Friday, October 30, 2009

Long-Overdue Update

I'm so, so sorry that I haven't updated in ages. I've just been so beyond exhausted that I haven't been able to put it together to tell the story.

Seven weeks ago today, Michael got up and was so weak that he couldn't stand. He basically slipped off a chair and onto the floor, and couldn't get up, wasn't making any sense, etc. I called the ambulance and took him to the hospital. When he was first admitted, they seemed to think that it was just a medication adjustment, not probably a big deal though not good.

Two days later, they told me that his heart was working so poorly that his other organs were shutting down, and that there was a 50% chance that he would die, and that if he didn't die, it was probably still only a matter of time, even if they pulled him through this one. And they took him to ICU, and I was terrified.

And then, two days later, everything started improving. His kidneys started working again, they did another echocardiogram and his heart was working as well as it had been a year ago, and everyone perked up and stopped talking about him dying. But he was terribly weak and completely delirious for weeks. After two weeks, he started really getting better... they moved him out of ICU and to the cardiac ward... and he was there for another two weeks.

A lot of other stuff happened in the middle, but there are two important things... the most important is that when they were trying to figure out what was wrong in the ICU, they did a lot of body scanning, and they found some unexplained masses in his lower abdomen. After a biopsy and much waiting and testing, it turns out that he has lymphoma. T-cell-rich large B-cell lymphoma, to be precise. This is treatable but scary. And he will be starting chemotherapy relatively soon, and I am... well, happy that they found this, because if the other things hadn't happened, I don't think that they ever would have caught it, not until it really was too late, because no one was looking. But scared. I have been through too much chemo and cancer and death with people I loved over the last seven years.

The other thing is that he has been in bed for the last seven weeks, and so he is terribly deconditioned. They finally released him to rehab two days ago, so he can relearn to walk. So he can get strong enough to do the chemo.

It's been a long, long haul. I hope we're on the downhill part, now, but it's still going to be a long road.