Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Have Holes in My Side

Just wanted to touch base with everyone. Yesterday, the chest tube came out and it was pretty sore, however, it feels a little better this morning and I have gotten some news. My transplant doctor was able to come in last night and spoke with me. She is expecting news from the lung biopsy in the next couple of days. Once we know what is going on there, we will be able to proceed with the transplant; the doc was optomistic about getting on the transplant schedule right away. That is really good news, I hope the Docs get the results from the biopsy soon, it is tough to wait again.

The picture shows the area where the chest tube is covered with some protective foam padding. Directly above the pad is the cut they had to make (the back part is covered by the foam) to get the pieces of lung they needed for the biopsy. There are also two scars you can see above the incision for the biopsy. Those scars are both earlier chest tubes that were put in. The difference from those chest tubes, to the one they put in here at Froedtert most recently is the diameter of the tube going into the chest cavity. The latest tube had a larger diameter than my two scars. As I said, things are starting to feel a little better as of last night. GO Brew today against the Cardinals.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Chest tube out, the lady taking it out said it was like a sword in your lung while you are trying to breathe. I do not like chest tubes. Hopefully healing will go quickly so I can continue to gain strength for the bone marrow transplant.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In da Club ... & by club I mean hospital

Hanging out in the hospital after my VATS PROCEDURE. It supposedly went well, but this chest tube and the surgery has been a very sore experience. The incision is just under my armpit, so the muscles there are very tender whenever I try to move my right arm. That incision is just above the chest tube, so that makes it sore as well. I also ended up with a minor fever, but I got through that ok this morning. They did have to do blood cultures (that means that even though I have a pick line, they have to stick me). The pick line is shown in the picture, they draw blood from there and also can administer lots o' drugs and fluids and stuff. Just have to be very careful they say clean, they can be a source of bacteria and infection. Molly and I have a funny nickname for them, but if you want to know, you'll have to throw out some guesses on Facebook or something. I'm not telling. I do have to say it again, the food here is pretty darn good, I had a decent baked potato for lunch today and am thinking about the steak for dinner.

Brew won again tonight, keeps them 10 1/2 games up on Cards assuming they win (up 5-4). Already stated in last post, but I am really looking forward to football season and fantasy football to really get going. I have gotten some reading done while in the hospital, I am 560 pages into 'Storm of Swords' which is the Third book in the Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series. It was made into a show on HBO, and I can't wait for that to come out on DVD. I also tucked a Stephanie Meyer (The Host) in, thanks to L. MAZ, and I have a couple of James Patterson's thanks to N. HUNDT and D. NAVS.

Molly starts work tomorrow, I am really going to miss Homestead High School this year. From the students and great staff, to the coaching and excitement of a new school day each day. I remember thinking while I was at school, just before I was diagnosed, so I was feeling ill, how sometimes school was so tough. A student may have a bad day, Scott Walker may have done stupid things, I may have a disagreement with a peer, or just not feel well...but looking at it now, it is one of those things that really makes you think. Going to work each day, to a job I love and staff who are a joy, mostly :), to be around, something new everyday for better or worse. I am blessed and I can't wait to get back to it.

Oh well, enough rambling. Have a great night, Go Brew, Go PACK, Go HHS Boys Soccer, GO back to school teachers and know how awesome you all are~

Friday, August 26, 2011

Surgery (VATS) Day

Today is the day that I get my lung biopsy done. I am a little bummed because it is general anesthetic, so I had to stop eating and drinking at 12am last night. Too bad, I heard the breakfast at Froedtert was good. Last night I had some of the food and it was a nice surprise, kind of better than the usual hospital food. My nurse said she would let me know when it was time to go to surgery. I know Molly posted something on caring bridge, but it is not a major surgery, it is a VATS procedure. According to the Rush University Medical Center website, VATS is "Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat illness or injury to the lung and other organs in the chest cavity (thorax). During VATS, a tiny camera with a light source is inserted through a small incision between the ribs. A second small incision is used to insert special instruments between the ribs into the chest cavity." SO we are hoping they can treat whatever is going on in my lungs so that I can get to transplant asap! No matter what they find, we still go to transplant as that is my best hope for long term survival, we are just hoping that it can be treated quickly and effectively.

Brewers and Packers are both on tonight, hopefully I wont be too drugged out to watch them. I also need to start doing some research for my fantasy team drafts coming up, I figure since I will have more time, I better do a halfway decent job this year.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bad News

Molly and I were called into Froedtert today to talk a transplant doctor. Unfortunately, because my lungs are in such bad shape, they cannot do the transplant on the 6th. I go in on Thursday for a lung biopsy/surgery Friday. Depending on the results of the tests, they will then reschedule the transplant. Bone marrow transplant is still the plan, but it will be delayed. The doctor indicated he doesn't feel that the delay will be more than a couple of weeks and he doesn't feel his hospital stay for the surgery will be longer than a couple of days.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wow, January to August!

I have cancer. Yes, crazy but true. March 16th before I got out of school, I got a phone call letting me know that I had Leukemia. It is such a long story, with many twists and turns, that rather than blog all about it, I am posting the Caring Bridge site that has followed the journey.


GO 1st place Milwaukee Brewers and I am looking forward to watching the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Homestead boys soccer got started, they have some talent and with hard work can make a great season out of things. The new ice rink is looking good and the HHS Boys Hockey team looks like they can come back from a winning season and move far in the playoffs. All things I will be keeping a close eye on as I battle Leukemia. Picture below from June 12...only 132 pounds at the time.

At this time, I am getting ready to get a bone marrow transplant at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin. Now, heading to Froedtert at 175 pounds and ready to get a transplant! I head in on the 29th of this month. I am going to use this blog to stay in touch and let people know how things are going.