Saturday, December 20, 2008


Steve is still at St. Paul and may be here until Monday.

A couple of medical teams have visited -- hematology/oncology and infectious disease. We are continually reminded that medicine is a science with some wiggle room. One team focuses on one problem, set of data, expected outcomes. The next team focuses on another. They may communicate with one another, but sometimes that's not obvious to the patient.

Here's what we think we know:
1. The bacteria is a form of staph, based on what the infectious disease attending, Dr. S, said. We don't know specifically which strain of staph.
2. A blood sample taken yesterday did not show signs of bacteria. I don't think this means it's gone altogether, but it's still good news.
3. Infectious disease recommends that Steve's chest port be removed. (Dr. S says that there's no way to sterilize the plastic once it's in. He could be on antibiotics for three months to keep the staph away, but as soon as he stops the antibiotics, the staph would return.)
4. Another chest port could be placed. Or a PICC line, a semi-permanent IV line, could be placed in his arm.
5. He'll most likely stay at St. Paul until Monday.

Steve's spirits are good. He's eating really well and enjoying short visits and silly movies.

Will visited for a few hours last night, bearing ice cream and the movie Stepbrothers.

Cooper, Katie and I arrived this morning. The kids have handled the past few days well, but they were obviously missing their sweet Daddy. They had bed rides, pushing all the buttons for maximum fun; watched Enchanted in bed; ate ice cream and drank chocolate milk raided from the refreshment pantry; and walked around the campus with our friend Stuart and his daughter, Hannah.

Jim and Betty picked them up for lunch and an afternoon of Grandma and Papa time.

We took advantage of the quiet time; Steve and I rested and napped off and on. Sharon brought lunch and treats and brightened the room.

I'm headed north soon. The kids and I will sleep at home, and Katie will sing with fellow preschoolers at church in the morning.

We have a long prayer list. We want Steve to recover quickly and completely from this latest episode. We also want him home and healthy for Christmas this year. It's hard to forget that last year we spent most of Christmas Day in the emergency room and then a hospital room.

We are confident, though, that no matter where he is, we will fully experience the spirit and joy of Christmas.

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