tank is at zero....please continue to pray for us.

Thanks for reading!

Debbie T. - Thank you for reading every entry.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Medical Update plus Kwame,Justin Verlander and some more Love and Compassion

Its 10:53 pm

    Its been a rainy day here in SE Michigan. Yesterday felt like spring and then this....with possible snow showers to follow. Only in Michigan....
  The big news is ex Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was found guilty today in his federal corruption case along with his boyhood pal Bobby Ferguson and his pops,Bernard. Kwame was guilty on 24 of the 29 counts against him,Bobby got nailed for 9 of the 11 counts while Bernard Kilpatrick got hit with a single guilty conviction. The judge then had Kwame and Bobby taken into custody because she considered them flight risks....wise move indeed. The feds know they have hidden the cash somewhere and they could see those two running out of the country. Its going to be another 3-4 months until they learn their fate but early rumblings are saying 10 years without parole in a Federal prison. That is a long pull for anyone but then again,they brought it upon themselves. Kwame,to this day,still wants to act he is above the law...but he found out the hard way how much it will cost him for violating the public's trust and faith in him. But even when he gets out,we'll find he didn't learn a damn thing and will continue to find himself in trouble. Its just in his nature.
The fallout of this trail will now force everyone to look at Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and his corrupt office which seen its fair share of small underlings all being convicted. You know the full weight of the Feds will be turned on him and I'm willing to say that Kwame and Bobby will have a new cell mate soon enough....stay tuned!

The medical update:
      So far,so good. Lori is doing well and I think I'll be able to bring her home tomorrow...I say this but not with the confidence I should be feeling. While she is doing better,she had two small vomiting incidents but we think its tied to taking her vankomyacin and chasing it with fruit punch. We decided to back off the next step of cream soup and go back to chicken broth but her stomach was still feeling iffy. They gave her Adavan with is supposed to still her nausea but when I left she was still not 100%.
  Seems like we are both going to learn how to administer a IV from a nurse who will be coming by the house. Lori will still need to have a IV to help chase away her E Coli infection that she picked up. I believe we'll have to do the IV bag 3-4 times a day until the 20th. This will include cleaning the IV tube she has in her chemo port. The other big news is the diet,there will be no more solid food for quite a while for her. The diet team came by and gave Lori a detailed list of what she and cannot and must not eat. Its a pretty weird list to say the least. Everything has to be a soup or pureed in a blender. And while I thought they would not want too much sugar in her diet,its actually quite the opposite,they are encouraging to eat ice cream and as much yogurt as she likes.
  I think this will be a good thing,we're going to have to learn to eat even better then before. I know I could benefit from this as for the past 12 days I have been eating like crap. Stress eating is not how a responsible caretaker should be doing,I need to be a much better husband in that regard.
  Lori now finally understands how close we really came...when the doctors came to see her at 4 pm. She was puzzled by that because until two ago they were seeing her at 5:15 am. When we asked the nurse about this,she explained the team visits the sickest patients first...and 5:15 am is pretty damn early!
  The house in still in decent shape from the cleaning her brother and his wife did for us. I only had to do some laundry,change the cat litter and wash a few dishes. Everything else is pretty clean of which I'm very happy about!

  Pretty scary moment today....I was listening to the Tigers game while driving to Ann Arbor today. They were playing the Mets and had Justin Verlander on the hill. The Tigers were down 3-0 and had a man on base in the 5th inning. The Mets batter attempted a bunt and as he squared up,Verlander nailed him in the chest with a 95 mph fastball. You could hear the fear in the voice of Dan Dickerson,the voice of the Tigers.
Verlander has a fastball that could kill a player if he got hit in the head with it. But he isn't the best pitcher in the majors for nothing,he has pinpoint control and this was truly a accident. The Met's player got up after about 6-7 minutes and managed to walk to first base before being taken out. Tigers manager Jim Leyland also took out Justin as well...the Mets ended up winning 11-0.

Before I close shop for the night.....I'm posting two more entries of actress and activist Elaine Hendrix's videoblog about raising awareness for animals. I like to say thank you again for reading this means a lot knowing that its starting to reach some folks....

And one more for good measure.....

I see Elaine has my same problem,she must live close to a Dollar Tree based on all the books she on her shelf....

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Medical Update: Great News!

Its 9:54 pm

    So we finally got some great news today..Lori is now eating! Its been 15 days since she was last able to eat and keep her food down. This has been the worst thing that cancer has tossed at her and yet she is still kicking its ass. Dr. J and her team are still trying to figure the best way to stop her c-diff and to hopefully try and unblock her bowel. This is the next hurdle....

  But as for the food,it has been a long 24 hours. The medical team said that Lori's bile output was slowing but not enough to remove the NG tube or give her food. For that to happen the output had to be less then 200CC in a 8 hour shift...and yesterday was our day. I was getting very worried because when I took her for a walk,Lori said she was very weak in the legs...but she amazed me and walked 2 full laps on her floor before I guided her back....and that was including pulling her IV stand.
 We knew we had a very small window before they would put in a feeding tube and that was not a good thing,the doctors had said it was a "last resort".
  But her output continued to slow and at 4 pm yesterday evening,it was 210 CCs,close enough to make a run at clamping off her NG and see if she could go 24 hours without throwing up,they would drain her stomach of any residual bile and if that was under 50CCs,she could start a clear diet.
  I got to the hospital at 2:50 pm,Lori was in bed....her c-diff is still incredibly nasty and she has to go to the restroom 4-6 times a hour,her legs and stomach are sore from just sitting on the toilet .We have our routine down pat,when she has to go....I unplug her IV machine and coil the cord around the pole,she then sits up in the bed and she grabs my hands and I guide her up. I walk backwards into the bathroom guiding her and the IV stand,she then slides by me and uses the toilet while I wait outside. Then we reverse the process.
 After we did this today at 3 pm,we waited....we had to wait til 4 pm before they would see how much bile was in her stomach....turned out it was 10CCs and we had our miracle! 20 minutes later we placed a order and 20 minutes later we had dinner together...
  It was only chicken broth and a cherry popsicle but it was the best damn dinner I have ever had...

The next hurdle is the c-diff,its still pretty awful but we're hoping the increase in food while strengthen Lori's immune system and as she gets stronger,her body will respond and help fight it off. We're hoping if things go well,she will be able to come home this Thursday. But what we face ahead....I am putting together a travel bag with extra clothes,meds and Clorox wipes for when we go out. Its already going to be hard enough with what is going on inside without wondering how funky or dangerous a public bathroom could be. I know some of you are saying "TMI!"!! I would tend to agree but that is what happens when c-diff happens to a cancer patient.
   The support from the staff here at the hospital has been outstanding....Carly,Michelle,Andrew,Marlena,Lauren and Dana have been the very best. I can't say enough nice things about them,especially Carly and Michelle. These two have been so compassionate while our tech Andrew has added some much needed humor to the situation..
Between this and the very nice cards that have started to trickle in,it sure has raised our spirits a lot. Was really touched by the card Renee in Tennessee,thank you so much for such a lovely card...I know despite all of your rightish posturing and rabble rousing,you are a good egg!
 I see that I have gained two new followers that is really exciting! Getting the word out is pretty hard,maybe reading about cancer scares off people....maybe hearing from the caretaker/husband of a cancer patient touches a dark scary spot,I dunno...I just know that all I'm doing is trying to share what we are going through and just like Amy Neilson did,perhaps help a few people....

Next week is St. Patrick's Day......and a happy one I hope everyone does. Just make sure you don't drink and drive.

Seems like I have fallen waaaaaay behind of posting animal activist Elaine Hendrix's here are a couple of entries for you to look at.
Please note how important this one is too me....the plight of feral cats is sad beyond belief. How hard or expensive is it to spay or neuter one's kitty?

Thanks for reading and feel free to join the blog,follow me on Twitter (@Jinzo_2400) or drop a comment.

Medical Update: Drum roll please.....

Its 7:32 am

    Lori has made it through 12 hours with her tube clamped with no vomiting reported.....this is just great news. Hopefully she can make it through another 12.....if so,they'll tube out whats in her tummy,remove the NG tube and start her on clear liquids,then move her to REAL food. I am thinking a Thursday or even sooner release date!

Update in detail tonight....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Medical Update: Day 7 in Ann Arbor.

Its 12:31 am

    Sitting in the quiet house again....writing this update.
  I wish I had great news to report about Lori coming home or at the very least being able to eat something but I can't. But we are still plugging away,her bile output is still continuing to slow but needs to be slower still. She is still discharging about 400 to 600cc of matter and it has to be under 200cc per a 8 hour shift before they will shut down her tube and then reengage it to see if she can handle any type of food intake.
  They are also attacking the partial obstruction by sending Vancomycin above the colon to help jump start her digestive system. Its a bitch of a treatment as she has to hold in the medicine for a hour before she relax and go the restroom. There has been some movement but not enough and not very fast. But we know its working,its just painful. I had to really encourage her to do the treatment today,it leaves her bottom sore.
But its one of the last things they can we have to grit our teeth and plow through it.
  We did pass on the last one tonight because Lori actually fell asleep and she had said she wanted to skip it. I tended to agree,the nurse we had looked VERY green and sort of unsure of what to fact,I overheard the nurse on duty explain what to evening nurse what she would have to do. One would think on a cancer floor,she would know this.
  So I was okay with skipping the evening session...I just asked her to not miss anymore sessions. She agreed and we'll be charging first thing tomorrow morning back into it.

 Before I headed to Ann Arbor,I had to pick up Lori's PT Cruiser that had been damaged. My neighbor Al said he would drop me off....when I told him last Tuesday about Lori,I told him I knew whose fault this was...he asked who and I blamed ex Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick,Al and I can sit and talk for hours about Detroit. And Kwame is a huge part of the when I said "It's Kwame's fault",he actually laughed...

So Al dropped me off at Westland Car Care,its the same place we took her car when she was rear ended a couple of years back. They do quality work for a fair price. When I walked in,I recognized Jeremy from the time before. He asked what exactly happened and when I told him how she was hit coming home from getting her chemo meds,he was really touched by that...said "You have a rough road ahead,my own mother is very ill herself". As we chatted along with his dad,I started to write out what we owed him,our insurance paid for the damage but our deductible is still 500.00. The other driver's insurance should pay us back but as of today,they had not. I had to talk to a adjuster today who wanted Lori's statement,had to explain why that would be sort of hard. She said she would see if they could pay based on the police officer's report....which I think will be enough as the driver admitted to being at fault AND getting a ticket.

Anyway,as I was writing the check,he said "I'm taking off a hundred bucks". I said "No,you don't have to do that,we're getting it back and you have always taken good care of us". He said "No,I want to do this,we want to do this for you." So needlessly to say,I got choked up and thanked him very much.It was a very classy and kind thing to do.
   As we walked out to the car,Jeremy was saying how his own wife is at risk for the same cancer Lori has. When I asked him what system she was in and he said "Oakwood",I just about died....I urged him to call Dr. John Armstead,the same doctor who spotted Lori's cancer. I told him I would leave Dr. Armstead's number on his answering machine and I did just that.
  Lori's car looks great and tomorrow I'll get some gas in it for her.

I also called the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit and made a appointment for next Thursday for Lori to be seen,I'm praying she is well enough to make the trip. Its just beyond frustrating we didn't get more advanced warning about this second tumor,I feel like we are so behind the 8-ball now...I guess the lesson is to be ready but we really weren't. Dr. Shrenk,one of Lori's doctors,admitted they don't a good job at letting folks know about advanced cases. They say they don't tell patients because they want them to keep fighting and I totally agree with that.....but tell the caretaker!! Take us aside and explain the situation so we can process it and start getting things ready in case the outcome isn't a happy one. I rather know the blunt truth then dealing with this,the pressure to hurry is a bit hectic..
  But not complaining,just venting what I am feeling...I know I probably come across as a bit of a whiner and I'm sorry for that....I'm sure we'll get this handled properly.

   So touched by the kindness by folks,both who know us in "real life" and those who have yet met us. Its very helpful to me to get this support,helps me when I'm down here alone thinking of the IVs,tubes and bruising that Lori has endured from her Heprin shots,holy crow,she looks like she has been hit on the arms...but it looks worse then it really is.
  Tomorrow will see me doing some errands,laundry and a Target run to get some cat litter (I know,pretty exciting,isn't it???) before I head back to Ann Arbor. I'll drop another update tomorrow night....

Feel free to share this blog with your friends or with anyone who might being going through the same thing.

Love and Light,



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

21st Century Battlefield: Helping one of Detroit's Finest

Its 11:09 pm

 You're a hard working police officer. You have worked 19 years in one of the toughest,most violent cities in America. You strive every day to make a difference despite having broken equipment,less brothers in blue then the year before. Your last two mayors,one a convicted felon,the other a blunder,egotistical fool who forced out the one leader who cared about his men and appointed a man who had no moral or ethical center.
Your fellow cops aren't even safe in their own station houses...morale is getting worse while you are forced to take a steep pay cut. You could go to another city,a seasoned cop with 19 years is a real asset somewhere,right?
  But you love your city,you stay....because you still want to believe that you didn't waste those years,that somewhere,somehow they counted for something.
   Things are getting tight now...the money has so many different places to go....and now you get the news,your wife is ill...cancer. How can you handle that,working 12 hour shifts,with a 10% pay cut plus huge cuts in heath and pensions? Yet you do...every day,you gear your shift,try and get your beloved wife the best care possible. Some of the drugs and tests you need,your insurance won't cover. You grit your teeth and continue to move forward.
 What more can you handle? Juggle? Balance? How about a faulty furnace catching fire and almost burning down the home. You have home owners insurance but can't afford the 2,500 deductible to get the ball rolling,to get the damage repaired so your sick wife can continue her fight.
You take have 15 bucks in the bank and a quarter tank of gas....19 years you have served this city and this is what it has come down.

But your fellow brothers in blue see what has happened and there is now way they are going to let you continue to fight this alone.They are going to try and help...they quickly raise over 2,200 for you.
Not enough,not nearly enough....but perhaps more help may come ....maybe others who may read this will somehow manage to help you in small ways. Like the writer of this blog,who has no money to give but has a forum in which to share your story. Maybe some of his readers will repost or share this story,maybe some will donate what they can. Who knows.....but we have to try. We can't let a good cop who has spent 19 years in the trenches of hell go through this ordeal and say nothing. And so,Officer Eric Ewing of the Detroit Police Department,this is my small attempt to help out,to say I care,to acknowledge the service that you have given.

Local police officer in need.

The link is how Fox 2 covered the story.

If you care to donate anything,here is the address of the Detroit Police Department.
 13530 Lesure St, Detroit, MI 48227
attn: Ofc Eric Ewing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Medical Update: Fighting On...

Its 5:16 pm

    I'm home today. Lori's best friend is going to sit with her tonight while I clean and fold laundry,pay the bills and other household chores.
Lori's aunt called the house and she had said to share the news,again I had to be the one to deliver the sad news. This is the roughest part so far,telling her family that there isn't going to be a happy ending. I told her aunt that everyone could call the house tonight to get any information and ask any questions.

  As far as the update goes,the good news is the Foley catheter is out and the doctors are going to try a new treatment plan to help clear out Lori's digestive system. She still has the neogastric tube in place as she is still draining the yucky green bile but its coming out at a much slower pace,this might mean the antibiotics are working much better. Her spirits sounded much better and she complained of being hungry which to me is a great sign. Now we just have to get her over the C-diff hump and then she can perhaps eat very soon.
This will be a true challenge as she is trying to fight off four different infections...
  The bad news is there is nothing they can do about the tears in the bladder walls. They could cauterize them but all it would is promote more tears. We are going to have to learn to deal with this issue.
  I brought her a book about the sites and sounds of Ann Arbor to read...looking forward to planning out a few trips to see what this town has to offer,we just never fully realized just how many nooks and crannies Ann Arbor had to offer in the way of museums and art galleries. And we're going to see some Detroit Tigers games as well...I might even have to break out a Tigers cap this season..
 The big goal is just to live our lives as we always have,in love,for each other and always a team. That is what marriage is really about,isn't it?
 I can't say enough about the outpouring of love and support we have been starting to receive. I always felt you get what you give to society. We have tried very hard to be compassionate and caring people and the folks who know us in real life know how much we do care about others.
  Life without grace is no kind of life,to be able to give back to others thru a kind word,a gesture,volunteering is to leave a legacy. We have no children and Lori was upset that no one would remember what we have gone through,nothing more could be further from the truth. Even now I can see and feel how much of a impact other people's lives have had on us. There is a scene from the film "300" where a loyal Spartan soldier is dying next to Leonidas and says "Its a honor to die by your side" and Leonidas says in return "It was a honor to have lived by yours".
 I am writing this blog as a testament to the love I have for my wife and also to hopefully blaze a small trail of hope,light and endurance to a fellow human being who may find themselves in this fight like the brave Amy Neilson or Sean Connaughton. I never met either one of them but they left such a bright light that has helped us in this struggle....they,even after death,are celebrated more for the life they led then mourned for the way they died. It is my most fervent wish that Lori will be remembered like that....
Now where did I put that Tigers schedule at? And of course the huge cat show next month....and the Farmer's Market is coming up soon....I better end this entry and start my list....

Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment....

Medical Update:Day 4 in Ann Arbor.

Its 11:25 pm
   A quick update.

This is from last night,3 March.
Lori is still in the hospital. Her infection is a very nasty one....she is still unable to keep anything down. We had brief hope that she might be able to come home Monday but there is no way that is happening. When I got there at 3 pm,she had just thrown up again....its stomach bile,the stuff that breaks down your food. Every  time anything is dropped in her stomach,its causing it to be thrown up. This is day 7 of this and after holding a pan and watching her throw up a liter of this crap,I got pissed.

I asked our RN to page a doctor right away. While we are waiting and I'm staring at the pan full of vomit,I am getting more then concerned....the doctor came and I basically said "You got to do more here,because this isn't working." The doctor stepped out and 10 minutes later came back in and said "I agree with you"(which really stunned us to say the very least!)
   So the new plan is too put a neogastric tube down to her stomach and have the bile sucked out while pushing all of her meds through the same tube. Because her room is so small,I had to step outside for the 20 minutes it would take to insert the tubing.

As I sat outside by the elevator waiting,the nurses were changing shifts and Lori's nurse was heading home. She stopped and said "You did the right thing in pushing for that,sometimes the conservative approach doesn't work."
 I said I agreed,sometimes you can conserve someone to death...I thanked her for her tremendous help and went back in to see Lori. In the first 10 minutes of that tube being inserted,it had sucked out another full liter!
She felt much better but was in bad pain because of the tube,they pushed 4 mg of morphine and I held her hand and wiped away her tears. She managed to doze off and soon after I started the 20 mile trek to a empty house.

   Its now 11:41

Today was another tough day,I'm very tired now...I just got home from the hospital about 90 minutes ago.
The good news is that the neogastric tube is doing its job,while she did drain another liter,the draining has slowed down a lot and she feels a little stronger. Still no food as of yet but they are talking about maybe some crackers/broth in a couple of days.
    Dr. Johnston came by today and sort of deflated our balloon a bit,Lori seems to have a bowl obstruction after all and there isn't they can do other then to drain her belly. The tumor is in a very bad spot that is affecting a lot of organs,while it hasn't grown in size,its like a octopus in that its tendrils are wrapping around those organs. They feel that perhaps the bladder has suffered splits on its sides and may be causing the blood in her urine and fistula. Dr.J says she'll be consulting with a GI doctor and they may attempt to cauterized those cuts which may slow the degrading of the bladder.
   While we had hoped for a couple of years,my heart is telling me its going not going to happen. I think its going to happen in a matter of months. When I asked Dr. J when we could go home,she couldn't give us a answer,she is that sick now.
  I asked about clinical drugs trails and Dr. J said I should call the Karmanos Center in Detroit and see if we could be accepted,she did warn us that Lori has to be able to eat and drink to be considered.
 She keeps apologizing for "getting you in this mess" which causes my heart to break....I wouldn't trade a second of we have done in our lives,I love our life regret was not having a better education so I could have supported her better. I feel like I let her down in that respect,I am ashamed of that.
 Just checked in with her....seems like they wanted a clean urine sample and since she is sort of immobile,they had to insert a catheter to try and get that sample. Just one thing after another.

But I see that many people have been reading this blog here is my one request:

Send her a card. Don't mention the blog or Facebook.....just tell her you care and are rooting for her.

Our address is

Lori Sullivan
45249 Lemont Road

Thank you all for your love and support.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Medical Update

Its 2:32 pm

    I'm on the road for this entry....I had to create some time to get away and write,write,write!
The past 10 days have been really putting us to the test...Lori was unable to complete her last chemo,ended in the ER at U of Michigan,had another blood transfusion (her 3rd) and all in all just has had a crappy 10 days.

The adventure started 2 weeks from yesterday when we were scheduled to complete the last chemo treatment. When we were told that we couldn't do it because Lori's blood level was too low,it wasn't a big deal,this happened the first time and many cancer patients have thier chemo bumped for the same reason. You generally wait a week for your body to produce more blood and then you are able to safely get treated.
 But what made this a different was a increase in blood in her urine and having a lot of pain as well. We had a hydration which both helped and hurt....helped because Lori needed the liquids but of course that led to more runs to the bathroom. A catch-22 if you will...
  We went through the week back and forth,not feeling well one day,really not feeling well on the next.
 Come the next Monday,the blood in the urine is now getting alarming,whole clots are now in the toliet. We don't know if its coming through the urethea or the fistula,either way,its not good.
Lori heads overs to the infusion clinic while I get ready for work...I get a call,Lori wants me over...she is bleeding and not able to do chemo. I rush over and Mel (our nurse) says she has a call in to Dr. J. While this is happening,I take Lori to the restroom,she leaves the bowl bright red,now I'm conerned,very concerned.
  Still no answer,I tell Mel I think we should be heading to the ER and 20 minutes later,Dr. J calls and agrees with us. I load Lori into my car and start the 18 mile run to Ann Arbor.
Its 10:30 am when we get there,the ER staff are waiting for us and wheel into the back. We sit while the doctor comes in and talks to us,the nurses take several vials of blood for the lab and we wait.
 The ER was pretty slow when we got there and our nurse,Jose,was pretty outstanding. His own wife is battling stage IV breast cancer and his momma has pancreatic cancer as well so he completely well versed with what we were going through.
   We went through a ultrasound which showed that Lori's tumor is now pressing down towards her bladder,we don't know how much space is between her tumor and bladder wall but that could explain why there is now heavy blood.
   After even more waiting,they took a CT scan as was a very long process and Lori was unable to eat or drink. I was getting antsy because of not only that but she also had to endure a catheter as well. Finally they were able to finish up and said she could eat so I went and got her a salad. We got our results which included getting a appointment with a urologist in two days...a normal appointment requires a 30 days waiting period.
  Not even the ride home was easy,we had to pull over as Lori's stomach wasn't able to hold her dinner.
   Food has become a real battle as of late,trying to find anything at all that she can eat is pretty tough but we have discovered Carnation Instant Breakfast and has that been a game changer.
She has been able to drink this and hold it...which then allows her to eat other things as well.
 The next day saw us back in Ann Arbor,this time for a blood transfusion,this was our third time and in a strange quirk,one of the ER nurses happened to be working in the room and ended up doing Lori's blood. The clinic was abuzz with the crazy ex-cop who went nuts and was caught in Big Bear.
The transfusion went smoothly and we headed home.
The next day Lori headed back yet again to Ann Arbor to see the urologist. Which turns out was basically a wasted trip...if this tumor lands on the bladder,there are some new treatments in the way of chemotherapy but the surgical aspect isn't really a viable option. This is what we were told,the urologist said that Lori's cancer is "advanced" which really upset us because Dr. Johnston hasn't said that to us as of yet. While we both know that the chemo hasn't really worked as well as we had hoped,we are not giving up,we know radiation is next up after our PT scan in early March. We are gearing up mentally for this and know its going to rough as well...
   My job has been amazing through this,very compassionate. It helps when your manager is also a survivor and understands what is happening. The day that we went to the ER was the first day I missed since starting there last March. I overheard two people talk about people calling off and they mentioned me and that how throughout this ordeal,I hadn't called off once.
 I just know that we can't afford it,both in terms of paying our bills and in keeping up with a normal as possible life.
  Its now 3:44 on 28 Feb,I have had hardly any time to write. Coming home from writing the above entry,I find out that Lori's car was hit by a careless 18 year old girl who pulled out in traffic despite being blinded by truck. She hit Lori's car on the passenger's side which caused Lori to to swerve and hit the curb and missing a fire hydrant by a mere few feet.
  She had just picked up a new prescription from CVS and was less then a mile away from home when this happened. I called her cell and raced to the site where we switched cars so she could go home. Later she told me that as soon as she had stopped,the other driver took full responsibility for the accident. Lori started calling 9-1-1 but a police cruiser had already seen the accident and flipped a U and responded. Lori said she got out of the car and between the ground being so bumpy and weak from the chemo,she fell down. The police officer rushed over and helped her up and asking if she okay. He showed great concern over her well being.
  The young lady called her mother who came over and they stayed with Lori until I got there,she again said she was so very sorry. I gave Lori the keys to the Rodger Young and sent her home while I waited for AAA. Add to fun that it was sooooo cold this day!
  After 25 minutes the van got there and that is when we discovered the real damage to her car,she had 2 badly bent rims...we had planned on changing the tires and dropping the car off at the repair shop. Instead we had to call for a tow truck and wait about another 40 minutes.
  The young lady called later that night and wanted to settle privately but we declined,its a lot safer to go through insurance companies to have these things settled. But I can understand her distress,only 18 and had a nasty accident already. Her rates will skyrocket plus she got a ticket which will add 3 points to her driver record,a very costly mistake.
  Lori's car ended up having 2,000 worth of damage to it plus a 500.00 deductible (which our insurance will have the other insurance pay).

2 March 13.

     Its now 11:50 pm

Its a bitterly cold day here in SE Michigan. I'm alone in the house....Lori is in the hospital at the U of Michigan. She is battling a severe case of c-dif which was brought about by her illness. For the past 4 days we have been fighting this but to no avail. I finally had to take her to the E.R. yesterday morning. She keeps throwing anything and everything up,including the medicines that can help her which only makes her condition worsen.
  We were put in isolation while the doctors are trying to figure out how to stop this massive infection. After 7 hours in the E.R.,we were admitted to where this first started 18 months ago,the 8th floor of the University Hospital. No sooner then she got settled then she started throwing up the hydration she had received along with her 6th and 7th pints of blood in the E.R.
  I held the pan while she continued to vomit. She hadn't been even to keep any kind of food down,between the pain in her stomach along with the c-dif's overpowering has been just awful. I tapped into a old trick my mother Anna taught us...I got some vapor rub and had Lori put that under her nose. It knocked down the horrible smell of the c-dif. But because the vomiting was so bad,she was throwing up her meds so they weren't working.
 She had a very rough night after I had left and the nurses worked very hard at comforting her during this.
I called her brother last night and told him what was going on...he lives 275 miles away but he said he would be down today with his wife.
  So at app. 11 am today,we were told Lori's cancer is a terminal case,she is going to die from this. What goes through a person's mind when their soul mate is going to die,its a awful,hollow,helpless feeling. But we're not rolling over just yet....we still have plenty of fight,we have agreed that we will explore any and all clinical drugs that we qualify for as long as they don't diminish or cause any pain. We know we have a long road ahead of us in terms of getting her affairs in order and making plans to see loved ones in the time we have left of which we don't how long she has.
  So this is where we are at.....I'll try and get another update tomorrow....

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