Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another Big Day

Dear family and friends,
This is turning out to be a big day for Nan. She started off the day with low blood pressure, 84 / 40, enough so that she was not allowed to walk and was given some extra fluid. Then the pressure came up to 92 / 50. She has only been allowed to have hot tea so far today since she was on her way to day surgery so Dr. Bertagnolli could remove the port a cath from her chest. The group in the hospital that cart you around are called "transportation". They arrive with a gurney that can handle the many turns in the halls and elevators, then 4 nurses move Nan to a board that looks like a big flat piece of plastic, using that they slide her to the gurney, put the file on the gurney, hook up the vacuum pump and off you go. I follow as far as they let me go and ended up in one more waiting room somewhere a long ways from her room below ground level. Dr. Bertagnolli was already there waiting and was on it fast. She did a great job of removing the port and within a few minutes Nan was back out smiling. The transport guy for the return trip has MS or something but did OK with negoiating the turns and hallways, elevators and she arrived safeby back in good old 16. Now she is getting her vitals taken, heart rate is 96, blood oxygen is 98 and blood pressure is 96 / 52. Now Nan is going to sleep and I am going in search of a meal. Later this afternoon the surgery team with plastics observing are going to remove the vacuum sponge and replace it with a new one. Nan does NOT look forward to that event since she has tagaderm stuck all over her tummy and she knows that all has to be peeled off to get to the sponge. Perhaps it won't be as bad as she expects, lets hope and pray not.
Everyone is now talking about Nan going to Whoville, I mean Youville which is the rehab hospital. Nan and I found a room for Sharon in Cambridge Bed and Breakfast for Friday and Sat. night, then she moves over to the Friendly Inn which is a Bed and Breakfast located within one block of Youville.
Well the surgery team just opened the door and asked about doing the vac sponge now and grudgingly Nan said yes so they are going to call Plastic Surgery who want to be here and then its going to happen, so forget about me eating right now and forget about Nan having a nice nap. Probably good to get it over with now instead of later. Nan would prefer never!!
We are so excited about Sharon coming. When family can come it gives both of us a big lift. We just happen to have the best family in the world. David, Nan's brother called this morning and talked for awhile. His calls are always welcome because he can often help with medical explanations of what is taking place.
Well just back from a very nice late, 4 pm, lunch with salad and grilled cheese on wheat bread. Now I am back and found Nan awake, they had just come for yet another round of blood sticks in both hands to test for cultures. It is no wonder they have to do transfusions, they take blood out constantly it seems. They always say, we are only taking a little, but you know those little vials add up after awhile. Errrr.
Want to send congratulations to Scott and Loree Rister, today is their wedding anniversary. Nice going guys!!
What is it like to be in a hospital for 37 days? You get to know the short order cook on a first name basis, various hospital people start talking to you like you work here, you know the fastest way to go up on the busy elevators at lunch time or shift change is to go down first to the lower 2 levels and then ride up to your floor, avoids the crowd waiting on floor 1, you know they close the snack shop off the lobby on Sat nights but its open all night every other night, you know how to use inner walk ways if it is raining really hard, you know what corners outside are especially good if you want some solid second hand smoke, you know to double check meds coming into the room because doctors orders sometimes come a day late, you ask and ask because today we have been told Nan could eat, Nan could not eat, Nan could not even drink, turns out Nan could have eaten her meals because Dr. B just used a local to remove the port. You learn the fastest way to get a colostomy or urostomy bag emptied is do it yourself and leave in the bathroom so they can measure the amount and record it, back rubbing and foot massage is best done by a loving relative, the nurses are just kept too busy to get to it. They all mean well and some work in a more organized manner than others. A sign by the nurse on the door, let her sleep, works wonders about keeping the noise hounds away. Nurses respond well to Sees Candy, so do doctors.
We are cautiously optomistic regarding our move to the Youville, the more people that mention it the better, now if we can get the patients reps to talk to each other and talk to the insurance company the move might actually happen. We certainly hope so.
Nan remains somewhat optomistic that the day may come when she can sit in her recliner again at home and play with Starr and eat food from her own kitchen. Its been over 3 months since Nan has been home since she was already here for the IPI504 program at Dana Farber and living with our dear friends Rick and Roxanna in Conn.
Our weather is lousy here today, rain and overcase with gloom everywhere. However tomorrow we are supposed to see sunshine or at least less rain.
Right now Nan is sleeping, out for the count and certainly deserves it, minor surgery, vac. sponge out and a new one in. The wound looked much more shallow, the body is closing it up from the inside out, was totally clean and is coming along great, how much longer? No one knows but they can replace the sponge at Youville and even at home if we need it to happen.
Well I am going to sign off and start looking for a rental car deal. Been without one for weeks but I think with Sharon here for a visit we need some transportation after all. I'll ride the T out tomorrow to get the car and then pick her up at the airport at Delta. Thanks Troy and Sandy! Then we will drive through the lovely tunnels where large pieces of the concrete ceiling fall on passing cars!!! Yikes!!
Please pray that Nan will avoid low blood pressure, that she will be found clear of all infection and that she can go to Youville if that is in God's plans for her. We have felt His leading opening and shutting doors over the past several weeks and we have chosen to keep on trusting Him now.

tim and nan
ps Sharon you can't come soon enough, we are ready for you!! Roxanna, hope you still have the pool room available, one of these days we just might be coming your way.


  • At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is 5:30 PM here in Texas and I will be there by 1:30 tomorrow PM. I hope the weather is safe. Say a little prayer for me.

    I hope you do well tonight, both of you, and look forward to our time together.

    Love you much,


  • At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad you have so many to support you Nan. Please keep on track and just concentrate on getting better. My prayers are with you. Hope tomorrow is a better day health wise. Sounds like you got lots done in preperation for the family. Keep up with your new conections you have touched so many people even with only a few minutes of conversation. You could see it on this blog when you were coming out of surgury. Best of luck to you.
    Pam :)

  • At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Roger and Carol said…

    Busy day for both of you. Rest well and be ready for whatever the day brings tomorrow ~ to move or not to move, to eat or not to eat, to sleep or not get to sleep. That's life in a hospital. We pray that you will soon get to fly back home to CA to be in your own home, with your own family, pet your own little Star and especially see Keanna!

    Love to you both ~ Roger and Carol

  • At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim &Nan,

    We are hoping and praying for a smooth transition for Nan to Youville.

    Carrol is on the back side of the Chemo ,only 1 more dose to go for this time . Then more tests and in 4 weeks it all starts again. It seems simple compared to what You are going thru . Some day We will be rid of all of these terrible Cancers for ever. Can't wait for that Day.

    Much love & Prayers For You both.

    Bob & Carrol

  • At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Becky and dick lanza said…

    You go girl. You just keep on, don't you? So nice you have family to look in on you. You are certainly in our prayers here. We look forward to seeing you in CA. Take care you all.
    Becky and Dick Lanza


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