Our family

Our family
Curtis and Tav

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bowel Obstruction, 24/7 Oxygen Updates

Sorry I haven't updated in a while... We have been very busy lately, I have been trying to get more hours at work to try and get our bills caught up while still going to school and Curtis has been having a really hard time keeping his energy levels up and trying to eat as much as he can tolerate.

About a month ago, Curtis' bilirubin shot up to 4.9, his eyes were yellow and his skin was quite yellow also. We called the surgeon who put his other 4 stents in his biliary ducts and he wanted to go in and take a look at them. Before the procedure, his bilirubin went down, but the surgeon still wanted to go take a look to make sure one of the stents wasn't partially blocked or if there was another area that needed to be stented. When the surgeon went in, all the stents were open, but he noticed a narrowing in Curtis' small intestine just after his stomach. The surgeon said that he wouldn't be surprised if this became fully obstructed in the future, but it could be fixed with a stent as well. A few days after the procedure, Curtis started vomiting, having abdominal distention, and felt very bloated. He was not able to keep any food or liquids down. We went to the hospital and he was admitted for a bowel obstruction. They kept him for 5 days and then put the stent in to try and open the bowel. He had a very difficult time getting adjusted to his new diet of eating very soft, cooked, and wet foods. He seems to do pretty well for a few days, but it seems to either slow down or get clogged up every now and then (such as the last few days).. We have been very fortunate to have people from the church come and mow for us, and some women from the church have been bringing Curtis meals on the weekends when I am at work.


Another recent issue we have come across is Curtis' oxygen saturation has been low. Around 82ish on room air (no supplemental oxygen). His oxygen should be at least 90. Most people are between 97-100%. This can cause fatigue which he pretty much always has. The low oxygen is because he has had increased tumor activity in his lungs. He has tons of small tumors that go from the base of both lungs to almost up to the top of his lobes. These are quite a bit worse than they were even a month ago. They decided he needed to be on oxygen 24/7 now. We have an oxygen concentrator at home that sits in the living room and a 50 foot hose that follows him around the house. When he wants to leave the house, he has to get his oxygen tank and load it into the car/truck. He has been very weak lately and has a very difficult time doing this.


He has had 3 falls this month as well. It seems like his legs aren't strong enough to get him where he is trying to go, or they aren't strong enough to catch him if he stumbles. I went out in the driveway two weeks ago and he was lying in the driveway with a very large goose egg on his head. Apparently, he stumbled and wasn't strong enough to catch himself and hit his head, shoulder and hip on the concrete.

He has a difficult time driving and will only go short distances if required. We may need some help with transportation.. Sandy, his mom, is usually available to take him to chemo, but if anyone has Mondays off and would be willing to take him (it is usually an 8-10 hour day), let me know in the event that Sandy is unavailable.

Sorry for all the crappy news.. We are planning a trip with my family to Lake Powell at the end of June during my school break. We are very excited!


  1. Too many falls... sounds like he could use a walker or at least a cane. I could take him and pick him up from his treatments if he can be left so I could go to work while he's there. Of course I would help him get to where he needed to go first.

  2. I just heard about your loss from my daughter Hillary, through Shelley. You have a fabulous family and I know you'll have lots of support. Your faith and family will get you through. All my best to you.
    Leslie Moseley