Monday, April 10, 2006

Prayer Update

Thank you everyone for your prayers, and especially for passing it out to prayer chains etc.

Your prayers have been availing, and we are all deeply touched.

On Saturday we had been told that Dad was a category B patient - that means he had a "DNR" (do not resuscitate) notice on his file. That was a huge shock and just about finished us off.

Sunday I went in and sat on the ward for 1 1/2 till a doctor saw me. I was told that Dad definately had T-Cell lymphoma. They had removed 80% of his small intestine but that the cancer had already spread to his bowel. He is so malnourished, and dehydrated. The lack of albumen means that the fluids they were giving him were leaking from his bloodstream into the soft tissue. His legs, arms and chest cavity had filled. The pressure on his lungs was causing him to breathe shallowly, further straining his heart. They also thought he showed signs of infection. Whislt I was there, the doctor gave my Dad the news.

The boys went in to visit their Grandad in the afternoon, which made a noticable difference to his mood - naturally, he had been knocked for six by the news, especially as we had been told last Friday before the op that test results "categorically" showed no cancer.. Whilst there, W managed to fall over quite badly, outside the hospital, and so Roarke and I spent 1 1/2 sitting in A&E with him, waiting for his golf ball size lump to be checked out and tests done for concussion! Fortunately, he was given the all clear and after medicine and a short sleep, perked up.

We have agreed as a family that I will deal with the hospital staff and be their contact for information into and out of the family (as I used to work in the NHS). My sister in law will take on the separate issue of making a complaint, with some serious allegations to be made. This way we keep the two issues separate. Her experience as a senior architect working with the NHS on the new Kings Cross hospital, as well as her general all round experience of "getting results", makes her ideal for this.

This leaves Mum free to "deal" with Dad and be his main "happy coach", dedicated on keeping him positive (as Mum herself beat lymphoma 20 yrs ago). My brother, and Roarke, will help keep us all going and visit/help as their hours allow. I understand its particularly frustrating for my brother to not be able to be more involved, and my heart goes out to him.

Today, I went in to see Dad - having got permission to visit during the morning outside of normal visiting hours. I spoke with two registrars, a doctor, the nutrionist and the surgeon who operated on him. Dad has had a successful bowel movement, which is good, plus the pneumonia is responding to antibiotics. His hydration is also much better. The nutrition is still slow progress, and Dad is having a CT scan to see if the bowel is deterioating further, and also to check any progress of the cancer. However, until he is stronger, cancer treatment remains academic really.

The positive news today, though, as that he has been downgraded to Cat A and the DNR removed. That is such a huge relief to us, particularly to Mum.

I'm home tonight, and back up tomorrow - probably to stay overnight with the children too at Mums to give her more company, and to save on the fuel.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

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