This week has been a whirlwind! From Emergency Room experience to scans, colonoscopy, lung drain, medicine, admittance, room change and more.
Kristi has been experiencing incredible health challenges over the past 7 weeks. She first experienced vertigo a week before a procedure to remove basal-cell carcinoma from her nose. She went through the surgery fine, had a skin graft taken from her ear to cover the spot on her nose and then went home to rest. Because of the graft, she had to remain very still for the first week, semi mobile on week 2 and 3 and then once she was released, she could resume normal activities.
By week 4 I could tell she was not well. Her surgery and graft recovery were great, but her health seemed to deteriorate. She was weak, in a lot of back and abdominal pain, and was very tired. She seemed to come down with some kind of virus that caused her to be nauseas. That and the vertigo really made her ill. She stopped eating any food after week 4 and would dry heave and vomit anytime we would get any food in her.
She missed several weeks of church and couldn’t go to any activities outside the home. She missed Thanksgiving celebration and Christmas. She was very discouraged and frustrated. We had a company come in three times and give her IV’s and vitamins. This helped with her nausea, but she still couldn’t eat or get any sleep.
A bit of a back story… for years, Kristi has experienced back pain. Mainly in her ribs. She has gone to the chiropractor every week or two for 2 years now because of this pain. Being immobile from the surgery really made her pain flare up to be intolerable. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t find a comfortable position.
I did so many home COVID tests on her over the past several weeks thinking it had to be what was affecting her so much. All tests were negative. I finally convinced her to go to urgent care. They tested her for flu, did a urine analysis, and scheduled a gall bladder scan for the next day. That night, she started running a fever. I got her dressed, ready to go, and took her to the Emergency Room. Something had to be done – she was very sick!
As we sat and waited to be checked in and taken to a room, so many people were coming in and out. So many sick people! We have an incredible friend that works in the hospital. As soon as she saw our name on the list, she came and found us in the waiting room. She has been a Godsend.
They got us a room, took blood, and ordered a cat scan of the stomach. They were extremely fast with the results. The ER Doctor came in with his arms crossed, sat down, and told us that Kristi has a mass in her abdomen. It is through her colon, spleen, and tail of her pancreas.
You know how people say that they felt like someone threw a bucket of cold water on their head? As I sat there and listened, my body went numb, and I felt like someone poured a bucket of hot water over my head. Stunned. From there, things moved very quickly. They gave her high pain medicine, referred her to an Oncologist and began prepping her to be checked out.
The next day, we went to the oncology appointment. He scheduled a colonoscopy and chest cat scan. He said he was 90% sure she had stage four colon cancer. They also took blood to check if the indicators for colon cancer were there. He called us within a few hours and told us the markers were not present in her blood. He was 50% sure she had colon cancer. We arrived at the hospital for her colonoscopy. They prepped her and took her back. She was running a slight fever and they were concerned about her breathing. Oh yeah, she started coughing the week prior to this. It is a deep gurgle cough. As she came out of the colonoscopy, they were closely monitoring her levels. The anesthesiologist did not like her oxygen levels. He told me, as soon as I saw her this morning, I saw a very sick girl. He called the oncologist and they both agreed to have us admitted into the hospital.
We saw the cat scan images and were amazed to see a mass pushing against her ribs, abdomen, and lungs. This is what has been causing her pain for years! After the biopsy and without any diagnosis, the oncologist now does not think it is colon cancer.
Since then, it has been a whirlwind. They have done so many scans, blood, and x-rays, we have lost count. The chest cat scan showed large amounts of fluid on her lungs. They stuck a huge needle in her back and drained a liter of liquid. This helped her breathe. Her oxygen and vitals improved and today, they removed her from oxygen.
We are now in the cancer ward and being cared for. Once the pathology report comes back from the lab, we will know what we are dealing with. We are expecting chemotherapy. We are expecting a long road.
For the first time in months, she can now sleep, rest, and have some relief from her pain.