Thursday, January 20, 2011

Deep breath

Rebecca wrote a beautiful blog post about what's going on and how she's doing and then through a series of unfortunate strokes of her finger, as she learns to master her new iPad, managed to erase the message irrevocably. After spending a while trying to recover the message I get to write my version of events while she goes and has a rest.

Earlier this week, her recurrent fever and pain got to the level that we again ended up at our favorite ER. After a series of test, that took WAY too long, the doctors confirmed that there was nothing wrong, other than the cancer. What they found was that the cancer in the liver has progressed rapidly and aggressively. The pain she has been experiencing is pressure from her growing liver pressing on her stomach. The fever is a common symptom of this type of tumor. The good news is that with this understanding of what is going on the doctors have put her on 'pain meds' that have greatly reduced her symptoms. The reason 'pain meds' gets put in quote marks is because it is worth noting that she continues to be an incredible light weight when it comes to drugs and her pain is being managed by doses of ibuprofen.

Given the relief from her symptoms the last couple of days have actually been really nice. She's been up and about and even playing ping-pong with the kids on our newly converted dining room table. She's also having fun playing with her new iPad... did I mention she got an iPad?

Now, as ever, we get to wait. Early in February she will have more tests and we will find out if the new chemo is helping. If it is then, great, we are on track for some unknown period of time. If the new chemo does not slow, stop or reverse the progression of the disease in the liver, to quote the Dr.: "The decline can be precipitous'. So, with an incredible sense of deja-vu we know that "it could be 2 months, or it could be 2 years".

If we get the 2 month version; it's meant to be as good a way as any to go. A growing fatigue, a slowing of the mind and body until she falls asleep and doesn't wake up again. There are definitely worse ways to go.

We will keep you updated if anything changes and when we get the next results in early Feburary. Meanwhile, we continue to enjoy each day together as a family to the best of our ability to enjoy... and we really hope you will do the same!

Love you all,



Bridget Wynne said...

Thank you for your post, Andy. I'm sorry Rebecca's got wiped out somehow, but it is good to hear your "voice." I've been concerned about the fever and sickness Rebecca's been writing about lately, so have been checking her blog frequently. I truly appreciate your taking the time to explain so clearly what you two know as of now.

You titled your post "deep breath," and that's exactly what I took as I read it. It's good you know more, it's bad the cancer's grown, it's good Rebecca's pain is being managed so easily, it's bad that you two now have something else hanging over you ... and I could go on. Mostly I'm trying to take in as best I can the enormous breadth of what is happening right now with you and your family, and I'm imagining so many different parts -- love and joy, pain and grief, living now and waiting.

I am thinking about you all a lot, and hoping for many good moments and hours and days for your family.

Sending lots of love,

Alon Shalev said...

With you all from afar.

Dyanna said...

I always think that the purpose of suffering is to make us deeper, clearer about values, more compassionate and loving of each other. You'all have got that covered, and it can stop now.

I hope the pain relief continues and the reprieve gives the energy to regroup and enjoy.

I am thinking about you and sending love.

Rhonda & Travis said...

We love you all.

Rhonda & Travis

Barbara Perry said...

You are always in my thoughts.Much love to all of you. Barbara xx