Susan 12/22

Susan has had a really good day.  They adjusted the way they were doing her pain meds a few days ago, and after another adjustment yesterday, she seems to be holding steady in a good place.  It is such a balancing act – you want to be not too medicated but not too much pain.  I would say it’s more art than science, but well, you know…there is a lot of science going on.  Let’s just say everyone’s different, and it takes someone managing that aspect of her treatment closely to get it right.  Dr. Kraig Russell is that guy – he’s in charge of all of her pain management, and has done a great job getting her to a better spot.  So her alertness level has increased a ton lately.

The only treatment she had today (or has scheduled anytime in the future at this point) was radiation to her back and brain.  Last day to her back is tomorrow (she’s had a great response here) – and she’ll have about 7 more days to the brain.  That will be a slower process we are told.

She still cannot talk, only whisper.  So she’s writing a lot.  We actually figured out today how to use the iPad with my laptop as an external monitor, so that she can type while someone else (like a doctor or nurse) holds it and reads what she’s saying.  I know, pretty cool and geeky at the same time, right?

The kids got to come by this morning and spend some time with her.  It was a good visit and felt at least for a few minutes like we were all just sitting around the house hanging out.  They were telling her about school and parties and neighborhood stuff…the usual.  My brother and sister-in-law and cousins are in town and doing all kinds of fun stuff with the kids, so they are pretty busy and having fun.

It is clear at this point that we will be spending Christmas at the hospital.  Sad, but true.  Right now we are working on a plan that would involve the kids spending the night at the hospital in a room, and Santa visiting Susan’s room while they are asleep.  I think if we approach it the right way, it could actually be fun.  We’ll figure that all out tomorrow.  It would definitely make for a Christmas to remember.

Hero of the Day

I’m going to try out a new thing here, and have a “hero of the day” section.  Hopefully I’ll remember to carry it into tomorrow…there are just so many people around who have done amazing things for us.  Probably won’t ever be able to get to them all, but I thought I’d try to highlight one of them in every post.  Last week Susan was having a hard time with her platelet count.  This was hampering a particular procedure with a long needle.  They won’t stick you if you are sub 50,000.  No one wants to get stuck with a big needle, but in this case she needed it done.  The regular OTC platelets weren’t doing the job.  Her body was zap-frying them as soon as they came in, treating them like enemy hostiles.  Susan’s brother Brian offered to donate his, and Dr Boyd, our oncologist, thought it was a great idea, since siblings are likely to be great matches for donor blood.  Brian zipped over to the Red Cross (with a rX from Boyd) and gave directed platelets, about 3 bags worth.  (He was all shriveled up like a prune when he was done)  They were able to finally give them to her yesterday, and her count soared from 35K to 102K!  This is a massive jump.  It’s pretty cool to see a brother give his little sister his own platelets….and for that reason, Brian is our “Hero of the Day”!

There are many more heroes out there that shall be named.  Each of you is one for reading and praying along with us.  More to come tomorrow.



8 Responses to “Susan 12/22”

  1. Beth Crigler Says:

    Susan and Jerel,

    So glad to hear that today was a good day. I will stop in and check on you all in the morning. Please let me know if I can help get things organizaed for Christmas. Praying for a restful night and great day tomorrow.


  2. Bonnie Owens Says:

    Thinking of you all so often!! Will continue to pray.

  3. Susan Rosenblatt Says:

    Thank you for the update. I was just praying for Susan as I was cleaning the kitchen. Your story about Christmas at the hospital brought back a flood of wonderful memories for me. My family also spent Christmas Eve/Day in the hospital with my Mama while she was battling cancer. The hospital administration provided a board room big enough to host our family dinner (including aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) as well as masks for everyone. Those were kind of hard to eat in but it was fun watching everyone try. We were able to have our traditional dinner and gift exchange with the kids/grandkids and spend time with Mama too. I think you are on to something. Christmas is a time to be with our loved ones to celebrate Jesus’ birth and if that’s in a hospital room….then so be it! After all, the first Christmas was in a stable!!!

    God bless and keep you and your family in the days to come. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

    In His Grace….Merry CHRISTMAS,
    Susan (Whitney Gray’s Friend)

  4. Catherine Warner Says:

    Hey Jerel,
    Many here in our church are praying… and of course, Chris and I are throughout the day everyday. I wish I was local and could jump in to serve in some way…but I know prayers are powerful. Thrilled to hear the platelet story and looking forward to many more. Besides healing and restoration, we are praying that each of you would be surrounded in mercy and hope and his love in ways to bring comfort, peace and and joy.
    much love,
    Chris and Catherine

  5. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    Thanks so much for keeping up posted on progress – we continue to pray – I love the hero of the day story.

    Our constants love and prayers,

    Steve and Charlotte

  6. Amy Murphy Says:

    So glad that Susan had a good day yesterday!! Sounds like you have put her pain management into good hands – what a blessing!! Please know that we think of you all constantly and prayers and positive thoughts are coming your way from snowy, cold Michigan!! As for Christmas in the hospital – it definitely sounds like it will be something amazing to remember!! Back in my previous life as a hospital nurse, Christmas Eve was my favorite night to work. I actually used to trade with people so I could work then. It was so amazing to see Santa in action… and there is truly nothing better than seeing kids waking up on Christmas morning to realize that Santa actually visits hospitals too! Enjoy!! I know it will be great! We love you guys!! -Amy and Lance

  7. LeAnne Says:

    We continue to pray for you each day and believe that God will heal you! If there is one thing I have learned about you through this entire experience, you and your husband have a love that is special and unique. You all minister to everyone who reads your blog daily as to how marriage should be, a love filled with tenderness, respect and admiration for one another. Thank you both for sharing your lives with us all and enriching us daily in our marriages! God is using you to encourage us all to be better spouses! Merry Christmas, Susan! I love you!
    LeAnne (Schoonhagen) Gardner

  8. adrienneguyett Says:

    The Guyett’s are praying for you. Susan and Jerel, through you ministering and genuine kindness, you brought us to Christ and we will owe you all we have and more forever. We miss you and love you. As you may remember, we have traveled several times down the cancer road with family members and if we can do anything, please, please let us know. We know that all things happen as part of God’s plan and we know that your story, not just of Susan’s illness, but of your love for each other and your wonderful family. You have touched our lives and we know that you have touched hundreds of others. Peace and love to you now in the holiday season and all through the year! WE LOVE YOU!!!

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