Author Archive for David Frackelton

Back in the hospital

Another guest article by my husband. – Marta

By the end of last week, were struggling at home — keeping Marta from food and hydration failure — and landed back in the hospital on Saturday (4/27) afternoon. Herein lies a story of success. Getting Marta stabilized. Getting healthcare forces marshalled. And by today, she is much better.

By better, I mean she can breath and eat and do the normal bodily functions… just not in the quantity and quality necessary long term. But that will come. She’s going into some more chemo next week. We are confident in our doctors, nurses and grateful for the huge support we’re getting from the hospital community and Marta’s community at large.

Marta has a confounding disease. Read More →

Home is where the heart is

Just a quick update: Marta came home last night from a two week stay in the hospital. She is handling her symptoms well and is eating some fairly bland foods. She aspires to eat more advanced stuff… like butternut squash with goat cheese. I’m not making this up.

We want to broadly thank all of her well wishers and community prayer that helped sustain her and me over the past several weeks.


I get to eat toast!

Basmati Rice

First solid food.

Another guest post by David Frackelton, upon my instructions and taking my dictation – Marta.

Quick update: So Marta’s gut is beginning to work. We’ve got consistent output. Marta ate her first solid food this AM (English Muffin). Now she is eating the basmati rice pictured to the left. This is what progress looks like!

Marta says: “Having run out of steam for my own life over the past two weeks, I find I’m being nursed back to health through love of my friends &hellips; and Dave. The hands on caretaking is not something I’ve ever had in my life, in quite this way. It makes me cry when I reflect on that. Friends stroking my hair, massaging my feet and kissing my forehead. It makes me wonder why we don’t do this more frequently with each other.”

“But the stories are luring me back to health. Remembering and feeling life outside my sick room. My friends bring their stories and spread them like jewels, a necklace of color for me to pick up and put on again.”

The limits of knowledge

Abstract view from Kohler Plaza, 10th Floor OHSUThis is a guest column by my husband, David Frackelton. I’m continuing to do the battle of the bulge, specifically my bloated belly. If you do anything for yourself today, be thankful for a functioning bowel. – Marta

“This has been the most difficult week of my life,” Marta said to me last night. I don’t agree, but then I’ve only been a witness to her suffering.

Let’s get the important disclaimers out of the way. We are receiving good to excellent care here at OHSU. Good when we have caring people who do their jobs with diligence and intelligence. Excellent when we have fearless partners in our continuing battle toward health. This hospital is, after all, a complex organization. As we float from day shift to swing to nights, we experience a new set of care givers who, among their many duties, engage with Marta’s rare cancer and the resulting conditions. Nausea. Pain. Constipation. Lack of nutrition.

And so we reached the milestone of a week in the hospital last night.
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