Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not quite what we wanted to hear.

Dear reader,
The following post is a direct copy and paste from the email I sent to my family.  This is the latest:

Dianne had her consultation this morning, and it didn’t go quite as expected.  One piece of good news is that her heart is in good shape, and thus is able to receive the 2nd type of chemo.

However, she will NOT be receiving that chemo tomorrow as scheduled.  Her blood counts are low, and they need to be back to normal before they can administer the chemo.  This is a disappointment, but in light of how all things have gone to date, we have no reason to complain.

The other not so good thing is that the tumor(s) are NOT shrinking.  The ultrasound shows that it / they are actually growing slightly, but the oncologist doesn’t quite agree by his manual measurements.  In either case, this is not cool at all.  Dr Joy now says that he wants to try for sure 2 more rounds of chemo, but if there is no change after that, he will discontinue the chemo treatments and Dianne will at that point head off into surgery.

Obviously, we are a little bit disappointed.  We had hoped that everything would stay on schedule and go smoothly.  And based on how things have gone, I don’t think this was unrealistic.  However, as I mentioned, we can’t really complain about this.  So far, Dianne has done wonderfully, and she continues to do wonderfully in her battle.  This is just a wee hiccup in the treatment schedule.  No big deal.  She will go next week Thursday for another consultation / blood test to see if she is able to receive the treatment next Friday.

In all of this, we do realize that everything is in God’s hands, and that nothing happens by chance.  We know that He, in his infinite grace and mercy, is holding Dianne and I and our family in His hands, and He will continue to give us everything that we need.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PICC her, PICC her!!!

Dear reader, in my humble (and unbiased!!) opinion, my dear wife should be woman of the year.  Yes, it’s only May and there is still 7 months to go, but she is truly the leading candidate to win this award.  And if I am the only one who votes for her, then she still wins the award.  My wife is truly amazing.

Ok.  Enough of the stomach turning diatribe.  I’m already in enough trouble for writing such stuff (love you babes!!).  So you’re wondering “What’s up with the silly title of this entry?”  PICC her?  PICC her for what?  Woman of the year?  No, dear reader, it’s PICC not PICK..  I did not make a spelling mistake.  PICC = peripherally inserted central catheter.  I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that the Drs decided to install a PICC line into Dianne so that she won’t have to get poked any more for a chemo IV.  Well, the PICC is in.

Monday morning, Dianne went in to the CCI (remember the CCI, the Cross Cancer Institute) and there the Dr. installed the PICC.  Apparently the Dr. was not a Monday person.  Witnesses say that he was mumbling and muttering the whole time under his breath…something about putting a 3mm tube into a 2 mm vein and the logistics and possibilities thereof.  He was not amused.  And the same witnesses say that he did not have much of a sense of humor.  When he asked Dianne if she was sure her height was 5’6, she responded by quipping “Maybe I’m a bit shorter without hair?”.  He didn’t see the humor.  I howled with laughter when she told me that she said that!!!  His response:  A very curt “that makes no difference”.  Methinks buddy should start taking Mondays off if his humor stays home like that.  Grump.

So, how’s Dianne doing now?  Well, by Monday evening she was sore (the freezing came out!!) and tired (she didn’t get a chance to nap).  Her arm was pretty puffy, and I’m sure it’s not a steroid related growth (good thing there’s no drug testing for sporting events in her near future).  Nope, it was just puffy from the PICC installation.  By this morning, the swelling had gone down and Dianne was not as sore.  Now the kids and I just have to be careful around that arm.  Trouble could be brewing if we bump it.

Today is a day off for Dianne…she has no appointments scheduled.  Wednesday is an ultrasound and heart tests (I think), Thursday is blood work and consultation and Friday is chemo…the first round of the second type of cocktail.  4 of those and then chemo is done!!!

I’ll update more probably on Friday or Saturday with results from the ultrasound, heart tests and consultation (with blood work).  Thank you Gerda for giving Dianne a ride yesterday, and thank you Evelyn for taking Rebecca in for the day!!  We really appreciate the effort you went through to help.  And of course, we are very thankful for all the support we continue to receive from everybody!!  Thank you.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Latest…..

Dear Reader

Really, truly and honestly…..there is nothing new.  Everything is good right now.  Thursday will be another consultation to find out how Dianne’s blood counts are, when the next chemo will be and if there has been any change in the tumours.

So, check up here again on Thursday or Friday.

Until then….cheers.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Minor Complication

Hi all
Last night marked the beginning of what has turned into a minor complication.   Basically what happened is that one of the veins in Dianne’s arms has reacted badly to the chemo, and is inflamed.  She has a big red / brown streak down her arm.  She phoned the CCI this morning, and they wanted her to come in, so we went there for an 11 AM appointment.

The puzzling thing to everyone is that the vein that is affected is the vein that her 1st chemo treatment went in…this is a very ‘twilight zone-ish’ reaction…normally it reacts shortly after the chemo administration, not 4 treatments later.

What does this mean?  Well, a couple things.  Dianne will have to take Advil this weekend, plus putting an ice bag on it 4-6 times per day for the next 3 days to see if that will make the swelling go down.  If not, she will probably need to go back to the CCI next week for further evaluation.

Also, because her vein is reacting now, she will get a PICC line installed for future chemo treatments.  This is a catheter that they put into her arm and snake it to just above the heart.  This will remain in until chemo is done.  It comes with its own set of potential complications, so she will need to go to the CCI once per week to have the PICC line flushed and tested.  They feel that this will be the best way to administer the chemo as her veins probably won’t stand up to much more poking and prodding.

Right now, Dianne is resting.  Her arm is sore if she tries to straighten it or if she lifts anything.  Thus she will keep it bent and won’t lift.

I will keep you all informed as to how the weekend goes for her.



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better Late than Never

Hello?  Dear reader, is that you?  Hmm, fancy meeting you here.  I’d have thought you gave up on ever hearing from me again.  After all, it’s been a while since I’ve graced these pages with my musings.  Am I too busy?  No, not really.  Lazy?  Yup.  I have been so uninspired to write, and I feel really bad about it.

Ok.  I’m over it.  I don’t feel bad anymore.  Now, on to the important stuff.

Dianne.  Y’all are wondering how she’s doing, right?  I have to say that she is doing pretty good.  She is half way through the chemo treatments…4 down, 4 to go.  At the last consultation, the good Dr. could not detect any change in the tumour size, albeit this is without the benefit of an ultrasound.

He (the Dr.) is quite impressed with how Dianne is reacting to the chemo.  He is amazed that her eyebrows have not disappeared yet (although they are very very thin), and he can’t figure out why she doesn’t get more sick than what she does.  I know why…it’s cuz she’s tough as nails.  Trust me.

So, where do we go from here?  Well, starting with the next treatment, she is going to be getting a different chemo cocktail.  That one makes us nervous, because it is apparently the most horrid thing one can imagine.  Bah, bring it on.  We can take it…one day at a time, but we’ll make it through.

(Am I the only one who thought Detroit’s 4th goal tonight should NOT count?  Stupid, coward zebra pinhead).  /end tangent.

Dear reader, things continue to go well here.  We continue to give everything over to our Lord, and we firmly believe that He is helping us get through this.  And we thank you very much for all the support we continue to receive.

Until next time (and hopefully it won’t be a long time), cheers.