Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/28/08 Saturday Night

Judy has continued to do a little better each day, with an occasional set back. Her week without chemo has been good, but she looks forward to getting back into treatment so that she will continue to do better and better for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6/21/08 Sunday Evening

Another day of setback. Judy went to bed last night about 10:00PM, but woke up this morning with a bloody nose that she could not stop for hours. Probably too much coumadin, since she has stopped taking most of her dietary supplements. Once she got the nose bleed stopped, she slept right through until 3:00 PM. She got up once we got home from church and has been up ever since. She actually sat out on the front walk for a while tonight and just enjoyed the great weather. She seems to be doing better this evening, but isn't too sleeply. So she will probably have another bad night and not be able to get back to sleep until the wee hours. We'll just have to see how tonight goes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

6/21/08 Saturday Morning

Things are getting better day by day. Judy is able to be up most of the day and do a few little things. Getting to sleep at night seems to be the biggest challenge these days. She finally made it down at 3:00 AM this morning and slept in until 9:00 AM. She has less and less nausea and is able to eat more and more foods. Her weight loss has tapered off, which is disappointing to her ... but a good sign with regard to her feeling well.

This coming week is her week without chemo. This allows her regular fast growing cells to rebuild. Apparently they rebuild faster than the cancer cells. It will be interesting to see how she feels without the chemo.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

6/17/08 Wednesday Afternoon

The chemo went well on Tuesday. We went in at 12:30 and got out at 7:00 PM. Judy is doing better now, day by day. She has been up almost all day today, just puttering around in her office, looking at mail and watching a little TV here and there and talking to her kids on the phone. She still needs to take a pain pill a couple of times a day to keep ahead of a general feeling of illness, though no actual pain. She still has nausea and has to be real careful with when she takes what pills, in order not to loose them via regurgitation. We are looking at better days ahead!

Monday, June 16, 2008

6/16/08 Monday Morning

Well, Judy made it nearly to the end of Sacrament Meeting before she got too sick to stay longer. All of the local kids and grandkids (14 in all) came over for Father's Day. Shelly organized it and everyone pitched in with food. Jason and Derek did the grilling and everyone helped clean up. We now have enough left over food for the next month. Judy did remarkably well, not retiring from the festivities until nearly 10:00 PM. We both slept extremely well last night and are both up puttering around this morning. Looks like maybe the worst of the infection is past us and we are ready to move on to new levels of progress.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

6/15/08 Sunday Morning

Well things have not been too good for Judy since we got home from the hospital. She has been in bed and not feeling well. We hope it is a result of the infection and not the cancer or the chemo. She hopes to make it to church today, but we won't know until right before the meetings start.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

6/12/08 Thursday Morning

I should have realized that things were going too well! Judy felt feverish yesterday afternoon, but did not mention it to me. However, she made up for it in spades. I woke up at 2:30 this morning with Judy telling me that she thought she had a fever. So I dug out the thermometer. Sure enough it was 102.7. Huntsman's policy is you call if you have a fever over 100.5. So I gave her a dose of Tylenol and called Huntsman. They advised me to take her to the local emergency room to see if they could identify the source of the infection, take some blood samples and get her on antibiotics. She had just finished a course of Cipro for the last infection.

They were unable to identify the source and so just started her on a 90 minute IV dose of Levaquin and sent her home with a prescription for pills to continue the treatment. She was released from the hospital at about 8:00AM and is now home catching up on her beauty rest.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6/11/08 Wednesday Evening

Judy had a fairly good day today. She was up part of the day cleaning house! She had to rest several times, but felt much better than she has in weeks! She also made a short drive to help me drop off a vehicle that needed repairs. Things are truly beginning to look up!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6-10-08 Judy's Comments

Hi everybody! Greetings from the dead. I am not sure exactly what is happening, but last night I felt a definite change in my being. I don't feel great, but I do feel like life is beginning to return in small waves. I couldn't believe that I actually could get up this morning at 6:30 and make it to the hospital without being deathly ill. Yesterday I slept until 1:30! I also couldn't believe that it took about 6 hours to get my chemo. They give me medicine 1/2 hour before to counteract the allergic reactions the chemo produces. This is SO different from the last time 23 years ago. I honestly do not feel any discomfort. I put a litocain cream on top of my portacath before I go in and I don't even feel the needle when they put into my chest. We even stopped for a minute at Temple Square to pick Elena up and saw two of the sisters we worked with who just happened to be there. So fun.

I am hoping for a new beginning tomorrow. Some energy to get out of bed and actually do something productive. Jerry has been SO GOOD in caring for me. He just sold his canoes, trailer and go carts. We are entering a new phase of life and love the memories of all the fun times and friends.

Thanks for all of your love and care.

6/10/08 Tuesday Evening

Went for chemo this morning at 8:00 AM. Clinic had to stick Judy's arm twice to get blood for coumadin clotting test (for heart). Took a long time for results to come back. They have to look at white and red bloods cell counts also, in order to know whether they can give another dose of chemo.

Saw doctor about 9:30 AM, but blood test results were still not back. She finished with Judy and sent her to the infusion center for the chemo.
Clotting test was low, so Judy will have to increase coumadin this next week. Other tests were OK.

It was 11:30 before the premeds were ready and noon before the chemo was started. The chemo went well, with Judy actually sleeping during the last 30 minutes or so. We finally left the infustion center around 1:30 PM. (We had hoped to be finished by 11:00 AM, so it took quite a bit longer that we expected.) She will do one more week of chemo, then take a week off.

Judy felt relatively good late yesterday afternoon and evening and even felt OK this morning and afternoon. She thinks that she is actually beginning to feel a little better and is planning on doing a little organizing around the house in the morning. Aunt June has offered to come over and help tomorrow evening. So Judy will probably get things lined up in the morning for Aunt June to do in the evening.

Things are progressing nicely and we are grateful for all of your help and especially your prayers! We are enjoying the tender mercies of our Father in Heaven, even during these tender times. We love and appreciate you, one and all!

Monday, June 9, 2008

6/9/08 Monday Evening

Judy had a bad day today. Was nauseated most of the morning. She had taken her pills and was trying to hold them down, when a phone call came in. I answered it and advised Judy that the call was for her. She told me she couldn't talk to anyone or she would loose it. Just saying that much to me caused her to have to make a run to the bathroom. Sure enough, she lost it again.

She has been in bed sleeping most of the day, too sick to even watch much TV. (Though she does like Dr Phil & Oprah.) She is doing a little better tonight and is in her office working her emails and talking to family members on the phone.

We have to leave for her 2nd Chemo in the morning at 7:00AM. Should be home by early afternoon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

6/8/08 Sunday Evening

Judy was quite nauseated this morning. Took her anti-nausea pills, went back to bed for a couple of hours, ate some oatmeal cereal and made it to Sacrament Meeting. She had to come home after it ended, went back to bed most of the afternoon, talking to Sheri on the phone and eating watermelon, Robert Redford Dessert, and a bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich.

Stephanie, Derek and Julia came over to check on Mom and stayed to visit a hour or two. They had a sandwich (less the tomatoes) and a serving of dessert. Played with the kitten and talked for a while, then went home. It was good to see them. Judy was able to sit in her easy chair during the whole visit and felt fairly good.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

6/7/08 Saturday Morning

Judy was not feeling well enough to go out to dinner yesterday, so we had take-out from Mimi's. She ate only a portion and went immediately back to bed. I think she was expecting to feel better right away, however the oncologist said it would take about a month to notice much difference and 3-4 months to feel a lot better. So it is the same old thing, just wait awhile longer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

6/6/08 Friday Morning

Well, things haven't changed much. Judy is still nauseated a lot. Not sure whether it is from the cancer or the chemo. She is also beginning to have one of the chemo side effects, peripheral neuropathy ... tingling and electrical shocks in her toes. (She is beginning to catch up with me, as I have had these for years ... part of my diabetes.)

We went shopping yesterday and she bought a wig for the day when she will no longer have any hair. Her hair has been so thin for years that the full head of hair on the wig makes her look 15 years younger.

We also bought a new mask for her sleep apnea machine and after just one night she already likes it better. Instead of being a full face mask or a mask that just covers her nose, it has nasal pillows that actually go into her nostrils about 1/4 inch. The new mask is much easier to keep in place and doesn't cause your face to be so hot. Now we just have to find a good chin strap that will keep her mouth closed when she is asleep. We have tried everything on the market, so I've been thinking about creating one myself.

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary and we are looking forward to just taking it easy! Judy's parents made 50 years and mine 45 years, but doesn't look like we will make either one. But, that's OK ... because we have lived a good, full and happy life. What more could we have asked for?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6/4/08 Wednesday Morning
Last night all of the kids and grandkids were over for a little farewell, as were Kip's parents (Shelly's fiance's parents) and brother and the Hathaways. We had dinner and visited all evening. Judy took it easy and let the girls do the work, so she fared fairly well. She also slept
well again last night .

Sheri and family left this morning at 6:00AM. Judy got up to say goodbye. Microsoft, where Danny works, is beginning to ask some of its employees to work from home. So we are hoping that Sheri and family will soon be moving (from Seattle) to Utah as well.

John and family will be leaving this morning as well ... and our house will be empty again. They sure helped a lot. I was planning on watching a couple of Sheri's kids this last week, but as it turned out I spent most of my time with Judy going to, staying at or coming home from the hospital and the burden fell to John and Amy. Sharol and Stephanie also helped a lot with Sheri's kids, as she took a well deserved and long overdue vacation with her husband. How nice large families are when one needs a little extra help!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

6/3/08 Tuesday Morning
Judy did make it home yesterday about 2 PM. She is pretty weak, but did get a shower and went on an errand run with me. She got too tired midway, so I had to bring her home and go back later to finish the errands. She slept well last night, and should be up in the next hour or two.

Turns out her regular chemo treatments will be Tuesdays at 8:00 AM.

Elena (our Russian speaking house guest) returned from a month in Arizona and is helping around the house. She plans on attending the LDS Business College this Fall, but can begin working part time with them on July 1st. She plans on commuting from Lehi for the time being.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

6/1/08 Sunday Afternoon
Judy took her chemo with flying colors. No nausea, no pain, no reactions! She has not lost her appetite and is eating well, so they have been able to stop all IV fluids.

They even tested her porta cath and it passed with flying colors as well.

At this point they are planning on keeping her overnight, to see if the oral antibiotic (Cipro) is going to hold the infection in check. If so, she will probably be released before noon tomorrow.

She is scheduled to return a week from tomorrow for her second chemo treatment.
6/1/08 Sunday Morning
Just met with the oncologist (and associates). Had a long conversation. Judy is doing well for the moment, though not coming home today. Still not sure where the infection was, but it is being handled by the antibiotics. They will take her off the injected antibiotics and put her on oral ones today, but want to keep her another day to be sure she responds well to the oral antibiotics.

We learned this morning that if Judy had been able to be treated with hormone therapy, that she might have expected to live another 7-10 years. However since her cancer is no longer hormone receptive, she has to be treated with chemotherapy. Once on chemotherapy the average "advanced breast cancer" patient lives approximately 2 years.
We were advised that since Judy's liver has only one or two spots of cancer, as opposed to being covered with it, that she may live longer than the two year average.

Judy is presently waiting for breakfast, has had her dose of steroids to keep her from reacting too much to the chemo. Her chemo has been deferred until 10:00AM. She probably won't be too nauseated by the chemo, but will probably loose her hair again.