Changes with Fall

With the coming of the fall season have also come some changes in Melanie’s routine and support. She spent a few days in the hospital on September 12-14 due to her being undernourished and dehydrated. As noted in previous posts, she continues to have difficulties swallowing which effects her ability to take in and keep down solid food and liquids. It was determined that a feeding tube would be the best option to make sure she was receiving proper calorie and nutrition intake.

The nose tube was pretty miserable. Nothing like have a tube irritating the back of your throat when you have a sensitive gag reflex to begin with. She actually had to have 3 different tubes inserted over a 4 day period. The first one slipped out when she leaned forward in the hospital. The second one become clogged with medication and had to be removed because her husband did not flush the line with enough water (I am learning how to be a better home medical assistant). The third time was part of the surgical procedure to have a more permanent stomach tube/port “installed.” The nose line allowed them to puff up the stomach with air and have a way to feed her until the stomach tube was “operational.” The stomach tube has turned out to be a workable option and Melanie is now taking in about 1500 calories a day via a “Fibersource” formula.

Another fall adjustment has been the use of a disability placard when we take Melanie to the hospital, doctor’s office, or her occasional visit to Costco. While it has been a pleasant and helpful option when taking Melanie out and about, it is also a “reality check” on  her current physical condition and how the disease and treatment have taken a toll. It is a regular reminder of how different life is, but we are grateful for the assistance it provides.

Melanie continues to be in good spirits and deals with her current situation with grace and patience. She continues to enjoy visits from friends and family. Elisha Daines, a dear friend from her teenage years extended her visit to Provo from Wisconsin to spend more time with Melanie. We also enjoyed visits from her sisters Chalice (AZ), Collette & endurance athlete Carter (ND), and Michelle with Gray and Tanner (AZ).

The ongoing support from neighbors and ward members is outstanding and has been a great blessing to our family. You never know what a difference a clean house and clean laundry can make until you realize how you have just been getting by. Also, having people  sitting with Melanie and being there for her is a great comfort and relief. It is amazing what happens when the caring and compassion from so many is put into motion. Not to mention that it has been sustained for over the past 15 months.

While we may not know what the future may hold, we are grateful for all of the help we are receiving along the journey. We anticipate many changes this fall season, and continue to hope for the best.

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8 Responses to Changes with Fall

  1. Carl Clegg says:

    Thank you for the updates. Melanie, you are in our prayers daily. We are also praying for my sister who was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma and will be going through a second round of surgeries. Hang in there and know that we and a lot of other folks are hoping and praying for your welfare. Carl and family.

  2. Kim Berky Christensen says:

    John, Melanie and family – The updates are so appreciated. Your sweet family is such an example to me of how to handle adversity. It makes me realize how much I take for granted. Hang in there. You all are continually in my prayers. Take care.

  3. Heather Fenn says:

    Your are all in my prayers. Melanie is Strong. She has show great strength & courage though this all. She us very special lady. Love you Mel & family.

  4. Crystalee says:

    Thank you, uncle, for writing this post and updating us. Jon Kau, thank you for your example of loving support and true manhood as you help your wife. You, Melanie, and your family are in our daily prayers. Love you all very much.

  5. DeLite says:

    Thank you, Jon for updating us. I am glad that Melanie is able to get some nutrition into her through the feeding tube. I am also grateful that you have such a good support system. I wish I could be closer to help out. Melanie, we love you immensely and are praying that you feel better soon! Conference was a real source of comfort for me. I pray that you will feel the Lord strengthening all of you day by day.

  6. Chalice says:

    Dearest Melanie and Jon. Yes, changes are happening, and I’m so sorry you have had to go through so many things. The way you both have handled it has been nothing short of miraculous. I love you and think of you every day. I wish I could take it all away, but that’s not how things work. I’m so glad you’ve had a great support system up there in Utah. May the Lord give you the strength and courage for the days ahead. You’re both amazing and a testimony to true love.

  7. Michelle says:

    I feel so far away and yet I am just down the street. I miss your beautiful smiling faces and the joy you bring to my life. Know that our Prayer are with you each and every day. I am sorry that I am not their helping in someway. I hope that you know you are loved and always appreciated.
    I am so thankful for your beautiful spirit and inspiration.
    Thank you for being the wonderful people that you are. Have a blessed and happy day!
    Love you,
    Michelle Patterson

  8. Cindy Mason says:

    Love you Mel!!! Think about you often.

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