Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Monday, September 04, 2006

150th Blog

Good evening from our home to yours,

Nan just went up to bed. Putting Nan to bed is slightly different than when we were first married! Time and circumstances change a lot of things but seeing Nan's lovely face on the pillow has never changed. I have always been humbled that I of all men ended up with the opportunity to be with this lovely and powerful woman. I have seen that face on pillows from Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Israel, Europe, London, cruises ships, several different motorhomes, even tents where we were first married and back packed together. She has always lived with dignity, great attention to detail about how she looked, made sure she was always squeaky clean, dressed to match, got rid of any gray hair that would dare to appear and watcher weight, watched it go up and down over the years but always watched it. I have observed her singing on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York, Saint Stephens in Vienna, Notre Dame in Paris and in hundreds of more local choir venues. I have seen her lead out for years in the childrens sabbath school programs, organize potlucks, help with cooking schools, teach Nikki and Jason how to make cottage cheese loaf.... it seems that she has done it all over the years and now to see her so low on energy, troubled by pain and nausea, tethered to the backpack with the TPN, it just breaks my heart to see what she has to deal with every day and still keep her spirits up.

We got a great blessing today when Bob and Carrol called and asked if we would mind if they came to visit. mind, I doubt it. First Pam last evening and now today Bob and Carrol. Pam brought dinner last night and Bob and Carrol brought a Marie Calender chocolate pie, so good and nan had a pretty good sized piece too. We had a very nice visit and got to catch up on their travels up the coast and their medical journeys lately. Tomorrow Carrol is back at the clinic for the start of 4 days of chemo so this week won't be fun for her. Bob answered several questions. He and Carrol have a Honda Odyssey like we do, almost the same color of gray. Yet theirs has a spare tire and ours does not. So he showed me where the spare would go if I can find one and I plan to get one soon. Our car has a wonderful new invention where even if your tire goes flat you can drive up to 150 miles on the flat until you can get it fixed. Great concept except when I needed it the local Honda dealer could not repair the flat and I had to limp down the freeway to another town to a repair place that could fix the flat and it cost $135 to have the tire restored back to good again. The PAX tires are really a terrible idea, what if you are traveling across the country and you pick up a nail, there is no proof at all that anyone will have the special equipment to repair the tire within 150 miles and so you are totally stuck. At least with a spare you can limp further until you can find a repair facility. Plus the tires cost $1,400 to replace for 4 and only PAX tires will fit on the rims since the outer rim is larger than the inner rim. A very bad idea from normally wonderful Honda.

Putting Nan to bed involves preparing the TPN with vitamins and pepcid, hooking up the line, new batteries in the pump, install the line in the pump, using saline remove the old line from Nan's picc line and do a saline flush, then use an alchol wipe to clean and then hook up the TPN line, turn on pump! Then when nan gets in bed we remove the dressing from the incision, soak out any extra fluid with gauze, using wooden q tip put new medicine in, then using a saline soaked gauze fill the wound, then two dry ones on top, then large pad on top and then Nan takes the daylights out of it to keep it in place. We do that twice a day. Finally Nan can have the light out and settle in for a hopefully pain free night.

I have worked on and off today, been doing loads of wash and drying them, folding them, taking them back to where they belong, fixed pancakes for breakfast which turned out well, supplied hot drinks, gatoraide, water, toast, peaches etc for the rest of the day and of course served yummy pie Bob and Carrol brought. I have created some appraisal work but not caught up yet. Need to get more done in shorter time but the forms are a lot more complicated than they used to be and every thing is critical on the form it seems.

We have enjoyed our long weekend as much as possible but overall Nan is very low, has almost no drive and would sleep all the time day and night I think if not woken up at times. I sense that not everything is going well but have no idea of what is going wrong. We see our oncologist on friday and hope to get some answers then, hope is the key word I think.

Please join me in praying that Nan is once again begin recovering and growing stronger with less pain, less nausea and more interest in life and doing things. Right now its fairly tough to get her to consider doing things which would require energy. Sure can't wait until Sharon comes to visit. They have good chemistry together I think.

Thanks for your faithful prayers,

with love

tim and nan


  • At 5:15 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning from rainy NC!

    150th Blog ~ how can that much time go by already? You have come so very far in that time. Yes, I realize you "blogged" more than once on some days, but you didn't start from day 1 either. Whatever it is ~ it's been a LONG time for you both for sure. So much has happened and there has been SO much progress.

    We had a real downpour last night! No, it isn't flooding here, but we did get some wonderful needed rain. The upper lake has a "waterfall" down to the lower lake this a.m. which is very much welcomed. The lower lake was getting quite low and is full once again.

    You remain in our prayers. We hope you have a good week ~ money coming in from the appraisals, more energy, less pain and nausea, physical and emotional rest. When is Sharon coming?

    Better get my day started since we're 3 hours ahead of you and the day is moving on.

    Love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim and Nan,

    I follow your report everyday and pray for continued recovery and a brightening of the spirits.

    Nan, I marvel at your strength, family and life accomplishments. Tim, you are such a caregiver, you are to be applauded because with all of your help and attention Nan does have some good times.

    I know that the appointment this Friday will be stressful and hopefully offer some insight into Nan's tiredness.

    Doesn't Gleevec cause tiredness, I have read it so much on the website?

    Take care and love to you both

    Sue Muse

  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nan I pray for you that God will provide what you need. My deepest hope is that you feel better, get a little more energy.
    Hope today is a better day.
    Pam :)

  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nan I pray for you that God will provide what you need. My deepest hope is that you feel better, get a little more energy.
    Hope today is a better day.
    Pam :)

  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good evening to you both and all the animals,

    I do hope that you printed each of these 150 blogs. A good start to a very interesting book! You two are a great team!

    Someone better get with the energy thing because I will be there soon and I don't aim to sit and watch anyone sleep! Get the cards ready, the hot drink going, and I'll be there soon. This audit I am working on is a pain, be glad to get it behind us.. Been there, done that, so guess we will do ok.
    Hope you have a better day tomorrow after a good night's sleep. Remember that I love you and pray for you moment by moment.
    Love to all, Sharon

  • At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Mustards,

    We did enjoy Our visit with You both on Monday. We marvel at the improvement from the last time that we visited Nan in the Hospital at Concord. We do continue to pray that She will have More energy and less Pain & Nausea, how brave She is and how devoted You are to Her well being Tim.

    I am working on Your "Spare Wheel" & Tire problem & Hope to have some good results very soon. All I can say is stay away from "Nails". It's amazing what these Car Companies will charge a person extra for and call it inovative & progresive, etc, but wait till You have an "ordinary" sort of problem and "Progress " Stops !! $$$ .

    Chemo Clinic went pretty well today . Blood counts were good enough to continue on with the same Chemo treatment. One small change, Carrol will need a Procrit shot every other week for a while . White Counts need a boost and the Dr. feels that may be the ticket. Carrol's Sister is here to stay for the time that She is needed to keep Carrol in a more Up Beat mood. It does help to have Loved ones around while "Bummer Things" are going on.

    Much Love and continued Prayers for You Both.

    Bob & Carrol.

    P.S. My Skin lab work came back "Clean" for that We are very thankful, Can't even see where the Dr. did His cutting at all , Not bad for 7 stiches and 8 days healing.


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