Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My(Blaine) Dad

Forewarning, this is a LONG post!!

Some of you know, some of you may not know.  My dad has been ill for a while now, with an unknown diagnosis. Around the first of October he was having trouble seeing, along with other things.  He called me on a Friday...he was waiting on his sister to come get him and take him to the ER because they thought he might be having a stroke.  They ruled out the stroke, but had no clue...sent him home.  Sunday night, he went to St. Dominic's in Jackson, MS.  They immediately ran multiple tests, including spinal taps and tons of blood work, MRI's, you get the gist.  The initial was to to rule out things, (however, they did find a small blood clot on the back of his brain) mainly Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  They really weren't sure what was going on and nothing was making him better.  He stayed in the hospital for quite a while, and then eventually was sent home for two weeks to see if any improvement would occur. 

He went back for his checkup, got more MRI's, blood tests, spinal taps, etc., as well as a second opinion.  This doctor was sure that it was MS, that the blood clot was old and that he had probably had it for a while.  7 years ago dad had an episode, they diagnosed him with Gilliam berea, a rare auto-immune disease.  She was positive this was really MS, just misdiagnosed.  So, her suggestion was plasmapherisis (a blood cleaning treatment).  This would take place for 8 days, treatment being every other day and lasting for hours each time.  This made him feel terrible, but what do you do?!  After this treatment, they sent him home to "rest".  They are still on the hunch that it was MS but not 100% because the plaque that normally builds up on the myelin sheath wasn't there.  Every day he felt like poo, nauseated, dizzy, still terrible vision, etc. 

He went back for a checkup, the blood cleaning treatment didn't work, therefore it was back to the drawing boards.  They did say his vision up close and directly in front of him wasn't all that bad but that he had no peripheral vision which is why he has been stumbling, etc.  They ran more tests and discussed more treatment options, mainly steriods but since the last treatment didn't work, they would have to be agressive in their approach.

This past Monday, January 21, 2013 he went in to talk with the doctors about the aggressive treatment...chemo for 6 months.  This was not what I was expecting to hear.  They said that since the plasmapheresis didn't touch the MS(yep, back on that), that chemo was the only option.  They are guessing he has had MS for at least 20 years...untreated so that is why it is so bad.  MS is worse for men anyway, and definitely worse that it's been untreated for so long. So yesterday he went for his first treatment, it took about 5 hours, he is taking cytoxan intravenously.  He called me during treatment, sounded pretty run down.  He is taking this junk day by day, every day he is alive is one more day that "he's made it".  I spoke to him again after treatment and he was excited they were going to let him go home.  He had a terrible headache, I'm sure one of many side effects that he will have.  Last night was rough, didn't sleep well and just feels yucky. 

I am positive this will work, only way I can be.  Keeping faith in HIM is what will get us all through this.  Hardest part is being 6 months prego and 600 miles away from my Daddy.  Please feel free to say a prayer for my family during this time as we really need them.  Sorry for the long post, it's good therapy for me :)!

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