Bad Day

Jill started having some pain under her ribs on the left side yesterday and it got worse today.  She was doing great…walked 10,000 steps on Thursday and 7,000 on Friday…she’s just taking multiple short walks around the block throughout the day.  Last night she started having the pain and it got a lot worse today and hurt for her to breathe and walk.

We came to Barnes ER around 1 . pm…hoping to get a CT scan to rule out a blood clot.   Of course nothing is that easy.  After multiple “discussions” they finally took her back around 6:15 pm.

She’s never had a reaction to the CT scan dye but of course today she did.  She was wheeled back into the room bright red and burning all over and in a lot pain.   Long story short, she’s been pumped full of fluids and meds and is finally comfortable.

The CT scan results were negative for a blood clot which is a big relief.  They’re not sure what’s causing the pain under her ribs but are going to let her go home, adding muscle relaxers to the regimen.  We’re hoping that helps.

Apparently my  sister was trying to take Jill’s thunder today by getting struck by lightening….I’m assuming that’s why Jill decided  to have an allergic reaction.  Thankfully, they’re both ok.  Needless to say, Jameson sales are going to go up near our house this evening!

Please say a few extra prayers tonight…we certainly could use them after today’s events!

Home is Where the Canadian Is

Jill’s home and doing great! Panther Dan flew back north today with the Canadian Geese.  Jill’s mom, P-Kitty, arrived Sunday and will be here for a couple of weeks to help ensure Jill is behaving.

She’s lost 10 pounds since last week…of course that includes the weight of all the organs they removed!  We’re trying to fatten her up on protein drinks.

imageBelieve it or not she’s walking around the block already…putting lots of steps on her Fitbit.

I think the problem will soon be keeping her contained! Just this evening we caught her trying to crash a wedding reception!  All dressed up and no where to go!


Thanks for all of the support! Keep sending her prayers and good vibes!


The Cat in the Hat from Medicine Hat

Sorry, didn’t get around to blogging yesterday because we were planning shenanigans for outside Jill’s room.   The show started with a reenactment of the scene from Say Anything….thank goodness Rebecca has been doing Crossfit!

imageimageJill’s football number was 26…I know most of you probably thought we did this because she’s had 26 concussions over the years playing 10-dollar bet!


She got the epidural out yesterday which is good because she’s not hooked up to anything so she is free to walk the halls without dragging anything behind her.  It’s very painful for her to laugh so we’re trying to keep the humor at a minimum….which has proven to be very difficult. We tried playing a prank on Panther Dan earlier today by putting a fake pile of poop under her sheets.  The plan was for her to pretend to pass gas and have him check under the sheets and find the poop.  It backfired…Jill starting laughing and it hurt her stomach….we jumped the gun on that one…but we did get this sweet pic!image

Jill’s been watching the nightly antics from the 16th floor.  The tennis courts  were full of lovely “characters” last night.
imageYesterday ended with a visit from the Cat in the Hat from Medicine Hat – Panther Dan and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle – Rebecca.  The hospital staff has been quite entertained by the random events that have played out this week.  Here’s one of Jill’s nurses last night.

She may get released tomorrow or Tuesday believe it or not. Thanks for all of the support! Keep sending her prayers and good vibes it’s working!

The Fart Heard ‘Round the World! Oops..

imageIt’s the little things in life that make people happy…a hug from a bear, a butterfly kiss (it grossed me out just typing that), the giggle of the Pilsbury do-boy….today it’s a squeaky little fart from under Jill’s sheet!  However…as we all know…squeaky or not …they can not be trusted!

imageBloody shart or not…things are awake and moving and that’s great news!!  We’re waiting with bated breath for the next bloody show.  It’s normal to have blood because there was bleeding in the colon during surgery.   Things are moving in the right direction!  Thanks for all of the support.

This Too Shall Pass…Gas

Jill’s a lot stronger today.  She’s already walked 4 times logging 13 laps and it’s only 2 pm.  She ate some solid food for the first time too….eggs and grits then some of a Snarfs sandwich and of course a little ice cream – thanks Rebecca for being the lunch fairy everyday!

She’s able to sleep a lot more now because the private room  is so much quieter…and the sound reduction headphones from Eddie and Megan (thanks).

So today’s goal is to pass gas…an actual poop would be a miracle…but gas would be just as exciting!  Every doctor that comes in asks about it….no it’s not a secret fetish…it’s important because it means her bowels are waking up from their long winters nap.  It makes me wonder if the characters Terrance and Philip were created by someone that had colon surgery.


I’m hoping Jill looks like Philip by the end of the day!

image There’s a lot of weird sounds churning around inside those bowels….it sounds like  a scene from the Gremlins.   That’s good though it means there’s a storm brewing.  The first two days  when Dr. Wise listened it was very quiet…sleeping from surgery.

I’ll keep you posted and her progress!





All Call to Tonight at 7 pm to Show Jill Support!

Tonight at 7 pm were asking for everyone that is available to come to the south side of Barnes…by the tennis courts.  Jill’s room overlooks this area.  We want to send her a message made of people who love her and are rooting for her to get through this recovery.

It’s been a rough couple of days…she has endured more than I could have ever imagined and she’s still strong enough to get the nursing staff to actually believe I was her mother.  Yes…I guess I had her when I was 8 year old…don’t judge.

We would like everyone to meet by the tennis courts and the ladies from the Thursday Night Book Club…yes we’re that old…will be arranging everyone into letters to send Jill a message.

Afterwards we would like everyone to walk over to the Barnes Foundation Reflection Pool for a group photo.   We’re going to blow up the photo and put it in Jill’s room with the quote from the foundation on it.  She’s not actively reading the blog now.  It’s a surprise so please don’t call or text her about it.

Jill Mac Mafia shirts should be worn if you have them.  Thanks guys!


“Hope” is the thing with feathers

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Recovery – Day 2

Jill was moved into a regular room yesterday unfortunately that meant we were not able to spend the whole night.  Panther Dan was here until around 1 am and I came back around 4:30 am…our interpretation of “not spending the night.”

Of course in the 3 hours she was alone the nurses were not very attentive. She was bright red and hot when I got here. Her urine,…which she claims I’m secretly obsessed with…was super dark and backed up in her catheter.  I may be obsessed with it because when things are going correctly it looks like the Champagne of beers…Miller High Life…which I love.


However, this morning it looked like a very dark Amber beer…almost close to an IPA…which I hate.


Pretty much everything in life can be rated or compared to beer…Jill’s urine is not alone in this.

Her fever was over 100 degrees which is really high for her because it’s typically 96 or 97 (she’s like a lizard in this respect).

Anyway, we gave her Tylenol, packed her down with icy cloths and an ice pack, and made her drink a ton of water. Her fever came down around 97 and her urine cleared up…cheers to that!

She got up and walked for the first time at 9 am this morning for the first time…like a champ!  The catheter came out too because they want to encourage her to get up more often.

All in all they are super happy with her progress still. It’s been a balancing act managing the pain.  They are starting her on pill pain meds today.  Hold off on visits, she’s still not there yet but she is a checking texts and social media.

Thanks  for all the support.  Please keep sending good vibes and prayers her way!

Recovery Begins…Day #1

Where to begin…

Jill Naked

That may be too far back…although she really hasn’t changed all that much.  I think she lives on Fairview because there is a swing set across the street.  We used to find her like this often.

Jill has a rough night…they were trying to get the pain under control.  She had some bad muscle spasms in her abdomen which they said is not uncommon.  They upped her dosage and gave her some additional muscle relaxers which seemed to help.  She still didn’t sleep over 5-10 minutes at a time.  There was a very annoying alarm that went off every few minutes because of the arterial line they had in for surgery.  That was removed this morning so hoping tonight is better.

She stood up for about 3 minutes early this morning during the nurses shift change.  Obviously she got a little dizzy but did great.  They got her up and into a chair a few minutes ago and will get her up this afternoon to make her start walking the halls.  They want her as active as possible so pneumonia doesn’t skulk in.

Jill’s friend and inspiration Teri Griege was actually just down the hall  from her last night after having ablation surgery on 3 tumors on her liver.  She stopped in this morning for a visit.  We fully expected to see Teri jogging the halls this morning with her IV stand following behind her!  She’s amazingly tough.

Jill and Teri

The doctors did their rounds early between 5:30 am and 7 am.  Dr. Hawkins said the tumors he removed showed signs of necrosis… which is great!  That indicates the chemo is working on killing the tumors.  He said she will have more scans in 6 weeks, then mostly likely go onto another round of chemo.  He will do a portal embolism during the next round of chemo to start killing the right side of her liver and growing the left side which is now free of tumors.  After the next chemo round she will have another break and then the surgery to remove the entire right lobe.  He’s a very aggressive no nonsense doctor which is exactly what Jill needs.  Unfortunately he is heading to NY this weekend because his father is also have a cancer scare.   Hoping all is ok there.

Thanks for all the texts, Facebook posts, and cards.  Keep the prayers and good vibes flowing her way!

Surgery You Complete Me…Oops…Surgery Completed!

Yaaaay!!!! Surgery went great today! imageimage

Jill heeded our pre-surgery advice to not to go towards the light!


She had the trifecta of surgeries…and while she didn’t win any money she did get rave reviews from her 3 surgeons.  It was a very formal affair so luckily Jill bought us these lovely tuxedo shirts!


Dr. Hawkins did the liver resection and ablation part first.  He only focussed on the left lobe.  The goal is to clean the left lobe of tumors.  He cut out 4 and did ablation on the 3 that he couldn’t remove.  The plan is to do a portal embolism to grow the left lobe in a future surgery and eventually remove the right side. Picture left and right field here…right side sucks!

The second portion of the surgery was the colon resection to remove the primary tumor.  Dr. Wise took out a section of her sigmoid colon and reattached it.  He said it went great and it was a little less invasive than he thought it would be because there was a little extra space to reconnect it.  He also removed all of the lymph nodes from that area.  There should be no long term issues with this because of the placement in the colon.

The final part was a full hysterectomy as a preventative measure.  There were some polyps the OBGYN surgeon Dr. Haegemen was worried about.  With the family history they believed this was necessary.  Jill of course asked for her uterus to take home in a glass jar to parade around with as a conversation piece…shockingly this is not allowed!  Anyway, Dr. Haegeman was kind enough to take photos…you can all expect these photos to be used in Jill’s Christmas cards this year!  Thanks Dr!

There was a high risk for bleeding with the first two surgeries.  Both doctors said she didn’t lose any blood which was great news!

In true dramatic Jill fashion…there’s always a backstory.   Usually one that starts with a face that looks like this….


So, the one fortunate side effect of chemo was that she hasn’t had periods.  About an hour before surgery she managed to squeeze one last one in! The nursing staff were all very impressed…as was Panther Dan! We got rather “tickeled” with the granny panties and giant pad they gave her.  It had wings and looked like it had been used in at least one commercial flying  Becky Queen of Carpets over the Arch!  You remember Becky…


Anyway, she’s in a step down ICU now and she’s in a lot of pain.  They had to up her pain meds around midnight and give her. muscle relaxers because she was having bad spasms.  It’s going to be a long few days but she’s hanging tough.  They want her sleeping as much as possible so we’re asking to hold off on visits for now.

On a funny ending note, her saline bag spontaneously popped open at 1 am and started spraying everything in sight…mostly me but on her arm too.  The nurse said she has never seen that happen before…I’m thanking Jeff Carriere for that one!

Keep sending prayers and good vibes her way.


Surgery 5/19/15-Liver & Colon… be gone??….


Well I’m sure you are all quite surprised that we survived New Orleans, but we did… in one piece. No injuries, no one lost or left behind… that happens when you have one SOBER person… ha.

Anywho, Tuesday they have surgery scheduled for 9:30am. I’ll get there that morning… do some stuff… Surgery supposedly will start around 10am, liver first and then colon, maybe around 8 hours of surgery. From what I’ve been told, I can expect to not really have any recollection of anything from this night until the next day at some point… you are pretty doped up. I’ll be in the hospital for about a week, then I can go home.

My dad gets in town Sunday (17th), my mom will arrive the following week to assist in the home stay (good times)…

I guess they do the surgery Tuesday, then get you up and moving around the following day, as to get things back to normal, so your body starts “working” again.

I’ll be doing a colon prep Monday, if anyone is bored and wants to help with that… 😉

You can likely check back on the site for updates, as it will be tough for my friends and family to keep everyone individually informed, please be patient with them and try not to bombard them with too many questions…

Once out of the hospital, I will apparently be extremely tired. I’m still supposed to get up and move around as much as possible, without straining myself. It will be a boring few weeks. I expect to lose some weight… so beware when I come out of this thin and fierce… or thinner…

I’ll likely be off of work for about a month or so… depending… I don’t know much more than that…

I’d say visitors should hold off for the first day, at least. After that we’ll see how it goes… Obviously don’t visit if you’re ill or have Ebola or anything else airborne… 😉

Hmm… what else, more to come.