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Hank is back in the hospital again.


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Hi everybody,

After having Hank home for five days he was admitted to the hospital again yesterday.

I called his oncologist yesterday afternoon and told him that he just can't breath. The doctor told me that we had to get him back to the hospital fast because if the breathing situation becomes any worse he would have to put Hank on a ventilator and if that were the case he probably would not come off of it. So, he back in the hospital on IV antibiotics and IV steroids.

Talked to his pulmonologist yesterday. He says that Hanks lungs are so damaged by Emphysema that anything can be aggravating his breathing. He also said that the chemo is naturally reducing his ability to fight off infection and that the chemo is also most likely causing inflammation in his lungs which is reducing his breathing ability.

I have a feeling that we are going to have to make a hard choice. Either treat the cancer, or treat the respiratory issues. It's beginning to sound like we're not going to be able to do both. If that turns out to be the case then I suppose the choice will have to be to treat the respiratory issues. Want good would it do to continue treating the cancer and only be able to sit in a chair breathing oxygen? It certainly would'nt be my choice, and I'm sure it won't be Hank's choice either if it comes down to this.

At the beginning of this battle there were times when I actually thought that this could be well managed at least for quite a while. Now, I just want him to be able to breathe and continue to enjoy himself with whatever time he has left. Leave the cancer alone, maybe it will progress slowly, and let the man live out the rest of his life enjoying it to the max.

Wish I had better news, but this is how it's looking right now.

I will keep you posted.

All the best,

Gail

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Oh No Gail!!! I am so sorry to hear that Hank is back in the hospital. I pray that things get better for him so he can at least breathe. I know you will both make the right decision for Hank. My prayers are with you both.

(((((Hank Gail)))))

Denise

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Gail I am so sorry to hear this. I know that you will make the right choice when the time comes but do not give up hope, cross the bridges as they come and I pray the breathing will improve. I will be thinking of the two of you and praying he improves.

Deb

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Gail... I am so sorry this is happening. I can totaly relate, thats how it got with Dad at the end. the whole if it gets worse we need to put him on a vent speech. I hope what ever you two decide works out for you. My prayers are with you both.

Shelli

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Hi, Gail.

I'm so sorry Hank's back in hospital with respiratory issues.

I can relate; i.e., I know Hank's adenocarcinoma, but squamous cell carcinoma patients such as myself frequently have further growth/metastasis within the chest cavity prior to metastis to other organs, often resulting in death due to respiratory issues.

As a result of that knowledge, I've already given serious consideration to the same ramifications that you expressed so well above and agree with you that dealing with the respiratory issues has to take precedence over the cancer itself.

I've been fortunate so far--dealing successfully with the respiratory issues as they have arisen--but I am fully aware that at some point, hard decisions will have to made.

Hank is very, very lucky to have you at his side, Gail. You're one in a million!

Good luck and best wishes to you both,

Carole

Life is a Terminal Condition

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Hi everybody,

An update on the current situation. Hank remains in the hospital. The anitbiotics and steroids have done little to improve the situation. Spoke to his oncologist today. Latest scans reveal (infiltrates). The doctor believes that this may be a worsening of the cancer.

He wants to try a different chemo on Hank and see if we can get some results and improvement from it. We really have no other options.

Hank had a really bad day today, as did I. Last night they moved him from a really beautiful private room to a semi private room where they were supposed to be able to monitor his breathing more closely. An hour before I arrived at the hospital the elderly gentleman in the next bed passed away. He was still there when I got there, and then his family arrived. My heart went out to them, but Hank and I really did not need to be exposed to this at this point. I told his doctor that I wanted Hank returned to the private room, and they will do that for us.

After leaving the hospital today, I went to the funeral home in town here, to make arrangements. I do hope that something will help Hank at this point. But, I am a realist, and I believe in being prepared.

I hope that things will somehow work out, but I have little optimism that they will.

The wear and tear of the daily trips to the hospital is taking it's toll. I want to be there to keep him company and know whats going on, but I can"t stand being there. When I come home, it's lonely, and I start thinking that he may never be here again. Then, I am compelled to run back to the hospital I am keeping my visits at the hospital relatively short. A couple of hours a day. I think I'm being selfish, but it's also self preservation.

That's all folks!

Thanks for listening,

Gail

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Oh Gail my heart just aches for you, how terrible to have that room switch done at such a terrible time. Do not give up hope, Hank is fighting and being a realist is good but you also need to hang on to the positive thoughts also. I know it is hard, we have married these guys and made them our lives and to have it stolen from us is overwhelming but why they are here we need to make the most of it. I pray the new chemo will work, this breathing issue is so serious and must be dealt with but perhaps they can help both problems while he is there.

My prayers are with you...

Deb

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Oh, Gail. I am so sorry. I was just about to PM you when your posting came through. I figured the news wasn't good when we hadn't heard from you. :cry:

Don't ever feel guilty or selfish about taking time for yourself. That's how you maintain the strength to be there for him when he really needs it. You can't take care of him if you don't first take care of yourself.

Not only that, but speaking as a patient (as vs. family member/caregiver), I have been far more concerned about my loved ones being alright than about myself (my fate is my destiny, it's their fate that concerns me most).

Please, dear, take care of yourself and know that you have done everything you possibly can to make these last months the best possible for him. You can ask nothing more of yourself, nor would he ask more of you.

Affectionately,

Carole

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Gail.

I can completly relate to how you are feeling, as I just went through the same situation with my Dad a few months ago. Its so hard to be at the hospital and so hard to leave. I spent at least 5-8 hours a day there with him, even stayed over night twice. My kids thought I had left them, my 5yr old actual asked me if I didnt love her anymore, she even had drew a picture in her journal at school that was titled " this is a pitcure of Mom going to the hospital to visit grandpa, I dont see her anymore" I about broked down when her teacher showed it to me (thankful a few weeks after the case)

Preparing for funeral arrangements is hard too. But it will save you alot of sanity when that time comes.

I am thinking of you and Hank and hoping for the best!

Shelli

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Hi everybody,

Hav'nt had much to say lately so I hav'nt been here posting. Feeling down hearted and have all but given up hope. Hank remains in the hospital. We thought that maybe he would be able to come home today or tomorrow, but his breathing is still bad, so he's still there. The doctors still are not sure whether they are seeing pneumonia, spreading cancer or both in his lung. They are certain that they now do see cancer in his liver. They gave him his first treatment of Alimta in the hospital on Saturday. He has tolerated it very well, with no side effects at this point. I just hope it will do some good. He is still being treated with antibiotics and is on oxygen 24/7.

That's all for now.

All the best,

Gail

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(((Gail & Hank)))

My prayers continue for you both. I hope the Alimta is a success and his breathing gets better....I hope things improve real soon.

xoxo

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Hey everybody,

Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers.

I got a phone call from Hank a short time ago. The pulmonologist was in to see him after I left the hospital today. I wish I would have been there to hear this conversation, but unfortunately I had already left. The new plan, along with Alimta is a different type of antibiotic (apparently he is building up a resistance) along with some other sort of breathing execises, and in Hanks words "pounding on his chest and back" :lol: Told ya, wish I would have been there to hear this conversation. Hank has never been very good at articulating to me things that his doctors have told him. Anyway, at least there is some sort of new plan in action. We really need for something positive to happen at this point. It does'nt have to be dramatic, just a move in the right direction. We are both feeling scared and defeated. Something good, PLEASE!!!

Thanx guys,

Gail

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Gail, Sounds like a tiny bit of sense of humor creeping in again and I'm really glad. That Hank's tolerating the Alimta is really good and the doctors at least have a plan. Here's hoping he gets results from the new antibiotic. It's been a long haul for the two of you but I've seen so many people on this site up against it and then just turn a positive corner.

Sending positive thoughts and feelings your way.

Judy in Key West

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