Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29

Hi Friends,

Doug here, posting on behalf of Jane. She has not been feeling well lately, and many of you have been asking about her, so I'll try to fill you in on what's been happening for the past 8 days.

In her last post, Jane told about having a needle biopsy (ultrasound guided thoracentesis for you medical-types). I was at work on Saturday last, and the oncologist called Jane at home with the results. She was told that the sample drawn contained cancer cells, and that he wanted to talk with us on Monday (last). I took off work early, and we went to see Dr. Neville at 4:40pm on Monday. He recommended a new drug to approach the cancer, had the lab draw blood cultures, and scheduled a CT scan for next Wednesday.

Jane and I got home about 6:00pm, and by 9:00pm she had spiked a fever of 103°F. Then it was off to the Emergency Room, where they took blood cultures, chest X-ray and a CT scan. Needless to say, Jane was pretty worn-out by then. I brought her home at 3:00am after the results of the blood tests and CT were looked at. It turns out that her blood work showed no infection, and the CT showed a thickened omentum. We're not sure what that means right now. Anyway, after some Tylenol her temperature was down and the ER doc sent us home.

Yesterday (Thursday) Jane started on the new regimen of chemotherapy, which had to be done at the hospital, to observe her for any reactions to the new drug (Erbitux). The treatment went well, albeit slow, and Jane came home at 8:45pm on Thursday night. Today, she was feeling well enough to go out with a friend to the dollar store to get a few things for Amy's birthday which is today.

We celebrated Amy's birthday with her friends, pizza, and cake, and then Amy and her friends went to the MU on campus to bowl and play games.

Jane is resting right now, not feeling to good. She gets worn out very easily, so we're going to try and take things even more slowly now. This new chemo treatment is scheduled to continue for the next 16 weeks (yes, that's right, 16 WEEKS). If you are praying for Jane, please pray that she will be able to tolerate these treatments for as long as necessary. She has generally been in good spirits, but can always use people lifting her up in prayer.

Thank you to everyone who are helping us out in our time of need. Jane and I are overwhelmed with the response of our family, friends, and neighbors. God bless you, everyone!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

February 21

I come to the office each morning and stay for long hours doing what has to be done to the best of my ability. And when you've done the best you can you can't do any better.
- Harry S. Truman

Well, I don't go "to the office" anymore, but each day poses it's own challenges. All any of us can do is the best we can to the best of our ability, no matter what challenges we face.

We found a great home for our puppy Hazel. She gets to run, romp, and play on 9 acres with a "big brother" male boxer. I think she will be very happy there. We miss her, but I believe this has been the right decision. It's great to know she's gone to a good home. Still working on the cat issue...

I had to skip treatment again this week, as pneumonia isn't cleared up yet. In fact, there's a spot of fluid on my upper right lung that they want to biopsy. So, today at 1:00 I am going in for a needle biopsy. Not really looking too forward to it. I just hope the numbing beforehand works really good!! I don't like being awake for these procedures. It's kind of freaky.

Anyhow, we actually went out for a short cycle ride last Saturday. Should I have gone? That's debatable. But it felt great to be out and riding again, though still a bit cold. I was exhausted but happy when we got home. So I think it was worth it! Carpe Diem!!

I'll let you know how biopsy goes today. More later,


Friday, February 15, 2008

February 15

Wow, finally getting back to my blog. The last few weeks have not been so great. After last treatment (Jan 30), I was really wiped out, sleeping a ton. My back started hurting about 6 days into treatment cycle. At first it felt like muscle pain then it moved into my right lung and it really hurt to breathe. Long story short, I ended up the pneumonia. We were actually very relieved to know that's all it was! Thankfully, I didn't have to get hospitalized, and was sent home with antibiotics. I am healing, getting some energy back, though still have some discomfort in breathing and lung area. But it's so much better than it was!

I had to skip treatment (13th) because of this (which was ok by me). We'll see if I'm well enough next week to have another go at it. Red blood count is low (I'll get a shot to boost this next week), otherwise all other blood work is still good. CEA level is down to 6.8, which is also very good that it's coming down more. There's nothing worse than to go through all this and feel that it's not doing any good. So these blood tests are encouraging.

The doc in Seattle went on vacation until this week and is supposed to be reviewing my scan and getting back to me. His assistant corresponded with me last week to say he's very busy but will get back to me as soon as he can.

So in the meantime I'll continue with chemo. Doc Neville wants me to do 3 more treatments of this regime. We may or may not scan again after that, just have to wait and see how I'm feeling.

Prayers would be to hear from the surgeon soon and wisdom in going forward with surgery. Also for Doug's peace of mind and finding a different position at the hospital. CNA work is very hard, especially with 12 hour shifts. Also for the kids, that they will make right coping choices during these times of stress. Daniel got a job at Dairy Queen, but he needs more hours. Amy is doing well in school and just joined LaCrosse so this should keep her busy.

We also need to make some decisions on our pets. I just can't care for them and I've had to spend some money on one of my cats who is sick. I'm torn between finding out what's wrong with her and spending the money. We won't do any interventive stuff for her but just want to keep her comfortable or, if she has something terminal, to put her down. So I need wisdom here. Also, if you know anyone who would love to own an 8 month old female Boxer pup, let us know. She's really a wonderful dog but too much for our household right now.

Friends and family still prove to be an incredible support. We honestly could not make it through this without you all. We have been remiss to send thank you's and such, but please know how much we greatly appreciate all your kindnesses and sacrifices to us. It just goes beyond

Hope you have a wonderful weekend (maybe more sun!!?)