Oops - Jack told me I'm behind in updating the journal. There's not all that much to tell, though. Jack was discharged from the hospital at MD Anderson a little over a week ago, on May 20. He came home with tanks of oxygen, tons of antibiotics and other drugs, and a smile on his face! He is incredibly weak, but being in your own bed at night makes a world of difference when it comes to healing. The workload for me has increased but I don’t mind – it is better for us to be at home. Jack will gradually be weaned from the oxygen – probably at the same rate that his pneumonia is cured. The pneumonia is being treated but it leaves him easily out-of-breath when he exerts himself at all – a walk of more than a dozen yards requires a short rest.
Jack continues to be plagued by nausea and is lucky if he manages to eat and drink more than 400-500 calories in a day – when I hug him, his bony shoulders always come as a surprise. Where did these come from?! The nausea is a side-effect of one or more of his antibiotics, which will have run their course on Sunday. Hopefully, by Monday, he will be able to eat more. He still has some serious diet restrictions, since his new immune system is still very immature.
Tests show that the protein markers for Jack’s cancer have increased since March, so he will be re-tested next month. Jack’s blood is now in pretty good shape – whatever shortcomings he has there are all expected and should improve over the next few months. Jack will start physical therapy soon, which should help him overcome the de-conditioning the resulted from four weeks of little activity. We hope that in the next few weeks, we will be able to get out of the house once in a while. Jack is now allowed to be around other people, as long as he is not among crowds, and as long as visitors do not have sniffles or coughs. We had the joy of having our 5-year old grand daughter spend the night last night – Jack rested through most of the visit, but I got a chance to join her in cutting out snowflakes, constructing new Lego delights, frying up some sliders, and watching dozens of Batman episodes. We have missed the fun of children and still find the hardest part of the past few months has been the isolation from grandchildren.
Praise goes to Mark S for being a great traveling companion and bag/tank handler on long afternoons and evenings at MD Anderson. And thanks goes to the many friends who have continued to buoy Jack (and me) with your hopes and prayers and love. There are not enough words to express our thanks; you have blessed us in innumerable ways!
Love and hugs to all –
Sue and Jack