Monday, January 28, 2008

Our Second Week at Home

This weekend was a respite. The weather was mild and Sabine got some nice walks in. We were worried this morning as we went to have her labs taken at the clinic as to whether she would need a transfusion if her platelets got too low.

I was able to have the lab fax me the results this morning and after consultation with the U.W. Hematology Clinic they were able to tell me that we did not have to make an special run to the Infusion Clinic.

Sabine was very tired this morning after the lab journey so I did a phone consultation with the GHC nurse in charge of Complex Case Management and met with Sabine's new physician, Dr Deb Williams at the downtown clinic. I walked away from both those encounters feeling more confident that we have a team to address the complexities of myeloma.

We are now at the dialysis clinic in Madison. We will be doing dialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5:30 for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. We continue to pray that after a few weeks when the kidney specialists stop dialysis that Sabine's kidneys will "kick-in." In the meantime, dialysis will be a big part of our life -- but it doesn't have to control our life!

I continue to give Sabine an injection each day of a growth hormone called neupogen during this period of chemotherapy. Neupogen keeps her white blood cells count up. The Home Health nurse came out last week and showed me how to administer the shot (I think I am doing pretty well and have yet to faint!).

Sabine's sister Barbara has taken charge of the kitchen and the diets that Sabine must follow (thank God for that!). The plan is that when Barbara leaves she will present me with a menu I can follow. She and her husband, Ken, have been real helpers having come from their home in Missouri. I sometimes wonder what folks do without friends and family during times of crisis -- it must be terrible.

We have been bouyed up by folks on the myeloma list-serve group who share their journeys with us and I have been especially encouraged by hearing from folks who have been managing this disease for a good number of years. Sabine and I plan on attending the Madison Myeloma Support group next month (it meets the third Tuesday of each month).

Our plumber, Bill, has finished his work in the cottage and Sue, our electrician, plans on finishing up this week. On the way back from our lab work this morning I took Sabine by the cottage and she was excited to what had been accomplished and what we have planned for the "cottage-raising" next month.

We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you all!

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