At University Hospital Feb. 2011

At University Hospital Feb. 2011
February 11, 2011 at University of Utah Hospital

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here's the latest . . .

To get the word out, I'm going to start this blog about what's going on since the doctors told us they suspect Phil's cancer has returned. Here's some of my notes so far.

It's 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2011 and we just got home from the hospital. Phil had to have a blood transfusion--two pints of blood and Lasix via IV. The Lasix is for water retention. The blood is for raising his very low red blood cell count. Normal hematocrit for a man is 47--Phil's was 27. Normal hemoglobin is 12--Phil's was 6. We've been given two possible causes 1) internal bleeding (though he showed no signs), or 2) his cancer has returned.

Phil went in on Wednesday, January 25, for a 3:00 p.m. appointment with our provider, Michele Lyman, PA (Physician's Assistant) to check a sore on his leg that wasn't healing and see why his legs were swelling. He left 12 hours later, after being sent across the hall to the hospital for an outpatient blood transfusion. I was at work when Phil called around 4:30 p.m. to tell me what was happening. I called Becky and she went over immediately (and stayed till 11:00 p.m., and I was so grateful for that!). I left my office in Monticello and arrived at Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding around 5:00 p.m. Then it was hurry up and wait.

At 8:00 p.m., after typing, cross-matching, and warming the blood, the transfusion finally began. The blood had to drip very slowly--about 2 hours/unit) but luckily Phil slept through most of it, till it was finished at just after 1:30 a.m. Then we had to wait an hour for a blood test--which was really about an hour and a half--and then we went home.

Phil was anxious to get to work because he usually leaves by 2:15 a.m., so he jumped in the shower and rushed off to Moab! (Yes, he's crazy!) They told him he'd feel better after the transfusion, but Phil said he never knew he didn't feel better before it. He's such a brick!

As for me, I'm a big baby and I was so wired I couldn't go to sleep till 6:00 a.m. Three hours later the phone rang and it was Michele calling to give me a report. The transfusion had raised Phil's levels by 3 counts (out of 6 possible). Michele said she and Dr. Nielson and Dr. Jones agree that cancer is the only possible reason for what's happeing. I asked if she suspect bone cancer, since Phil had prostate cancer five years ago and if prostate cancer metasticizes it usually goes to the bone. Michele said there's no reason to speculate; it could be a completely new cancer not related to his previous cancer.

It's just so hard not knowing and having to wait to find out . . .

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