Heat of the Battle

Hi everyone, if you don’t follow us on Facebook I’ll update this blog with our battle scars from the last few weeks. We were dealing with the fluid build up by scheduling twice a week thoracentesis “lung drain.” That didn’t feel like the best option and was honestly exhausting for all of us but mostly Brad. It was a lot to manage along with the chemo schedule biweekly. On Friday, November 13th we were waiting for my Brother and family to arrive for an early Thanksgiving and weekend fun watching Russell play soccer in a tournament. Brad’s parents took him to the IR clinic for the “lung drain” and on the way home he was coughing uncontrollably and spitting up the yellow fluid that is normally in the drain bottle. Brad was texting me telling me what was going on and I was calling every nurse line and possible live person to get them to answer on a Friday afternoon.

Brad walked in the door and did not look good so we jumped in the car with his dad driving and drove straight to the closest ER at Truman Lakewood. His oxygen saturation was in the 70% range and his BP was very low. After what felt like an hour on hold I got through to a nurse who said to take him to the ER and suggested an ambulance but we were so close it was faster to just go right then. Those ER people were freaking rockstars! He was in a bed in less than 2 minutes from walking in the door and hooked up to high dose oxygen helping him recover from these coughing spells. It was TERRIFYING! I felt like I was watching him drown before me and he felt the same. Fast forward to 10pm that night, they transferred him to KU Med ICU that night. The first xrays looked like he had pneumonia but the KU Med people put together that the IR department took out too much fluid and it created a vacuum that pulled the fluid into his lung. Of course this is a rare occurrence and one of his nurses had never seen it in 15 years. We didn’t care about all of that once he was diagnosed correctly and they used a special mask to push the fluid back out of his lung.

The next day Brad fought hard to get released so he could make Russell’s soccer game and our family Thanksgiving meal. He organized the menu and prepared the turkey, made sure all ingredients were purchased and edited my list of assembly and cook times…sadly his parents and Whitney ended up pulling off the amazing spread. The next day I went to the hospital to hopefully break him out and our urging moved things along so that he could make the 2nd half of Russell’s game on Sunday. In this wicked battle we find ourselves thankful for things like 30 minutes of a soccer game despite missing the previous two games on Saturday. That day it felt like a freaking miracle!

The best 30 minutes of our weekend! Brad made it to soccer straight from KU Med!
Nothing like a belly laugh after a scary and frustrating weekend!

Between Sunday, November 13th and Wednesday, November 25th we tried to cover every base, make every plan and cover every scenario so that we could still go on our trip to Brad’s sister’s new house in Seabrook, TX. It was pretty dicey coming down to a signature by his doctor on the last day at 3pm. The trip was worth the stress, we got in some fun, relaxation and fun family time together. We did a little shopping and site seeing but mostly stuffed our faces with delicacies from the Gulf. On our way home Brad had a hard time keeping his blood pressure stable. His oxygen helped but it was very scary for him and us to make sure we got down with him in one piece.

This week we have appointments daily with the IR lung drain starting at 8am on Monday, December 1 and oncologist appointment at 11am. We expect to discuss a new chemo pill treatment and further discuss the lung fluid situation and how we can best manage it. The increased diuretics has helped a lot but then we worry about dehydration. This thing is like “whack-a-mole” one thing gets better and something else pops up. But we just keep going, what else are we going to do but fight and figure out the best ways to deal with the almost weekly changed symptoms.

I also wanted to mention while Brad was laying in the ER on 11/13 he “outed” himself on Facebook and let everyone know he was in this fight. While he is still reluctant to share too much he does really enjoy the comments, prayers, encouragements and most of all stories from “back in the day” and notes. I’m posting our mailing address here: 5929 Ne Hidden Valley Drive, Lees Summit, MO 64064. He reads every single card and note we receive. I brings him strength, comfort and entertainment. Our soccer parents also created this meal train to help us with meals and expenses. https://mealtrain.com/g475e8 With all of this crazy our work is suffering, we are doing ok, we are stable but hospitalizations wreak havoc on our normal lives and I’ve felt like I’m running in quicksand trying to keep up. Thankfully the natural slow down of the holidays will help us right side our personal and professional lives so we are ready to go in 2021. I have faith this is just a little speed bump…Brad has been through many of these downturns and comes back fighting harder than ever.

Thank you as always for your prayers, we count God’s blessings and hope you are counting yours as well. For now we are focused on clear minds for work and school and learning how we can best navigate this newer version of Brad’s treatment plan.

God Bless, Kim

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