Following are notes from Steve Burton’s stay as a caregiver. Unfortunately, once again he spent the entire time in the hospital with me again. Hopefully next time we will get to actually spend some time together at home.
Wednesday, June 3
Finally, back in Phoenix with sis Melissa. My plane was late leaving Salt Lake so I arrived a little late. Mel had a room full of folk, so Wes and I decided to head to the ranch. After a few beers we had figured out how to cure Mel as well as a solution for world peace. The light of the next day revealed that our plans were not as realistic as I had imagined, so it was off to the hospital to do what I could.
Thursday, June 4
Thursday was very busy. We had doctors and nurses in the room most of the day. Joanne from Dr. K’s office dropped by to check in on Mel and talk to us. She said that the chest X-ray showed enough fluid next to the lung that a pulmonary specialist would come by and discuss what to do. She said we could follow up with Dr. Dietrick, the vascular surgeon, about the blood clot once Mel had regained her strength from her back surgery. We talked about the use of a pain pump, and determined that it is Mel’s decision on if and when to use one. If Mel decides to use one, she can still continue to fight the cancer with all means available. Use of a pain pump does not eliminate any treatment. Mel should also schedule a follow-up PET scan once she is able to leave the hospital.
We had a few other questions that Joanne was not sure about, so she committed to having Dr. K call us in the late afternoon. The pain docs came by and said they wanted to start moving Mel to oral pain meds, as this was a prerequisite to go home. Mel let them know she would not be ready for the oral meds until she was able to get up and move around without feeling severe pain. Mel did agree to change her anxiety med from Lexapro to Cymbalta, as Cymbalta is more effective for sleep, anxiety and helping the pain meds. The nurses have been good at checking on Mel’s skin and using the SensiCare cream.