Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nan is doing well today in San Francisco

Dear Friends and Family,

Nan is reading and waiting for her lunch to arrive. It is 12:30 on Sabbath. She has had a good day so far. When I arrived this morning she was on a gurney heading for Xray. I got to see the xray results but of course had almost no idea of what I was looking at. I could see the nephrostomy tubes and stent but did not recognize much else other than Nan's bone structure and several lighter and darker areas in her torso. The tec told me that the xrays were not very helpful in locating urine leaks since urine does show up in a xray at all. I think they did them just to aware of anything unusual in her body and as a basis for other more intense tests to be done on monday. He took the xrays and then slide the film cassette into a slot and the xrays were read and instantly showed on a computer screen. Then he called for transportation and the guy was at the door in a minute. In the past we have waited for up to 30 minutes for someone to take her back, nice to get back to her warm and comfortable bed.

In the last few minutes the charge nurse came with the pca pump. Now when Nan begins to feel pain she pushes a button and a tiny bit of pain med, dilatud, is released into her IV. The hope is that she will never get into intense pain that way, intense pain pushes her heart rate up to nearly 120 beats a minutes, higher than is desirable. As you may recall her heart rate is always about 100 even when resting, it has been that way for years and we don't know why. She has been allowed to restart Gleevec again and took her full 600 yesterday. What a relief to get the meds back in that may hold off tumors and control the growth of the one we know is there lurking.

Breakfast did not turn out so well. Nan is very sensitive to odors when she is on meds and in a hospital. She was doing well with oatmeal when she took the lid off the hot food. Suddenly the odor of eggs and bacon overwhelmed her and she lost the oatmeal she was eating and her breakfast came to an end. But she recovered quickly with no left over vomiting or problems like that. Now they just brought in lunch and whoops it is fish, she hates the smell of fish so they took that away and are trying for chicken, not much better, we need to be able to order but so far no menus or visit from the nutritionist. Promised yesterday but she didn't make it to our room. They started TPN last night about 11 pm so her basic nutrition is assured for today.

Irene arranged with her sister who lives nearby that I could stay there. I enjoyed a restful night until early this morning when our present situation overwhelmed my sleep so I tossed and turned for the rest of the waking hours. The room and bath where I stay are wonderful, newly remodeled and very appealing. I am able to come and go by opening the garage door so won't disturb them so much. I plan to head home tonight, do research for tomorrow and then see properties all over the place before coming back to see Nan in the evening. Irene has kindly consented to come sit with Nan yesterday afternoon after church and that is a great relief to us. I do not believe it is proper to leave Nan alone for hours at a time and I appreciate anyone who can call or visit. It helps Nan's time pass and improves her spirits as well. Our children who normally can come visit are both totally committed this weekend and we totally understand. They live extremely busy lives and do a lot of good where they work.

Nan's lunch finally got sorted out. She has carton of milk, roll, brown rice, brochili, chicken and two little bowels of chicken and noodle soup, two new potatos and a fruit cup. Pretty good really, better than the fish we started with. We believe fish need to be in the water. Nan has had some and is now full, when a person in on TPN they never really develop much of an appetitite. Yet Nan is eating very well considering.

Now she is finished and is trying to understand how the pca works, she does not feel the immediate rush of relief from the pain that she got before when they pushed in 1 mg of pain med. I think she will adjust to the new way of controlling pain.

So we sit / lie watching the clock move slowly ahead. A few minutes ago Bob and Carrol came on the instant messenger and we were able to talk for awhile. They were on their way out to Lyons for lunch and are feeling pretty good after the latest round of chemo. Such good news for them. Irene called earlier and Nan got to talk with her for awhile. For a few minutes the sun came out breaking through the gloom. From our room we look directly to that very high TV tower with three poles poking to the sky located on the top of a small mountain in the city. We can watch the clouds move through the towers, pretty amazing. We are only a few miles from the ocean and so we have the fog and ocean weather here.

We just got back from a walk to the elevator and then to the lobby where Nan sat for a few minutes watching the cold world outside. Finally she tired and we came back up. When we got back menus were waiting in the room so Nan just filled them out and perhaps she will get food that is closer to her tastes. No more fish or bacon please.

Nan is wrestless today, that happens sometimes when pain meds sort of get backed up in her system and the pain she has right now is fairly intense. She just called the nurse to see what can be done about her pain level. This will be interesting.

I had hoped she could fall asleep after we got back but she does not feel like sleeping at this minute. Too much pain. The nurse came and did a bolis, that is a large amount .6 mg of med to help Nan get caught up with the pain. We did not push the pain button on the whole walk and the pain caught up with her suddenly. This intense pain is a new issue again, nothing this strong over in concord. It is pretty well controlling her right now. Emily called a minute ago and they spoke for a little bit. Thanks emily for thinking of her. Just spoke to Pam and she is not feeling that well but if she improves she might come over later, my instructions were pretty bad and before I talk to her again I'd better have street names to help her.

I think Nan might be settling down now for a nap, she really needs one, so upset and restless right now.

This is a hard day, not that any are easy lately but Nan is really effected by the looming tests on monday, that is my read of things. We have a pretty good confidence level in the various doctors that have been here, several are a part of Dr. Warren's surgical team but are very attentive and are directing her care very carefully. For example the nurse just brought in a breathing device that she wants Nan to blow into. We have not seen one of those for awhile but we know they are good at keeping the lungs clear. They are carefully monitoring her temp levels and are measuring her ins and outs liquid wise to guard against dehydration. Nan is not feeling as well today as she has been over the last few days. She is not happy and troubled most of the time.

It is difficult to keep ones spirits up facing a future that is not clear. Yet it is our choice to trust in God and allow Him to lead. My feelings are often miles behind my convictions and I live in a state of emotional upheaval bouncing from one emotion to the next. However through it all I choose to be with Nan as much as I can be, to help her as much as I can and to be a helper to her on all levels. She should certainly have no doubts as to my devotion to her. I long for her to have hope again, to feel better, to be moving forward and this coming week is vital for her recovery. I feel like we should have a prayer and annointing service for her but perhaps each of you can pause a moment and seek God's special help on her behalf. God has promised to remember His children and Nan is a loyal child of His.

So we send this blog with our love, we wish we could be with you, anywhere but in a hospital.

tim and nan


  • At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Mustards,

    We enjoyed a good Lunch at Lyons and are sorry to read that it took so long to get something there for Nan to eat that She could tolerate. Some smells are worse than eating the stuff thats doing the stinking.

    Well I'm sure you saw the A's get Swept away by the Tigers. what a "Bummer".(next year).

    Have a good night and We will Pray for Nan's comfort level to improve.

    Much Love To You Both,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 4:04 PM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    We are praying for extra ministering angels to be with both you and Nan on Monday! I wish I could be there with you.... Too many miles between and WAY too much going on here. We will be with you in our thoughts and prayers

    I hope your appraisals went well today and you had a successful day!

    Love and prayers ~ Carol


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