Monday, October 4, 2010

Stirring the Bucket...Kicking the Cream...Calling in the Big Brass

There is much to share.  First of all, the title is from my brother, Bobby.  He flew in last night, and his sense of humor is highly-appreciated here. 

The title referrs to our most recent efforts:  to call in help from people in powerful positions.  This weekend, my cousin got in touch with a colonel at Walter Reed, and we found out that there were no orders to transport Billy to Walter Reed, or anywhere else for that matter.  We were waiting for news from the army, and something on the army end had gotten stuck somewhere.  Red tape.  Talk about frustration.

Meanwhile, Billy's NG tube has been incredibly annoying and frustrating.  He is willing to endure things when he understands why and he knows we're going somewhere.  But waiting around in misery with no forward motion is incredibly disheartening.  Not good.

So we've called in the big brass.  The colonel at Walter Reed made a ton of phone calls this weekend, and set everything up for action once Monday hit.

Well, Monday has hit.  My aunts in Massachusetts contacted their senator, and he called the Pentagon.  (Sounds like a scene from Independence Day, right?  I can't believe Billy's story is unfolding this way.)  My mom's plan was to contact Colorado senators (2 hours behind Massachusetts), and have them put pressure on as well.  I haven't seen her yet this morning, so I'm not 100% sure where things stand.

Bottom line:  my mom says things are moving.  Fast.  She's getting a ton of phone calls.  The patient care advocate here (who has been nothing short of AMAZING) is working to get all the paperwork faxed to the army (again).  Things are moving.  We're hoping for transportation within 24-48 hours.  We'll see.

I know you're all itching for updates.  I'm trying.  I started to work on one last night, but some important issues kept me up until 3am.  I opted for sleep over writing the blog.

There is a lot more news to share...more about Billy and how our family is doing than about moving him.  There are many details in the story about transportation and the army.  I am in awe of what is happening.  I will write more details later.  For now, I've included the big-picture details.  Also, when we hear the final word about transportation, I will let you know. 

Meanwhile, here are some things you can pray for:
  • Billy's NG tube has been removed (finally!) in an attempt to give him relief.  He's still coughing some from the build-up of phlegm.  So far, he has taking in a tiny bit of broth and water, and he hasn't thrown up.  Praise God!  Pray for his stomach to start receiving fluids, and his body to use them instead of rejecting them. 
  • Billy's white blood cell count has dropped.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that visitors be VERY HEALTHY.  We have to wash our hands whenever we touch anything we give to him.  Pray for health for everyone involved.  And for Billy's white blood cells to rejeuvenate and reproduce quickly and healthily.  Pray for strong immune systems! 
  • Billy's stomach is still full of fluid.  Draining it again would be traumatic, in light of the decreased white blood cell count.  Pray for relief from the pressure, and that the cancer cells would stop producing this stuff. 
  • The army to move quickly, and everything to be set up seamlessly for a quick and easy transfer to Walter Reed.
  • Transportation of all of us to D.C.  I'm trying to find a flight, and my brothers (Danny and Bobby) will be driving Billy's Jeep to D.C.  We've had some battery issues.  Pray for all of that to get worked out.

Thanks so much for everything!  I will try to keep updating as all of this happens.  Please do not be offended if I don't respond to facebook messages, emails, texts, etc. right away.  My first priority is taking care of Billy and my family.


  1. Ugh. Thanks for the update. We will be praying. Keep your head high, Michelle. God is right in the middle of this. He WILL see ALL of you through it.

  2. I've got him in my prayers. I'll be visiting Walter Reed with my fellow Patriot Guard Riders next Saturday.

  3. Thank you for the update, Michelle. Continue to take care of Billy, and yourself. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers continuosly.


  4. Prayers ongoing for you ALL, from Canada.

  5. Thank you so much for the update, I'm sure we all understand the priorities you and yours have during this time and my hopes are that things keep moving along in the right direction. My thoughts and prayers with Billy and the rest of your family.


  6. Love you guys and glad he got the NG tube out!! Small victories!! Yay!! Thanks for the update and remember to take care of yourself too. Sounds like things are happening, but please let me know if you need anymore muscle behind getting him to Walter Reed.

  7. Hang in there Billy, help is enroute!!!

  8. Hey chelle , thanks for another update and all youre doing! Hoping/praying for a move asap so we WILL see u this weekend! Car is rented and hotel rooms are booked for DC! Hang in there cuz, and let me know if u need anything in the meantime! LOVE YOU!


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