Mar 12, 2018 Latest post:
Jul 12, 2018
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Hi everyone, I want to inform you all about the situation my dad (John Truman Stacy) is in right now. The short story is that he is hospitalized, extremely weak and has suffered pneumonia. As most of you know, he has been treated for cancer originating in his salivary gland. His current condition is probably the result of complications arising from difficulty in maintaining nutrition and hydration (due to problems in his mouth and jaw arising from the surgeries and other treatments related to cancer) as well as likely inflammatory reaction as a side effect of immunotherapy (Yervoy, a.k.a. Ipilimumab anti-CTLA4 experimental treatment administered by the Moffitt Center in Tampa FL).
He is still very much aware. But he can only communicate through hand signals and nods. It is very difficult for him to be in this state, as you can imagine.
A timeline of events is as follows: On Monday the 12th of March, JT was admitted to FH (Florida Hospital) complaining of difficulty breathing. He was extremely swollen in his neck area and CT scan later showed that the swelling was pressing on his windpipe. He also had an extremely low heart rate, so it became necessary to operate in a pacemaker, which I believe was in place Tuesday. He has been in an ICU (intensive care unit) most of the nearly 2 weeks since his admission to FH. However, he was moved to a PCU (progressive care unit) for an approximately 24 hr period last weekend based on perceived improvement in his condition. The PCU stay was ended Saturday evening (March 17) when JT went back into a breathing crisis that necessitated intubation. The crisis was a result of pneumonia, and he has been under antibiotic treatment as well as suction treatments given when the pneumonia was most extreme. He has been breathing with the help of a respirator from the time he was intubated. He is also receiving nutrition through a tube to his stomach. On Tuesday, the breathing tube through his mouth was replaced by a thracheostomy tube (enters wind-pipe directly below his voicebox) and his feeding tube was moved to go through his nose. He has had some physical therapy, including “dangle tests” where he is perched on the edge of the bed with help. There has also been one attempt at speech (the seal of the trach-tube is loosened to allow air to pass through the voicebox) but this led to bleeding and was aborted for now. He is not sedated but is sleeping a disturbing amount of the time. Tomorrow he is scheduled to get a PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy) tube to replace the nasal route.
We are hoping that he rallies and finds strength to improve. Even with improvement, we expect that he will need the help of a rehabilitation center in the near term. Whether or not the treatment at the Moffitt Center has produced any benefit has not been addressed at this point. We are communicating with Moffitt and will advocate for FH to assist Moffitt in any way they can. I recently put in a request to share records and image results from FH to Moffitt.