for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hope springs eternal

At long last, the doctors think they've figured out what's been causing Mom so many problems recently, and it wasn't the cancer, just like they suspected. She has a mild case of congestive heart failure. That explains a lot - the shortness of breath, the water retention, and the general lack of energy. It's entirely possible that this would have been diagnosed, regardless of the cancer, in the next few years. But it may also have contributed to her being out of breath in the original cancer-discovery incident on December 31, so it may have helped her find out earlier about the cancer.

The good news is that the heart condition can be helped to a large degree with medication. The cardiologist also said that some of her current medications are exacerbating the heart condition, so he'll adjust those quite a bit. She'll have to change her diet some, mostly limiting salt, and she's going to have to give up on dreams of a resurgent tap dancing career. (She used to tap dance at half-time at basketball games when she was a little girl!) But the diuretics are already doing their good work, and the knuckles on the back of her hand are visible again. Still no signs of her ankles! The doctors are pretty confident that she'll be out of the hospital in a few days, and that they're on to something big. How happy are we about that? I can't even tell you, nor do I probably need to.

Mike has been with Mom at the hospital since Tuesday morning while I'm at work. We are incredibly lucky that we decided to admit her on Monday, when it wasn't so clear whether that was necessary, because that night she couldn't catch her breath in the middle of the night and had an oxygen supply on for that night and the next day. If she wasn't in the hospital, it would have meant another ambulance call and all the drama and stress that goes along with that. At least I found it stressful last time!

How strange that heart failure is such good news. For someone healthy, it would be devastating. But for Mom, with pancreatic cancer, it seems like pretty great stuff. Until the next drama, which will certainly show itself one of these days, we think we know what's been causing so much grief, and the solution, relatively speaking, is near! Yay!!

If you have a Mom, tell her you love her today.



At April 16, 2008 3:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dogging the blog pays off! Hooray -and thanks for the prompt and promising update. I feel like there should be fireworks with this blog entry! It is strange, as Dave comments, that congestive heart failure is greeted with such relief, but I for one, am feeling relief. Answers are better than not answers, and answers that give you the possibility of feeling better very soon, Pat (as long as you're willing to take your meds like a good patient) are excellent! Here's to you, Pat, and feeling ducky :) How much difference a few weeks make - look at us - all happy that you "just" have the chemo routine to put up with now. Anyhow, hope your general health improves rapidly and dramatically and that you are feeling stronger and able to breath with ease from her on out. Take care and enjoy the springtime! Love Kim


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