Britney Kleikamp's Journal
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......
Written Oct 24, 2013 9:23pm by Becky KleikampWell, today we received the results of the MRI's of Britney's head and spine. The head MRI shows a "mixed response" per Green Bay Oncology. The tumor does not look any worse, and the swelling looks "favorable". When I asked what "favorable" meant, they said it looks like some of the swelling in the brain is possible a little better. They want to repeat the MRI in 6 weeks again in Milwaukee. They also want to cut her pm dose of her steroid in half. We will start this tomorrow. When we tried this 1 1/2 weeks ago Britney had a terrible headache and she had to be put back on the higher dose. We are hoping with the brain MRI showing the swelling may be down that she will be able to tolerate the reduction in the steroid... As far as the MRI of the spine goes, it shows that Britney has 3 compression fractures in her back.... They are vertebrae numbers T6, T7, & T12. She is in a lot of pain and still sleeping in the recliner but at least this finally tells us why she has been in so much discomfort. The Drs. have increased her pain meds quite considerably but she is still in a great deal of pain. We are stopping her Avastin (Chemo) treatment that she has via IV every other Wednesday as they want to perform a Vertebroplasty. They cannot do this until she is 3 weeks out from her last Avastin treatment ( which was last week Wed.) as it has a very high risk of internal bleeding so we have to stop this first. The plan is to sedate her and then insert a needle into the compression fractures and inject in a cement type compound to stabilize the fractures. They are hoping this will stop/control her back pain. The fracture are caused from being on the steroid-they cause Osteoporosis. We are hoping to do this procedure locally, however GB Onc. said they will have to see if DCMH can do it otherwise we will need to head to Green Bay. We will meet with Green Bay Onc. again next week to discuss our plans for the next few weeks as far as Brits future Avastin treatments and her back procedure. Again, thank you for all the love and support.