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Strokes, Cancer, 4 Surgeries Family Nightmare

$760 of $5,700 goal

Raised by 12 people in 5 months
Created September 30, 2018
IT ALL STARTED WITH A STROKE ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT 2009 - FAST FORWARD 9 YEARS and MY PARENTS WERE ONCE AGAIN IN THE HOSPITAL ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT WITH GREG RECOVERING FROM A STROKE THAT EFFECTED 3 AREAS OF HIS BRAIN. This last year has been a total nightmare with him being diagnosed with bladder cancer last January, a biopsy, Turbt, installation of chemo port in February, 8 rounds of chemotherapy, 38 radiation treatments while doing chemo in March, April & May, another biopsy in August, then a light flight to save his life and leg, 4 vascular surgeries and one amputation later, resulting in another stroke at almost the exact date of his 9 year anniversary of surviving his first stroke.  It is a miracle he is still alive.

My step-father Greg was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in January of 2018 but that is not where his health troubles began.  He has been on blood thinners for A-Fib and A-Flutter since his stroke on Christmas night of 2009.  My mother has tested his blood thickness (INR) every single Thursday since then and manages it with his doctors.  
This is a training video my step-father made to help other people who were forced to learn how to do this for themselves. 
They had been managing very well at home taking care of each other until last fall when my step-father thought he had a bladder infection, UTI or Kidney Stone. He was treated for a kidney stone but by November, he was in the emergency room being told by a doctor that he needed to see a Urologist and that he may have cancer.  

December 2017
In December he was told my a urologist that he did have cancer but my parents wanted a second opinion because this doctor told them this without doing a biopsy. 

January 2018
In January, they went for a 2nd opinion and by January 15th, he was having a biopsy through cystoscopy along with another procedure called a TURBT.   Their worse fears were confirmed.  The diagnosis was made and my step-father was diagnosed with Stage 2 Bladder Cancer.  Because of his other health risks, the best course of action was to do chemo and radiation to try and kill the cancer and retain the bladder. 

February 2018
In February, they installed a port so that he could take his chemo through it rather than getting it through his veins.  They had to take him off blood thinners once again to be able to do that procedure.  It was done and everything turned out okay, that time.

March 2018
Chemo and Radiation began in March.  Things went pretty smoothly all through March.  He was getting radiation daily and 2 types of Chemo once a week on Wednesdays.  The oncologist did his best to manage the side effects.  

April 2018
April came with the buds and birds in the trees.  My stepfather took a fall down the steps in the house leading to the garage so my mother rushed him to the hospital to make sure he did not hurt himself or the port in his chest.  Everything turned out okay and they were thankful.  You can't be too careful when someone 62 who has had a stroke and is battling cancer takes a fall.  

May 2018
By mid May he was done with both the Chemo and Radiation.  I should mention that they had to drive daily to radiation which was  a 90 mile round trip.  The cost of gas during those months was $400.00 monthly just to get to treatment.  On Mother's Day my stepfather spiked a fever and my mother took him to the ER.  They admitted him and put him on IV antibiotics.  They never really did discover why he spiked a fever.  

June 2018
June was terrible.  The treatments had taken their toll.  He was weak, had little appetite because the drugs that were being give to ward off the side effects were no longer being given.  The repercussions from the radiation treatments were harsh and relentless.  He spent most of the month in bed which caused other problems.  There was also a CT Scan which showed there might be a problem with a lymph node so the oncologist ordered a Pet Scan.  More stress and worry for my parents.

July 2018
4th of July came and they couldn't enjoy the holiday.  My stepfather was just too ill.  He had the Pet Scan and the results were due on my birthday.  The news was great.  There was no spread of cancer to any other parts of his body at this time.  A wonderful birthday present for me and a wonderful gift for us all.  

August 2018
In August he was finally starting to feel better just in time to need a biopsy to see if they had killed the cancer.  He had to go off blood thinners in order to have that biopsy which occurred on August 17th.  5 Days after the biopsy with no warning he experienced the worse pain he had ever felt in his life. My mother rushed him to the ER.  She just knew he had a blood clot.  The hospital confirmed her worse fear and they had to LIFE FLIGHT him by helicopter to do emergency surgery.  The surgeon concluded that without a doubt and he was 110% sure that coming off the blood thinners caused the blockage that almost took his leg and life.   


A week to the day that he was admitted to the hospital, he was released but he was so weak that he could barely walk.  Home Health came to the house and didn't like the way his leg was healing.  So less than 36 hours after he was released, he was back at the hospital having the incisions reopened to drain infection and having his other leg (right leg) operated on because of a blood clot between his knee and his foot.  He required an actual bypass on that leg. He spent another 7 days in the hospital and was released on  September 6th, 2018

September 2018
He could not walk, he was so weak and he required PT, Wound Care and Skilled Nursing so he was taken by ambulance to a REHAB close to my parents home.  This way my Mom could sleep at home but be able to see him everyday and over see his care.  He was released from the REHAB on September 22, 2018 but has a Home Health Nurse, Physical Therapy and Wound Care coming to my parents home.  

Mini Tornado
Then on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, either straight line winds or a mini tornado came and did damage to the siding and roof of my parents home.  Insurance is going to cover it but they have a$1,500 deductible per home owners insurance they can't pay.   Between the cancer, the treatments, prescriptions, loss of time at work and the travel, things are really tough financially.  More bills have started coming in for (OUT OF NETWORK) doctors. Unfortunately, when you find yourself in these emergency situations, you don't get to pick and chose what doctor in what situation in an emergency gives you medical care.   My poor parents have literally been suffering every way imaginable for what is now nearly a year. 


October 2018
Yesterday morning, my stepfather was taken by ambulance to the hospital because of weakness, pain, confusion and a fever of 102.  He has Sepsis.  His medical records reveal that Greg's temp reach almost 105 degrees. The new video was from today, October 5, 2018.   Greg spent 7 days in the hospital and from there he went to NHC, a different Rehab than the one in September.  He spent 13 days in the new Rehab and was released on October 24, 2018.  On October 27, Greg became nauseous and got another fever.  My Mom took him to the ER. They ran blood work and took out the stitches that has been in Greg's leg since August. The ER doctor thinks the stitches may have been causing the fever.  He is being watched closely and has an appointment with the surgeon on Monday, October 29, 2018.  
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NOVEMBER 2018
November was a pretty good month.  No hospitalizations and no Rehab.  Greg was able to have Thanksgiving at home.  Greg completed his home Physical Therapy and they were getting ready to discharge him from Home Health Nurse visits the first week of December. 

DECEMBER 2018
This is Donna doing this update: The year is ending pretty much the way it began.  The first week of December, Greg developed what looked like 2 little toe ulcers on his 2nd toe closest to the big toe on his right foot.  His right foot is the foot that has had the heal ulcer since last August.  On December 4th I took him to the podiatrist to get his nails cut.  I also wanted the podiatrist to take a look at the toe. My fear was that he was developing gangrene because it was black around the little ulcers.  The podiatrist thought he might have injured his toe and because of his neuropathy he might not feel it.   The toe was not broken. He told me to continue with antibiotics and he would get back the results of the culture in 5 days.  Two days later the toe looked worse so I took him to the ER.  They took another foot X-ray and said his foot had no breaks.  They diagnosed him with cellulitis, added an antibiotic and told us to follow up with his GP & an orthopedic doctor next week.  Well, I wasn't going to wait and I followed up with the vascular surgeon who did his surgery in August.  That was the one doctor who knew he only had one working vein in that leg and what we might be up against.  Unfortunately, I was right, the toe was gangrene and needed to be amputated. That amputation happened on Thursday, December 13th.  On Friday, December 14th Greg had another vascular procedure to try and reopen the veins in his leg so his foot and toes would get more blood flow.  At this moment we are on toe watch.  He still has 2 toes struggling.  They may have to take those toes and even part of his foot.  Please pray that the procedure worked last week and that we can get this situation stable.   Greg two toes turned pink and they set a release date for him.  On Tuesday, December 18th Greg was transferred back to UHC Rehab in McMinnville.  

GREG SUFFERS ANOTHER STROKE IN 3 AREAS OF HIS BRAIN

After 2 days of being back in Rehab, Thursday, December 20th I went up to visit Greg at dinnertime.  He was having trouble speaking.  Long story short, I ran to the nurses station yelling, "My Husband is having a stroke."  They didn't believe me, took his vitals and said his vitals were fine. I was relentless and said, "I don't care what the damn vitals say, my husband is having a stroke."  After calling the doctor and being told they would order and MRI in the morning I told them that wasn't good enough.  They said they would send him to the ER. I said, GOOD, LET'S GO!!  The local ER thought he was having a heart attack and they said they had to transfer him to a hospital that handled cardiac crisis.  Our choices were St. Thomas West (again) or St. Thomas Rutherford in Murfreesboro.  I asked if both hospitals were stroke certified. The answer was yes so we opted to go to St. Thomas Rutherford because it was 1/2 hour closer to home. They put him on Heparin almost immediately (which is the treatment for clot stroke) upon arriving at St. Thomas Rutherford.  Within an hour of being infused with Heparin, his speech began to clear up.  

It wasn't until the next morning that we were to learn that he didn't just have a regular stroke.  He had a stroke in 3 different areas of his brain.  Because he is still non-weight bearing on his foot, it is hard to determine how much damage has been done.  He does seem to have some weakness on his right side.  This is a song we wrote and recorded back in the year 2000.  "Really I Do"  is still as true today as it was the day we wrote it. 



Stroke Rehab 

On Thursday, December 27th, a representative from the Stroke Rehab came to interview Greg. He was formally accepted and transferred into that Rehab on Friday, December 28th.  He was never a candidate for this Rehab before which is located in our town but because of the stroke, he became a candidate.  The game plan is for them to work with him extensively and hopefully he can come home in 21 days.   He is experiencing anger issues and is having some problems with controlling emotions.  The doctor tells me that one of the areas in his brain that was damaged by stroke is the area where emotions are housed.  They have started him on a medication to try and help with that.  I will try and do an actual update on our blog soon.   



January 2019
Greg is currently inpatient at an intensive Rehabilitation Center.  He has been undergoing PT, OT and Speech Therapy. He has been released from Speech Therapy and they are saying he is doing very well.  We will update soon. 

January 6, 2019

A Nurse made a weird and terrible mistake today

Please pray it doesn't cost my husband his life. A nurse made a bad mistake this morning. She put blood she drew from Greg's port back into his body through his port. She may have introduced bacteria directly into his blood stream. The hospital is flipping out about it. She told my husband at 4 am while she was putting the blood back in that she "doesn't like to waste blood." My husband said that it was done even before he had the chance to realize what was happening. Once blood is drawn, it can be contaminated and should never be injected back into the body. We are now on fever watch. Please pray that the blood was not compromised and that bacteria was not introduced directly into his blood stream. The doctor said we should know if he has been comprised within 48 hours.

February 24, 2019 
Greg celebrated a miraculous birthday yesterday. It was low key and we were home but the miracle is that he is alive and we were home.  Greg goes to wound care on Friday's. He has physical therapy coming to the house 2 times a week, and a home health nurse come 1st a week.  Tomorrow he sees a brand new Vascular Surgeon for a sonogram of his legs.  On March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, the Nashville Songwriting Community is throwing us a Survival Celebration Event featuring Hit Songwriters at the Commodore located inside the Holiday Inn Vandy on West End Avenue in Nashville. If you cannot attend that event, please consider donating to this.   Here is the story on the event.


March 1, 2019
This is Donna updating. We do wound care everyday. I do it 5 days a week. The Home Health does it once a week and wound care does it once a week.  Greg does PT 2 times a week. His PT guy's name is Kenny and he is in a band so they get along quite well.   Greg has been approved by his insurance company to get the Placental treatment but it is quite expensive both for us and the insurance company. Our "out of pocket" will be $325.00 per treatment.  It is our hope that the March 17th Survival Celebration Benefit Event will help raise the money needed for that treatment.  Below is a video of wound care.  Do not watch if you have a weak stomach. 


  

March 17, 2019
The benefit event is St. Patrick's Day.  Here is the story on it and who is attending.  It should be noted that Little River Band is going to match donations given day of the event. 

http://www.backstagepassnews.com/2019/03/11/nashville-songwriters-come-together-in-support-of-fellow-songwriter/ 


Please help with what you can so they don't have to worry about money on top of everything else.  Please!!  They have been documenting their journey at their website at www.NolanWilson.com
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This was Greg on his way over to Rehab after his Stroke on December 28th. He was released from that Rehab on January 8th. He has been home since and we feel very blessed. The New Year is here and bills are coming in as would be expected. On March 17th, St. Patrick's Day the Nashville Songwriting Community is coming together and we are having a Survivor Celebration Benefit Bash! You can see that event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/504448830084920/
+ Read More
A nurse made a bad mistake this morning. She put blood she drew from Greg's port back into his body through his port. She may have introduced bacteria directly into his blood stream. The hospital is flipping out about it. She told my husband at 4 am while she was putting the blood back in that she "doesn't like to waste blood."

My husband said that it was done even before he had the chance to realize what was happening.

Once blood is drawn, it can be contaminated and should never be injected back into the body. We are now on fever watch. Please pray that the blood was not compromised and that bacteria was not introduced directly into his blood stream. The doctor said we should know if he has been comprised within 48 hours.
+ Read More
GREG SUFFERS ANOTHER STROKE IN 3 AREAS OF HIS BRAIN

After 2 days of being back in Rehab, Thursday, December 20th I went up to visit Greg at dinnertime.  He was having trouble speaking.  Long story short, I ran to the nurses station yelling, "My Husband is having a stroke."  They didn't believe me, took his vitals and said his vitals were fine. I was relentless and said, "I don't care what the damn vitals say, my husband is having a stroke."  After calling the doctor and being told they would order and MRI in the morning I told them that wasn't good enough.  They said they would send him to the ER. I said, GOOD, LET'S GO!!  The local ER thought he was having a heart attack and they said they had to transfer him to a hospital that handled cardiac crisis.  Our choices were St. Thomas West (again) or St. Thomas Rutherford in Murfreesboro.  I asked if both hospitals were stroke certified. The answer was yes so we opted to go to St. Thomas Rutherford because it was 1/2 hour closer to home. They put him on Heparin almost immediately (which is the treatment for clot stroke) upon arriving at St. Thomas Rutherford.  Within an hour of being infused with Heparin, his speech began to clear up.  It wasn't until the next morning that we were to learn that he didn't just have a regular stroke.  He had a stroke in 3 different areas of his brain.  Because he is still non-weight bearing on his foot, it is hard to determine how much damage has been done.  He does seem to have some weakness on his right side.  Stroke Rehab On Thursday, December 27th, a representative from the Stroke Rehab came to interview Greg. He was formally accepted and transferred into that Rehab on Friday, December 28th.  He was never a candidate for this Rehab before which is located in our town but because of the stroke, he became a candidate.  The game plan is for them to work with him extensively and hopefully he can come home in 21 days.   He is experiencing anger issues and is having some problems with controlling emotions.  The doctor tells me that one of the areas in his brain that was damaged by stroke is the area where emotions are housed.  They have started him on a medication to try and help with that.  I will try and do an actual update on our blog soon.   
+ Read More
Greg is back in the hospital. They have amputated a toe and they may have to do more. Please pray that the amputation last Thursday and the vascular surgery he had on Friday was enough to save his foot.
+ Read More
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$760 of $5,700 goal

Raised by 12 people in 5 months
Created September 30, 2018
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