Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dad and Clams

Today my Dad had very low blood sugar. It was down to 42 at one point. It should of been in the 100's. The advice nurse said he is not eating enough protein. So I went to safeway and bought him some almonds, Trisects (The advice nurse said so.) I also bought him some chili. He is allowed to have 75 carbs per meal, one can of safeway "eat right chicken chili" is like 63 carbs. It has 19 g of protein. As of right now his blood sugar is 131. That is very good. I also went to the store to buy more glucose tablets that you take when your blood sugar is low. Dad's JP's drain sites look good. Very little "drain" now. My dad has an Oncology appointment on Tuesday. I suppose they are going to tell him where the rest of the cancer is. It makes my stomach hurt to think about it.

I feel stressed because I don't know what I should or shouldn't do in most of the situations with dad. (I do know that if his blood sugar is low or high someone or anyone needs to call 911 or the advise nurse) My dad asked me what my opinion is on some issues. That scares me. If I call this family member they might yell at me or tell me I am doing wrong things, or if I call that family member they may have the flu, or if I do nothing they will all be mad at me. I can only suggest to my dad what to do. He has a mind of his own to do what he wants. I don't know what I think. There are many consequences from many angles. What I do know is my dad is very sick.

Life at home
My husband went clamming with his best friend. He brought home 10 long footed (or something like that) clams. The "foot" part looked ever-so disgusting. I don't know if my husband thought I was going to cook them up or what, but I wanted no part of them. So they sat in the ice chest in the side yard for a few days. Today at 1:00 pm my husband decided to deal with the dead clams. It was over 100' outside. I bet you know where this is going. I followed along because I had an idea the stench was going to be overwhelming. My husband seemed to think it would be ok. I stood far enough away where I could not smell anything, but I could still see his reaction. He opened the ice chest, all I hear is UGGGG. The lid of the ice chest slammed down. My husband got away from the ice chest as fast as he could. He leaned against the side of the house and looked pasty white, like he was going to faint. He said he was dizzy. I found it amusing. If fact I was laughing. It was good to get some stress relief in the form of laughter.
He ended up pouring the water that the clams were in down the storm drain. He had rubber gloves and a face mask ( like the where for the swine flu) on. He opened up the drain of the ice chest. Once again I head UGG deep from within his guts. He ran toward the house for safety. Once the water was drained he took each clam out and put them in a double garbage bag. It was so nasty. I was still laughing. He put the clams in the bag in the big garbage "tote" outside. I am glad I don't park my car on that side of the drive way. It is suppose to be over 100' tomorrow. I hope our neighbors don't call the cops because of the foul smell coming from our garbage ben. It should smell good and sweet by Tuesday when they come to pick up the garbage.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Diabetic and other things

Now my dad is a type 1 diabetic. (because the surgeons took out his pancreas.) This has been a challenge to get his blood sugar under control. On Saturday his sugar was to high over 500. That is why we spent 12 hours in the ER. Yesterday evening it was to low. It got down to 59. He should be at least 70 minimum according to his Diabetic nurse that calls on the phone.
Come to find out he had only had 37 g of Carbohydrates for lunch and 37 for dinner. He is SUPPOSE to have 75 g of carbs each meal (as you know carbohydrates raises your blood sugar level) Not only that he is suppose to have 15 additional carb 3 times a day between meals for a snack. He had jello. Jello = 0 carbs. At 10:00 pm last night he was up to 95 on his blood sugar level.

As I told you the other day, they took out his JP drains. Yesterday most all of the drainage stopped. Dad took his first shower is 3 1/2 weeks. He was very happy about that.

On Tuesday my Dad is going back to the Oncologist. My big brother is taking him.

My dad does not qualify for a home care nurse because he can walk 300 feet. If my dad had a home care nurse, he would not of had to take up a bed in the ER for 12 hours the other night. I am terrible at math, but it seems to me that it would be way more cost effective to have a home care nurse, then paying the bill for an ER visit for 12 hours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yesterday the day turned out good

My dad had 4 Dr. Appointments scheduled this week. I felt stressed out and overwhelmed. I can't even imagine how he must be feeling.

My day started out ok, but early in the afternoon we took our class to the farmers market at the local park. My co worker who I will call Sunshine started telling me about her mom who died of cancer. Sunshine was telling me the horrors of chemo and how her mother got these big ugly soars in her mouth, and her mother was sick to her stomach all the time, and how her mother got so skinny you all of her bones were sticking out. I had to walk away. I went and stood under a venders canopy in the shade and just stared off into space. I couldn't take anymore reality. Another co-worker I will call Sweet Mama walked up to me and said "are you ok," I could not muster up enough words to come out of my mouth, but I shook my head no. Sweet Mama said "I know exactly what you need, come with me" Sweet Mama took me across the street to Baskin Robins 31 flavors ice-cream parlor. Sweet Mama said "you need some chocolate ice cream." So we each had a scoop of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. We did not say much as we walked back to the park. Sweet Mama was right. That is just what I needed. I was able to cope with Sunshine and the rest of the group. Sweet Mama is a very kind and understanding soul.

When I got home my close friend Denny stopped by and we went to have an early dinner, I was waiting to hear from my dad to see how his Dr. appointments went (he had two yesterday.) Over dinner Denny and I discussed life and death, God, kids, men and office supplies. I am so blessed to have some very close and dear friends. Denny thought it might be a good idea for me to go to the office supply store , because it is one of my happy places. I did not feel like going, but she insisted. Once again she was right, I am glad I went. My dad called he sounded Cheerful. My dad wanted me to come over so Denny and I left the office store.

My dad was SO happy because they took his Jackson Pratt drains outs. (He had two) not only that the Dr. canceled the rest of the appointments for the rest of the week. Dad does not have to go back to the Dr. until June 3oth, He will go see the Oncologist. His blood sugar was at a good level all day long, So he had 2 low carb tacos and a tablespoon of refried beans for dinner. Let me tell you, my dad was smiling and joking and had a little twinkle back in his eyes.
What a relief to see my dad in that frame of mind! Before I went home I changed the dressing on his wounds where the Jackson Pratt drains were, took dad on a walk outside and a few other odds and ends. I got home around 7:45 pm . That is the earliest I have been home 24 days. At 8:15 my Dad called to say he was going to have a 9 carb ice cream bar for his bedtime snack. What a perfect way to end my day.

The phone rang later that evening and it was my dear friend. We talked until 11:00 pm. We are going swimming on Friday. I am excited about that! I am so blessed to have so many very good people in my life.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Yesterday my dad, sister in law and I spent about 12 hours in the emergency room .
He blood sugar was over was off the chart literally . Around 11:00 we agreed to take my dad home, because they had gotten his blood sugar down to about 375. He has no pancreas to make insulin now. I keep trying to tell my dad that it takes a while to get everything adjusted. There were alot of sick people in the ER yesterday (hehe). The good news is his cancer "markers" went from over 500 before surgery to 27 yesterday. Someday I will write about all the fun times we have have with hospital polices and staff.

I am so far behind I feel like I am never going to catch up.

As far as quilting, I thought I would be making a new quilt while dad was recovering from his surgery. So far that has not happened.

Friday, June 19, 2009

After Two Weeks

I am home after two long hard weeks. I missed my husband, the doggies, Murray the fish, the emails and phone calls and writing on my blog. Have you ever seen a dog smile. Both of my dogs had huge smiles on their faces when I came home tonight. They were jumping around and running around the house -sliding on the wood floors.

My dad is home. I think many people would just give up and die after what he has been through. He is tough. He is amazing. The road ahead is going to be a rough one. Someone told me that if nothing else cancer teaches to you take one day at a time. I am finding this to be very true. Right now someone is staying with him so could come home. I am very thankful that is happening. But my dad depends on me heavily - thats ok. He has a list of things for me to do with him tomorrow. One day at a time.

I have so much to say. That will come later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Ok I guess my last post did not post. Dad is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will write more later.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I hate the hospital parking garage. Who ever designed it must be thankful he/she never has to drive or try to park in it. The first floor and a half is dedicated to "physician parking only."
The pathway to drive in is two cars wide-almost.

They have little tiny skinny parking places. You MUST be a parking place stalker (My poodle friend came up with that one) to get a place to park. Sometimes the people you are stalking have to put on their make up, call there friends on the phone, check the tires or figure out the seat belts. The long chain of cars behind you get very impatient after about 15 seconds. They start laying on their car horns. HONKKKKKKKKKK! It echos all the way to the top floor.

If you still do not move after a good 6 seconds of honking, the person behind you decided to go around on the left. The long chain of cars follow the person who is moving. The problem is the person you are stalking is trying to pull out, the people who are coming down the parking garage to leave and the person who wants to go around you all meet in the middle.

The people who are trying to leave and the people who are trying to go around you have to fight it out while you sit there and wait for a parking place.

Oh by the way, going to the top floor in the parking garage does not help. That is everyone else's idea. My technique is to drive to the 3ed floor, then head out towards the exit. Usually I can find a place to park on the 2 floor. I have only had to park on the 3ed floor once.

Oh well, once I park and see my dad it is all worth it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A funny thing

A nurse in ICU was checking the my dad's blood glucose. I was quizzing her about it. She said "your dad's pancreas is compromised" I said COMPROMISED, he doesn't have one. She said she was not sure how much he knew and she did not want to say anything. I found that amusing. I think is was sweet she was trying to protect him in a way.


Here is a photo of my dad getting out of ICU! He is not only tough, but he is a ham. The nurses in ICU were great! I will write more later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Update 3- 6/3

Yesterday afternoon my dad started running a fever. They said that was normal but they were going to watch it carefully. My dad's PM nurse Doug, is a very kind soul. He pulled up a chair last night and talked to me and dad.

While we were talking my phone rang. ICU has big signs that say NO CELL PHONES. So I thought I turned it off. What happened was I turned it on. I was telling Doug about my job and how I love it - bla bla bla. As it turns out it was my boss J who called. He heard every word I said. How funny is that.

I called ICU this morning and they said dad's temp is 98.1. So I will go to work this morning for half a day. My sister Jo said she would take the morning shift with dad.

I am very tired. My Big Brother is coming back down today I think.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Update 2- 6/2

While I was at the hospital the Dr. C came in. He said that we are "taking it one day at a time."
I guess that is not bad news, but it is not good news either. They are worried about his blood pressure being to low, getting his insulin and blood sugar under control.

I am very sad right right now.

I am going back to the hospital in a little while.


While we where sitting in the waiting room, we noticed another family (three daughters and a father) who had been there for a long time. We over heard there conversations, there were saying their mothers surgery was delayed because they had to take the pancreas completely out of someone else. (That would be dad) Dr. G (Dr. C's co-surgeon) came out to tell them there was nothing they could do for their mother. He gave her 2 months. The tumor had "fingers" and had spread all over. The socking part was that only one daughter shed a tear. I am saying A TEAR. One or two. Thats it. It was too much for me to handle so I walked down the hall to stand by the recovery room door.

Dr. G was walking down the hall I was standing in. I stopped him and introduced my self. He seemed to be very kind. He said the same thing that Dr. C said, that dad's surgery was difficult. He said dad's spleen was very "deep." He gave me his business card. He said there was hope for my dad.

They did not let us in the recovery room until late in the afternoon. We could only stay for a few minutes. Every time the door opened Dad would look to see if I was standing there. Dad wanted to go to Tahoe or Reno. We wondered if we had eaten lunch. He was not happy that someone had put rocks in his bed.

The charge nurse in ICU was very kind. The place was hopping. Not a single bed open. Even with all the tubes and IV's Dad was worried that we did not have dinner, who paid for the gas in my car, where my big brother was going to sleep, all those things.

I called the hospital to check on dad before I went to sleep. His nurse said dad was "very chatty." She also said they were having a hard time keeping his blood sugar under control. He is on a insulin drip.

This morning I called and nurse K said that dad had a good night. They had got him out of bed, but it was very painful for him. She said they had got his blood sugar on "target" last night, but it was going up again, so they were going to put him back on the insulin drip.

I will be going back to the hospital soon. I will let you know what is going on.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Well, I got up at 4:10 am, I was at my dad's house at 5 am. We left at 5:15. By 6:15 he was in pre op. At 7:45 they took him in for surgery.
They took out his pancreas, his gallbladder (it was enlarged) his spleen ( the dr said it was oozing more then normal.) They took out a "scoop" of small intestine. Both Dr.'s said it was a long and hard surgery. It took about 5 1/2 hours. The Dr. C said "keep your fingers crossed and keep him in your prayers. Dad finally got into ICU about 6:00 pm. We got to go in and see him at 6:30. He was happy to have his family around him. At that point he was very groggy. I got home around 8 pm.
I am tried and want to go to bed.

I will write more tomorrow.