Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tube out

I finally got the chest tube out today.  We ended up running to mayos as it was taking lots of time and going to take multiple visits to get it done in peoria.  We are about an hour from home now.  It's nice not to have that valve hanging beside me all the time.

People ask me how I'm doing.  I'm still going to work when I don't have doctor appointments.  I wasn't supposed to be driving as long as I was taking pain meds.  I had been sporadic on that, I think the pain I had with this tube was low.  Overall it's been a little harder for me lately.  Swallowing is not going very good.  Some nights I try eating a bite or two but it usually makes me cough a bunch.  So some days consist of nothing by mouth.  We've figured out how to do all my meds through the tube which makes life easier.   I feel like my spirits are staying decent but Leann and I would say we are starting to get weary of the fight.  Lainey has brought a lot of joy to our lives.  Almost every time she sees me she says "daddy". We went to south bend this last weekend and she was the best traveler of all our kids.

We are looking forward to Hawaii next week.  It was our 10 year anniversary trip that we had to reschedule from march due to being in the hospital.  The doctor says no problem with flying.

Thanks for all your prayers and help many have given us.  We appreciate it very much.
Derek and leann

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Re-adjusting at home

It's always an adjustment coming home.  I was released Tuesday at noon.  We made it home Tues night.  Wed was full just getting organized and Dr visits.  I came home with one tube still in place and a Heimlich valve on it.  The plan is to call back up to Mayo's once I have 3 consecutive days with no air leak.  They will probably refer me locally for removal.  So far we have 2, so we are almost there.  It's not hurting me too bad so I will probably error on the side of caution.  I'm taking a small amount of narcotic pain killers but the pain is low most of the time.  Today I'm actually working some from home again.

The sadder news is on the swallowing front.  I had them do the swallow test again to see why I am coughing after swallowing water or almost anything.  Turns out there is some aspiration and then I cough it back up in response.  There is debate about how much of this is due to disease progression and how much is because I swallowed less once the tube was put in.  I'm crushing my pills and working to figure out how to get the chemo into liquid form so I can use the tube.  Things like yogurt I can still eat, they are thicker than water and will go down easily.  This is hard for us as eating is such a social element of our culture.  The tube is working fine for me and I'm thankful for that.

Thanks for your prayers.  Just pray that we can accept and deal with the eating challenges.

Derek & Leann

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Morning

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  The leak continued on one tube but not the other. So they took that tube out and I am down to a single chest tube.  It's still on suction but they will take the suction off sometime today or tomorrow.  Then if I can do no suction for a while, they will put the Heimlich valve on.  They will watch that for a little while before they release me.  Dr.Wigle said yesterday that he thinks Tuesday is probably the day I will be released.  We spent some time in the court yard yesterday.  It was hot to the locals but to us the humidity and temp are not that high.

Thanks for all your prayers.  Have a good day worshipping our Great God!

Derek & Lean

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday update

Figured everyone wants to know what is going on and realized I hadn't said much since the surgery.  This time has not been as painful.  Not sure if it's due to the fact of only one side, or just luck of where they located the tubes.

During surgery they put two chest tubes in the left side.  Today they split the tubing out so they were each running to their own box so they could see which one the air leak was coming from.  So far we are only seeing the leak on one tube so if tomorrow is the same, they will remove the one without the leak.  The goal is to send me home with the other tube still in place and put a "heimlich valve" on it.  It is basically a check valve to prevent air pressure from building inside the chest cavity.  That would be removed eventually but I'm not sure when.

The doctor has said I will probably get out of the hospital this weekend or early next week.  Thanks for all the prayers for us this week.

Derek & Leann

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Talked to surgeon

Dr. Wigle was in and said everything went well.  They did see some cancer on the pleura that was new since 3 months ago, but he said the burden of disease was not that great.  They did not remove any cancer this time, since they know what it is (no need to biopsy) and they know they cannot get it all.  He said it is a big possibility that we go home with a chest tube still in Derek to give the lung more time to stay adhered before pulling the tube out.  We are glad for that option, because it means we might not have to be up here as long.  The cancer saddens us.  Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Just got in room 139A

I got to see Derek and he feels very little pain, just sleepy. He looks good, and has quite a few "attachments" right
now. The surgeon told him most of the time was spent clearing scar tissue since the lung appears to have collapsed 2 weeks ago. Then, he reapplied talc to adhere the lung again. Derek forgot to ask about if he removed any cancer this time. Thanks for praying. I love him so much!

Sent from my iPhone

In surgery

Derek entered the operating room at 8:16am according to the screen I follow in the waiting room.  Please keep him in your prayers.  I'll let you know when he is out.  The kids are at Dad and Mom Sauder's this time, and I am accompanied by Beth Wagenbach.  Thank you for all the help over the years we have been battling cancer.  God is faithful.  Love, Leann

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surgery tomorrow

I had a chest X-ray taken this morning and sent it to dr Wigle. He called to say the pneumothorax has gotten worse and he recommends doing surgery again.  He was open tomorrow and we couldn't see any benefit to waiting.  We were able to get things squared away around home and are leaving now for Rochester.

Sunday and today was the first I've felt any symptoms, just slight shortness of breath as I was talking or walking.  But I would say effects are still mild.

Obviously we are sad to be going back in the hospital again.  It's hard on us to miss so many things this week.  But we just take one day at a time.  It's good Leann is a spontaneous person.

Derek & Leann