Bob and Karen Dunford Our Journey

First post: May 14, 2020 Latest post: Jul 8, 2022
Our journey begin on March 23, 2020 when the stay at home order had already been in effect for covid-19. Something started happening in my husband's body, that progressed over the next four weeks that caused him to feel weak and have no energy. It was so bad that it became a task for him just to walk from our family room to our kitchen without his blood pressure dropping low and his heart rate increasing. He would also turn deathly pale and loose his breath.  I knew in my heart that something terribly was wrong. I thought because of his heart rate increasing, maybe, it was his heart. On Monday morning, April 27th I called my husband's doctor and made him (Bob) an appointment. He went in at 11 A.M. The doctor ask him what was going on. My husband explained to him the symptoms he was having. His doctor told Bob that he thought that because of his lack of activity at work ( due to business slowing down because of covid-19. Bob always would move at a real fast pace, from one plant to the other) that the dosage of his bp (blood pressure) medication was to much. So the doctor told Bob to cut his dosage in half starting the next morning.  He also told him to walk and ride his bike. That would help build his strength.  Bob went to work after his appointment treadyhat morning. When he got home I had his dinner , but he didn't feel like eating right away. He took a short nap. When he woke up, he said that he would try to eat his dinner. He could only eat a little, about a third it, because of his lack of appetite. After dinner he wanted to try to go for a walk. So we drove to a site where we always walk and ride our bikes. We parked and got out of our minivan and began our walk.  We had only taken about three hundred steps (if that) when Bob began to turn pale and loose his breath.  We stopped, turned around and went back to our vehicle. I took his bp and pulse. His bp was low and his pulse was high. On Tuesday April 28th, Bob's bp was 80/40 and his pulse was 135 bpm. I sent a text message to Bob's doctor, letting him know . He called back almost immediately and told me that his bp was to low and for him to stop his medication altogether until the following Monday when he would see him again.  In the meantime, my oldest grandson, Anthony, had done research the night before on Bob's symptoms. All of his symptoms pointed to animeia. I told the doctor about the research and asked him if it could, in fact be animeia?? He said he saw no signs of animeia in his office. That, what I was describing was totally different of what he saw (that was when he took Bob off the bp meds) I asked the doctor what he could say that would convince me that Bob's bp meds was the problem?!?! His reply was, "I don't think I can convince you over the phone. All I can say is I have 36 years of experience and Bob showed no signs of animeia in my office. I was contacting the doctor everyday from, April 27 to May 1 because Bob's symptoms were only getting worse On Friday morning, May 1, I called the doctor's office, which to my surprise, he answered the phone. I told the doctor that Bob was getting worse and that after he got up and had his coffee, he went back to bed. That was the first time he had done that since these symptoms had started. He told me that Bob needed to go to the emergency room and have lab work done.  When I told Bob what the doctor said, I saw Bob's anxiety levels shoot to the ceiling. There was no way he wanted to go to the hospital, because that's where covid-19 was! I told him, sweetie we have to try! It doesn't take a doctor or an einstein to see something is wrong!  He finally agreed, but our trip to the emergency room was not an easy task! Bob has claustrophobia that he developed about 6 years ago. He would have to wear a mask, so that was NOT going to be an easy challenge. We got into our vehicle and proceeded to Saint Joe's. It took four attempts before we actually made it to the hospital because of Bob's anxiety and claustrophobia. Once we arrived, I suggested that he hold the mask instead of wearing it. That seemed to help. We entered the emergency room door where a nurse with mask and gloves stopped us and asked if we both were being seen. I said, "my husband is, but I am not" She said, "you will have to go back to your car, because we have a no visitor policy right now. Bob started to proceed into the hospital until the nurse said he had to put the straps on. He put one on, but she told him, "you have to put both straps on." He couldn't do it, so we turned around and went back to the car with me.
By now my anxiety was raising. I didn't know what to do so I called the doctor on the bluetooth and told him Bob's dilemma. He understood, but said Bob really needed to try and go back in because he had to have lab work to see what was going on. Bob asked him was there another place he could go? The doctor said no Bob. You can't go to an urgent care you and I don't have the necessary equipment in my office, so you really need to go to the ER."
Bob told the doctor, that maybe he would wait one more day to see how he felt. The doctor's response was, "Bob, if you wait one more day, it might be to late!" Bob agreed he would go. 
He wanted to go home first to relax from the anxiety he was feeling and then we could go to the ER.
We set there in the ER parking lot for a minute. Bob said let's go home for a while so I can calm down. I looked at him and said, if this was me, you would make me go!! He said, I'm going to go baby doll  I just need to try and calm down. I just shook my head, because I was afraid once we got home he wouldn't go back. I was talking to God on the way home. I told Him I don't know what else to do! If I can't get him to the hospital, what am I going to do?? Lord, what do you want me to do?? Bob reached over and touched my arm and said, I'm going to go to the hospital baby doll, I promise. After we got home, Bob went to the bathroom. His phone rang. It was my younger daughter, Bobbie. I told her what happened. She said, Mom I have some thin mask. I will bring them over. Bob was able to wear the mask! I was so thankful to the Lord! We drove back to the hospital and Bob walked in while I sit in my van.
I called our daughters, Theresa and Bobbie to have them be praying for their Dad.
After about half an hour, I texted him to see how things were going. He called me about thirty minutes after that and said that they had done blood work and a EKG on him, but the doctor wanted to do another EKG and more blood work in a couple of hours. So he told me to go home and he would call me when he was ready to come home. 
I drove home and had been home, maybe thirty minutes, when Bob called me and said they were admitting him, because he needed a blood transfusion. My heart sank! I asked why?!?! He said because his red and white blood cell count was very low along with his platelets. I was numb. I didn't know what to do or say. He said that when he got to his room he would call me. I said, okay sweetie, I love you so much!!! That night was the worst! I hardly got any sleep. I was up crying and praying most of the night. On Saturday May 2 I called Bob first thing. They had to give him another blood infusion the night before. That was a total of 2. I talked to him several times that day. In one of our conversations, he said they were going to do a bone marrow test on Monday. Once more my heart sank 😥 Even though I knew what they were checking for, I asked him anyway, What was it for? He said they were running all kinds of test, to rule things OUT. They had to give him 2 more infusions. That made a total of 4.

Sunday May 3 - I called Bob to see how he was feeling and how he had slept. He said he felt better than he had in a long time and he had slept okay, the nurses kept coming in during the night to draw blood and do vitals. He told me that they were going to do the bone marrow test later that day instead of on Monday.

Monday May 4 - I lost count of how many times I called Bob that morning.........everytime asking him if the doctor had been in with the results. Finally around Noon the doctor came in. It was not the news we wanted to hear. Bob had me on speaker so it was like I was there with a way. The results confirmed that Bob had AML ( Acute Myeloid Leukemia) What now?!?!? What are our next steps?!?!? They wanted to start chemotherapy right away. Bob told then he wanted to wait one day so he could talk with me. They agreed, but said time is of the essence and we shouldn't wait more than a day.
We talked after the doctors left his room.
I told him that I would support any decision he made. He chose to do the chemotherapy.
By the grace of God I kept my composure while I was talking to him but has soon has I got off the phone I let out a bloodcurdling scream!
My grandson Anthony and his wife Lexi who was 6 months pregnant had moved in with us on March 10th.  Lexi came running to my aid. If she had not been there I would have collapsed onto the kitchen floor. She held me while I screamed and cried  NO NO NO!!! O GOD NO!!!

......................TO BE CONTINUED