Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday - September 24, 2008

Well, we change direction again. Judy has been so ill for so long that her oncologist made a major change in her treatment regime. The oncologist determined that Judy's symptoms were not being caused by cancer, but rather by a cold, the flu or some other similar disease. So they jointly decided to stop her chemo for a month in order to give her body a chance to get well. She has stopped her Coumadin (blood thinner for her lower leg blood clot) and hopefully that will stop her continuous nose bleeds, the irritation in her throat that causes her to cough without stopping and the nausea that the blood causes when it drips down into her stomach. They also put her on Zyrtec to get rid of her congestion and Valium to make her throat less sensitive to the constant drainage. They also prescribed a nasal steroid to help with the swelling in her throat, though the pharmacist said that particular inhaler is no longer manufactured and will be calling the doctor for an alternate. They also wanted her to get physical therapy and exercise. She said that as long as she was going to physical therapy, she wanted them to work on her swolen arm's range of motion. The oncologist agreed and wrote the order.

We are looking at some possible alternative medicine regimens ... but are not sure if any of them make sense. Some have to be done in place of chemo, so now would be a ideal time to try them. One possibility would be two weeks in Tijuana with a Cesium chloride IV 12-14 hours a day and a new raw fruits and vegetables diet. We estimate this would cost about $15,000 and that none of it would be covered by insurance.

Another alternative would be to go to a chiropractor in Layton, who Sheri's mother-in-law swears by, another would be to go to a DO in Provo and a third would be to purchase the cesium chloride over the internet and administer it by spraying it on the skin. We reading a lot on the internet, talking to others patients and trying to make smart decisions as we move along.

We have harvested the last of the peaches, the tomatoes are producing a 5 gallon bucket every few days, the broccili is going strong and even a couple of cauliflower heads have begun to form now that the weather has turned cooler, we have two large watermelons and about one dozen canteloupes. We are mowing the lawn shorter and shorter preparing for winter and have put a 10' x 20' canvas garage up in the driveway to hold stuff from the garage while we paint it, reorganize the shelving and get ready to put a car in the garage for the first time in our married lives. Always before it has been full of "stuff". Even when we had a 3 car garage and a 30' x 30' workshop in California, we never had a car in the garage. So, we are making progress more progress in some ways than in years!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Well another week has passed and lots has happened. About 10 of us shaved our heads: Judy, Jerry, Sharol, Shelly, Stephanie, Jason, Shelly's husband, his brother and their father and the Bishop. It was an evening of fun and frolic. I will try to post the before and after pictures. It really does change everyone's looks to be bald! After everyone had left but Jason, Steph and Derek ... Jason decided to try on his mother's wig and earrings. It was amazing how much he looked like his mother.

However, it was too much for Judy and she was pretty sick on Monday and ended up spending 3 days in the hopital before all was said and done. They never did get to the source of the infection, though they tried. I thought they would put her on a high powered IV antibiotic and was quite surprised when they went the other way. They took her off all antibiotics to let the infection bust out, so they could find the source. It never did bust out and Judy got tired of all the tests and blood draws and finally just said, " I have had enough. I am going home!" After coming home her temperature came and went and she seems to be very gradually getting better. We have concluded that she must have gotten a touch of the flu bug.

On Saturday she gave me enough instructions to bottle 13 pints of pickled beets and 8 1/2 quarts of tomatoes from our garden. Today I am going to try my hand at banana nut bread!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sept 7, 2008 - Sunday Afternoon

Well Judy got another infection and has been really quite ill the last few days. After calling the Huntsman Cancer Center they put her on antibiotocs. The next day she was not doing any better so she called again, thinking they would probably hospitalize her. After an extensive discussion with Dr Buys, they decided to put her on an additional antibiotic to see how she would do, with the caveat that anytime she thought it necessary they would hospitalize her. She has since turned the corner and is doing much better, though is not quite fully recovered.

She has convinced that doctors to give her chemo straight through, without stopped every fourth week to give her body a rest. She persuaded them that the week without chemo was worse than the weeks with it. So, we'll see how that goes.

Saturday we canned more tomatoes, made a Apple Crunch with Zucchini, griced and froze the rest of the Zucchini and made
special chicken dinner rolls and banana nut bread. I started out alone early Saturday, but before long Bunny (Judy's sister like cousin) just popped in to help with the canning and Carol Jean Shultz (the sister of the missionary that baptized Judy, who is currently serving a family history mission in Salt Lake) showed up to make the chicken dinner rolls and the banna nut bread. Everything turned out just the way it should and Bunny left a plate of enchiladas for our dinner. Later in the day, the RS Pres (Teresa Smith) brought a loaf of pumpkin bread and a bowl of pumpkin soup and the neightbor at the end of the cul-de-sac (Judy Richards) brought in a dinner of roast beef , potatoes and carrots.

What kind a loving people we have had the privilege to associate with in our lives! You are wonderful and we love and appreciate you greatly.

Most of Judy's hair in now gone, including her eye brows so she is going to go ahead an shave her head today. Several week ago I told the kids that I would shave mine too as a show of love and support. Since then Shelly has arranged for a dinner at the house at four today, followed by a lesson from the Bishop on "Families are Forever" and a head shaving fest. Our three daughters her in Utah have decided to have their heads shaved as well ... and donate their hair for the creation of wigs for other cancer patients. Rumor has it that others may join in, such as our granddaughter and some of her new school friends from Cedar City
(though I am not in favor of this since it is their senior year in high school and shaving their heads would impact so many of their important pictures) and some of Kip's family members. We'll let you know the final outcome later.