It's been a long and grueling week!
Sunday- Bryan did not have the strength for church. We were very encouraged by the amount of bile draining in the new tubing, until the blood returned.
Monday- The bleeding continued and obviously his hematocrit and hemoglobin were falling due to his shortness of breath and increasing fatigue. Also, the edema increased rapidly in his abdominal cavity.
Tuesday- Chemo day! The increased fluid in his body makes walking and general balance virtually impossible. As a result, he fell going out the front door when he reached his walker over the threshold beyond his ability to step. Through valiant efforts of my sons, we got him into the wheelchair and into the car. The scales indicated Bryan was carrying 30lbs of fluid! No wonder it was so difficult; with a dry weight of 108lbs, his muscle atrophy cannot support 139lbs. The blood work indicated he was a quart low so Dr. Chen determined he should have a couple units of blood instead of chemo. Arrangements were made to transfuse at Valley Medical, a new hospital for Bryan! He was transported to Valley by ambulance, because he passed out while at the chemo center. It was a long night! Due to the excess fluid, the blood had to be transfused very slowly to prevent congestive heart failure. We arrived home around 3:00am.
Wednesday- We all slept -- except those who remained home Tuesday. The best news of this day, Sarah is now a licensed driver. This will help in many ways. Thank you to all those who helped her achieve this goal.
Thursday- Bryan stayed in bed all day. The fluid continues to increase and with it the weakness and inability to move his own body. Jonathan and I have become quite a team providing the care Bryan needs. I find God's ways unfathomable at times and yet I know "His lovingkindness is everlasting." (Psalm 136)
Friday- whew, we made it to today! You see, the doctors have determined they have done all they can do until his bilirubin level comes down. The bili can come down if the drain works and it can work only if it is not clotted with blood. The blood flows from the tumors in the liver which respond to the chemo that can only be infused with a lower bilirubin level. It is a vicious circle that only the mercy of God can break. Thus, we continue to pray for that miracle knowing that it can come here or on the other side of Glory! Bryan has asked that we don't call hospice, yet. He is still determined to overcome this disease. He is still fighting a very tough battle! We fight alongside--meeting all his needs to the best of our ability.
From Streams in the Desert:
God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent afflictions. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when he can stand and take affliction quietly. --Joseph Caryl