Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chemotherapy Graduation

     While not too much exciting happened during the last two weeks (except for attending a beautiful wedding last weekend), the past few days have been very eventful. Of course the ice storm hit on Sunday, cancelling church and bringing down a large limb from our tree in the front yard. It hit Alison's and Joel's cars but didn't do any significant damage. But our power went out about 6:30 in the morning and didn't come back on until almost midnight. We spent a bit of time over at David and Rachel's keeping warm, cooking food, and looking after Lindsay so they could have a date time.
     And Monday of course was Beth's final chemotherapy treatment. David accompanied her for this one and I dropped in at lunch time.
Everything went very smoothly (there have been some previous issues sometimes getting her port-a-cath to work properly, but it wasn't a problem yesterday). At the appointment on Friday her chemo doctor was very pleased with her liver enzyme levels (they were normal) and her hemoglobin (iron level) had also come up significantly. However the calcium level was creeping up again to what they call a 'critical level' so she ordered another infusion (Beth has had one before) to bring it down somewhat. So this was an add-on to Monday's treatment. It's a 3 hour infusion so they allowed her to go home with it (around 1:00) and then she went back around 4:00 to get it disconnected.
    And then the blessings started pouring down. We first came home to a gift bag from a friend between our front doors. Then at around 5:00 one of the doctors that Beth works with at St. Mary's dropped by to deliver a card, flowers, and gift from the hospitalists (8 doctors who work with patients that have been admitted) there. It included a very generous set of gift cards for local restaurants and Chapters - let's just say we've got eating out covered for a while now!
   About 7:30 three of Beth's co-workers arrived at our house carrying in baskets and bags of gifts that had been collected at the hospital. Apparently her floor had sent a message around the hospital letting people know that they wanted to bring some Christmas gifts to Beth and wondered if others would like to contribute. Well, it was pretty overwhelming to see the number of gifts that were given, and it took a long time to go through them all. There were so many thoughtful gifts and wonderful cards with words of support and encouragement - we were just soaking in the love and care of her friends at the hospital. The original plan, apparently, had been for a whole choir of co-workers to file down from the hospital on Sunday night to sing carols to Beth at our house. Unfortunately the ice storm prevented them from doing that. But they had put together a beautiful compilation of pictures taken around the hospital with so many of her coworkers holding creative and touching signs. So we popped this DVD into the computer and just sat there with tears streaming down our faces as all of these wonderful people encouraged Beth on this journey - it was truly beautiful and touching (if the video doesn't work try this link: St. Mary's Encouraging Beth. Also if you click the box corners in the bottom right corner you can see a larger version of the video)
     We're looking forward to having family and friends over tonight to celebrate on Christmas Eve and then we'll spend tomorrow at my parents. Beth says she still wants to go up to the hospital to sing carols on Christmas morning (a Kreutzkamp tradition for many years now). We've received many words of appreciation for this blog keeping folks updated - but I'd say from our end it's been such a blessing to have so many people taking an interest in what's been happening. It's hard to express how much your support and prayers have meant over the past few months. Thank you for your love and care, and we wish a Merry Christmas to each one who reads this!

1 comment:

David Maranta said...

Many blessings and support to Beth and you. You deserve it!