Heading Home

Well…… after 6 weeks and 6 days, we’re heading home.  Stef has really wanted to make it home and once again insurance has gotten in the way; so, after talking with Dr. Martin’s nurse, Shelly, for quite some time, meeting with a social worker, and meeting a different hospice team, we have made the decision to go home sometime tomorrow.  I have to be honest that this makes me a little nervous just thinking of everything that will need to be done at home.  However, even though I am worrying, already things are getting taken care of.  Our church is providing meals 4 times per week and they are going to continue to have people sit with him in the evening so I can try to rest.  So, while today was extremely stressful, I am still amazed by and so thankful for such a wonderful support system.  I know we can’t see what’s ahead in the near future, but it is so comforting to know that people continue to pray for us for whatever may come.  

I also wanted to send a big thank you to a special group of girls who took me to dinner for an early birthday dinner.  It was so nice to get out and participate in life.  So, thank you, girls!!  

Once again, I would ask that you continue to pray for our kids and us as we make this next transition.  There are many things that concern me in connection with him coming home.  He needs quite a bit of care still.  Also, I have tried very hard to keep the kids protected.  Hopefully, their home will continue to be a place of comfort and wonderful moments for them.  I will post again in a few days to let you know how our transition goes.  Have a good evening.

For the kids

This is a friend of the Tarapchaks from Children’s Hospital. I wanted to let you all know that Sandi has recently set up college 529 accounts for Derek, Justin, and Carly, along with a common account that people can donate to if they wish. The account is with US Bank; donations can be made through any US Bank branch. If you don’t have the account number, just say you want it to go into Sandi’s individual savings account, not the joint account. If you write a check, make it payable to Sandra Tarapchak, and in the memo line put Tarapchak Children’s Fund. This will allow you to track it for tax purposes, as you can deduct donations from your Ohio tax basis ( for more information see http://www.collegeadvantage.com/cms.aspx?SectionID=38 )(not sure about tax issues for non-Ohio residents). You are able to do an online direct transfer.  Please contact a US Bank branch in order to find  how to do this.

While we may not be able to do much directly for Stef right now, I’m hoping that helping to provide something for their children’s futures will provide a little security and peace of mind for Stef and Sandi. If you have any questions, just add a comment to the post and Sandi or I will get back to you. Thanks.

Update

I just wanted to give everyone an update for right now.  I know everyone who reads this blog has been praying for Stefan and our family and has shown such amazing care and concern.  On Thursday, Dr. Martin and his team of nurses and I met to discuss Stefan’s condition.  We decided then that we would remove the TPN that Stef was getting for nutrition and we would stop treating his pneumonia.  Without going into all the details, I will just say that as a group, we decided that this was the next best step.  They are continuing to keep Stefan hydrated and comfortable with pain medications.  Right now he is resting comfortably and that is so nice to see as I have seen him deal with amazing amounts of pain. 

I want to ask everyone to continue to pray for our children.  They had such a wonderful visit with their dad on Wednesday evening.  He was able to sit up and talk with each one of them.  I brought them back on Friday evening and it was a much different story.  I think the reality of his situation settled in with them.  This ended up being pretty traumatic for them as they were not able to communicate with him.  Please pray for comfort for them right now as they so desperately need that.

I also wanted to thank our church family.  Since Thursday evening, different people have been sitting with him through the night.  It is so comforting to know that there are people who care so deeply to sit with him so he does not have to be alone at all.  So, thanks to all of you who have sat with him so far.  I know it helps him stay more comfortable knowing someone is right beside him.  So, while it may seem like a small thing to you, please know that I am forever grateful for that.

Finally, I may not be posting for a little while.  Stefan’s condition is not looking good at this point.  I will only post if there is any change in that in either direction. Thank you so much for the overwhelming support from all of our friends, family, and co-workers who have stopped by to see us.  I have loved seeing each one of you.

Staying Put

Well, we are staying here at The James.  After meeting with Dr. Martin yesterday morning, we have made the decision to stay here.  He felt most comfortable keeping him here instead of transitioning to our home.  Stef had a bad night on Tuesday night. He had some trouble breathing and felt as though the room was spinning.  He felt hot as well and his oxygen levels were not where the nurses wanted them to be.  They have hooked him up to oxygen so that he can breathe a little easier.  It was also discovered yesterday that he has pneumonia.  They are treating him for this, but it is not uncommon since he is not really moving around that much.  The past few days have been pretty rough with many things we have had to deal with.  I would once ask again for prayer for the days ahead as we don’t know what they may hold.  I brought the kids up last night to see Stef and we had such a great visit.  I am going to bring them up again on Friday night from about 5pm – 7pm and would ask that we be able to spend that time together as a family.  Anytime before or after that we would definitely welcome visitors.  I really appreciate those of you who have contacted me over the last few days either by email, phone, or on the blog.  Although I haven’t been able to answer all calls, please know that I appreciate the concern.  I have so appreciated all the support I have gotten.  Please remember to pray for our 3 sweet children.  They have so much going on in their little lives.  Have a good evening and thanks for checking in with us.

#14!!!!

Sorry for a 2nd post today, but I just thought I would share with everyone that tomorrow is our anniversary.  We are celebrating #14!  I am truly married to an amazing man.  I can only hope that our two boys are great husbands some day just as their dad has been; and I hope that Carley finds a husband (many years down the road!!) who is just as great as her dad is.  So, while we will be celebrating here at the James, it will be nice to “celebrate” together.

The Latest

Hi, it’s Sandi again.  Well, we are still at the James.  I think I’m going to quit posting when we might get to go home as that keeps changing.  This Thursday, it will be 3 weeks that we have been here.  I am definitely ready to be home.  However, I don’t want Stef to go home too early only to have to return a couple days later.  It is just tiring being here.  I really miss the routine of our family life.  You don’t realize what you will miss until it’s not there.  I know it is also hard for the kids to have both of us gone all day, but thankfully my mom is keeping their schedule running as normally as possible. It was also great to have them come visit Stef on Sunday.  He enjoyed seeing them and they were so happy to see him.  This was their first visit since he was admitted.  Our middle child, Justin, had such a hard time leaving.  That’s what is so hard.  And Carley whimpers at bedtime because she misses her daddy.  We’re all ready for him to come home.   What is holding us here right now is the fact that Stef’s G-tube that was placed 2 weeks ago was accidentally pulled while he was getting back into bed.  The surgeon came in yesterday morning and determined that it was indeed out of the stomach, so he pulled it the rest of the way out.  He wanted to see how Stef would do with the G-tube site just freely draining into a bag.  Last night, however, Stef started vomiting, so we’re thinking that the tube may have to be put back in  in order for his stomach to drain adequately.  With today being a holiday, they are operating on a skeleton crew, so it will  most likely be tomorrow or Thursday before anything is done.  Please continue to pray for our kids as this continues to weigh heavily on their little lives.  Also, please pray that Stef would have increased strength and a desire to eat.  He is getting TPN for nutrition, but I think it would help him mentally to actually eat by mouth.  And now with this matter of his G-tube, please pray that if they do put another one in that it would be easier than the first time and that it would stay in place.  Thank you so much for your concern and your prayers.

Beefing Up For Stef…and Catching Up With Our Kids (what a combo, huh?)

Stef started getting his TPN last night around 10:00.  That will run until about 10:00 tonight.  I believe they are planning on starting him on a 12 hour cycle.  That way when we get home, he can stay on that cycle.  It will start around 8pm and run until 8am.  We are really hoping that he will gain some weight while on this.  We also want him to continue eating by mouth so that TPN is only temporary.  It’s always best if you can eat by mouth.  I think we are looking at a possible discharge on Saturday.  We were hoping for Friday, but Saturday may be the best we get.  Who knows.  Maybe Friday will still be an option. 

We’re ready to be home for a substantial period of time.  The boys start school on August 19th.  I am so excited for routine to come back.  Although, I do have to say I have thouroughly enjoyed the summer at the pool with the kids.  The boys also had a virtual zoo out on our front porch.  We started out with tadpoles.  We were so excited to watch most of them make it and turn into about 60+ tiny frogs.  We have had spiders, a minnow, a large goldfish, and a couple frogs caught from the yard.  One day I will get to have a pretty front porch, but for now it is fun watching them get so excited about nature.  It’s not really my thing to have all these things so close to me, but my boys love it all.  I even took them fishing a couple weeks ago.  Those of you who know me know that that is a big deal for me.  They just knew that I would not help in any way.  No bating hooks, no taking fish off the hook, nothing.  I was pretty much there to be a present adult.  But what fun they have had.  Derek’s soccer schedule has already started and is keeping him busy–and it’s keeping the car running constantly to and from practice.  It amazes me how seriously sports are taken at such a young age.  We’re so proud of him, though.  He is playing on two teams-the 9 year old travel team and the 10 year old travel team.  He is getting ready to head into 4th grade.  Justin is heading into 1st grade.  He is both excited and nervous for the “whole day of school” thing.  He is afraid that Carley and I will be lonely in the afternoon without him.  I think he also loves the laid back approach to summer.  He’s not really into my whole structured routine way of life.  Carley just turned three in July.  This will be the first time that it is just her and me.  I’m really looking forward to it as I have had the opportunity to spend one on one time with the boys.  Carley and I are joined at the hip and so much alike that I think we will have a great time.  Well, thanks for letting me ramble about the kids.  I have so much fun being their mom.  What sweeties they truly are. 

Thanks for continue to support us and pray for us.  We truly appreciate each card, visit, and word of encouragement.  You are all great.