From the monthly archives:

September 2005

Update for Gus

by Original Author on September 28, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

We are home. After so many days of waiting for results of the pathology department we told that the slides need to be sent to the United States for a diagnosis. A preliminary diagnosis is pseudo-lymphoma. Not lymphoma but and infection that appears to look like lymphoma. They want Gus to be here in Davao City until from opinion from the United States. They not give antibiotic for infection nor chemo for lymphoma until they are absolutely sure what the tumor is. He will return to Manila October 28 for results and CAT scan. Your prayers have been heard by a merciful God. We have such peace about it. I am much improved. Thank you dear friends. We will let you know of course any further development.

God Bless,
Mom Betty

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A Lighter Note of the Harter’s Hospitalization

by Original Author on September 24, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

I have been posting such grim reports, that I now want to relay some of our “lighter” moments of this roller coaster ride we have been on the past two weeks in this hospital.

I became so worried about Gus while he was staying in the hotel very near the hospital and trying to visit me. Gus is never in pain, but this time he was doubled over with stomach pain. I insisted that he check in the emergency room downstairs. On the way back from one of my CAT scans, I had an orderly wheel me down to the emergency room to check on him. He was without doubt in agony. I had to leave him there and was surprised that they discharged him. Gus returned to the hotel with his pain medicine took a shower and tried to convinced himself he was well. He tried to sleep and could not. He needed rest, he thought.

I have pondered a few times these past days about how God place Elijah in a cave for a rest. However, this cave is very expensive! Nothing seemed to relive the pain. After convincing from me he agreed to get in a taxi and go to the office of my doctor to see if he could determine the source of the pain.

Gus called me in a few minutes and said that my doctor was admitting him to the hospital for fear his pain was coming from a kidney stone. I am sitting in my room wondering how in this world Gus will be able to fill out all the admitting forms. “He cannot”, I said to myself. I will. I did not tell anyone I was leaving my room and going downstairs to admitting. They have to wait for a wheelchair, etc, etc. I just locked my room and went downstairs to admitting. Gus looked so pitiful. Stooped over in pain, sweat beads on his face. I grabbed the papers as they said, “Aren’t you a patient?” “Yep, but I am in better condition to do this than he is”. Eventually it was discovered by the nurse that I had escaped. She went looking for me with my wheelchair. I said “Thank you so much, Gus get in”. I put him in the chair, he did not argue with me he felt so bad and I hung on as I brought him up to my floor, the cardio floor.

Well he was assigned a room four doors down from me. Now, how am I supposed to be able to take care of him with him so far away? I kept sneaking out of my room and going back and forth to his room this will never do. I’m supposed to be on bed rest. Ok, the solution is simple. I’ll just move the furniture out in the hall and then I’ll get his bed with him in it and roll it down to my room and shut the door. So that’s what I did. It did not go unnoticed. But, it makes perfect sense to me. We will just pretend that we are practicing for the “Old Folks Home” some day. It would be very funny if it were not so awful!

If the nurses come in and we don’t like the particular procedure they are going to do than we tell them if it is for the other Harter in the other bed. We have tripped over each other IV pole and raced each other to the bathroom. We had only planned originally to stay here for a couple of days. So I have underwear I have washed all over the bathroom.

One evening in our confinement we decided we had to get out of this room. The nurses would not have it without accompanying us, so they went and got our wheelchairs. They wheeled us down the hall and asked Gus where he wanted to go, “Anywhere, but the morgue”, he said. I thought to myself, you know it may be cheaper two for the price of one. Things looked rather bleak that particular night.

So here we sit and wait and wait and wait. Gus feels much better now after his many doses of antibiotics and his new pain medicine. He just cannot sit still. He says, “As long as his moving he knows he is not dead!” And so, when the nurses are not watching and he is between his medicines, CAT scans and biopsies, he just gets dressed in his boots and his barong and leaves the hospital and goes shopping. What does he buy? Fruits, writing tablets, ball pens, hairspray and all the necessary items. He comes back in the room with his packages, slips on his hospital assigned pajamas and slips into his bed as though no one even noticed.

Yesterday was a very trying day in this adventure of ours. They had just made a definite diagnosis of Lymphoma and then later were not sure. They told us they would have to do a second biopsy. Gus turned to me at lunch time two hours before his scheduled biopsy and told he wanted a hamburger for lunch from the Burger King. I said, “Gus your biopsy is scheduled”. He informed me that he would walk down to the Burger King and be back in time. Of course not, acknowledging that they were going to put him to sleep supposedly on an empty stomach. I am quite sure that they have good reason to transfer us to the psycho ward before they discharge us.

As I read back over what I have just written, we sound more like a couple of rebellious teenagers instead of the wise senior citizens that we are! Well now you know the rest of the story.

Mom Betty

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Current Update of Gus and Betty Jo Harter

September 23, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter We know we are in the Lord’s hand and He most certainly knows what is happening with us right now. We do not! The Oncologist just came in from reviewing the slides this morning and told us that they still cannot confirm the diagnosis. Another biopsy must be done […]

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An Update on Hospitalization of Gus and Betty Jo Harter

September 22, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter This morning we have been reading from Lamentation; “His mercies are fresh every morning…” great is thy faithfulness…Ho w do people face the day who have never known the faithfulness of our great God? This is the day we set and wait on a diagnosis that will alter our […]

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New Update of Gus and Betty Jo Harter (8:30 P.M. Philippine time)

September 22, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter The doctor just came in and gives us the latest update (8:30 P.M. Philippine time). Gus has lymphoma. We do not know what kind of lymphoma, there are so many. They need to know if it is in the other parts of the body other than the intestines, bone […]

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