Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 has been a very tough year, beginning with Erika's death in January and then Alese Coco's in May, plus many, many others. We know that Adrienne continues to beat the odds and are forever thankful for that. As her cancer progresses, we become more and more fearful yet at the same time, we are confident that a cure will be available in the not too distant future.

Adrienne had a rough few days with her stomach after the chemo. She had gained weight earlier in the year on the valproic acid but has since lost that and more. She seems to be eating a bit better the last few days but not enough to make up for the prior weight loss. Besides her stomach, she is feeling well, her blood counts are good, and she's actually sleeping much less than when she arrived home from New York.

Tomorrow, New Years Day, we are driving to Santa Barbara, taking care to avoid the Rose Bowl. We'll spend a few days with Daniel and then take Adrienne for chemo on the way back. Tonight, we're also avoiding the strip since 300,000 people have come to LV for New Years.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays

Adrienne says, "Chemo was not fun." She was really nervous before the infusion since it's been awhile and she's been really tired since. She took Zofran for a couple of days so the nausea wasn't bad but she hasn't had much appetite, even with a fabulous dinner cooked last night by yours truly.

This week, we're just hanging out, maybe shopping some sales. Curt gave us a gift certificate to a spa so we're looking forward to some great relaxation and luminous skin on Friday afternoon. Next chemo is on January 4 after a visit to Santa Barbara to see Daniel. Goal: Avoid Pasadena and the Rose Bowl on New Years Day.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

One down

Adrienne got home late on Wednesday night after missing her plane on Wednesday morning and spending the day at JFK Airport. Ugh! Then we flew to California on Thursday and spent Friday at City of Hope. Her counts were good enough for chemo but no one got insurance approval in advance. It was news to me that insurance pre-approval was required and apparently this is something new. It seems odd to me that approval is necessary since this obviously isn't elective.

I think half the staff at COH got involved and eventually things were resolved, but it meant chemo started about two hours late making for a very long day. So far, Adrienne isn't feeling too bad and even ate dinner last night. One of the chemos, oxaliplatin, causes a type of acute neuropathy so Adrienne can't eat or touch anything really cold or hot for 3 days. Her tongue "cramped up" last night but it was more of an annoyance than a problem.

Another issue is neupogen shots. Apparently we have to mail order those and can't get them at the pharmacy so Adrienne won't get her shot today. We'll just hope that her counts hold up so she doesn't get sick and can get her chemo on January 4. With the holiday, I expect it will be late next week until I can get the shots.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Glass is Half Full

Good news: No disease in the bone marrow. This was a big concern due to Adrienne's recent blood counts and infections. Bad news: 20% increase in the lung to 5.1 cm and 100% increase in the spleen to 6.7 cm. This is just since August, yikes. This reminds me of a time when Daniel was little, I took him to the doctor with a number of infections including impetigo and bronchial pneumonia. The doctor said he was "antibiotic deficient." I'm thinking maybe Adrienne is just chemo deficient and Friday's treatment will be just what the doctor ordered, at least we can hope.

Adrienne finished exams today (yyyyeeeaaahhh) and flies back tomorrow. She gets about 24 hours at home and then we're off to Southern California for chemo and to see her cardiologist. It's been 7 months since she saw the cardiologist but her echos in New York have been great so we aren't worried about that. I'm just hoping the chemo isn't bad and she can enjoy the holidays.

I've been a nervous wreck for a couple of days waiting for Adrienne's results. It started Sunday night with two hours sleep, last night I got five. Hopefully tonight will be a full night's sleep. The worry isn't gone but at least we know she's going to be treated very, very soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Scans Friday?

Adrienne is supposed to have a PET/CT scan tomorrow in New York. Originally, the plan was to do it at City of Hope but they had trouble scheduling it. Due to an insurance snafu, we won't know if this will actually happen until the morning. I don't expect results until Monday or Tuesday. We're just hoping that things aren't out of control and that Adrienne can start chemo next Friday. Her mouth is still painful in areas but overall she's feeling pretty good right now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Hate Cancer

Yep, cancer sucks. My mother in law is doing okay right now. She's currently in a nursing home trying to rehab her arm while she receives palliative radiation for tumors in her arm and spine. There is no curative treatment for her and the doctor thinks chemo would likely shorten her life rather than lengthen it. I could go on and on about the perils of smoking but that falls on deaf ears when talking with an ardent smoker (you know who you are). She isn't that old, just 77, but will likely live out the rest of her life in nursing care or hospice.

Adrienne was neutropenic last week with low grade fevers and an apparent infection in her mouth and sinuses. She got a shot of Neulasta last Friday and is finally feeling better today after a crummy weekend. The timing is never good as she's trying to finish up the semester. She turned in her last paper today and now has a few days off to study, oh, and to get scans. It turns out that City of Hope can't get the PET scan scheduled so we're trying to get a PET/CT done in New York this week. Needless to say, I'm exhausted and frustrated with all this cancer stuff.

Friday, December 07, 2007

When it rains...

Curt's mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last week. She broke her arm about 10 days ago opening a pickle jar (yes, you read right). It turns out there is tumor in her arm and throughout her body, and the emphysema in her lungs is actually cancer. Add to that, Curt's sister was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer earlier this year. Thankfully, she is now in remission but obviously she can't take care of their mother. Curt and I are flying up to Seattle this weekend to see the family and sort out his mother's affairs. She is feeling well right now but we know that likely won't last long.

Curt's family was supposed to come here for the holidays but that trip is now postponed indefinitely. With that and the rescheduling of Adrienne's chemo, we'll be having a quiet holiday season with some friends here in Nevada. Hopefully the chemo won't be too difficult and Adrienne can enjoy her time off school.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Schedule Change

Adrienne called last night and her wheezing is worse so we're pushing up the schedule. She flies back to NV on Dec. 19, we'll fly to CA on Dec. 20 for scans, and she'll see the doctor and start chemo on Dec. 21.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Trying Not to Worry

Adrienne is feeling better but the symptoms of her disease are progressing. Her itching is bad at times and the wheezing seems more frequent and constant. We're all eager to get her started on chemo. I told a friend who also has a grown daughter how worried I was about waiting until the first of the year for treatment. Here's her response.

Being a Mom comes with such outlandish joys and such deep, unspeakable pain. We hold on so tight to the memories of our little ones and what should have been, what was supposed to be. Both young ladies, in their own way, with their dreams, desires, goals and plans, each being so strong and brave, wanting to be so grown-up and independent and yet not quite willing to cut the apron string completely. Not that we would allowed them too!

We have the toughest role of all Alison, we raised them to think for themselves, to make their own mature decisions and also understand the consequences for some of those choices. But silently we are really screaming "STOP, no not that decision"! All we really want to do is turn back the clock, make the pain go away, select prince charming for them, heal the disease and allow them to live the fairy princess life. After all, isn't that we ALL deserve, isn't that what God planned for us when she gave us our beautiful little girls?

Adrienne is so lovely, so bright and beyond courageous. She has asked for the quality (and yes of course, quantity) of life. And you have, with all your heart ache been braver yet, stepped back and given that to her.

Smile, my dear wonderful friend, Adrienne knows what she's doing and what is in her heart, that she needs to accomplish for right now. You have done your job well.

We need to keep drinking good wine, eating dark chocolate, and being the Mom's that we know how to be.

Our journey isn't over till the fat lady sings, I'm not even humming yet, sweetie

Lots of hugs and kisses for you