Tim is out of surgery, looks like the stent that was placed on the 15th was partially occluded but there are still concerns about a gallbladder infection. Doing additional testing today/tomorrow morning to check. May require surgery again this week to remove it if they find that it's infected but it's complicated with placement of some tumors. Tim's stronger than he was at this stage than he was last time but so far feels all too familiar to this last hospital stay which is scary. He's being placed in ICU after recovery so they can keep a close eye on him but please keep the prayers coming for him...
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Brought Tim to the ER this morning for an elevated heart rate and a fever. They started him on antibiotics and anti-anxiety meds and are now thinking the infection that was in his colon has reoccurred. They are taking him into surgery within the hour and checking his gallbladder to see if that may be the source and may need to be removed, also rechecking the stent that was placed on the 15th to see if it has migrated or been blocked. Please keep him in your prayers.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
On Friday it was a normal day when I woke up. I woke up a bit earlier than usual and went a slept for about another 45 min on the couch just so that I wouldn't wake up Jenny. We both then woke up at the same time and I stripped the bed and put the dirty sheets in the laundry and then came back to watch a few more minutes of tv while Jenny finished getting her shower. I don't remember being cold or having the chills until I got into the shower that morning and I couldn't get the water hot enough to warm me up. I had to have stayed in the shower at least 20 minutes before forcing myself out. I was still shivering cold, so I got dressed quickly and got into my car turned the heat on high and started off to the cancer center for my bloodwork.
I got to the cancer center and was met by Lynn and she could tell something was wrong and took my temp really quick and it came back at 99.7. She got me 2 heated blankets and sent me over to iTOR to get my blood drawn. From there they took the blood samples that they needed and then started a bag of fluids to see if that would help any. By the time that the fluids were finished about an hour later my temperature had risen to over 103 and I was bundled under 12 or 13 warm blankets still freezing cold and not able to catch my breath.
At this point Dr. E and Julie decided that I needed to be admitted to the hospital to have a closer eye on my situation. They moved me to floor 5-D which is the cancer ward of the hospital. Met the great nurse and before I was in there for 15 minutes she was already calling the emergency response team. My pulse was beating at about 130 - 150 beats per minute and I couldn't catch my breath. At this point they decided to move me to ICU.
Here is where the story gets a bit washy for me and I don't remember too many details. I remember being wheeled out of ICU up to the operating room for my surgery. I remember meeting the doctor who was very nice and very tall. The next thing after that I remember is waking up in the recovery room having a dream that there were 10 of us in there and we were all fighting and I woke up feeling terrible because I thought that I had hit a nurse. Thank goodness I didn't.
Back in ICU I didn't sleep very well due to the nut job that was next to me yelling and screaming all night.
Saturday morning I woke up and everyone must have thought I was doing much better and I was able to be moved back up to the cancer ward of 5-D. I was there and things were going well from what I though until on Monday and this is where I have a huge lapse of memory. I don't know why I was moved back to ICU, I think that it has something do with me breathing out of control, and not being able to catch my breath. Later after the fact I was told by Jenny that they said to her that if she had anything she wanted to stay to me to go ahead and say it then as well as to get my final wishes and my preferences about being intubated. I think that is the scariest part of this whole ordeal. I wish that I had known about this because there would have been things that I wanted to say as well.
I stayed in ICU again that Monday night and got the best night of sleep that I received the entire stay of the hospital and by the morning I was a completely different person. They yet again moved me out of ICU to a room on the 4th floor where I would stay until my departure on Friday. Tuesday through Friday were pretty boring from what I remember with not much excitement.
I guess that I wanted to writing this today because it helps me deal with this ordeal. It is a very scary thing to find out that you almost died at one point. It makes you look back and see what you could have done differently in our life. I am glad that I have been give this second chance at life. I am going to try to make the most of every situation.
I can't begin to thank everyone enough for all of your thoughts at prayers during this time for me. I am convinced it is the only what that I made it through. There is still a long battle left for me to fight so please keep them coming.
I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,
Monday, August 25, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Being back "home" has been an adventure in and of itself already. Our new house is undergoing renovations so we came to stay at Tim's parents house for a bit. His oxygen tanks and machine were set up yesterday evening, we had some dinner and headed to bed. Unfortunately one of his medications caused some difficulties which led to a not so restful night. We've both been sleeping all day and he is currently still sleeping so I'm hoping tonight should be a lot more laid back and restful. We both have a long road ahead of us as we navigate these new physical challenges for Tim as well as we try to navigate the emotional repercussions of the events that unfolded last week. Please pray that Tim can see some improvement in his breathing difficulties as he really needs that encouragement right now. Thanks all!
Friday, August 22, 2014
@tdbright8 is being discharged!! We've got a long path for his full recovery but are so grateful for all of you and your support over the past week. Please keep praying for Tim's continued recovery and that the clinical trial he is about to begin will be the break we've been waiting for. Please also keep the mom of a friend of ours in your prayers as she is now in the ICU herself. We will update with more information about everything soon, today we will rest. Thanks again!!
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Still waiting to meet with GI, the rest of the pulmonary team and the cancer team and Tim is having a CT Angiogram this morning to try to see if they can see any clots in his lungs which would've been blocked by tumors in the last scan. They are looking at lowering his oxygen levels to allow him to breathe on his own a bit more and have cleared him to walk around the floor a little provided that he can keep his breathing under control. The most important update is that he has finally officially been fever free for 24 hours now. Your prayers are working, please keep them coming. Somewhere around 48 hours ago I thought I was going to have to say good-bye to Tim which was (and still is) the most painful thing I've ever experienced. Thank you for helping me keep him.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tim was moved out of the ICU today. We're nervous about it but he is being closely monitored with a heart monitor and OxSat monitor. He has a long way to go before getting out of here but it taking baby steps in the right direction. His white blood cell count has dropped so it is more important now than ever that we only have immediate our parents and siblings visiting right now in order to help protect his fragile immune system. Thanks to all for helping us to protect him.
We've actually had a quiet night which was very much needed. I woke up a good bit just checking on Tim Bright or getting him to slow his breathing as alarms went off but he slept through the night without waking for more than 5-10 seconds at a time. Thought he may have an allergic reaction to his pain meds so began giving him benedryl along with it which I think has been the best thing for him. I know his body needs sleep right now and am grateful that he has finally begun to get some. His breathing rates have also slowed slightly and he doesn't appear to be moving as much as he was each time he inhales. That being said, we still have a long way for him to go before he is completely out of the woods. Please pray that he continues to rest well and that his breathing challenges continue to improve so his body may get even more rest.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Last night was pretty bad, I think we both got even less sleep than Friday night. It started out pretty well and we were even able to hang out together for a "date night" here at the hospital. Soon after, Tim spiked a higher fever early yesterday evening and although we got it down quickly, he ran a slight fever most of the night. He's also been coughing up colors that should not be coming out of his lungs so those have been cultured and were waiting on those results along with the blood culture results from Friday. He's begun to have lots of trouble breathing again, just taking a lot of work to take in a breath. We're waiting on the pulmonologist to determine if he may have a blood clot in his legs/lungs or if he may have pneumonia. His poor body has been through so much trauma the past few days and I know it's scaring him that things aren't getting any easier. Please pray for him to start getting better instead of having so many set-backs. He's also having some (understandable) trouble processing everything happening as it is a lot for anyone to take in so please pray for some comfort and peace for him, the more anxious he becomes the more trouble he has with breathing and the higher his heart rate spikes. We're going to try to get some sleep until the doctors and nurses head back our way again and hope to have another (better) update later today.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Tim's fever spiked a little last night but went down on its own for the first time in days. Still no results on the blood cultures and still has a higher breathing/heart rate than he should but he's slowly improving day by day. My back is killing me from the crazy chair bed but I finally feel rested and somewhat coherent again. He's finally feeling sore from the surgery, both in his throat and abdomen and his entire body is sore, likely a combination of being so sick and being in a bed for so long. As for some good news, he's been on a narcotic cough syrup for weeks now due to a racking cough that won't go away. The breathing treatments he's receiving are making his cough a lot stronger but much more infrequent and the cough is actually productive now (a very good thing). With his abdomen, the cough is pretty painful but were glad for improvement. Thank you all again for all of the love!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Today has been much more calm but still with its share of ups and downs. Tim is still running fevers up at 103 intermittently which causes him lots of distress with his breathing and heart rate. We did get back to a private room and have been sleeping off and on today. Still don't feel caught up but we do feel better than this morning. We're waiting on his blood cultures which may be back as late as Monday to see if any particular bacteria grows showing there is an infection in his bloodstream. This will determine how long his stay is and how long he will be getting IV antibiotics. We've also been meeting with a respiratory therapist and think we have a good plan in place to try to improve Tim's breathing and quality of life. His jaundice is clearing up which is also a good sign and he did some walking around the floor this evening without oxygen and hopefully that will help him progress faster. He's on a clear liquid diet and hoping to get moved up as he manages each step well. Were so appreciative of all of you, this is draining but having such a good care team here at the hospital and a support team of all of you behind us has made all the difference.
Just spoke to Dr. E and Dr. Rickoff (the GI treating Tim Bright). His bilirubin has dropped from a 7 to a 4 and his jaundice is already beginning to clear up a bit. We're still waiting on blood cultures to see if the infection traveled to his bloodstream but they're being proactive and loading him with antibiotics. He is being downgraded from ICU back to the oncology floor today (yay for no more neighbors screaming profanities that think they are in Miami all night!) and they will slowly begin to reintroduce food to him today. Still have a ways to go but so thrilled by the amount of progress he's already made! We love all of you and would love to see you but are asking that you wait to visit until he is stronger as we're trying to get him back to health as quickly as possible so we can get back down to the business of fighting this cancer. Thank you for understanding! In the meantime we are well taken care of but will def still take all the prayers you want to send this way. Thanks again to all of you, you've made us feel so loved through this!
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The doctor spoke to us and mentioned that although he didn't see any tumors on Tim's pancreas, he did see scar tissue indicating Tim likely had pancreatitis previously. He's never had any symptoms like this before so everyone is unsure of when this happened. The doctor did mention thickening of the beginning of Tim's small intestine. He took a biopsy that should give a few additional answers about what is going on but it's still too early to speculate about exactly what is going on. This was not the news Tim was hoping for so its been pretty rough on him which is awful timing considering that tomorrow (Thursday) is his 32nd birthday. He has an Op-Ed piece coming out in this week's Greenville Journal (I believe) and needed a headshot so my talented photographer cousin, Jessie, took some great photos this weekend. I thought I'd share my favorite of the birthday boy!
The other challenge we are having right now is keeping Tim's weight stable (and preferably increasing) as he is on a strict low-residue and low/no sugar diet to rest his gut and pancreas. He's having a hard time with eating the same things (bland things) over and over again and really wants something sweet which is not possible right now.
Please pray that the swelling is not associated with the spread of Tim's cancer. Although it wouldn't change anything about the treatment plan or Tim's staging, it would be a blow to him and he could use all the good he can get right now. Please also pray that this pancreatitis will clear up quickly so we can get Tim back into a robust diet to improve his weight.
Thank you all for all of your support. We're behind and owe a lot of return communication right now but you all have no idea just how much the calls, emails, cards, texts, Facebook and blog comments, etc. mean to both of us. Sometimes all of this feels very isolating so its a great reminder that there is still a great world outside of the insanity we're currently wrapped up in.
Hope you guys have a great weekend and we will update as soon as we can!
Monday, August 11, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
As far as an update goes, I talked with Dr. E on the phone just a short time ago and he informed me on what I already knew: that my pancreas is inflamed as well as my duodenum. I started a clear liquid diet last night and will continue on one until Thursday. We will check my progress then and probably do more blood work on Friday to see where things stand. I might go and see a GI that day as well to see if they need to do a scope to see if there is an ulcer or anything around there. So for the next few days I will be on a steady dose of popsicles, Jello, Gatorade, and water. I know that everyone is jealous.
Thank you again to everyone for their words of encouragement. I will make a promise that as long as people keep giving prayers and encouragement to Jenny and I, that I will never stop fighting and I will never throw in the towel. We will update this again on Friday after we have met with more people.
Have a great rest of the week,