Health Update, 29 July, 2017

Sorry for the delayed entry.  Since my ½ dose treatment of Chemo on July 12th, I was really doing well, having more energy and good appetite, played three rounds of golf in two weeks.  But on Monday the 24th, I started having shivering and chills even though in the Pacific NW we were experiencing a heat wave.  I got under the electric blanket and couldn’t warm up for at least two hours.  Tuesday morning the chills subsided but I was somewhat confused.  In my state of bewilderment, I mistakenly took two of my regular B/P pills.  My B/P dropped to as low as 60/40 but very slowly returned to normal levels by bed time Tuesday.  Linnea was in Portland attending to her mother’s affairs, since she passed away on Sunday the 23rd.  Luann Enz was an energetic pioneer during her time, having graduated from Willamette University when most women did not pursue higher education.  She was tolerant and always expounded equality among all people and civil rights as human rights and everyone deserves dignity.  She had been a vital part in the lives of many people she encountered, and certainly amongst her immediate family.  We will all miss Luann Enz.  I had not gone down to be with Linnea during Luann’s final days because my mother Shirley had L total hip replacement surgery on July 17th.  Her post-op course has been complicated with massive repeated hemorrhages.  (Another saga.)  Linnea rushed back on the 25th to care for me since I was scheduled for Chemo on the 26th.

Prior to treatment the lab report indicated my White cell count had returned to normal of around 7000 however, it also showed elevated liver functions.  Dr. Picozzi suspected a bile duct obstruction and ordered me to have a CT scan instead of proceeding with Chemo.  I had the CT scan late, around 5:30, and the formal radiologic report wouldn’t be submitted until morning, thus we came home.

That evening, I started a having a fever, rising up to 103+!  Linnea called VM at 1:00 am Thursday and happened to get Dr. Picozzi who wanted me to go to the VM ER on the next ferry which was 4:45 am.  We did and I was seen by the ER doctor very promptly.  They did blood cultures and admitted me for endoscopic exploration of my bile duct because the previously performed CT scan showed engorged bile duct with nonspecific obstruction.  An ERCP was performed placing me as high priority even though the GI procedural schedule was full for the day.  Indeed an obstruction was identified and a stent was placed.  I was hospitalized for sepsis, antibiotic treatment and observation.  I did well and was discharged today on oral antibiotics for twelve days.  No Chemo until off antibiotics.

This is just as well because Monday we were scheduled to go back to Portland to meet Linnea’s distant cousin Anita and her husband.  Tuesday we will witness the burial of Linnea’s Mom at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland to be with her Dad because Rev. Enz was a retired Army Chaplain.  (Her memorial service is August 13th.)  On Wednesday we pick up Uncle John and Auntie May for a very brief visit before we fly to Springfield OH for my 55th HS reunion which has been a goal of mine.  I am eager to see these classmates who have been so supportive along my medical journey.

Thanks for reading.  Keep sending good vibes and thoughts.

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