When we found out that the chemo was working, we were very happy, and so was everyone else. It was very short lived excitement. Craig has been so sick that it is hard to be happy. Like people and doctors say, “If you can survive the chemo and side trips, you can probable survive cancer.” We already have had too many side trips.
Sunday, March 13, we went to Timpanogos Hospital. Craig had been going downhill for a few days and Sunday we felt like someone had pulled the plug on his energy. By that evening he was even throwing up water that he drank. So I hauled his butt to the ER. Hate to show up at the ER for fluids but they said that it was good that I brought him in because he was so dehydrated, it wouldn’t have been good at all to wait until morning.
They gave him 2 liters of fluid and two doses of nausea medicine. We told them of the pain that he was having in his stomach and they said that we needed to tell his GI doctor that we needed to be seen ASAP. That was the start of a long week.
The GI doctor was able to see us on Tues, March 15th. When the doctor saw that Craig had lost another 7 lbs. since his appointment on March 2nd, he wanted to do an upper GI scoping to see what was going on. We met him at the hospital that evening for the procedure. Craig really wanted them to find something to treat so that all he had to deal with was the cancer. We feel like we can beat cancer, it’s all of the side trips that he is taking that have us worried. When they brought him back the nurse said, “Your husband is pretty chewed up inside.” Sad to be happy that he was in such awful shape, but happy that they found something and we can move forward. The doctor came in and told me he has multiple ulcers down his esophagus and severely inflamed small intestine. Yea, we see why he has been hurting so much. Now, more medicine to help calm everything down inside of his body.
Thursday, March 17th, we again went to get fluids. I wanted to order the meat and potato kind of fluid but all they had was regular saline. (just joking grandma) The nurse was very worried about him and the amount of weight that he had lost again. He’s down a total of 39 lbs from 189 to 150. I don’t know if he even weighed that little in Jr. High, he is pretty skinny. Sorry for those of you men that weigh around 150, you need to put on some weight, especially if you are 6 feet or taller, it just isn’t right. We women like something to hold on to besides skin and bones. The nurse wanted us to come back the next day for more fluids and she was going to tell Dr. Breyer the situation and see what she had to say. Upon arrival the next day they told us that we were set him up to get a feeding tube that afternoon. “We are here to PUMP you up”. Bring it on! Bring on the calories!
As we walked out of the office, after getting the feeding tube installed, a little girl started staring at him. Craig said, “Not just a skinny bad man, but a skinny bad man with a tube hanging out of his nose. When we got home Dallin was out in the driveway and caught a look at Craig, “Dad there is something hanging out of your nose”, Craig’s response was, “Oh shoot I need a tissue, I just sneezed”.
Craig is now sleeping with a pump that feeds 1500 calories into his body during a 12 hour period during the night. He needs to sleep on a little bit of an incline so that the fluids don’t back up during the night. What a night! He was up 7 or 8 times with what you would call, “full fluid bowel movements”. I slept better than he did. I was only up for 5 or 6 of them. I will stop there, it is already too graphic and that’s not where it ended. We are hoping that there is just an adjustment period to the feeding tube; I believe that everything that went in came out. Craig just walked into the kitchen, I told him he had something hanging out of his nose, hoping that he would get embarrassed and think he needed a tissue, he caught on very quickly that it was the feeding tube dangling.
The bright side of things, the chemo is working, the cancer is decreasing. We did have a wonderful experience on Friday morning. Timpanogos High School where McKaye and Ashlyn are currently attending came to us a few weeks ago and told us that our family had been chosen to receive money raised from “Penny Wars”. Yesterday we were able to go to the school and receive a check from the school along with money raised by Costa Vida restaurant. We live in an amazing area where we have amazing people who love us along with our family.
We have tried to teach our children to be giving to others and that you will receive blessing for doing so. I guess now we are receiving those blessing and will continue to pay it forward.
Thank you to family and friends that have sat with us during chemo, sat with us and cried, sat with us and laughed, and have sat with us and listened.