Talking to Jennifer hasn’t been easy. She has slept through me calling and texting at times. And when the doctors were in room, there was no attempt to contact me. I have made it known to the nurse, that request doesn’t not fall on Jen as she is too sick and exhausted to keep all that on her mind when they come in. I insisted I get a call when they are in the room. When she improves or declines. It’s frustrating!
She has been stable most of the day. She is now in a stepdown ICU unit at OSU. Her fever has come and gone a few times. Her voice is weak. But no need for O2 as her pulse ox has been good.
We are hoping to add to her treatment some holistic approaches. This may be very difficult to make happen as it would need be on her doctors to add to her treatments. Matt and I have done lots of research the last several months just in case we found ourselves right where we are. We want them to increase her vitamin and iodine intake. I’m not sure if we cant get this added, what decisions as to her care we will need to make. But we are exploring every possibility.
Unfortunately, we live in a world right now in which it’s become difficult to trust anyone or anything. People have been shouting so many theories, we are feeling pretty lost. Even as one explores what has happened at protest throughout this country, so many fingers being pointed. We are living in dark, hard times. But for us, we are living with it while fighting the most horrible cancer.
I don’t say this to start a debate but to do just the opposite. I feel the need for us to pull back and reflect. The only thing that is constant right now…is one thing. And that is God. We are needing to seek Him in our darkest hour.
## Update ## 2pm
She is still in the ER. She is getting two antibiotics but they are still searching for the source(s) of her infection. She is also I believe she is getting the medication for covid ( Hydroxychloroquine) but I’m not 100% positive.
She is suppose to be moved to a stepdown ICU but that has yet to be done. ###
Randy spoke to the nurse. She is being admitted. But still in the ER. They believe she is septic but do not know where the infection is coming from. She is awake but very tired. ***
We are still in limbo here. Spoke to Jen briefly this morning. She is wheezing.
Asking for prayers from anyone up at this late hour. Left Ottoville at midnight and got Jen to Columbus around 2am. She has a sore throat, cough, and fever. Her throat is red. Praying it isn’t covid-19. ..and something easy to get under control. But the worry runs deep… especially since I can’t be with her.
I’m at Matt’s about 20 minutes from her. Hopefully Jen and I both get some rest tonight.
Jennifer is pretty tired today. For the last two days, she, along with hundreds of others volunteered in the search for a little boy lost in a neighboring community. While Jen couldn’t physically search, she sat with other volunteers signing up people to help find Isaac.
Unfortunately, Isaac’s body was found in the river that runs behind his family’s home. The outcome has left us all emotionally broken. And the emotional burden on Jen seems to be weighing heavy on her today.
I ask you to keep the Schroeder family in your prayers.
Yesterday, while Jen was volunteering…she got her PET scan results. Her voice box area came back clear! Which is great news. The report did however say she has inflamed tonsils, which may explain why she has been having swelling behind her ear and in the neck. The report also showed Jen’s gallbladder is collapsed. Both these issues were not found on the PET scan in February.
We do not know yet what will be done for her tonsils or gallbladder, if anything. But again, for Jen it is just one more thing. I hate she has this too weighing on her today.
Jen is getting a dressing change today on her central line. Then on Monday she begins another round of maintenance chemo for five days. Hopefully she bounces back quicker than she did this last round.
Jen and I just got back from three days in Columbus. On Wednesday, Jen had a central line placed . Since her PICC line had to be pulled and IV is not a good option since Jen is a hard stick…the central line was the best option. This will be the line she will receive her transplant through when her heart is strong enough. Jen has been complaining of the area being sore but it should improve in the next couple days. Yesterday, Jen had an appointment with radiology. Starting June 10, the plan is to radiate her voice box. This was the location of the myloid sarcoma that caused her to relapse. The radiation will take place over a course of three weeks (not counting weekends). If Jen feels well enough we will come home on the weekends but be in Columbus through the week. Sometimes the traveling back and forth is exhausting for her so we will play that by ear. We really weren’t expecting that many radiation treatments so we are working on navigating a plan for home/Columbus life. When you are a pet owner with who husband works a rotating schedule…all this time living in two places is stressful
Today, Jen had a PET scan to make sure there are no sarcomas popping up anyway else. While no one is really thinking there is any…we are being proactive .
For the last couple weeks, Jen has been very quiet. Not sure if it is because she is that tired or there is a lot on her mind. She is normally very chatty, so changes like this always worry me. Hopefully she will pop out of this soon because I miss her talking my ear off.
I have not done much updating as of late. But want to share a few things…
Jen this week will see the oncologist in Lima. Next week a repeat round of chemo will start to keep away the leukemia until transplant.
Jen’s heart function has not yet reached where they like it. It only improved about 5% since February. That puts the output at 35-40%. They like to have it be around 50% so she has a ways to go. So this week they are starting her with cardiac rehab. Hopefully that helps.
Today, Jen is fighting allergies. Oh what joy that is for all of us. But for Jen, with all the other things she fights, it is so much harder. So keep her in your prayers for that.
Tomorrow we have another video call from her doctors at the James. We are discussing not only how we get to transplant but also if there are options at MD Anderson in Houston that she does not have available to her in Columbus. Because her heart function is low, the intense chemo they use prior to transplant is not an option unless her heart recovers. But also MD Anderson currently allows for a caregiver to be at her side through transplant where Columbus does not. And the one thing Jen is scared of is not having anyone with her if things should not go well.
Going to Houston for treatment is not an easy option. Not only will it cost so so much for us to be that far away but we would be away from those we love for three + months. So please include that also in your prayers.
Here is a photo of Jen with her favorite little guy! He is always on the go these days…and sitting still long enough for Jen to get a photo with him…is probably too much to ask of him. LOL
It’s been a long five days. What we thought was going to be a routine visit to the cancer center in Lima, ended up being an ER visit followed by an admission in Columbus .
Jen’s BP was low and her heart rate high. And because her PICC line looked inflamed and the previous week there was a concern she had a blood clot near it and also a spot in her lungs that appeared to be a PE, they wanted to her to be looked over by her Columbus doctors.
At first they said she had pneumonia. Then they said it was her PE getting worse. Jen used the words, ” lesions in the lungs.”. I still don’t know what they were referring to. This is where me not near her is a cause for concern.
They ended up saying she may of had the beginnings of pneumonia but the PE was cleared up. I didn’t even know the PE they had seen the week before wasn’t something that was left from three years ago. I guess not.
Fortunately, Jen’s counts are slowly coming back. However she had a heart echo and the improvements there are a slow go. So next week she will start cardiac rehab. They do think however her low BP is coming from her medication…which is what Randy and I thought all along. Again the presence of a family member to ask questions seems to be necessary with her care.
This evening, I’m sitting and beginning to just now catch my breath for these whirlwind days. Not that I have been running from place to place (because I spent most of it at Matt’s) but my mind has been working overtime. The only real relief is that Jen seems to feel better than she did last week. Randy is back to work tonight …so we are no longer ‘safe home together.’. It was so nice to have spent these last few weeks with him here.
We have a lot to discuss when the time comes for Jen’s transplant. One, because if her heart doesn’t improve…the plan for transplant may look much different. But also, if the fear of COVID-19 continues… we don’t know how we navigate that. Discussions of her being treated in Houston had come up again for both reasons. For now, I am just going to appreciate being home and Jen feeling pretty well.
Thank you for all the prayers and reaching out to us. Hopefully the rest of the week is quiet.
Miss Jen is tachycardic..but also the site where PICC line is looks inflamed. They don’t know if she has an infection or if her blood clot has gotten worse. So the Cancer Center in Lima sent her to ER to have an ultrasound of her arm at the PICC, blood cultures, and a CT of lungs to make sure the clot has not traveled.
After that is all done, she may be sent to the James, where none of the computer systems are working.
But also a dear friend is going through some extremely difficult things that I wish I could be close for her. She needs a great deal of prayers and love sent her way.
Hello to the beautiful neighboring community of Kalida! Jennifer has been getting cards all week from many of you. My ❤ is just so swelled with all the love she is feeling. I witnessed so much love for Courtney last week. And I am witnessing it again. These two young women are so blessed to live in Putnam County. Thank you!