We went to see Dr. Gehring today - Butch's primary care physician. He is a great guy, very smart and knowledgeable, and he believes in good nutrition, supplements, and homeopathic medicine, all things which endear him to me. He is a young fellow - late 30's probably, and that (I believe) makes him more open to things outside of traditional medicine. Anyway, when we asked, he had them do a blood test to get the Ca 19-9 number - will get the results in a couple of days (probably Tuesday). He also took him off the digoxin - said his heart rate was fine, but left him on the metoprolol (lopressor), which is a beta blocker and he said it is good protection - the same reason he needs to stay on the coumadin (cancers that involve the liver raise the risk of blood clots, as we know). Butch will keep taking the pain medication as needed - mostly at night only now, but he went off the anti-depressant - says he doesn't need it. I went to Vitamin World today, and bought a really good multi vitamin for him - potent and, supposedly - good. Also, I have begun making him those "Dragon Slayer" shakes again - tonight's was raspberry. I tasted it - it was pretty good, even though it has a lot of stuff he doesn't like - protein powder, flax seeds, bee pollen, and wheat germ. I mask the taste with the berry ingredients, and it's not bad - if I do say so myself!
Home Health came today and re-set up the wound vac. It started beeping at 2:00 this morning, and I couldn't get it going again - usually I can, but the dressing had to be changed - it got an air pocket in there, and messed everything up. I put a manual dressing on until she got here, and told her I want to be off-duty at 2:00 in the morning!
Melanie and her family came for dinner last night - she made ziti that was just delicious, and brought it with her. It was great to see them all - the girls were very anxious to see Grandpa and I. Butch is eating better since he is home - not great, but - better. Caroline was also over to see him, and to bring us the rest of our mail - TONS of it, for goodness sake. She made a loaf of blueberry banana bread, and Butch has asked for a piece a few times - high praise, right now! Alan drove down from Ithaca and brought us an orchid plant - it is beautiful, with a big purple orchid in full bloom.
We called Pittsburg to find out what time the appointment was next week, and she said Dr. Gamblin would not be there that day - one of his associates would cover. I said that would not work for us - we are NOT driving all the way back to Pittsburgh to get a Doctor that has not been involved in this case. We worked it out that we will be going on the 10th of September - we will probably go down the day before and stay over, coming back after the appointment (I think it is at 12:30).
The j-tube has not been filling up as much, and I believe that is good - perhaps they will be able to take it out in the near future - we will see. The wound vac is not collecting much either, so - maybe that can go also. All to be decided in the future.
Next week we will be calling the oncologist and setting up an appointment to go see him. We don't know yet when he will begin chemo, but Dr. Gehring thinks we should at least talk to him (the oncologist) about it.