Happy Thanksgiving from the Harbin’s

I would like to say happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends here in America. Also to every one out in blog land.

Charlotte and I are truly blessed by my kids, and grandkids. Even though I have been battling cancer and Charlotte with her health problems we both know that God has blessed us and watched over us while we were going through it.

Our Houston kids, Kansas kids, Could not come for Thanksgiving. Our Amarillo son had to work at the fire department, Amy and the boys were over at her folks. I had planed to take Charlotte to a restaurant so she could have her turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving. We got there at around 10 after 11:00, hoping to get there early enough to beat the crowd. There were people out on the sidewalk and in the parking lot. We decided to go back home and Charlotte made the best home made pizza for lunch. This beat any restaurant food any day of the week.

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2nd. Lumbar Puncture

Yesterday 11/20/2017 I went to BSA Hospital to have my 2nd of 4 lumbar punctures.. The procedure only takes 30 to 45 minutes.. Again I had to lay on my stomach on this hard x-ray table and had a pillow for my head and chest area. They put some blankets under my knees to make them comfortable, and another pillow under my feet. This time when they started the procedure I felt the little pinch where I was given a shot so I would not feel the needle going to my spine. I felt a little more discomfort this time but it still wasn’t too bad.

I know that they had to take some fluid out to be able to add the chemo fluid. When they are removing the fluid they would make the head of the table come up to about a 30 degree angle. After a bit I heard one of the techs say that it had stopped running. The doctor that administers the chemo had just came in and they asked him about the fluid stopping. He told them to raise the head of the table a little more. I already knew that there was a plate at the foot of the table that would stop me from sliding off, but they informed me of it any way to give me some peace of mind. The head of the table came up to about 40 or 45 degrees. In a couple of seconds I heard them saying that it was flowing again. I think they had to get 10 cc out before the could inject the chemo in.

Shortly after that the table came back down to level and the tech said he was through and the needle had been removed. The nurses moved a gurney up to the x-ray table and I just rolled from my stomach to my back on the gurney. This is when the 6 hours on my back in the hospital starts before I get to go home. I was taken back to my room by a transporter. When I got there it was written on their board that I could go home at 5:30 pm.

While in my room I talked with my son who had brought me up. Charlotte wasn’t sure if she should go up to the cancer floor quit yet due to her illness she was getting over. I ordered me some lunch since I have had nothing since last night. I had some BBQ brisket, fried Okra, and a piece of chocolate cake. Either I was hungry or something but it was very good.

I talked to Charlotte on the phone, she said guess what I made you. She had made me from scratch cherry pie. Plus she was making home made chicken and dumplings. I cant wait to get home now. It was around six when I got home, of course my sweet wife made me stretch out in the recliner and then she brought in the chicken & dumplings, Then the Cherry pie MMM it was good. I had to finish out the rest of the 24 hours of laying flat either on the couch, in my recliner, or in the bed. Yea it is over I can get up and stay up if I want.

The reason you have to stay flat on your back (but you can get up tp go to the bathroom) is so you don’t get a very severe headache from the spinal fluid leaking out.

Yea did I say that I only have one more chemo treatment, and two more Lumbar punctures.

The Misadventures of Jim and Charlotte. Last day

For some reason I woke up around 4:45 in the AM. I put me on some coffee went and set back waiting on it to make. While setting there I remembered that the nurse at the doctors office told us that we need to wash our cloths separate from each others. Coffee is ready so I poured me a cup sipped a little then got to work. We have some gloves that we use when I have my chemo. I am not used to doing the laundry after all Charlotte has been doing for the past 52 years. I put on the gloves, started digging the clothes out of the laundry hamper. Put mine in one pile, and Charlotte’s in another, then the towels. I said ok Lord help me not mess anything up. I washed every thing in hot water and even though some loads were small I went a head washed them under the large load setting.  I finished up every thing but the towels before I left for the hospital.

I called Charlotte to let her know that I would be heading that way shortly. I told her that I washed the clothes and that they may not be up to her standard. She told me that they haven’t released her yet but that she will be coming home today. She just kept talking and talking which told me that she is a lot better. Finally I said if you want me to come up there you are going to need to get off the phone. She giggled and we hung up. I wasn’t up there very long before the doctor came in and said I bet you would like to go home. Charlotte said sure, after talking a bit the doctor said that she would go and write up the discharge orders. Things started happening so fast. I had to go to the bathroom again and I was gone longer than usual. Any way I got back and started to gown up when Charlotte said that the transporter was on his way to pick her up and take her down. So I gathered every thing up and went to get the car.

I still hadn’t heard any thing back from My doctor yet about my test for C Diff, and I was getting nervous about it. We got Charlotte in the car and headed out toward home. We decided that we would go and turn in the prescriptions at the drug store first. We got to our drug store but they told us that they did not have one of the drugs that she needed. So we drove to another one and while we were waiting to see if they had every thing I received a phone call from my doctors office. Amen I was told that the test came back negative and that I did not have C Diff. So that tells me my problem is from the chemo. I have started taking some meds for that and I am doing better also.

Charlotte has been home two days now and she is doing great. Little sore from the fall but the other problem has subsided.

The Misadventures of Jim and Charlotte. Day 2

Day 1. After being up at the hospital with Charlotte all day, I was glad when they got her into a regular room. I was so tired from walking back and forth to the bathroom. I have been having stomach issues for quite some time. The closest restroom from Charlotte’s ER room was in the waiting room lobby, and the pedometer on my phone showed I had walked about a mile and a half. I know that doesn’t sound like much but I am working on getting my strength back. After making sure she was all settled in I headed home for the evening.

Day 2. My son Jeff got off work at seven a.m. So I waited to call him until he had a chance to get home. I finally called him and told him his mother was in the hospital. He said do what!  Why didn’t you call me. I explained his mom’s wishes that she did not want him to take off work to come up there. Anyway he told me to give him about 20 minuets to get home and get cleaned up then we would go up to the hospital. I called mom and told her that we would be up there as soon as Jeff gets over to the house. She told me that I need to take him for some Kolaches for breakfast and that I was to pay for it. I think she is wanting to soften him up for when he gets up to hospital. She also told me that she does have C Diff and that when we get to her room we will need to put on a gown and rubber gloves before we can go in.

We got up to the hospital and donned our gown and gloves. When we went in Charlotte  already looked so much better. She was getting the meds she needed to battle that infection. Jeff started talking to mom about not calling him. He told her again that one of the perks for working at the fire department is that they are very family oriented. Besides I am a grown adult and that I want to be there for you and dad.  He was trying to text his brother and sister with the gloves on he was having trouble hitting the little letters on his phone, so I let him use mine it was bigger. He told them what he had just found out about mom. He also gave the phone number directly to her room. Sure enough it wasn’t long before CeAnne called, first to find out how she was doing and then getting on her like her brother did. We all broke out laughing.

Then the subject came up about me bringing Charlotte to the ER. Jeff being a paramedic and now a fireman paramedic told us what if she was having a stroke or a heart attack. By not calling for an ambulance it would be losing precious time for getting treatment. Plus you would get admitted faster.

I was still having problems with the D word. Some times when I need to go I need to go. I would have to hurry take off my gown and gloves, wash my hands with hot water and soap, then make a mad dash down the hall and hope no one was in there. Every once in a while I might have a little accident but nothing to bad.

I got to wondering if maybe I had C Diff and that I might have passed it on to Charlotte. We got to talking with each other about this and that with me being on Chemo I sure did not need this. I called Dr. Z office and explained the situation on what was going on with Charlotte. They told me to come by the office pick up a kit, then give a sample and drop it by the lab. The cancer center was next door to the hospital and was connected by a tunnel so I went over right then.

Charlotte was doing good so I took Jeff home and went home to get some rest for the night.

 

The Misadventures of Jim and Charlotte. Day 1

This has been another one of those crazy weeks. It started Monday night, Charlotte was just so cold and miserable. She set in her chair with two blankets over her. When she did decide to go to bed, she was kind of wobbly as she headed for the bed room.

We both woke up around six am. I watched her head toward her bathroom then I got up and headed for the one that I use. Since I have been on Chemo we started using different bathrooms. I had just started my business when I heard this loud bang. I rushed back into the bed room and Charlotte was laying on the floor with this little table turned over next to her. All of the jewelry, and the phone was scattered all over her treadmill. Thanks to that table she could have hit her head on the treadmill. It totally scared me to death I did not know what was going on, when she started coming around I asked her what happened. She said that she remembered reaching for the table to help steady her self, but then she did not remember any thing else.

You have to know Charlotte, she is very bull-headed when it comes to going to a doctor let alone to a hospital. I told her that I was going to call an ambulance and she said no. I said at least let me help you get up, she said no since your cancer you are not as strong as you used to be. She rolled over and crawled to the bed and used it to get up on. After laying there a few minutes she decided that maybe she better go to the ER. I helped her get dressed then I got dressed. I went out to the car and pulled it out of the garage around to the front yard up as close as I could to the front door. As I was walking her to the car I told her that if she goes down again I will call an ambulance.

It took about an hour to check in to the ER and then taken back to a room. Once she got to the room they got busy checking vitals, asking questions, and looking her over. We told them that she passed out and landed on a table. They took an ex-ray of her ribs to make sure she did not break any and thank goodness none were broken. Then they did a CT scan of her head and stomach area. Drew blood, started an I V with the solution on full drip because she was very dehydrated.

About three weeks ago Charlotte had a UTI infection and the doctor put her on some antibiotics. Shortly after she started taking them she started having the big D word. After telling this to the nurse he asked if we had ever heard of C Diff, we told him no. He said that this is in everyone’s intestines and that some times when a person takes an antibiotic it could trigger C Diff. The only test for this is to give a stool sample. The ER doctor came in and told Charlotte that she will be admitted to the hospital so they could continue looking for the problem.

Our son was at work at the fire department and works 24 hour shifts. I told her that I was going to let him know. Charlotte said no don’t bother him because he would take off work and come rushing up here. I respected her wishes and did not call him or any of the kids.

Blessed Veterans Day

There our several restaurants here that offer the veterans a free meal. Today Charlotte and I went to On The Border for lunch. Of course mine was taken care of by the restaurant. When I asked for the check so I could pay out, the waiter told us that it was all ready taken care of.🌮

What a true blessing.

My Story of Fighting Cancer. Part 9

Great News. I had an MRI of my liver Sunday morning. I had to lay on my back for forty minutes inside that tight tube. unable to move. I had to breathe as normal as possible. And I had to take in a deep breath and hold it at what seemed like forever, I bet I had to do this 15 times.

Well it was worth it for my liver was normal, and the blood test that I had this morning 11/06/2017 came out normal also. I was able to do my fifth and next to last Chemo. Dr. Z seemed to think that the labs from last week had an error in it making my liver enzymes read high.

My Story of Fighting Cancer. Part 8. Part 2

Well I went in today 10/30/2017 for my 5th Chemo treatment. After having blood work taken I went up to see Dr. Z. After visiting with him and having him look me over the way he does, I was told that they were just waiting on the lab work before I go down to start my chemo.

After a bit he came in and told me that my liver enzymes were up and that I would not be doing chemo today. I asked him what caused this problem. He said that it could be the lymphoma but he did not think so because the body scan did not show any thing. Or it could be just a mix up on the labs part. Or it could be due to the medication that I was given when I had the Lumbar puncture. One of the side effects of chemo drug they gave me for the lumbar puncture will effect the liver, so if that is the case I am sure Dr. Z will order a different med for the next treatment.

He has ordered and MRI of my liver and then I will have my chemo next Monday. I feel so good that I am sure they will find nothing seriously wrong and I can get back on scheduled.

My Story of Fighting Cancer. Part 8.

Well I have had the first Lumbar Puncture yesterday 10/27/2017. To prepare for this I had to stop taking my 81 mg Aspirin and also the blood thinner that I was on five days before the procedure. I was not to eat or drink anything 8 hours before I came in.

My appointment was at 12:30 pm at the hospital. When I got there and checked in I was told that they would have to admit me for I would have to lay flat on my back for 6 hours before I could go home. I was admitted on the 8th floor which was the same floor I was on back in August, the nurses remembered me so I don’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. They did hug me though so maybe it was a good thing. They told me the reason I was brought up there was due to me being on chemo and so I could not be in the day surgery area for fear of me getting an infection.

When I was taken down for the procedure I had to lay on my stomach on a x-ray table. They did an image of my back so they would know where to place the needle. I felt the first little pinch where they gave me the deadening shot. I could feel some pressure when he put the needle in my spine. He said he was to remove 12 cc of spinal fluid for Dr. Z and then he would put in the chemo drug. Dr. Z ordered this he said to prevent further cancer, sure hope it works. I may have to have this done 3 or 4 more times but now I know what to expect. After I got home I had to continue to stay flat on my back for a total of 24 hours from the time of they completed the procedure, well I could get up to potty.