Saturday, February 26, 2011

Late Breaking News!!

Sissy Hunter has been sprung from the hospital!!!

As I live and breathe and am typing this message, Ian and Andy are helping Sissy gather her things and wrap up the paperwork at the hospital so she can come home.  She should be home in an hour or so!!!  Yeah, Sissy!!!

We brought Cat with us this morning so Sissy could see her - first time they've seen each other in WAY to long!  When I saw Sissy this morning she said when the doctor saw her this morning he asked her "what the heck are you still doing here?!"  She said "I don't know!"  And there you have it.  Sissy has been doing SO good, she gets to come home to her own home and her own bed (albeit it's now in the living room...which we believe the kitties think is the best thing since moochies(kitty treats, for those not in-the-know)).  Jane & Vicki are hard at work making Sissy's "poor man's stew" and her Grandma's potato soup.  Good comfort food always does a body good :)  

Sissy's niece, Ashely, had to say goodbye today and head back to Indiana, back to college. We thoroughly enjoyed having her around, and we know it did Sissy much good too.  THANK YOU, Ashley!!

I can't tell you how happy we all are for Sissy!  Seeing her big smile when we rounded the corner in the hospital this morning was so exciting!  Her recovery really has been a miracle, even the doctors will tell you that.  The doctors want to get all of her previous medical history, as they've never seen a situation quite like hers, not to mention the kind of recovery she's having.  Our girl's going to be in writing!  ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Another great day for Sissy!  Another round of radiation went fine.  Sissy was able to get her catheter and central line out, both really good signs of being on the road to recovery - yay!!  She was able to finally get up and out of the bed and sit in a chair.  Sissy got some good exercise too today...she made a couple trips walking down the hallway.  Karma (the Yorkie), Shelly and Mark were able to stop by for a visit again today :)  Nothing like a cute little fur-butt to bring a smile to your face!

Today was the first day for some solid food.  Sissy had a half grilled cheese sandwich :)  Yay!

She was also able to get in a shower with Ian!!  : - o

Sissy's spirits were really good today, and we're all SO excited with how she's coming along.

Today Jane, Andy and Vicki worked on Sissy and Ian's house - getting their bed moved downstairs so Sissy doesn't have to worry about having to go up and down the stairs.  Basically, their living room has been converted into a new bedroom :)

The clan had another meal provided by a couple Coast Guard co-workers of Ian's - Heidi and Josh.  A BIG thanks to Heidi & Josh for the yummy Olive Garden and the great conversations!

Thanks to all of you for stopping in here and keeping up on how Sissy's doing.  I know Sissy really appreciates it and all your prayers and thoughts.

Go Sissy!  :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today we got to move Sissy from ICU to PICU (Progressive ICU), which now means we all can be with Sissy at the same time (no more visiting 2-3 at a time).  It also means a MUCH nicer view...of Mt. Saint Helens and all the nice snow we've been getting over the last day, not to mention the snow we're suppose to get over the next few days.  It was hard to leave our ICU nurses, however knowing that Sissy is on the road to getting better is all that matters.  Dr. Hoffelt (RT oncologist) told all of us today that if you wanted to know what a miracle was, just look at Sissy and the progress she's made.  :)

Sissy had another great visit by Karma, the little yorkie.  It's amazing how a little 4-legged friend can do so much for so many people!  Thank you, Karma!  Here's a pic of Sissy and Karma:

Had another great Coast Guard dinner tonight! THANK YOU to CWO Howard McCarthy and family!  We had a great dinner and great conversations as well. THANK YOU Captain LeBlanc, for our 2nd dinner this evening!  We'll enjoy it Saturday :)  Tomorrow, LTJG Heidi will be providing dinner for the clan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another good day!  Chest tube came out!

Early this afternoon Sissy had her specialized CT and radiation therapy - all went well.  The radiation oncologist also came in and visited Sissy again - telling her the progress she's made is a real miracle!  That's our girl!!  :)

Jane, Ashley and Andy were able to arrange for a therapy dog to visit Sissy - a little Yorkie :)  Sissy got really excited and was happy to see the little guy - she even did her little animal voice :)

Once again, the Coast Guard has come through for Ian and Sissy.  CWO Howard McCarthy called Jane this morning and will be bringing another dinner Thursday or Friday for us to enjoy...gotta love the coasties!

LTJG Hannah Eko of the Coast Guard came to visit.  Yesterday, LTJG Luke Elder also stopped in for a visit.  We forgot to mention earlier that CWO Hans Dirksen came to visit as well last week.

Scott and Tammy will be leaving for Florida tonight.  Thanks, Ashley, for taking them to the airport - much appreciated :)  Having Scott & Tammy here has meant a lot to Sissy and Ian.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Extra, all about it...


Scott & Tammy arrived late Monday night with no luggage, courtesy of Delta airlines :(  However, all is well now.  Scott, Tammy, Andy, Ashley, Jane & Ian took turns spending time with Sissy prior to her tube removal.  This afternoon the radiation therapy oncologist met with us and Sissy and told her that her ovarian cancer had returned and that they were treating it and that at a later time he would give her more information.  At 2:15pm Sissy had another radiation treatment.  The oncologist met with all of us to review the next steps, which are:  perform a specialized CT scan to pin-point all of the cancer in her lung/bronchial tube area, then complete the specialized radiation treatment today and moving forward.  The key being that they'll only be targeting/killing the bad cancer cells and not any good cells around them.  This radiation therapy will last a minimum of 3 weeks.  The next chemo treatment will be March 13th.  If all goes well, Sissy may just get to leave ICU tomorrow!

Sissy was requesting ginger ale, so that's a good sign! :)  It was SO good to see her talk today!  She looked really good - had good color that made you know she's doing better.

This evening we had dinner provided by Captian Le Blanc, the Captain of the Portland Coastguard base.  Ashley enjoyed a pure vegan dinner and dessert complements of Anne and Rob Leonhardt (one of Jane's co-workers).  We will all get to enjoy some of the vegan dinner tomorrow night :)  As of now (10:40pm), Ian plans to stay the night with Sissy in the hospital.  We sure are enjoying having Ian's brother, Andy, staying with us too.

Last but not least, Jane and I want to extend a HUGE thanks to Kirstin and Matt for always being there to help out with picking Cat up after school and watching her for us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Well, today has been one week since Sissy arrived at SW Medical Center.  Last night Kathy stayed the night with Sissy in the hospital, per the nursing staff's request (since Sissy's been in the process of waking up from the sedation - she needs someone to be there).  This morning I (Wes) drove Ashley to the hospital to take over for Kathy while I drove Kathy to the airport to catch her flight back home to Florida.  Jane & Ashley met with the medical oncologist this morning to discuss Sissy's treatment plan.  The plan is on Wednesday to have the radiation therapy oncologist perform a specialized radiation treatment on the lower quadrant of her left lung.  That said, Sissy will need to stay on the ventilator until sometime after Wednesday's treatment.

Ian's brother, Andy, arrived from Ohio early this morning.  We know that having Andy here is going to give Ian the extra strength and comfort he needs - plus, one more person to give Jane a hard time never hurts!  Also, Sissy's brother, Scott, and his wife Tammy, arrived this evening from Florida (thanks, Ashley, for playing chauffeur).

Sissy was a lot more awake for short periods of time today.  She's able to communicate with her eyes, shaking her head yes/no, moving of her lips (which is tough to do when you have that darn tube in your mouth!) and moving her arms...particularly to push Ian's face out of her face when he was singing "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine..."  We all had a real good laugh at that!  I brought in a new picture of Bubby I took this morning and Ian showed it to Sissy - she did a smile when she saw it.

All in all, not too bad of a day - we're making progress in the right direction.  Thanks for all the comments here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So far, today has been a big improvement over the past few.  Sissy continues to periodically open her eyes...she even gave Ian a wink!  The doctor has stopped the drug that's been keeping her sedated.  The reason for this is to get her to be more awake to help her with breathing more on her own, getting her one step closer to getting off the ventilator.  So far she's been doing well with her breathing, getting some nice big breaths in.  The doctor did the bronchoscope this morning, and things are looking better. 

The doctors decided they would start chemotherapy today.  There's a good chance it will help a lot, as she responded well to chemo back when she went through ovarian cancer.  The chemo will start any minute now (it's 3:48pm Pacific time) and will take between 3 and and 3 and a half hours to administer.  It's been interesting to see, as the hospital typically never administers chemo in the ICU.

Thanks to Dana for bringing our snacks today!  And, thanks again to Kirstin - we had lunch on her again today :)

Hope all is well with everyone listening in, and please keep up the prayers!