Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday - Nov 16, 2008

We have three types of news this week. The good news is that the oncologist said that Judy is not in immediate danger of dying, thus they have agreed on no additional chemo at this time, since she continues to feel better and better while off the chemo.

The intermediate news is that Judy is having more and more back pain, presumably from the cancer in her spine. Even though the cancer in her lymph nodes is not hormone responsive, the oncologist said that when it metastasizes to the bones it often is. So they have put her on monthly hormone injections on the outside chance that they can slow the cancer growth in the backbone a little. Unfortunately she got quite ill after the initial injections. We do not know whether the injections caused the illness, or if it was caused by something else ... like getting overly tired.

The bad news is that during the last two months (that Judy has been off chemo and feeling better and better) her cancer marker has more than doubled. The presumption that we are making is, that while her general health is getting better and better, her cancer tumors are also getting bigger and bigger.

At this point we are assuming that she probably has less than a year left. However, our focus is going to be on helping her feel as well as she can for as long as she can vs extending her life at the expense of feeling poorly all of the way to the end.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday - Nov. 9,2008

Judy is getting stronger and stronger. She felt well enough to attend all three meetings this Sunday. She has also been going to physical therapy and is making good progress. They are working on her overall physical well being and also on her lympathetic arm. The arm is going down and is no longer causing her as much pain as before!

Jerry had a not-so-good week. His rectal bleeding came back a couple of times, but went away on its own and he is doing better now. The considerable loss of blood has made him even more tired than his heart condition. He probably exacerbated the problem with a 60 day colon cleanser he bought over the internet and did not quit using until after the bleeding restarted following the cautery. He got his flu shot like a good guy and now has a cold, with heavy sinus drainage, a fever blister and even more shortness of breath. However, he made good progress getting the garage cleaned out, the shelving set up and even repainted the garage floor with some paint Steph and Derek had left over. He should be able to get Judy's car in within the next week or so. (The floor paint has to dry a week before you can put a car on it.) So, Saturday will mark the accomplishment of a big Fall goal for Jerry.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday, Nov. 3, 2008

Judy has been off chemo for almost two months and is feeling somewhat better overall. Though I don't think that the cancer has shrunk during this time. She does not seem to have any interest in going back on the chemo, but we will see when she meets with her oncologist again in a week or so.

Jerry spent the last 24 hours in the University Hospital trying to determine what was causing his heavily blooded stools. They did find an Arterio-Venous Malformation during his colonoscopy. (You can Google AVM for more information.) This malformation is when there are no capillaries between an artery and a vein. The blood just recirculates, without feeding the cells. Usually it is not a problem, but ocassionaly the vein ruptures. This is what caused the bleeding in his stools. They cauterized the rupture and told him that he was good for several more years.