pneumonitis…or my lungs hate me

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Hello all!  I am still here!  My lungs have tried to kill me recently, but I have fought valiantly and I believe I can safely say I will come out the victor in this battle.

Last Monday (November 30th), my blood pressure was low and my temp and heart rate were high at radiation.  So after treatment, they sent me over to my oncologist to get some fluids.  They evaluated me there, and my fever had gone up to 102, plus my pulse oxygen was low, and my cough from a few weeks ago had come back…all in all I was in pretty sad shape.  So they admitted me.  Of course I was not happy, but it ended up being the best thing for me since I kind of went downhill from there.  I kept spiking fevers of 104, and my heart rate and blood pressure were all over the place.

After lots of tests and a crap ton of antibiotics, all the doctors pretty much agreed that I had pneumonitis (inflammation) in my lungs from all the chemo, particularly the Opdivo (most recent treatment).  All cultures came back negative for infection.  Eventually, we got the fevers under control and got me on steroids, lots of oxygen, and breathing treatments.  I’m also on Lasix to help draw fluid out of my lungs, but I’ve stepped down on that, thank God.  Lasix sucks.  It’s like being an 85 year old man with a giant prostate continually pushing on a full, leaky bladder.  So I’ve got a catheter in.  That’s fun too.

Today I was able to wean down the oxygen a bit more, though not enough to go home on yet.  I was also able to get out of the bed and do some walking, which was nice.  Visitors are okay in small doses, of course as long as you haven’t been around anyone sick.  My platelets are low, but that’s manageable.  So that’s where things are right now.  I’m slowly but steadily improving, and once I get the meds and oxygen weaned to a dose that’s doable at home, I’ll go home.  This does mean that the transplant is on hold for right now, but that can’t be helped.  I’ve got to get my lungs healthy again first, so that is the first order of business.

Thank you so much for all the calls and texts and visits and goodies and love.  You have all taken such good care of me and my family this past week and a half.  Hopefully I will be home soon, but until then, it’s an oxygen party at Wellstar Cobb!  I’ve got the Jello covered – someone else bring the liquor!  (Just kidding, Mom and Dad.  I’m totally asleep by 11, except for those 3 am breathing treatments.)

May the peace and longing of Advent be with you all as we await the coming of our Lord!

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