Friday, March 1, 2013

On the mend...slowly by surely ... with many updates

Last night was a good night for Zack. He is sleeping rather well considering he still has a rough cough and sinus pressure. I on the other hand tossed and turned all night, my chest feeling tighter and throat more sore as the evening moved along.  I awoke at 7:15 am, took a quick shower and headed out the door to Urgent Care downtown Asheville. Zack will still sound asleep, so not to wake him up, I texted to let him know where I was going to be. 

I have been to this particular facility back a couple of months ago and they took excellent care of me, so I feel safe going there and since I will be arriving at the time they open, I know there won't be a four hour wait. As I previously thought, the Doctor agreed with me that I was at the beginning stages of bronchitis and though he normally would recommend waiting to see if it clears up on it's own (which is also my preference) the circumstances call for immediate action. Neither of us agrees that it is good for me to be in a hospital room with Zack unless I start on antibiotics. He prescribed the "Z" pack, which is a five pills antibiotic and known to knock out any infection very quickly. He took a little extra time to find out about Zack and his treatments. He was a kind man and didn't seem to rush, telling me that I needed to get as much rest as possible and try the best I can to take care of myself as well. I was grateful for the little extra time and care and Thanked him and the rest of the staff for everything.. Luckily, since I'm not running  a fever  I'm not contagious, so it's okay for me to stay with Zack.  I wasn't sure what I would do if I was, I want to be here with him, but not while putting him at risk. 

I return to the hospital with Zack sitting up in the chair watching a TV show and feeling well. I had met with Dr. OB in the hall and explained where I had been. He mentioned that we could possible go home today or tomorrow, if we wanted a couple of days break. He said the results of the procedure came back as not being fungal, which is very good news.  The Doc explained how he would put Zack on oral antibiotics while at home and we would have to return to the hospital on Monday to start the next round of chemo.  I decided to leave the decision up to Zack, as he is the one that gets very anxious about having to be here. Imagine my surprise when Zack says he would feel better if we stayed, he is still not feeling well and wants to be around the nurses should anything happen. I breathed a sigh of relief, as I too was concerned about us going home and him having a relapse. I ran down the hall to find the Doctor and asked if it were possible for us to stay. I explained that both Zack and I wanted to make sure he was 100% before starting chemo and since we were already set up for next week, it is much easier to simply move into the next step. He clasps his hands together and said "I was hoping you would say that!" "We are not supposed to encourage people to stay, but I agree with you both, I would feel better if he were still being monitored, this isn't gone yet."

Once we knew what the plan was, I was better able to settle in for the next few days. I put on my sweats and t shirt, set up the laptop with my show and next thing I knew I had fallen asleep for a couple of hours.  It was a deep, relaxing sleep so I felt refreshed when I woke up. Karen stopped by (social worker from Cancer Center) teasing that she had to see for her own eyes, that Zack was okay as he never wants to stay a minute longer. Once we explained the situation, she looked at Zack and said "you are making such smart choices!!, I'm proud of you!" He simply grinned and gave a "thumbs up!" Before she left she handed me $80.00 in Walmart gift cards, donated by a local organization called Emily's Kids ( that helps families like ours. When reading Emily's story, she too had Ewings Sarcoma, but unfortunately just five months after graduating high school, lost her battle, this was back in 2008) Karen jokes about being a day late and a dollar short, as I had already made a trip to the store, but I remind her we will be her another whole week and this will come in very handy.

Doc Steve and his daughter Allie were restocking her goodies in the cafeteria and had called to see if they could pop upstairs to say Hi to Zack. So once I met them in the lobby and escorted them upstairs (so easy to get lost in this place) we all hung out for a little while. Allie is a miracle just like our Zack. When I first started working for them Allie was in a car accident that by all rights "should" have ended her life, she came back from a coma, re learned how to walk, talk, eat and function in a not so accommodating world and has now , with the help of her parents, started her own successful business! To meet Allie, you would never know the struggles she has gone through to be where she is today and that's what makes it all the more gratifying. She and I have our own little ups and downs, but one thing I will always respect is she is a fighter and her will is strong, just like Zack. Free Advertising Alert: Her goodies are found in both Mission and St Josephs cafeteria's here in Asheville and now in Transylvania County Hospital in Brevard.  She also sells to local vendors in downtown Brevard and everyone likes her variety so much, they will call the office to have her come by to deliver more. They left us with a couple of chocolate covered marshmallows and malted milk balls (my fav). On his way out the door Doc Steve looked at me and said "Wow, now I'm the one leaving You in a Hospital!" The reality of what he and Nancy and now Frank and I are going through with our kids is something I wouldn't wish on anyone, but it also makes you realize what you have and how precious life is. (www. 

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, watching TV and napping. Zack's cough is better, but still there, so I feel even better about our choice to stay. Being bored with watching movies, he asks if he can download a book to my kindle, so with headphone on, listening to his favorite variety of music he has escaped into his own little world. Occasionally he will partially remove the headphones to make sure I'm okay, to which, in mimicking Zack, I give a "thumbs up." Since I'm not up to going anywhere including downstairs, we order Papa Johns hot wings and cheesy bread. Within minutes of it's arrival (they will deliver right to our room) two orders of the spiciest hot wings are devoured and that was Zack's order!

I will probably see Rhonda some time this weekend, but for the most part, we are both going to follow Drs orders and rest. The current plan is for me to stay until Sunday late afternoon, when Frank will come and take over and I will be able to work Monday and return that night. Zack's counts are still very good so that not only helps him fight off this infection, but he will be stronger for his next treatment. 

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