Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blood x2 and more fun


Here is your Saturday-evening-FullSail-sipping-Rockies-watching-update about our little family and how Kurtis is doing.

After the crazy, long, exhausting Thursday, I had to get Kurtis up early to go back to the hospital so that he could have a blood transfusion.  The chemo wipes out his hemoglobin (red blood cells which do stuff with oxygen) and getting blood helps bring that number back up towards normal.  The process takes a lot longer than you might imagine - about 4.5-5 hours total for two units (bags) of blood.  There are some interesting related procedures to blood transfusions like the crazy amount of cross-checking and special A-Z combo locks, but even though it is time consuming, for Kurtis it is fairly simple.

Unfortunately, this can't happen at the normal cancer center, so we have to go to the outpatient infusion center at the hospital.  The protocol is a little different and the space isn't nearly as comfortable for either of us.  All around the chairs, curtains are drawn and I constantly feel like I am 100% in the way. They still have warm blankets and a nice tea selection, but it's not the ideal situation.

Kurtis' number was "6" before the blood on Friday ... apparently "12" is normal...and after the blood it only raised to "8".  This morning he was feeling pretty terrible (as he did a week ago after chemo on Thursday) and spiked a bit of a fever, so I called the doctor on call and after looking at his chart, she decided that it would be good for him to get more blood - so today we headed back to the infusion center where we spent the afternoon.  Kurtis half-sleeping and me attempting (and mostly succeeding) to knit a mitten.  He feels a bit better after the blood today, but still not what we'd qualify as "good".  Even though this is tough for him to go through this and difficult for me to watch it, we know that feeling bad means that the cancer cells are also in the blasting zone and for that we're thankful.

Today we're also thankful for Kurtis' cousin Kristin and her family who made it possible for us to have a "new" dishwasher.  Somehow they came across a crop of them and while we were gone today they came and installed it so we now have a beautiful fully-functional dishwasher that is not making noises, leaking, or smelling.  It is lovely and we feel so fortunate and blessed.  Thank you <3.

So, if you picked the dishwasher to die first, you get 1/2 of a point since it is gone because it was crashing.  HOWEVER, if anyone out there thought to yourself a few posts back "Liz, you are on some form of dangerous and illicit drug thinking that your dishwasher and washing machine are going to stop working because your garbage disposal is already leaking, mwahahahaa" then you are evil for not telling me.  When they installed the dishwasher there was a lovely leak discovered.  I spent some time this evening cleaning up some molded towels and water from a leak and then set out to find where it was coming from.  I now know that it is our garbage disposal (which, I could live without...sort of...) but unfortunately not just when "disposing" (I can't live without the sink in the kitchen).  So, tomorrow, I will, with the help of Chelsea, install a new garbage disposal.  I'll let you know how it goes in the next post.  If you're laughing, stop.  I like tools.  And. Sometimes I am good at them.

Chauncey has been dutifully waking me up just after the crack of dawn so he can go rabbit chasing.  He whines and wakes up Kurtis.  I get up.  Open door.  Sit on couch.  Fall half asleep for ten minutes. Dog comes in.  Dog goes to sleep.  DEAR DOG, PLEASE SLEEP UNTIL SEVEN.  Just an idea.  The rabbits will wait I tell him.  He does not listen.  Sigh.  He also woke Kurtis up to alert him that flowers were being delivered from the Holyoke Fire Department (they are very nice, thank you!) and has been doing his best to be in the way if Kurtis needs to walk anywhere.  :)

Nothing big until Wednesday where Kurtis has a doctors appointment as well as an appointment with the radiation oncologist and then chemo again on Thursday.  I am going to knit a nice mitten.  The Rockies will continue to play offense as well as defense.  Chaunce will continue to patrol for rabbits and save our lives because of it and Kurtis, the superhero, will continue to destroy all of the cancer in his path.

On a side note, if you are able to give blood at any time this summer, I'd encourage you to do so.  I'm currently trying to build up enough nerve to go in myself (...I struggle with doctor activities which is slightly ironic since we are in there a lot with Kurtis and my best friend starts med school in a few weeks.  Having my blood pressure taken is enough to make me have a small freak-out I'm slowly building the courage...slowly).  Kurtis and other people like him need blood in order to get better and the only way they can get it is if people like us go donate.  So, if you feel like you can, please do.  Would love to hear from you if you do - pictures or notes!  Warrior points are earned!! :)

I guess that's it.
Thanks for all of your continued love and support - we appreciate it more than you know!

Love -
Liz, Kurtis, and early-waking-adorable-yellow-dog

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1 comment:

  1. For anyone else interested in donating:

    The donation process takes about 45 minutes. This includes the time needed to fill out health history and consent forms. The actual drawing of blood - a pint - takes five to 10 minutes.

    The Garth Englund Blood Donation Center, a service of PVH, has collection sites within MCR and two blocks north of PVH. The hours of operation vary at each site.

    Fort Collins (two blocks north of PVH)
    1025 Pennock Place, Suite 104 970.495.8965

    Monday: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Tuesday: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Friday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Loveland (Medical Center of the Rockies main floor)
    2500 Rocky Mountain Ave. 970.624.1510

    Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Thursday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    To donate, a person must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with a parent's permission) and show a photo identification.