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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:41 pm 
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Location: Aurora CO
It's been awhile since I posted here last. Things have been so bad of late that I could wright a country song.

"Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me."

Since this past Summer, Jo has been fighting Graft Vs Host, (GVH), or rejection of her by her Bone Marrow Transplant. That was bad enough but in late October, we learned that her Leukemia was back. Her Oncologist tried her on Vidasa, a lightweight chemo that really did nothing. Shortly after New Year's, she was in the hospital. She couldn't keep anything down. After a couple of days they said it was due to the Leukemia and they switched her to a much more brutal combination of three chemo drugs that were administered in the hospital over 5 days. The doc warned us that this was going to be really tough on her. She'd lose her hair again and we'd see some other major side effects. He also cautioned us that with Leukemia, each time it comes back you have to attack it with different chemo drugs. This is her third time and he warned, we're nearly running out of options here.

A couple of days after the chemo, I showed up ready to take her home, but when I got there, the nurses on the 4th floor were telling me that her BP was dropping due to lack of fluids and they were pushing 3 big bags of saline solution as fast as they could....

Now, just a couple of months ago, a very good friend of mine was hospitalized with Cellulitis, an infection in the skin from inside of the body. He had this in his left leg. A massive bruise with a bright red boundary that was hot to the touch and spreading like wildfire. This is very similar to the flesh eating bacteria and biopsies have to be taken to see what bacteria is causing it. My buddy, a pretty healthy guy in his early fifties was put in ICU for nearly a week with this and it nearly killed him....

That day when I went to pick Jo up from the hospital, I noticed, after talking with the nurses, that Jo had a very similar bruise on the inside of her upper left arm. Very hot, bright red boundary and spreading fast. I told the nurses who dismissed my untrained eye and told me that, "No, the PA said it was all about a lack of fluid volume and had nothing to do with an infection. A$$H0les! Finally we got down to ICU, I pointed it out to the nurse there who had also seen it before, and right away she started her on 3 different antibiotics and stopped the saline push. Later that night, Jo went into a sepsis induced seizure and very nearly died. If it hadn't been for the outstanding nursing staff in ICU, this would have been a very different tale.

By the next morning, she was stabilized but the infection had spread clear around her upper arm and down to her elbow. 4 different doctors were all around her looking and poking and sending her up the wall with pain. I very nearly kicked them all out of the room. Anyway, that night, the vascular surgeon performed an exploratory surgery to see if it was just in the skin or was going deeper. Luckily, it was just in the skin and the open incision that they just packed with gauze allowed much of the infection to drain out of the arm. The down side was that they had to intubate her and put her on a ventilator for the surgery. The next day they tried to take her off, and her heart started acting up. So, they put her into a medical induced coma to allow her to heal and stabilize further.

The next day, on my way into the hospital, I get a call from the City of Torrington WY's water department, saying that my water usage at our WY home was up 20,000 gallons from last month. She said that she thought that was odd so sent her meter reader out to check again that morning and it was up another 8,000 gallons. I got her to initiate an emergency water cut off at the street, checked on Jo, called the insurance company, ran home, packed a bag and made a hotel reservation and hauled butt up to WY.

It is bad! The ceiling in the lower bathroom and den was on the floor, and everything in the lower level was soaked. The cleanup team, ServePro, said that the interior of the house needs to be stripped to the bare studs from 2' above the upper level floor all the way to the lower level floor. All the kitchen cabinets, most of the furnishings and everything in the den would have to be trashed. I spent 2 days up there moving clothes, furniture, and other goods that were salvageable out to the garage, and working with the cleanup crew to tear out nearly everything. The next big problem, there is asbestos in the joint compound used throughout the house. The rooms where the ceiling dropped had to be sealed off for suspected asbestos contamination and they weren't able to ventilate them at all, so now there is black mold throughout those rooms. Yeah, when it rains it pours.

On the plus side, most of the goods in the house that were of real value to us were already moved down to our home in Denver. I'd hoped to have already sold that place by now, but with Jo's continuing illness, we just haven't been able to get it on the market and fully moved out. Well, that job is done for us now. I just have to deal with what I salvaged to the garage. Thank God for USAA.

Jo is doing a little better now. Her infection is completely gone but she is still dealing with the damaged tissue in her arm. Her hair is all but gone. She had the intubation tubes replaced with a tracheotomy and she is doing much better on that, so much so that they took her off the ventilator 2 days ago. We're hoping they can remove the trach in a day or so. The down side is that she is nearly paralyzed. Between the drugs, infection and all that time on the ventilator she has lost all muscle tone and is doing good to nod yes and no and clinch her hands a little. She has a very long road to recovery.

I haven't told her about WY yet. I'm also telling the staff here to keep it under their hats. She just doesn't need this level of stress right now. In a couple of days when she can talk again, I'm thinking we'll have to have that talk but for now, what she doesn't know, and can't do anything about anyway, can't hurt her.

I won't have much shop time for a spell, but I do like reading what you all are doing.

I'd ask you to wish us luck, but my run of luck here of late, hasn't exactly been good.

More later.

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WWA'ers I've met: Popeye, Ed Avery, Stephen Wolf, Rockfish, Rodedon


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:49 pm 
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Frank,
Both you and Jo are in my thoughts. Thats a very hard row you have been hoeing. Hope things pick up soon! And I will wish you luck, lots of it rushing your way!

Take care,
eric


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:04 am 
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carn. I feel for you. My wife has had 20 major surgeries on her back and I have had similar experiences. Can't begin to say how many times I drove 2 hours at midnight to go fight nurses in the hospital on my bride's behalf.

Hang in there.

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“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” ― Edgar Bergen


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:18 pm 
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Good Lord, Frank, you have far more than your share of misery to be sure. Believe me when I say I'm so glad I can be here, in a virtual sense at any rate, to provide a shoulder of support. You are without a doubt an inspiration to me with the strength and will you demonstrate in the face of it all.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:36 pm 
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I am so sorry to hear of your run of tough times. It sounds like a heavy burden for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:27 am 
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Prayers for you and your wife.

Duan

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dum vivimus, vivamus


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:29 am 
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Clipper wrote:
Prayers for you and your wife.

Duan


Same here. You guys have really been through it the last couple years. I hope things get better for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:32 pm 
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Don't get to post much here any more, but wanted you to know that you both are in our thoughts and prayers.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:22 am 
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chill wrote:
Don't get to post much here any more, but wanted you to know that you both are in our thoughts and prayers.


Same here as Chill.

Frank and Jo,

You both, are and will continue to be, in my thoughts and prayers.

Jiggy (aka Trisha)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Thinkin about you and Jo and hoping for the best.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:23 am 
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I just check in occasionally---wow Frank what an ordeal!!!
Lots of hugs and prayers going out to you and Jo!!

Vicki

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