Just a quick update here, from sister Laura, as Inga is swamped, working and taking care of Ken, and last week was a very busy week.
A week ago, today, Inga came home from work to find Ken throwing up blood. So, one ambulance ride back to the hospital, and four units of blood later, (as his blood test showed that his blood count was down to 1/2 of a normal level), Ken was admitted to the hospital, and stayed for an entire week.
First, a scope of Ken's stomach revealed a bleeding ulcer, 2 cm x 4 cm. (That's a pretty big ulcer.) He is now on liquid Nexium, which will assist in the healing and will prevent any future ulcers.
Second, Ken's J-tube had coiled itself up in/against his stomach, (the J-tube is the one that goes directly into the intestine, after the stomach, whereas a G-tube is the one that goes directly into the stomach), which is the reason his liquid feedings had become so uncomfortable. So, they replaced the J-tube.
Third, due to Ken's ongoing shoulder pain, they did an MRI of his spine, again, to check for any spinal compressions, (since the esophageal cancer had spread to the spine, this is a concern), but all was OK. They attribute the pain to the start of arthritis and lack of activity, in general, causing loss of muscle mass.
Fourth, they did an echo-cardiogram, to check for fluid around the heart, and there was none. (This was a concern, due to the fluid that had accumulated around one of Ken's lungs, about a month ago, which was drained, and has since remained clear.) So, that was good news, too.
Fifth, the radiation treatments on the spine, (the fourteen (14) treatments that had started on July 6th), continued during his stay in the hospital, and, as of today, July 12th, he has nine (9) more to go. The rest of this week, (till Friday), and then Monday through Friday of next week.
The really good news is that Ken's blood is holding its own, rebuilding itself, and the counts are not dropping. Since stopping the internal bleeding of the stomach ulcer, he's doing really well. He was eating solid foods again, and getting some good color back!
That's all I can tell you, for now. I'm heading back down for a visit this weekend, and I'll have more to share, after that visit. And, I bet we'll probably get a post from Inga very soon, too.
Thanks for checking in, and for keeping Ken in your prayers.