Archive for January, 2011

Food, glorious food

Rich has had a rough weekend – pretty miserable with pain, but considering what he has been through, I guess it is to be expected. Not eating was really getting him down. Pouring liquid nutrition into your stomach while others are eating is not any fun.

Today, however, he had tomato soup for lunch and even tried to crunch up and eat a few potato chips. That is a HUGE improvement since Friday, so we are thankful!

Keep praying please. Tomorrow he goes back to Columbus for the removal of the staples in his leg and he goes to Wooster on Thursday to meet the people that will be handling his radiation treatments.

Also, please thank God that the snow storm we are expecting isn’t hitting tomorrow while they are trying to travel to Columbus.

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Rich is HOME!

What a whirlwind of a day! When I came home from work, Rich was standing in my dining room. Gary, Bill and Chet went to get him today and didn’t tell me…what a wonderful surprise! He is tired and in a bit of pain, but he looks so good!

As you can imagine, we are pretty busy getting everything set up for him, so I will post details later, but I just wanted everyone to know he is home, safe and sound.

As far as visiting is concerned, he is really in need of rest right now, so please call before you come over. We hate to keep anyone from seeing him, but right now, he can’t afford a cold and to get over-tired, so we will have to limit how many people are here at one time. If you email me at cmathys@zoominternet.net, I will gladly give you my cell number.

Thank you God for bringing him home…what a glorious day!!!

He’s Talking and COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!

They removed the large trach tube today and put in a smaller one. His brother Chet was there and he called Gary. Then Chet put Rich on the phone with Gary and HE TALKED!!! After 5 days, that had to be a glorious moment for him! Can you imagine? I think God’s showing off his awesomeness!

Gary then called Samaritan in Ashland and asked them to call The James to coordinate his after care. After several calls back and forth, The James said that they will start working with Rich today on eating regular food and blocking off the trach. If all goes well, he will be released tomorrow or Friday…and not to a rehab center, but HOME! Woo Hoo!

The plan right now is for him to have the chemo treatments in Ashland and the radiation in Wooster. The doctor in Ashland prefers that he go there and since he is coordinating everything, that is the plan we will go with.

One more thing, so many people have been there for all of us and we want you to know how much it is appreciated! You will never know how comforting it has been. I also just want to say a very special Thank you to Pastor Jim and Cheryl Norris. Pastor Jim was with us all the day of the surgery and last night, they drove Tyler, Matt and I down to see Rich. They both love Rich very much!

We’ll keep you posted. Please pray that all goes as expected and that he is home soon. Much love to all!

Tuesday Night Update

Just got home from seeing Rich. He looks really good!

I finally saw the incision on his leg from where they harvested veins, tissue and skin…it runs from the top of his leg, almost down to his knee and is stapled closed. It is quite larger than I expected. He still has a drain in his jaw and one on his leg, but they removed the one from his neck today. Tomorrow, they plan on removing the trach tube and replacing it with a smaller one and hopefully by the end of the week, he may be able to whisper and perhaps eat a bit of real food.

The liquid nutrition they are giving him through the feeding tube is upsetting his stomach, but that is probably related to the antibiotics and the pain medications.

He was in pretty good spirits considering the pain that he is still experiencing. He said the difference between the pain before the surgery and the pain now is that now he has a button that he can press and a nurse will come and give him medication. They had him walk today and he went about half way down the hall. That may not seem like much, but when you remember that there are at least 91 rooms on his floor, it’s a really, really long hallway.

He has figured out how to cough through the trach tube and then suction it himself without calling anyone for help. He’s nervous about them changing the tube on his trach tomorrow because he knows it’s going to hurt a lot, but he knows that if he can walk, eat and get rid of the trach, he can come home.

Our prayers now are for his pain levels to decrease, continued healing, and for God to calm his nervousness about the upcoming chemo/radiation treatments.

Good Night and Thank you all!!!

A Card for Richie

If you have been following this journey, please add your name and what city you live in below as a comment. The idea is to print this out and show Rich just how many people have been thinking of him and praying for him. I don’t think he has any idea just how many people are supporting him and hopefully this will give him joy. We Thank you all very much!

(We are on our way to see him tonight, so I will try to post an update when I get home.)

Rich – Day after surgery update

Chet and Brenda just called – they went to see Rich today. Here is the info that they relayed:

They said he is doing AMAZING! He has good blood flow in his jaw, is alert and aware.

His main area of pain is in his leg and he said that is about a level 7. With the trach tube, he is able to cough and handle the suctioning so that is fantastic. The doctor was in twice to see him today and said that the trach will probably be in for 7 days.

The nutrition through his feeding tube isn’t digesting correctly yet, so they are going to give him some medicine to help with that.

Chet and Brenda, as well as his nephew, made sure that he has plenty of the magazines that he wanted, so that had to make him happy!

We will keep updating as this journey continues…keep checking back and Thank You for the support!

2 a.m. update

We are home now. A little after midnight, they let us see Rich. I was a bit afraid, but he looked wonderful! Obviously he was swollen and you could tell that he had been through a very major surgery, but all things considered, he really was doing well. He was sitting up, wide awake! He seemed frustrated that he couldn’t talk but he wrote on paper that he wanted a magazine to read tonight – National Geographic of all things. He was trying to blow his nose, but the air was coming out of the trach tube and that was also frustrating him some. The nurse came in and was trying to help him wipe his eyes from where the tape had been and at one point he looked at her and gave her a big smile. He said his leg was hurting really bad, but they were putting morphine in his i.v. when we were leaving. We said that we were going to let him rest, but he mouthed to us that he wasn’t tired. He seemed relieved.

This whole day has been amazing! To hear such good news from the doctor and then to see him so awake and alert…WOW! I really think that the doctor didn’t think going into today that he would be able to remove all of the cancer – the first thing he said was that the tumor was enormous….not a word you often hear from a physician. But he said that they removed all visible signs of it and the chemo / radiation are to remove any microscopic remnants that they couldn’t see. He still has a big battle ahead of him, but the biggest, scariest part is now over.

Thank you all again for your support, love and prayers!!! God gave us a miracle and we are so, so greatful!!

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