Saturday, February 21, 2009

A little bump in the road...

Earlier this week, I traveled out of town for a few days for the funeral of a truly wonderful lady, my great-aunt Florie. While I was sharing many tears and a few laughs with family I don't see often enough, Michael and Daddy were on their own. Apparently they had fun together and even went to Friendly's for dinner - where Michael got to make his own sundae.

I returned home on Wednesday night. My Dad and I drove through snow for most of the day and the last 70 miles were especially nerve wracking. It was snowing heavily and the snowplows didn't seem to be ahead of us anywhere so it was hard to tell if you were in your lane and sometimes if you were even on the road. On Thursday morning, Michael and I retraced that route to make our way to chemo. The trip down was uneventful but the ride home was again stressful as all the snow that had fallen the night before was being kicked up by high winds and was being added to by another snowfall.

Chemo went without a hitch. Dr. Kennedy was on vacation and we saw one of her colleagues, Dr. Sills. Michael's counts were down to 38,000 but Dr. Sills gave Michael his treatment anyway. He just warned me to watch for any signs of excessive bleeding and to call if I noticed anything.

Michael had a good day on Friday. It was the last day of his mid-winter vacation from school and it was Daddy's day off from work. When I got home from work, they were both tired from a day of playing long and hard. When we sat down to dinner, Michael said his stomach hurt and he didn't want to eat anything. Jeff said he had eaten well all day, so we let him go and lay on the couch.

Around midnight, Michael woke up and vomited for the first time. He then woke up frequently during the night to be sick - complaining each time that his stomach hurt a little more. When morning came, we coaxed him into eating a little toast and some Rice Krispies hoping the pains in his stomach were just hunger pains. But by 10 am, Michael was holding his stomach and screaming out in pain (which is not something he had ever done before). He would doze off to sleep only to be awaken by the excruciating pain.

Whenever we mentioned calling the doctor, he said his stomach felt better and would settle down for a little while. Around 1 pm, we realized that he wasn't getting better and called the doctors in Syracuse. They told us to take him to our local emergency room and they would be in contact with the ER. So, off we went.

When we got there, they took some chest and stomach x-rays. Michael was so sick, he had a hard time sitting up while the technician snapped the pictures. And for a few minutes, she had to wait while Michael was sick to his stomach.

Then a nurse in the emergency room accessed Michael's port and drew blood to have some lab work done. Next, they gave Michael some IV fluid with both a medicine for the nausea and Morphine for the pain. The Morphine worked quickly and Michael was finally a little more comfortable (even though he continued to throw up all day and into the evening).

All of the test results - blood, urine and x-rays - came back normal and the doctor feels Michael has some sort of stomach virus aggravated by the chemo. He gave us an anti-nausea drug to give our little buddy in addition to his Zofran so hopefully his stomach will settle down quickly. We also have to keep him on clear liquids for a while.

If Michael doesn't get better, the doctor told us to bring him back and they will have to admit him. If it comes to that (and we are praying it doesn't) we will probably take him to Syracuse. I wasn't comfortable with the way the nurse accessed his port (you could tell it wasn't something she did every day) and I would just feel better if he was under the care of Dr. Kennedy and the nurses at University Hospital (and I know Jeff feels the same way).

Michael has been sleeping peacefully since we got home around 8 pm. Let's hope he sleeps through the night. He had terrible black circles under his eyes and he looked so exhausted today it was heartbreaking. Jeff and I could use a good night's sleep, too. I will keep everyone updated. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers, JoAnne.

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