I can't believe it's been since mid-May that I have updated the blog. Many of you have gotten the updates via other means so this will be a repeat of what you already know. Others of you could use a few details of the past few weeks.
In the middle of May, Matthew had not recovered enough from the chemo he took in April to continue with the treatment scheduled for May 17. He received a blood transfusion on the 19th to improve his hemoglobin. Beginning the 2nd week of May, Matthew had begun retaining fluid and by Friday the 21st the swelling was so uncomfortable, an ER trip was warranted. Because of the excessive swelling in his feet, he developed cellulitis on his left foot as well as a bad rash on both feet due to the irritation of the surface tissue. Matthew was admitted on the 21st, had a paracentisis that removed 9 liters of fluid and was put on IV antibiotics for the cellulitis. He stayed in the hospital until Monday the 24th during which time he also had trouble eating.
After coming home, Matthew began to feel a little better, continuing the strong antibiotics but not being able to eat much because of sickness. Unfortunately by Friday the swelling in his feet returned and on Saturday he had blisters on his hands and feet as well as swelling in both hands. He was unable to walk without assistance and had to use the wheelchair. Due to these changes, we returned to the ER on Saturday afternoon, May 29th.
During this hospital stay, MANY blood tests were run to determine the problem with the rash/blisters/swelling of hands and feet. Nothing is definitive yet but Vasculitis was considered the most probable option. Since steroids are given for someone with Vasculitis and that was not a good option for Matthew, nothing was done. Since more fluid had accumulated, another paracentisis was done on Monday, the 31st removing 6 3/4 liters, making it necessary to stay in the hospital until Tuesday, the 1st of June.
I am happy to say that the swelling is gone in his hands but some sores remain. The swelling in his feet has improved and the blisters/rash is improving slowly each day. They still have a long way to go. We are thankful that he is now able to walk without pain. Matthew is still having a lot of nausea and sickness issues so he is still eating a liquid and soft food diet. Our son and Matthew's brother, Ian, came in on the weekend and has been a tremendous help this week fixing nutritious juices and smoothies for Matthew to help him regain his strength. Ian's energy has been a help to ALL of us.
In the midst of his fatigue, feeling weak and sick and waiting on his feet to heal, Matthew's sense of humor stays in tact. Suddenly in the middle of a conversation his quiet voice will come out with a pun or statement in his own special, dry humor and his Dad, brother, fiance and I will all burst out laughing. I've always told him he needs to become a comedian!
Thank you for all the acts of love, support, and thoughtfulness we are receiving daily. Even after 4 years of receiving these blessings, the support remains strong and your commitment to us never wavers. God has used you all in so many special ways to provide what we need and at just the right time. I pray for God's blessings on your lives and that one day we will be able to reach out to you in your need.
Our prayer requests are: strength & energy for Matthew; less pain; healing of his feet; his ability to eat without so much sickness; the removal of fluid without infection; energy and wisdom for those of us who take care of his needs - doctors, nurses, family and friends.