Roller coaster

Pop1655

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After six months of chemo and removal of a kidney for cancer, Sallie's older sister (66) was a survivor making a comeback. Five weeks ago things went south and she was hospitalized for pulmonary embolisms. Something from the surgery was throwing clots into her lungs. Sallie made a solo run up and spent a few days. After two weeks of no progress in a regional hospital, her daughter scored her a slot in a premier heart hospital with truly one of the world's top cardiac surgeons. That was three weeks ago. After three days of evaluation, he comes up with an insanely complicated open heart style procedure to remove the embolisms. It's a hail Mary, but the only shot. We do the five hour race up to get there. The clan gathers. She survives the surgery. Thirty minutes after, as we're all doing high fives in the waiting room, when inserting a cath line for a heart machine she throws a clot they literally watch on the screen go to her heart. Roll her right back in and crack her back open. She survives, The plan now is several days knocked out on life support (heart machine and vent) to allow organs to rest and heal. All stable. We head home. Four days later they turn down the machines as a test. She crashes. Turn em back up, needs more time. Two days later one lung fills up with blood. "Tell the sisters to get up here". We make the race. Crack her open for the third time and perform a successful procedure. This time they don't close. "We'll probably have to go in again". Stable. We come home. Sunday it happens again. They successfully repeat the procedure. Monday the daughters and husband are told during Sunday's procedure when they turned down the heart machine, she crashed within a minute. They got the "we're out of options" speech. They scheduled one more trial of turning down the machine (which she failed withing a minute the day before) to measure results. If not good, it's time to turn off life support. We get the call and have to race to get up there and beat the clock. No one is under any illusions about how this is gonna play out. Spend the five hour drive up talking about what things will be like without her. Slide in the parking garage with 10 minutes to spare. We're gathered, they do the test. She passes with flying colors. Numbers are better than they've been in weeks. She sent us a crystal clear "what the f'k are y'all doing?" They made a plan to turn the machine down in increments four times during the night. She does fine. Machine is removed (involves another surgery). She does fine. We have to get back home for work. We load up (stunned she still has her sister) and head home with a midnight ETA (including a stop for an infamous candy bar on the way). Sis is now entering day three of stable numbers. Still don't think this ends well, but it looks like it'll be on her terms. She's a fighter.
 

sonar1

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What a marathon.
You’re not alone.
A few years ago I did two marathons back to back.
It’s a world of woe, and everybody gets a night in the box (or two) once in a while.
Makes me appreciate green leaves and blue sky.
 

danohat

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My dad was supposed to die about every day for almost 7 years. He spent long stints at St. Marys, St Joe's, Henry Ford, Cleveland Clinic, U of M, and home.
 

JonCanfield

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When my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I made several trips down to help out, and kind of take charge of the Dr interaction. He was in SoCal, I was in WA.
At the very end, we got a call that he wasn't going to last too much longer. Did the marathon 22 hour drive down there, only stopping for gas. Thankfully we made it in time. He passed that night.
 

Chester Drawers

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Stone me!!

I just read that twice, and it's still difficult to take in.

Some people are just born resilient.

Best wishes to you all from across the pond.
 

ehb

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Good thoughts, prayers of peace, and mondo good juju your way for you and yours, bud.....
 

KTM

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Wow! That is quite the roller coaster. Prayers sent for a speedy recovery.
 

mdubya

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All the best to you and yours, Pop.

I know the roller coaster too well.

These are extremely trying times to be in the hospital. They are stretched and stressed to the limits and beyond. Don't ask me how I know.

I thoroughly enjoy my life, but I am not sure I would want to go through all of that to carry on. :wow:

I hope SIL makes it and is able to enjoy her bonus time. :yesway:
 

Pop1655

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Thanks. There’s four of em. They were a force to be reckoned with. The one just younger than Sallie died suddenly like three months ago. It’s been hard to process the thought of going from four to two in the blink of an eye. Strange.
FF37BA3E-D0E9-45CB-9E51-6869A4F995C3.jpeg
 

electric head

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I am all for modern technology but sometimes when its your time its your time..
I look at the rack with all bags and tubes and what not and think ... are we prolonging life at what expense to the person?

I wish the best for her but I can say from first hand experience that they kept my mother alive way to long without her knowledge or approval..
 

Pop1655

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Agree. It’s a tough call, but she keeps clearing hurdles. Got a few left to jump. Now it’s closer to ball’s in her court. Pretty impressive the option exists. Where she was, she would have been gone three weeks ago.
 

Fiat Lux

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She’s doing good Pop.

And you and yours are doing good, too.

Treasure every extra day, regardless of how many or how few. Hope for many.

cheers.
 

toymaker

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Sorry to hear of what the family has been going through.

That toughness though is something - it can be hard having to watch the fight, but I think watching them go without a fight would be harder. They are fighting because they felt supported and the backing of others. We may not always get the results we want - but there is a comfort in the knowledge that they fought as hard as they could to stick around a bit longer to me at least.

Best of luck to her in her fight - she knows she is not fighting alone and that’s the most important thing. Science and technology are wonderful but if you don’t have a reason to hang on they are meaningless.
 

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