Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Friday, October 26, 2007

Nan faces the challenges of being at home...

Dear Family and Friends,
Since I last wrote a lot has happened here. We went to bed last evening shortly after I wrote the blog message but did not fall asleep until 2:30 in the AM. Nan was restless and experienced something that we have seen before, the different bed with a flat surface instead of the adjustable bed at the hospital. She was restless and nauseous but was not in a lot of pain. She made the transition from recliner to bed with remarkable strength considering she had been in bed for nearly two weeks. We discovered that the stomach suction was not functioning well. So over and over again I injected small amounts of water into the tube in hopes of dislodging the jam but to no avail. At 2:30 I gave her a second dose of Adavan and she went immediately to sleep and did not wake until 6 am. I had to give her antibiotic at 3 but was able to rise, prepare the little bottle, hook it up to her arm without waking her at all. We tried to reach Terry during the night but found only an answering machine. Nan asked to go downstairs knowing that often when she moves about the blockage in the tube passes so we waited until we heard Dana up and then Marilyn also heard us and we helped Nan go down to her chair. As soon as we sat her in the chair the suction began to work and pumped several CC's of fluid out but then stopped and only worked on occasion during the day. She has had nausea several times and we've used Zophram. We have also helped her sleep with small doses of Adavan. The Dilautid pump appears to be working perfectly and yes sometimes breakout pain happens but mostly the pain is being controlled pretty well. Dana has been cooking and having food odors in the house is new to her and she has had to adjust to that a bit. Marilyn has been right beside her all day and when Nan sleeps then Marilyn can catch some winks as well. Nan is fully alert, has a stronger voice but does not feel all that well. She has had a good day really considering all things.
This afternoon Julie, our favorite wound care nurse, came to see Nan and to change nephrostomy dressings, do the tummy wound and assess Nan's needs. PT will come next week.
This morning a call came in from Reach, the working arm of Bayer that handles Nexavar. The nice lady said that a 14 days treatment had been approved, that they were going to appeal the insurance decision not to pay during the time and if the insurance continued to decline they would cover another 14 days and then probably cover the entire cost of the drug due to our low income level in 2006. When Nan woke I was able to give her the good news, she was delighted. Alice from the oncology office also called to confirm the same information. These people really work hard to help.
Dana has fed us 3 meals today and tonight's was great, lunch was whole beans and corn bread, very excellent.
I have tried to use the time I had to try to catch up on important work at my desk. I have stayed tied to the desk as well as I could and accomplished a lot. I have such considerate clients who all ask about Nan when they call.
This evening we have Keanna for a sleepover and she loves to watch DVDs with Dana. Just before dark we went to the park, walked the dogs and enjoyed the dusk time. Now Keanna is heading to bed and will be sleeping in her own bed in Dana's room, how special for her.
This morning due to the luxury of having Marilyn here I went back up at 7:30 and slept until 9:15 as I had very little rest last night. It is hard to explain what a relief it is to have Marilyn with us. She is no shy flower but speaks up, learns the medical things we do for Nan and helps keep track of what is happening and when. She is a huge help to us. Having Dana here means we get to eat and have a variety of meals which are all professionally prepared and very good. She misses her husband Ronnie and they talk often.
This has been a week of challenges and small victories. We are very thankful for an excellent medical facility like John Muir, for the safe if bumpy trip home and to get the chance to be home again. We seek God's hand in keeping the suction working for Nan's comfort, for the speedy arrival of the drug and for God protecting hand over all.
We are thankful for the Sabbath hours which means no work, rest and fellowship. How precious it is to not be alone but to be surrounded by love and help.
So this evening as we enjoy the blessings of being home we encourage you to also be thankful for your home and family. The greatest blessings are the ones closest by, the ones we tend to overlook until their existence is threatened. Love the one you are with... listen to them, care for them and treasure them.

tim and nan and marilyn and dana and keanna


  • At 5:10 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Happy Sabbath!

    What a blessing to have Dana and Marilyn there to help you. It would be quite a job for you by yourself. Somehow I think you would find a way to handle it however. It is nice to have an extra pair of hands or so. Now you have a full time nurse and a cook! What more could you want? Well, maybe to have Nan be well, taking care of herself, doing her own cooking and able to enjoy eating it. She makes a mean "Fry Chick"!

    Our day slows only slightly today. I'm in charge of pot luck at church. We have to leave early to set up, then serve at noon then the clean up. Remember those days? I usually enjoy doing it, but the timing isn't quite right this week. It's been a long hard week for me. After cleaning 5 cottages on Sunday things should slow down a bit. We'll make it! Help MAY be on the way. We hope and pray it is.

    May today be a good day with friends and family. Good news about the new meds! We pray it will shrink those nasty tumors and give Nan some relief from pain.

    Love and Prayers ~ Carol

  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Praise the Lord for small miracles! So glad to hear the new drug may be on its way. We'll continue to pray that it will do some good. Happy Sabbath!


  • At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Happy Sabbath from Lodi,

    Just got My sister fed breakfast and off to visit with Mother. Carrol is still sleeping, need to wake Her soon for Med's. Her Knee seems to be mending well, She is walking on Her own now quite nicely and the Dr says 1 week and He will take a look at it again.

    What a deal You have with two full time helpers !, Food & Care can't beat that combo. Now to get the new med for Nan and let the Shrinking Began!

    Have a restful Sabbath and as always We continue in Prayer for Nan to have relief from pain and tumor growth.

    Love You,

    Bob & Carrol.

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