Paracentesis

Bonnie & Louis Rushmore

Bonnie & Louis Rushmore

This blog entry was written by Bonnie Rushmore at my (Louis Rushmore) request. The following is Bonnie’s firsthand account of one recent day in her life.

Friday, January 16th I was scheduled for a CT-Scan in the morning and chemotherapy in the afternoon in Jackson, MS. I was in a quandary what to do. I needed to keep these appointments if possible, but Louis returned home Thursday afternoon from emergency gallbladder surgery, and I was hesitant to leave him all day by himself back in Winona. Finally, we decided that we accept Paula Bates’ offer to take me to Jackson (I cannot drive that far), and Betty Choate would check on Louis throughout the day. Rebecca was to arrive around 5:00 p.m. Louis, being independent, he refused any offers of help from Betty for meals and any assistance. I am sure he overdid things since no one was there to try to stop him.

Paula picked me up around 9:15 a.m., and we were on our way. The CT-Scan appointment was uneventful, and we went to the cafeteria for lunch before my scheduled appointment with the oncologist and chemo. While waiting for this appointment, Louis sent me a message that our son, Raymond, was flying into Memphis at 12:30 p.m., and so Rebecca would wait to come to Winona after she picked him up at the airport.

The oncology office was running behind schedule. I did not see the doctor until 3:00 p.m. The CT-Scan showed a large fluid sac in the abdominal cavity, which explained the excessive bloating, pain and swollen abdomen. It was decided that I should skip chemo and immediately go to radiology to have a paracentesis to drain the fluid. This procedure could take 3-6 hours. Again, what to do? Louis is sitting home by himself, and Rebecca will not get in until the wee hours of Saturday morning. I called Louis, and he assured me that he was fine and to have the procedure. So, radiology was called to perform the procedure; however, they would not be able to stay late enough to drain all the fluid. They suggested I go to the ER, and the radiologist would stay long enough to insert the drain tube, and the ER nurse would monitor the drainage. A nurse from oncology wheeled me down to the hospital ER. Finally, around 8:00 p.m., after draining 4.6 liters of fluid from my abdomen, I was discharged, and we headed home.

The CT-Scan shows no significant changes from the scan in September that discovered the tumor and recurrence of pancreatic cancer. I will continue on chemotherapy for at least another three months, and I will have another CT-Scan to look for changes.

Thank you for all the cards, phone calls, text messages and most importantly prayers as we travel along life’s bumpy highway. As one good brother in Burma said, “Why should humble and hardworking people get sick? Oh! We are still in the world.” As long as we are on earth we will face trials and tribulations. They can make us stronger, more dependent on our heavenly Father or they can pull us away from God. The choice is ours!

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