Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We are back at Twin Cities Community Hospital again!

     Last Wednesday the 23rd of September, it was decided that Kevin no longer needed the special services of UCSF.  So after receiving his chemo he was transferred back to our local hospital.  Here he will finish out his first round of chemo we think and then go home.  He is on a schedule of day 1, 4, 8, & 11 for chemo and off for days 12 - 28 to give his kidneys and the rest of him time to recover.  Some doctors prefer only 7 days off but that schedule almost always causes permanent kidney damage and diabetes.  More space between takes a little longer, is as effective in the long run and will protect his overall health.  He seems to be tolerating the chemo very well.  No nausea.
     In San Francisco he was doing great until they did a PET scan.  The whole ordeal was very physically demanding and took its toll.  It caused him great pain and discomfort.  After that he wasn't able to walk his laps each day.  When he is just sitting up in bed visiting he seems almost normal, but watch him try to sit up in bed and then get out of bed and walk the few steps to the bathroom and back, he looks like a 100 year old man.  His muscles have atrophied from being in bed the last two weeks and the cancer causes pain and weakness.
     Saturday when sitting down gently he felt sudden excruciating pain, so they x-rayed him, which caused further pain, revealing a 20% compression fracture of a vertebrate where the lower ribs connect.  Doctor doesn't seem concerned.  This is what happens to Myeloma patients.  He wasn't feeling a lot of help from the pain meds they were giving him so they tried a different one on him that he likes!  Percocet. Not sure about the spelling.  Years ago when I broke my collar bone on vacation they gave me Percocet.  One pill every other day and I was in la la land for two days!  KR, who has a high threshold for pain, is getting two every four hours! 
     He is seeing a physical therapist that had him walking today.  This will be an ongoing thing and hopefully we will be able to rebuild his strength gradually.  Baby steps!
     One of the side effects of his and many chemos is constipation.  This is a new experience for KR.  They give him stool softeners and laxatives galore.  In the words of our friends Cameron and Carolyn, he has to make a 'stinky' before he can get his chemo.  That problem got him off schedule in SF.  We think the secret may be old fashioned prune juice.  We just need to learn how much!  Anyway yesterday he was experiencing painful back spasms, aggravated by trips to the bathroom, requiring him to need to call the nurse for help.  I came in when this was going on and he said, "This is some place!  I get room service in the bathroom!"
     We can't thank you enough for all the prayers, service and donations to our cause!  Miracles and tender mercies are happening each day.  I've been having a lot of trouble with my treadmill this summer and finally decided to give up.  If you buy something like that at Costco, they will take it back no matter how long you've had it!  Mine was only three years old, but two years out of warranty.  They not only take it back, they come and get it!  They even came up the stairs and did all the hard labor.  It weighs 350 lbs!  Soon I will see a credit for the purchase price on my credit card.  That's at least a tender mercy!  Hopefully I will be able to get another one, from Costco of course, that will last longer so that KR can do some of his physical therapy on it.  He needs load bearing exercise which walking is to strengthen his bones and rebuild his strength!  Isn't Costco the best?!  You don't get customer service like that very often these days!  Commercial over.
     I have to publicly acknowledge how hard Hillary has been working through all of this.  She always takes care of us to some extent but now she's the glue that's holding everything together.  Her strength and faith are phenominal!  Thanks to Darrell for setting up this blog and helping the keep it up to date.  His technicall skills and photograpic talents are being put to good use at home, office and hospital.  Poor Candice has been kept away as she has been suffering from a long drawn out cold that morphed into allergies.  At UCSF  she didn't pass the health screening and was only able to have a brief visit with her dad.  This was so hard for them both.  She and Chris drove all the way from Fresno to see him.  KR feels her support even from a distance. They stay in touch by phone and text messages!  How did we ever live without that technology?  KR is sleeping now and not snoring and that's a good thing!  Too be continued.


  1. It is good to hear from you Aunt Dale. Even though this is just a blog your personality comes through and reminds me of how much I miss and love you. Please know that it is not just Uncle Kevin that we pray for, but the whole family. I love you.

  2. Dale we love you guys and appreciate the updates! You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly.

    Jeff and Cyndi

  3. Kevin is constipated? This experience should provide him with comedy material for YEARS to come...