Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Calm day, very nice new helper, Nan is holding on with courage and humor!

Dear Family and Friends,
This evening as I write I have a small sense of satisfaction, I have just completed entering all the business checks for the the year 2006 into Quickbooks Pro and can now turn over the up to date data to Ken our brilliant tax guy. I feel that God has helped me slow down, sit in the chair and just keep with it until it is done. It is a very humbling experience as I retrace the many times your help with the recover fund made the difference in making the house payment, paying 941 taxes, buying important meds and even food and gas. You have shared thousands with us and nan and I were just talking about where we would be without your kind help. We can only pledge that we will help others in a more involved way than we might have in the past. I am also amazed by the many hundreds of entrys for medical related items, all the way from tickets to medical centers, hotel rooms, meals, rental cars and thousands in medicines, scans and doctor fees. Blue Cross has been wonderful about paying their share which is usually accepted as payment in full for the huge hospital bills which run up at a rate of about $10,000 a day plus tests, scans, surgeries, etc. This is certainly a different way to spend this time of our lives than we would have expected as our lives had actually been sort of boring, just work hard, do some traveling, enjoy family and make few waves, but then our snug little ship was hit by an iceberg, cancer and things will never be the same again. We certainly are not the only ones to be hit hard, nearly everyone I meet has a story to tell of a parent, child, spouse or near relative who is battling with cancer, experts say 1 out of 3 will have cancer of some form in their lifetime.
Nan is doing her very best with her current situation. As I see things she is pretty much on hold with growing tumors, she cannot walk on her own, she cannot eat, she has intense pain most of the time when awake, she is using a lot of pain meds to dull the pain which lets her sleep and have some escape from the intense pain. She is very clear headed, still has her humor and it even has a bite to it at times, she sleeps from 2 to 3 hours and then needs more Dilautid which when handed the push, can do herself providing she does fall asleep with the meds only pushed half way in the picc line. I often find her with the IV push in her hand, fast asleep only to wake a bit and push a little bit more and then fall asleep again. She runs a temperature of 99 to 100 most of the time so we keep the bedroom and the family room cool with a fan moving the air at all times. She has a hard time sitting up straight due to the size and shape of the tumor. This week her left knee is causing lots of pain, other times it is thigh or lower back or side. Her blood is getting low enough that next week we will have a transfusion unless the hemoglobin improves. I think we are moving toward some infection in the urinary tract and have requested that blood and urine samples be taken, so far there has been no doctor follow thru on that request.
We will discuss the possibilities of using the drug, Nexavar, with the doctor on Friday. This drug is approved for kidney cancer but is being used off label for GIST with some pretty amazing results. We may end up with another of those huge bills because I doubt Blue Cross will look kindly to an off use of this drug. So as before we will take one step at a time. I'm told that if it is going to help it does so rather rapidly. AMN has never been known for shrinkage, just stability but Nexavar is shrinking tumors for GIST patients who like Nan were out of other options. So we move forward one day at a time. I am coping fairly well with the challenges we face. We were up many times last night but I compensate by staying in bed and sleeping until about 7:30, I used to get up at 6 to start work but it makes no sense to do that and fall asleep in the chair or behind the wheel due to lack of sleep. We have our routines down pretty well.
Just now Nan let out a whoop, I ran in knowing that she had spilled water on her chest, it happens with some regularity as she falls asleep with a heavy cup in her hand and gravity takes over. This time her hand slipped and it was hot water that she felt, she is OK and we both had a good laught about it. Said she planned to change her gown tonight anyway!
Our new person arrived promptly at 10 this morning. The first impressions were a bit stiff and formal but she is working out to be a very nice and caring person. She does like to have dogs run the house so she and Starr clashed a bit all day. She has the counters clean, the floors clean, the dishwasher unloaded, Nan perfectly cared for and safe. She lives in Stockton so has to drive the dreaded levee roads to reach us but we like her. I don't know her name, tough to pronouce so she has us call her Bean.

Well its time to let you go about your business, I've bent your ear, eyes too long. We are continuing to hold tight to the Lord's hand seeking His help and guidance. It is extremely hard to understand what Nan is having to go through right now, why this is neccessary.

We send our love, our appreciation and we sure look forward to s o m e o n e coming to visit soon. This house is too quiet without friends and family here!


tim and nan


  • At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Well now, a new and improved path to self improvement. Just sit down and enter all your checks and charges into Quickbooks press the summary button and WHAMO! There it is! This is your life! What a revelation! At least in your case Tim, it reflected well on you. For me the story might not be so flattering. I spend a lot of money on stuff. Stuff of little or no consequence. Can you come over and comb my hair for me this morning? I can't stand to look in the mirror!

    Sounds like Nan is in form. Loved the night gown comment. Sounded like the classic lemonade lemon view.

    Enjoy the blessings of the day and may God's promise give you the strength neccessary to face the challenges of this new day.


  • At 4:25 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning!

    Yet another beautiful fall day in NC! No rain ~ but it is a beautiful day with a crispness in the air. Roger is off to play golf in the 45 degree weather. Yes, it is getting light by 8:00 a.m. Soon they will have to take flashlights for their early a.m. tee time.

    I'm glad you have extra help with the agency now. You know Nan is in good hands as you drive those dangerous highways.

    I loved Mary Lou's comment yesterday: "God has already worked His far greater miracle for her: the miracle of true restoration and highest healing--a new heart, a right spirit, a new birth." What a beautiful statement and so true! When our prayers aren't answered according to our will so often we fail to see the the truly great miracles that are so obvious when we take time to look.

    May you both have a good day today. Take time to enjoy the beauties around you, the feel of fall in the air. Look beyond the pain and suffering and see the wonders of God so evident all around.

    Love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,

    We are back from Our Trip to Reno, safe & sound with a good stop for Lunch at Apple Hill, great place for Good Food & Produce this time of Year.

    I agree with George that the recovery funds are "Gifts" Taxes should not apply there . You need to check with your Tax Accountant.

    SS Disability has a 24 month waiting period from the retro active date that payment started for a Medicare Insurance Card so that should be coming up soon depending on when they figured a start date for back benefits due. Got the info from Larry's Accounting Office when We were at Reno.

    Have a good restful evening. We will continue to Pray that Nan will get Pain relief soon.

    Take care,

    Bob & Carrol.


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