Monday, October 5, 2009

A very busy week

This is Ed's son Bob writing.

It has been very busy the last week or so. The next week will be just as busy. Dad asked me to update the blog so everyone can get the news in his treatment.

Over the last two weeks, Dad had been getting weaker and more tired. He was able to handle less and less of his own care. We weren't sure exactly what was going on. A call to the oncologist on Saturday got us a recommendation to adjust one of Dad's medications. We also had Dad's sister Judy come to town to help care for Dad at home, make sure he got to his radiation treatments and doctors appointments, and keep a close eye on his condition. She arrived on a Sunday evening and took Dad to his radiation appointment Monday the 28th at which point he was too tired to walk. They had the radiation oncologist check him out and do blood work. Later that evening (just before dinner, in fact) the doctor called and said Dad's blood test showed his blood sugar was way too high at 600 (100 is normal) and he needed to go to the emergency room immediately.

The doctor called ahead to the ER. Upon Dad's arrival, they quickly got us through to the doctors. Ed, Judy and I spent all Monday night in the ER where they checked blood sugar again (it was then down to a still-alarming 400) and started him on an IV with insulin. About 11:00pm they said they were going to admit him to the hospital. It was about midnight when they finally had a room ready for him. The ER doctor told us that based on his history and current medications, Dad probably was headed toward diabetes already and the treatment (in particular a steroid used to control swelling in the brain that comes with radiation) had likely pushed him beyond his bodies ability to control his blood sugar. Over the next several days, Dad was extremely tired but gained some more energy each day. His blood sugar levels bounced around quite a bit but they seem to be under more control. Dad's energy levels are now headed back in a good direction.

Last Saturday, the released Dad from the hospital with not a lot more energy than a couple days before he was admitted and additional medications for the diabetes. Dad now requires regular insulin shots and blood sugar tests. While in the hospital, they resumed his radiation treatments. He has a couple weeks to go before the radiation is finished and he gets four weeks off of all the tumor treatment to recover.

Because of the level of care Dad now needs, we have had to face some tough alternatives. He (and family) are finding that some sort of assisted living center will best help him get through the remaining treatments while ensuring he gets good nutrition, regular doses of medicine, and a minimal amount of stress.

Dad's energy level is growing day by day. We are hopeful that he will be able to manage the insulin injections on his own. If not, we will need to figure out a way to make sure that he gets his shots and testing on a regular, 4 times daily schedule. This will be a very busy week as we work to get Dad's strength back.

We very much appreciate the assistance we have received so far. While he recovers, Dad is limiting his use of the phone and computer as they tend to drain his energy that he needs to recover.

I will try to keep this site updated more regularly as we get more news.


  1. I only know Oakie Grandfather through his blog and my heart goes out to him. Please pass on my thoughts are with him at this time.


  2. Thank you Bob for writing the post. I have so many friends and family that are praying for and asking about Dad, so it is nice to be able to direct everyone here to his blog.
    Chris and I are so glad we were able to be there for 4 days and know it just was not long enough.
    Ed- a big hug to you from me :)

  3. Good Luck..I only met Oakie Grandfather recently through this blog and my heart goes out to him as I am having chemo now after cyber knife...
    My rayers and warm thoughts are sent to him and thanks for keeping us reading about him!

  4. Thank you for the update Bob. Ed, you are a much loved person and Emily and I are looking forward to our visit. Take care and see you soon.