Britney Kleikamp's Journal
Written Nov 7, 2013 5:26pm by Becky KleikampToday is Thursday and we are still at St. Vincent Hospital....The Drs. are doing very well at managing Britneys' pain. They have her on a 100 mcg Fentanyl IV drip with a button she can push every 8 minutes to deliver another 25 mcg if needed. Her back pain is under control!!!! They also tried Ativan (for anxiety) pills to help with Brits breathing issues... We didn't see much improvement after the first dose. We actually lucked out as Brit had just gotten up to potty (which is when her breathing gets alot worse) and the Dr. walked in and got to see Brit struggling to breath and hyper ventilating and her hands and feet started to go numb so she changed the Ativan to IV and it worked!!!! She can now breath comfortably. She has been very "chatty" and awake the last few days. However, starting early lastnight she started slowing down quite considerably. Her speech is slerd and she is sleeping ALL the time now again. We wake her for medicine and she is very confused. The Drs backed down on the Ativan some hoping it was maybe from that but we have seen any improvement with the sleepiness. There is not a definate way to prove if it is from the tumor but her symptoms are exactly like they were when she was having her seizure. The difference is she is no longer in pain and she can now breath with ease so I will take the sleeping all day over the extreme pain and difficulty breathing she had earlier in the week. It is very difficult to watch our sweet girl suffer like this....The Drs today put a PICC line (IV) in her right bicep so that they can send her home with the two IV meds. She is also getting a Fentanyl nebulizer treatment every 6 hours to trick the brain into thinking she is breathing ok...all seem to be very effective. The nurses are no longer able to draw blood and get IVs started as her veins are just too fragile now. They will be able to use the PICC for bloodwork and her meds so no more needles!!!! The plan is to be able to go home tomorrow! The hospital is coordinating with Hospice to be at the house when we get home with a hospital bed, meds, and whatever else we will need to maintain our girl. Again, thank you for all your support.
Written Nov 5, 2013 10:56am by Becky KleikampWell, yesterday Britney was finally feeling more like herself than she has in the last 3 months. We don't know if it was the back procedure to repair the fractured vertebraes or the new pain meds they started her on Thursday night or a combination of both. Starting Friday Brit seemed to have less back pain (After a day from hell on Thursday) and she was actually awake and able to talk with us more than she has been. By Saturday and Sunday she stayed awake most of the day and could talk more easily.By Monday she was watching alittle tv and was choosing the shows. Later in the day as she sat down in the car (which is much lower than the recliner she sleeps in) she felt her spine pop....she was in immediate pain and we struggled to get her back in the house. I called Green Bay Oncology immediately to let them know what had happened and they had us drive down to St. Vincent hospital for another direct admit to schedule another back MRI to see if she has more fractures in her back. They have her on an IV drip pain med with a button to push when she feels she needs more. She can push it every 8 minutes to deliver more. She is scheduled for a head xray at 12:40 then the MRI at 1:00. She will have the vertebraes repaired while sedated if there are any and will also do another head xray to verify that her setting on her adjustable shunt has not moved. We will meet with Susan who Is from Dr. Griffitts office once the procedure is done. (He is the Dr. who saved her life when she was airlifed by putting in the shunt). So, keep us in your thoughts as we hope Britney will get some much needed relief from her back pain again. We will then have to think about what we are going to do when it comes time to go to appointments if her vertebraes can fracture by just sitting down in a car----with all our love and thank you for all of the support......The Kleikamps
Written Oct 31, 2013 8:58pm by Becky KleikampI sit here with much sadness in my heart trying to determine what to write so that friends and family know where we stand with Britney's treatment(s). After receiving a call yesterday that we could not do the Vertebroplasty (repairing the back fractures) we received another call that we could. So, at 10:30 am we headed to DCMH to have Britney sedated and do the procedure. The Drs. were able to repair the T6 & T7 fractures as they were the newest fractures. The T12 they said was an older fracture and had already started to heal so they could not do anything with it. For the procedure they sedated Brit and injected a cement type compound into the vertebrae to make it more stable. They do not fuse them together. Usually immediately upon waking up the patient is pain free.......not Brit.....if anything she is having more back pain. She is unable to get up and down herself (this has been for quite awhile now) and cannot do any of the everyday tasks you would do and not think twice about. The Drs. are quite confused/concerned as this procedure should have helped with the intense back pain...Therefore today they took her off of the current pain meds she was on(which were a high dose already) and started her on a patch and another pain med. These pain meds. will treat the nerve endings more if that is where the pain is coming from. Hopefully these new prescriptions will help get her some much needed relief. Also, I was given a copy of the report from Britney's MRI of her brain. It states "While there appears to be decreased overall tumor bulk at the midline in the region of the third ventricle, there is now increased posterior extension through the septum pellucidum and fornix. Therefore, the swelling has gone down in one area of the brain however, the tumor has grown larger and is growing down deeper into the brain.....Depending on how Britney responds the next few days to the new pain meds, back procedure and her alertness will determine whether we continue treatment or not. The Drs. are looking at her quality of life now and putting her through the hell she is going through is not making her and better, just wearing her down:( Terry and I will meet with the Drs. on Wednesday to discuss what comes next. Britney will still get her breathing treatment 1x a month for pneumonia, and an IV treatment 1x a month for osteoporosis. They also started her on Vitamin D and Calcium pills in the hope to strengthen her bones. We also met with OSF St. Frances from Escanaba, an RN will be coming out 1x a week to take Brit's vitals and do pain management. The Drs. thought this would be easier than hauling her in every week if we do not continue treatment as she is in such pain. Please keep Britney in your thoughts as we try to take care of her the best we can. With all our love......