Ellen Fuseler's Journal
Written Jul 19, 2010 10:55pmThis is a "special" message to my dear sister Marilyn and her wonderful son Ian. I do not know what or how I could do without you and I want you to know how much I appreciate your willingness to put forth and change your plans, whatever they may be, to run me here or there or pick up prescriptions or whatever. I know that I can never repay all that it must really "cost" you but I assure you that if I could I would certainly attempt to do so. I just want you and the world to know how much you both mean to Henry and to me. And I'm not saying anything about the wheelchair "runs" through WalMart. Though I must say, there is nothing quite like the wind in your hair (such as it is) as you do WalMart! :-)
I love you Ian! I love you Marilyn! And don't you ever forget it!!
To all of you, I totally appreciate your continued prayers, love and support through this journey of ours. Even though I've not been as in touch as perhaps I should have been, times have been rocky. Still I feel your presence and it means the world. I do hope you're feeling the love in return. I am not down and out yet and still feel much of the better fight still left. Your hanging with me only helps solidify that stance. I ask you to please continue prayers for Henry as well. And I pray God's Blessing on us all ...
Love to all,
Written Jun 23, 2010 5:16pmEllen came home from the hospital yesterday (Tuesday, 6/22). She is still being treated for spinal cord compression with steroids and radiation. In addition, an MRI done Sunday indicated she had an acute edmbolic infarction (AKA a light stroke). That was a huge surprise! She seems to be recovering well. The confusion and short term memory problems that she was experiencing are getting better every day.
We left the hospital and went straight to SCOA for radiation. We both felt like having a cheeseteak sandwich from Very's (one of our favorite sandwiches, so we called in the order and took a round about way home to pick them up. It was well worth it! By noon, we were sitting at her kitchen table.
Today we started working on pain management, putting to use some of the good stuff we've learned. Besides using the good medicines properly, we can now attest to the fact that distraction is an excellent alternative treatment for pain. Shopping was a great distraction today (with my son Ian handling the wheelchair) before we went to SCOA. After SCOA we went to the grocery store. Ian has had a lot of practice with wheelchairs helping me with his grandmother. He's a fabulous helper, and Ellen and I appreciate him immensely!
I just talked with Ellen. She fixed pepper steak for supper and was ready to sit down to eat.
What a day! We'll all sleep well tonight with delightful feelings of accomplishment.
Marilyn (Ellen's sister)
Written Jun 19, 2010 6:50pmEllen was admitted last night to Lexington Medical Center with spinal cord compression. One of the tumors (the one they’re aiming at with the radiation therapy) is pressing on her spinal cord. The treatment will be high doses of steroids to reduce swelling and pressure in the area while radiating the heck out of the tumor.
Ellen said yesterday that she was going to start this entry with the statement that no gigantic roller coaster in the world could rival the one she has been on this past week. Truer words were never spoken. Daily radiation started Monday. Also on Monday, her radiation oncologist, Dr. Ben Wright, doubled her pain medicines. Tuesday was seven long hours of chemotherapy, and by midday she was already feeling some better. Wednesday morning she felt fabulous - better than she had in a very long time. We had a delightful lunch with a dear friend she had not seen in ages served by her son Joey at Harpers. Alas, her good feeling of that glorious morning did not last. The pain returned and steadily grew worse. On Friday, Dr. Jones ordered a CT scan of her brain to determine if the confusion we were noticing was due to the disease having progressed to her brain or from something simpler such as the increase in pain meds. The CT scan was clear!
Friday evening we realized she had several of the “notify your doctor immediately” symptoms related to spinal cord compression. She called the on-call doctor for SCOA who instructed her to come to the hospital PDQ to be admitted. She and Henry were in the emergency room until about 4:00 AM when she finally was assigned a room. (Bless Henry’s heart; today is his 60th birthday.)
She slept off and on most of the day and seemed to be feeling less and less pain as the day wore on. She needed help sitting up this morning and was rather wobbly on her feet, but she was able to sit up on the side of the bed and walk to the restroom with minimal assistance by this afternoon. Of course, she’s ready to come home. The neurosurgeon, however, told us he couldn’t say at this time when she would be ready to come home.
She sends her love to you all along with her deep appreciation for your continued love and prayers.
Marilyn (Ellen's Sister)