What an Easter Weekend!!

Events from 28-31 March 2013

Hello Everyone! How was your weekend? Oh boy ours…..came in busy, topped off scary, and ended relieving. I thought all the drama was behind us with the infested room and my newly faded black pants, all thanks to housekeeping. After Jason threw up on Thursday night, his stomach was a little unsettled. Nothing sounded good to him, especially anything that would aid in his weight maintenance. That continued Friday morning, he was able to eat some Cream of Wheat for breakfast, but that was pretty much it for the day. He was exhausted by the time we came home and spent most of the night in bed. That was ok with me, because the babies stayed home with me while Grandma and Grandpa took Dylan and Jackson to “Oz”. I was able to be introduced to a whole new side of Harrison. He is the baby of the family, but wasn’t acting like it. He was standing on our little rocking chair backwards and rocking it… hard watching me watching him… smiling. I thought my goodness when did you become the little rebel of the family! Then he recruited Kellen in on the action and they climbed the chairs in the kitchen and proceeded to climb on top of the table, stand, and laugh at me!!! Seriously this is my 16 month old dragging his 29 month old brother to the dark side. Luckily I was able to distract them with lying on the ground and letting them attack me. That always works. One thing nice about being away from my boys all week, I appreciate playing with them so much more.
Jason didn’t get much better by Saturday morning, but he was able to eat some more Cream of Wheat and pumped himself  up enough to ride out with Dylan, Jackson,  and I at 9:30 for Jackson’s 10:00 game and Dylan’s 12:00 game. I personally thought he might last through Jackson’s game, but he wouldn’t feel as bad missing Dylan’s because he had seen him play before. I was about 1 mile away from home when Jason asked me for a bag. He then threw up, pretty violently. The boys went quiet. I was worried about Jason, but I was also worried about how the boys were going to take it. They did pretty well with it. I just explained to them that daddy had poison in him that was killing the cancer, but it made it sick sometimes. I wasn’t so sure myself though. I didn’t know why Jason was throwing up when he wasn’t complaining of being nauseous. 12 hours later I wished I had turned that car around right then and forced Jason to stay in bed. We went on and pretended everything was ok. Anyone could just look at Jason and see that he was not ok, but no one says anything. Jackson did great at batting, but when he was told to run to second he said “No, I need to conserve my energy.”  It was hilarious.

I was hoping that Jason would nominate when I said “Someone needs to stay home with the babies next game, any takers?” Obviously I wasn’t talking to Grandma and Grandpa, but Jason said I want to watch Dylan. I knew that Dylan’s game would be at least 90 minutes, so Jason wouldn’t get home until after 1:30. I knew that he wouldn’t be able to eat anything that they had there and wasn’t going to rip out his feeding tube and bolus feed a protein shake in front of everyone. That was what I was thinking about, that he wasn’t going to be getting any calories. Not that uh dud, along with not getting anything for substance, he wasn’t getting any liquid either. He went from drinking ½ gallon of milk a day 3 days ago, to not even be able to take a sip of water without gagging. He came home at 1:40 and went straight into the shower. I went in to see if he was ok. He said that his pee was brown, and he had to start rehydrating himself ASAP. He was right thinking that gravity feeding 2 oz of Vitamin Water and 1 oz of water every 15 minutes was a good way to not upset his stomach, but still get what he needed. After 2 hours of doing this, we relaxed a little and tried a lemon Gatorade. Nope didn’t work and he threw it up. I called our good friend, who happens to be our flight doc, Kirstin Dewilde.

It was Saturday afternoon and I hated to have to call her, but I knew that she would help us out. I told her what was going on, and she told us we probably should have gone to the ER when his pee was brown, but just to keep doing and what we were doing, and go to the ER if he throws up again or doesn’t pee by 10 pm. Well we didn’t have to wait that long because when I came in from doing yard work with Grandpa and Grandma to wake up Jason for more hydration at 7:45pm, he said that he had just thrown up again. I jumped in the shower and we drove to the “other” hospital (see first story for our reasons why we avoid the hospital that is only 2 miles from our house) We have heard a lot of good things about Hendricks and most of our doctor friends worked there. Unfortunately the friend who is an ER doctor wasn’t working, but I thought about name dropping him to push the pill seekers to the side and get my husband hooked up to some saline before he went into kidney failure. Obviously this is what I was feeling, but Jason was telling me too chill out and that he would be ok. When I realized I was bleeding on my arm because I was digging my nails into them.

I “waited” patiently behind the other drug seeker (maybe not, but no one there deserved treatment more than my husband… in my eyes) and asked if they were going to be able to help us soon. I don’t know if it helped or not, but he was called up next. After they saw him up close and heard that he was a cancer patient they got him into a room pretty quickly. I felt a little better, but I knew there were a lot of people there and it was going to be awhile till Jason saw the Dr. A moment later a male nurse came in who was an Abilene native. He was just what we (I) needed to put us (me) at ease. He said that he needed to draw some blood for labs and it would take around 45 minutes before they would get done. Then we would probably see the doc. I was about to throw a fit when he said, “But I will start an IV soon so we can get you back on track” Now I could finally chill, even more when he actually did it! Another hour went by and still no Dr, but it was time for Jason to take his morphine pill and since he was in too much pain to swallow his pain pill….yeah I know, case in point, I needed to track down our nurse.

Found him pretty quickly, and since he couldn’t find a pill crusher for Jason’s oxycodone and the ER doctor couldn’t prescribe the Morphine granules that Jason could fit into his feeding tube. They gave him Dilaudid, never heard of it, but they said it was Morphine’s “big brother” so we thought we could give it a chance. It worked and another hour later the doctor finally came in. He said that all the labs hadn’t come back yet, but what had come back looked good. I said even the kidneys, well that was the one we were still waiting on, of course. We told him what had happened and why we were there. We told him that we didn’t understand why Jason was throwing up if he wasn’t feeling nauseous. We also told him that since Jason was on a clinical trial, that he had to call the on call doctor in Dallas. He told us that he would do that and get back to us, but he would like to see Jason get another liter of fluid!!! It was now 12:00, and we were pretty sure we would go home tonight, but had no idea when. The doctor finally came in again and he told us that he had talked to the on call doctor in Dallas, and they had a plan!!

Jason was experiencing side effects of the chemo. He may have not felt nauseous, but his body was reacting that way and he needed to get Zofran on board and take 1 pill every 4 hours, and that he couldn’t take too many. That was different than what we heard different from the Chemo Doctor today. We just barely talked about it, and Jason will use 4 Zofran pills a day and use the Phenegran at night. Anyway, back to the story.  He explained how he should take his feedings slower, and mentioned some other tricks. He believed that we would be ok once the Zofran was on board. Since they couldn’t go by his test results because chemo messes with them, they wouldn’t let us leave until Jason peed. He said that why not add another bag and force it out of him!!! Halfway between the third bag Jason finally did it. I have a picture of it but Jason won’t let me post it. I will have to say that it was the color of rust. Yuck!! The doctor and nurse came in and said oh yeah you were really dehydrated. When we got home we pretty much got conformation of what the ER doctor said.

It had been 4 hours since the nurse added the Zofran to the IV. Jason came home and immediately ran to the kitchen sink and threw up. We got his pills crushed now including his Zofran and got him straight into bed. It was a short night for me when Kellen came and woke me up at 6 am. I about told him to go find Grandma and Grandpa, but of course they didn’t go to bed until we got home and they had done so much for us I knew they needed their sleep more than I did. Every ½ hour another Yardley boy crawled out of bed so by 8 am I had 4 very excited boys that wanted to get to all the presents that “Easter Bunny” AKA Grandma had brought them! I distracted them with pancakes and kept everyone contained till 9 am. Jason had actually come out shortly after Kellen woke me up and said go hide the eggs outside. Um yeah that wasn’t going to happen. Luckily after the two oldest woke up I was able to saddle them with Kellen and told them I had to go outside and see where the bunny had hid the eggs so I could help them find them later. Yes that actually worked.

It was about 9:30 and I had asked Jason earlier if he wanted me to wake him up when the boys went looking for eggs so I wanted to wait until he was close to needing to take his pills. The boys loved all the presents that the “Easter Bunny” AKA Grandma had brought them. Finding the eggs was exciting for the older boys but the babies didn’t really know what was going on. After awhile Kellen caught on, but by then Dylan and Jackson had decided to destroy all the eggs by throwing them at the fence. I went in and got the plastic eggs and hid a few! We were able to get the babies in a nap before church, but it didn’t matter with Harrison because he still kept giving Grandma a hard time. I was glad to have the help because the talks were so wonderful. I was sad that this might be the last full sacrament I will be able to attend until Jason is well enough to join us. We had to leave after Sacrament to take Grandma and Grandpa to the airport. The boys weren’t too worried when they left because I reassured them they would see their grandma and grandpa real soon! Not having to focus on a big Easter meal kind of took the nostalgia away for me and Jason, but we know that there will be plenty of more years to get back into traditions!!! If you are still reading this, thank you for sticking with it. I joked with Jason that I had to write a big long explanation why our kids were in their diapers and pajamas for our Easter hunt picture.  Feel free to leave a comment. It helps for me to know how to lay down future posts.


  1. Heather, I just want you to know that we are thinking of and praying for you and Jason. I am amazed at the strength that both of you have and how well you keep things in perspective. Thank you for sharing your experiences, it is a wonderful reminder of what is really important and how blessed we are to have our families. Love, Ralph and Cheryl

  2. Your family is proof of what is truly important. Heather, you are doing a wonderful job of holding everything together. Jason, even with all that you and your body are going through, you are continuing to be an amazing and devoted father. Boys, it sounds like you aren't letting all this get you down!! You guys are truly an inspiration to everyone! Hang in there and know that we're all praying for you!!