Sunday, August 2, 2009

We Made It!

Well, we finished "The Siege" in one piece! In that last week or so, it was iffy as to whether or not we'd actually get to Perdito... Mom's white blood cell count was abysmal, Steve (Molly's Husband) and Dad were buried with work issues and then it looked like Mom had a little infection... but with 24 hours to go we were cleared for take-off. We spent a terrific 3 days in Perdito with the whole fam-dam-ly! 7 adults, 4 kids, and 4 dogs! The only one missing was Mom's basset hound, Cleo. At almost 17, she just couldn't make the trip. The weather was beautiful and we got to spend a good part of each day in the water. Mom went with Faith and the kids to a pristine beach on the Gulf of Mexico and even played with the kids in the surf! The food and company were, of course, fantastic.
And now we're home, and it's beginning to feel like summer is over. Mom met with her oncologist this week and her white blood cell count is still pretty low, so she's taking a break for another 2 weeks before she begins the last phase of treatment. This will be weekly chemo treatments with Gemzar: 3 weeks on followed by 2 weeks off followed by 3 more weeks... then... WE'RE DONE! Mom's oncologist gave her a wonderful gift this week, during a conversation about her white blood cells he mentioned that he was really hoping for, and working towards, a "cure" with Mom's treatment, and not just maintenance. He told her that none of us really realizes how well she has done, but that he really feels positive about her success.
So, with this additional 2 week break, it looks like Mom will still be trying to work a little, but mostly around the house for a while yet. She still gets wiped out really easily. We've moved our time-table back a bit too. We should be finished with chemo by late September or October and then... the CT scan that let's us know how she's doing.
Come On, Fall! Bring us a "Cure"!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A "Glowing" Report

Let's start with some Good News. As of today we are 2/3 of the way through "The Siege" of daily chemo and radiation. And Mom still has her hair! Her radiation oncologist has been calling her "Wonderwoman" because- up until last week- she was still driving herself in for treatments and going to work. The downside is that she has continued to have GI issues and- because the medicine is cumulative- chemo and radiation are starting to catch up with her. She gets really tired- I mean, Really Tired, easily. I joke all the time that she reminds me of a Dali painting the way she will run out of energy and just droop. But we have our eyes on the prize: a family vacation to Perdido Bay- on the Gulf of Mexico.
Hope all is well with you and yours and that you are enjoying this beautiful summer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 2 and counting...

Well, we're into Week 2 of the chemo/radiation treatment. (Actually, we just finished day 5 but it counts as Week 2, so we'll take it.) So far, so good. Mom continues to work part-time and drive herself to and from treatments (giving me plenty of time to goof off!)
We had a really wonderful weekend with Mom's family. The conversations were lively, the food was unbelievably good and the weather was perfect! It was fun to watch all the kids (little and big) run around and have fun. The highlight of the weekend was Mom's opportunity to spend quality time with her 2 brothers: Dan and Myles, 3 sisters: Maureen, Joan and Susan, and her very good friend Marie-Paul (who traveled all the way from France.) Saturday night, while the rest of us played poker in the kitchen, they sat around the dining room table and swapped stories about their childhood. I haven't heard howls of laughter like that in years. I know that it was just the kind of "feel good" therapy Mom needs.
And there is so much going on this summer! Mom is off to her retreat next weekend and gets home in time for a huge Father's day cookout. Then birthdays, anniversaries, 4th of July... etc. all the wonderful every-day life celebrations.
So, now we "hang on tight" until the end of The Siege (which really hasn't been bad so far) then we head to the Gulf for a long weekend with just our family to celebrate.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Look Out, Bikers!

Well, Mom has been having a lot of fun in the past few weeks. She finished her last round of Gemzar and has been enjoying her "break" before The Seige.
She met with her Radiation Oncologist (nicknamed Dr. Glow... she has so many doctors now we have to give them nicknames to keep them straight!) and was told that she's coming through like a champ. I believe she said Mom is doing "better than 99% of people who have this done." Such an achiever!

In preparation for her radiation, Mom got several tattoos and body piercings. We think she's Harley shopping in the next day or so.

Just kidding! She did get marked with a pretty permanent marker, and they gave her some cool looking studs in her tummy that serve as guides for her radiation treatments. She starts the new chemo, 5FU, and her daily jolts this Wednesday.

In the meantime, Mom's continuing to work- a little better than part-time- and just spent a very special morning with Alli (her youngest granddaughter) at a tea party. All of Mom's brothers and sisters (as well as kids and grandkids) are coming in to Louisville this weekend for a reunion... we're really excited to see everyone! And in a couple of weeks, Mom is off to Gethsemane Abbey for a weekend retreat.

Hope all is well for you and yours-

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Notes from Chemoland!

Hello all!
I realize that it has been a while since we've updated. I apologize. I got very busy at school and told Mom she needed to take over since she was feeling so well. (We see how well that worked! Haha!)
So, we left off with a Happy Easter that ended with a quick trip to the ER. Well, that turned into another 4-day stay at the hospital... Mom had a little bit of an infection and was low on her fluids. The way she put it she's like a droopy plant that needed a little water and TLC!
Since then, things have been going very nicely. Mom is back at work part-time and is two weeks into her 3-week round of Gemzar chemo. She took this week off b/c of a low white blood cell count, but should be good to go next week. And she is tolerating the chemo really well. Her only symptoms have been bad headaches and crankiness.
Now for the important details- she looks GREAT! She's trim... she's got all her hair... you know, all the really important things are terrific.
We're looking forward to a big family reunion here in a few weeks and then... "The Siege." 6 weeks of continuous chemo infusion and daily radiation treatments. ugh! But she young, and healthy, and she has all of us supporting her- so she'll do alright.
Now that summer is almost upon us, I'll be back in charge of the blog and sending out more regular updates.
Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!?

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday this past weekend.
We here in the Wade camp had an excellent... or should I say "egg-cellent" time. We scaled back Easter celebrations this year, but were still able to have them at the house and it was wonderful to have all 8 adults, 4 kids and 4 dogs under foot for the day. We hunted for Easter eggs in the yard, ate a big ham dinner and ended the day in the emergency room.
Wait, what did that say?
Yes, Mom was fighting intermittent nausea all day and ended up with a fever and her doctor- taking no chances- asked us to bring her down to the ER. They poked and prodded her until they found a small abscess in her abdomen. So Mom is back in the hospital (just for a day or two) on some "big guns" antibiotics to clear it up.
A minor setback, but she's doing much better now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weekly Update

Well, I could be to-the-point and tell you that mom is "doing well, getting better." But I'm sure you'd like a little more information than that.
But really, Mom is doing well and getting better... every day! In fact, she'd probably be pretty much okay if it weren't for some persistant mild nausea, the drain, and occasional pain from her incision. (Ok, so she's not up to a marathon yet, but who is?)
She and Dad took a field trip to Kroger (the grocery store) today to get ready for Easter this weekend. We were all jealous because she got to ride in one of those little motorized carts!
Mom was a little disappointed this week because she had to put off her trip to Indiana to stay with Jim and Faith et al. Jim has come down with a case of sinusitis and bronchitis! (It's always exciting around here, I tell you!) But the plan is, she'll go home with the Indiana Wades Easter afternoon and spend a good week with them. I know she's really looking forward to it because she keeps mentioning "cabin fever." I hope it just her surroundings and not her roommate (me!)
So, as you can see, all is well here.
Happy Easter to all of you!