Thank you, everyone, for your BLOG comments, phone calls, and support. It is greatly appreciated. For the past four days, Shawndra has been sleeping a lot, so she hasn't read your BLOG replies. But, she will soon.
This morning a gastroenterologist was unable to place a PEG. He said that he could not see the light from the scope to make the hole. This could be for a variety of reasons, one of which is the intestine has moved in front of the stomach. A general surgeon has been consulted to perform the task instead. We should see him this evening. And since our darling, mischevious Shawndra decided to let the NG tube "fall out" yesterday (hey, who was on duty while I was gone!?... just kidding), she will continue to throw up bile until the PEG can be placed. I'm trying hard to convince her to put the tube down one more time, but she'll have none of that! Once the PEG is in, that will be her "drain" since her bowels are not letting anything through due to tumor pressure. For nutrition, a nightly bag of TPN is infused via her portacath. That's the technical side of the story...
As I write this, Shawndra is in good spirits. She's semi-awake, while Pam is washing her hair with the "shampoo cap". Also she's listening to an Enya CD. That alone will relax just about anybody. The goal is to get Shawndra home so we can finish up the Christmas decorations and enjoy the holidays. The oncologist suggested Shawndra try a different chemotherapy named Urbatux, perhaps in a few weeks. Whether she chooses to continue chemotherapy is yet to be determined.
Tonight Ella and I will have a slumber party at home together. I'm near the point of exhaustion, so the family has arranged for Dustin to stay overnight with Shawndra. I need a good 8-9 hours of sleep, then the next 3-4 days of 4-6 hours won't be a problem.
There is a time and place for serious conversations with Shawndra. In a few weeks or months, or who knows when, those conversations may take place, but for now, while she is in the hospital, fighting to come home, please, be positive, and choose your words carefully. This also goes for BLOG replies. We pray she will be able to come home soon.
I refuse to end this post without some kind of laughter. Sweetie (Shawndra), I know when you ready this, you'll laugh too. And laughter IS the best medicine...
Shawndra's parents, Carolyn and Gary, have been caring for Ella during our hospital stay. A few nights ago, between the hours of 3 & 4 in the morning, she played a manipulation game with Grandma & Papa, not wanting to go back to bed, due to monsters in the closet. Last night, Grandma resorted to putting a plastic doorknob on Ella's room so she couldn't open the door. After much screaming, Ella tired, and fell asleep. Well, this morning, Grandma stepped into the backyard to leave the dogs (yes, Lexi is on a little vacation too) out. She stepped ALL the way out, and shut the sliding glass door. Can you see where this is going? Ella proceeded to lock the sliding glass door and run off the other direction. Grandma pleaded for Ella's return, but that had zero effect! Grandma had to use the garage door keypad to let herself back in. Needless to say, Ella was in big trouble. Although Ella didn't explain her actions to Grandma, I have a feeling she was just returning the "lock out" favor she experienced the night before.... :) I love that little tinker! Daddy & Ella will have NO problems tonight at home because.... she's sleeping in the same bed as Daddy! Yeah! Sorry Grandma & Papa, but I miss her so much. She's already requested to watch Scooby Doo cartoons. Hmmm, that explains the fear of monsters. Those "meddling kids"!
I wanted to clarify what hospice means and why it was suggested. First of all, the surgeon suggested that the family start thinking ahead and maybe get the paperwork and ball rolling now, to ease the stress/hassle/work later. Hospice is seen by so many as the last few weeks/days/hours. But hospice can be the support needed for the family and care in the home for the patients in keeping pain managed and keeping them comfortable for quite some time. No decision has been made yet and no one has started any paperwork that I'm aware of. I pulled off some info from the internet to maybe clarify hospice even more.
*Hospice care is provided by a team-oriented group of specially trained professionals (including as physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy), as well as volunteers and family members.
*Hospice addresses all symptoms of a disease, with a special emphasis on controlling a patient's pain and discomfort.
*Hospice deals with the emotional, social and spiritual impact of the disease on the patient and the patient's family and friends.
I hope that you all understand that we have NOT given up hope nor fight. Shawndra told me that she had not given up and I feel like I need to pass that along. We are all still in encouragement and positive mode. Please continue to pray for strength, for love, and for faith and hope. Each of us has different things that we are struggling with and each of us have our strengths. This has been such an amazing dynamic to watch my family hunker down, hold fast, lean on one another and others, and feel the amazing amount of love,faith, and support that has surrounded us. God has definitely been hard at work.
We are planning on having a nice Christmas with Shawndra at home!! Pray that Shawndra will be able to get out of the hospital by the end of the week.