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Mathew did not get Cycle 7 of chemo on Friday.

Guess what he got instead?

Another blood transfusion! Two more units of blood to be precise. Additionally Intervention took a quick look at his G-tube site as the nurse thought it looked infected. The mobile x-ray unit took an xray of Mathew’s stomach and it showed the tube is still in its prescribed spot.

The Intervention team took out the stitch holding the tube in place as that is what was infected. A butterfly stitch (bandage) was put on in its place, the area cleaned up and then we were sent on our way. It was 4:30 pm on a Friday and it was home time people ~ hustle & bustle time to GO. Away we went.

So that awesome butterfly bandage meant to keep the tube in place? It peeled off today (Sunday night…or, Monday morning now, is it?). The site was oozing and gunk had stuck under the bandage and basically oozed it off. It was filthy so I peeled the small part left stuck to Mathew’s abdomen. There is green pus oozing from the tube hole. Lovely. The TUBE hole and NOT the stitch hole. The hole looks a little big and now there is nothing holding the tube in place so it can actually dislodge and come out. When the tube is inserted there is a corkscrew piece on the stomach end. It was cut the day after the tube was inserted but they couldn’t see that anywhere. I think it was in the big, scabby blob of blood that Mathew vomited on Friday morning. I know, gross right? Every time I think my gross factor is maxed out something new comes along…

With Friday’s blood transfusion that totals 6 units of blood Mathew received in the last week. His new chemo calendar was adjusted so his next outpatient is scheduled for 10 January. That should give him some time to rest and recover. Mathew felt much better after the stitch was cut out; he could get in and out of bed easier and with less pain. The only problem now is the tube is moving too much…and there’s the matter of that icky discharge. Extra-mural is coming to do his blood work on Monday and to change his dressing. Hopefully the nurse will have some insight as to whether or not there is cause for concern.

Mathew has yet to intake 7 Ensures in 1 day. Basically once a feed is done you have to wait at least an hour before the next one – at a minimum. If there is a lot of medicine then I will put that through a feed on its own; the maximum amount of liquid going in to Mathew’s stomach at any given time is around a cup or 250 ml. Each tube feeding has to be flushed with 30 ml of water before and after so that has to be taken into account of the total amount. Some pills I crush and dissolve together and others I don’t. I still need confirmation on whether or not medication can be crushed and dissolved together; maybe there is some other bad reaction that happens when 2 drugs are dissolved together at the same time? Who knows! So it takes about 35 minutes to do an actual feed, plus the preparation time and clean-up time. All in all, roughly an hour from start to finish. Then an hour wait (minimum). That is approximately 2 hours per feed. Sometimes the nausea is too high so Mathew gets something for that and we have to wait until that takes effect. Sometimes I have to eat and I can’t do that in his room (smells make him sick). If I fall asleep, which I do frequently since I am tired so much from all the treatments, visits to the hospital, and round the clock care… I miss a feeding.

If Mathew needs 7 bottles of Ensure and each feeding is 2 hours you are looking at 14 hours to get them in. If you sleep in then you have to stay up until the wee hours to get them all in. If he goes to the hospital, which he has every 2nd or 3rd day, he doesn’t get that liquid food all in. If he is extra nauseous he won’t drink any water so they also have to be done via the tube & syringe. Now there’s more than 7 feedings to do and you are looking at a 24 hour period to get everything in.

On to other news… there is a storm watch out for tomorrow. Seems another system of snow and rain may pass over us. That will be awesome on top of the already bent boughs and drooping power lines. Add a little wind to the mix and those who are still out of power since last Monday will probably stay in the dark even longer. There are so many tree limbs and branches sagging onto power lines just waiting for any teeny, tiny straw to break the line… you can’t buy a generator in these parts anymore; not a single one available east of Ontario (and you can probably include Ontario in that as well). Water on the shelves? Not so much! There are a lot of wells here and there is no water when the power goes out because the pumps use electricity to draw the water up and into the house.

In a few hours, too few to think of really…*sigh*… it will be time to rise n’ shine and get some groceries in case we do get the storm and we are left in the dark. Besides, mother hubbard’s cupboard is just bare.

Tonight I get to sleep in my own bed for a change. Mathew is stable enough right now that I can leave him for a few hours. We also are charging the new baby monitor so he doesn’t have to shout to get our attention. This handy little gadget also “sings” some lullabies if you choose that option. Wow. My kids were soooo deprived when they were babies ~ they had to endure my harpie’s voice crooning them lullabies. Now with the flip of a switch maybe we can all be lulled to sleep!

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