Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DAY +34: Nothing Definitive - Wait and See Mode

Top Line: kidney issues, per the ultrasound, but hydration may resolve them; Dr. Soiffer wants to see what changes, and what clarifies over the next 48 hours

Medical update:
  • Susan's kidneys are backing up - the flow is in the wrong direction, per the ultrasound
  • however, the hydration she's been receiving, by infusion and by mouth, is beginning to have a positive effect; it's too soon to be sure that this is the answer, but Dr. Soiffer wants to give the kidneys more time to right themselves before determining that some other intervention is needed
  • some of Susan's symptoms, including the ascites, are suggestive of liver issues, but tests, bilirubin levels do not reveal any liver problems; the thinking is these matters will likely resolve themselves in a few days
  • re. Susan's fatigue: the two most likely causes are (a) certain viruses, and these are being tested for, and/or (b) sustained use of narcotic pain killers, which build up over time when the system's flushing mechanisms cannot keep up with the intake
  • Vicodin, then, may be the culprit, at least partly (how come Dr. Gregory House doesn't sleep 20 hours a day?), so it is being discontinued - we'll see
  • Susan, by the way, is on a regular medical floor; no beds were available in the oncology ward, but she does have a private room and Bob says the nursing is first rate. He's satisfied with the situation.
Bob called Linda Drury yesterday about Susan's travails and her need for a 3rd re-admission. Linda, remember, is the marvelous PA for Dr. Lee Nadler, Susan's primary oncologist at DFCI and a senior VP there. Today, Susan received well wishes and an orchid from Dana Farber's CEO. Coincidence? I doubt it. Talk about her case having high visibility. Of course, as a recent transplant recipient, she can't take delivery of the orchid. Duh. I mean, if anyone should be aware of this restriction . . . . Still, it was a very nice gesture. And Soiffer mentioned that Nadler called him today about Susan's situation. It certainly looks like the right and best resources will be brought to bear, as indicated.

The Mass Ave apartment is now history. Bob moved them into an apartment in Kendall Square, Cambridge today. I hope Susan will be able to join him there in a few days, and that they won't be there long enough to need to change the sheets.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.


  1. Susan,

    I hope the kidney and other issues resolve quickly. I'm thinking of you and sending my love and well wishes your way.


  2. okay, it sounds like the medical team is on the right track. It will probably take a few days before you start feeling better, but you will. My love and thoughts are with you and Bob,