And then things got complicated

So yesterday I gave you the low-down, today is the first of what I’m sure will be many updates.

While we were hoping that things wouldn’t get complicated until after chemo started – apparently Mom’s stomach had other plans in mind.

The current hiccup in the get better plan is somewhere in her stomach she is still bleeding.  We found this out last Friday when the hospital called with the results of her routine blood test – hemoglobin level was at 78… for the non-medical minded – it should be between 120-160.  For reference when she was bleeding out with the ulcer, her hemoglobin was around 70 something.  In true Nurse Mom styles, she did not beleive them, because she felt fine and having just experienced what 78 felt like, she definitely didn’t feel like that.  She said she would come in for a blood transfusion but only if they agreed to retest her.

They did.  It was 74.


Two units of blood and she was sent home, feeling… exactly like she did that morning.

Monday was the surgeon appointment and by Tuesday she wasn’t feeling great.

Wednesday she went to the emergency room and told them her blood pressure was down, she was short of breath and pretty sure she was bleeding again.  Perk of being a nurse – you know what to say to get action.  By the time Dad had parked the car and found her – she was in a private room and more blood was on it’s way.

The plan was to do a gastroscopy – where they go in with a scope camera have a look around and hopefully cauterize wherever she was bleeding from.  In mom’s mind they would do it Thursday, she would be able to go home immediately afterward.

No dice.

Friday morning they did the scope, but what they found was food in her stomach.  Since she’s been on liquids only since Monday – this is not good. While she’s been there waiting for the procedure and decisions the hospital staff has taken the opportunity to get lots of other things done so she’s good to go for chemo.  She’s met with the oncologist, the radiologist, she had her picc line put in.

And the verdict, not going home Friday.

During the gastroscopy they couldn’t find anywhere that she was clearly bleeding from. So they are going to do radiation on her stomach to stop the bleeding. Not sure how radiation stops the bleeding – probably by magic.

She is now no longer on a liquid diet, she’s on nothing passed orally – which means a Total Parenteral Nutrition is passed through that handy picc line.  They are also giving her more blood because they want her to be in tip top shape for when they start chemo next week. She’ll start chemo and then they’ll likely keep her in the hospital another day or so to make sure she doesn’t bleed again afterward.

So that’s where we are.  She has been moved out of “the holding pen” where she was one of 25 beds, and into a semi-private room without a roommate – for now.  The staff at Southlake have been wonderful.

How you can help today – thank you for all of the positive thoughts, we really appreciate it. She has her cell phone so you can text her or call if you aren’t able to visit, she has her iPad too – so emails are welcome!

Message from Mom – (after finding out that she was going to be put on nothing passed orally) – “Looks like I should order 3 days of internet”

6 responses

  1. Hi Meg,

    Thank you for keeping everyone up to date. I really appreciate it. I am thinking about your Mom everyday. Wondering if I should visit. But u don’t want to be a bother either. If there is anything I can do let me know. Can I please have your Moms cell number? You cousins as well. I love you all and miss you. Please give your Mom a big hug for me and let her know I love her very much.

    Love, Jen

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Hi Meagan: So thankful she has her family and thank you so much for your updates. Good to be in the loop. I’m unfortunately going to be at Southlake on Tuesday as my sister has breast cancer and is having her surgery that day. I would love to have a little visit if you think she is up to it and in fact still at Southlake. Please let me know the info if It’s ok for a visit. Thanks again for the update and our love and prayers are with you all. xo Susan Bishop

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