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A REAL HAPPY THANKSGIVING
25 November 2014
I'm getting used to Sophie coming in from outside in the morning and licking me awake. Sheila will politely lick me once if she needs to go outside. Sophie is in for the full face cleaning. It's especially memorable if it has snowed all night (as it did last night) and the dogs are cold and wet.
I was so incredibly proud of Peach today.
Tom and Kris picked us up at 8:30. It's in the 20s and it didn't seem that cold until later in the day when we had the wind too. Then it was cold.
Tom dropped us off at the cancer center and we waited for "the arm lady." It turned out that we got the date wrong and her appointment was before next week's chemo session, but Kathy had time for us today, so she took Peach anyway.
I like this lady so much and both of the appointments I've been to have been so positive.
She had positive things to say about the new accumulation of fluid (to be drained tomorrow), she went over again the things Peach needs to do and best of all, she got her on the exam table and gave her good massage, which relaxed her so much that by the time she got to the doctor's office, her blood pressure was lower than it usually is...not low enough to worry, but enough to be a significant decrease.
After a long wait (we are learning that part of the routine of cancer care is waiting. waiting. waiting), we were taken back for the routine blood draw.
The other times they have tried to draw blood from the inserted port in her chest, they have had to work hard at getting anything. The first time they had to take it by the old fashioned way, with needles into veins. Last time they got her contorted into all sorts of positions to get the blood started. This time it responded perfectly. Good blood.
Then it was time to meet Dr. Nadi. We waited forEVer in the exam room (after having waited forever for the blood draw), but when he came in, Peach took charge. She was informed, well-read, and had good questions to ask. Also, the social worker she had seen last week came into the room for support (Dr. Nadi was taken aback by the size of her support group!). And he listened while she explained her concerns and asked her questions.
Basically she said she is 75 years old and she wanted to know what were her chances of surviving this cancer with and without chemotherapy, and what were her chance for a recurrence with and without chemo. She explained about her fear (stressed "fear" more than once), and the hell her first week had been, talked about her quality of life and the difficulty of caring for Bob when she is feeling so bad.
She laid it all out and he answered her honestly.
He admitted that if she were 80, he might advise her differently. He did agree with her figures about surviving with and without treatment, the biggest point seeming to be that if she survives 5 years without chemo and if the cancer were to pop up again in another organ in 5 years, chemo then night not be effective without treatment now. But he freely admitted that this was a decision she alone had to make. He agreed that "quality of life" is an important consideration and only she could decide that question.
He said that he's fairly certain that subsequent treatments aren't going to be as horrible as the first one was because he has altered her regimen.
Best of all, he decided that since Thanksgiving is Thursday, he would skip her chemo treatment this week so that she would be able to enjoy the holiday. Her next treatment is not scheduled until December 3, the day after I leave.
So the connections to the port were removed and she's free to enjoy Thanksgiving week. And that alone is enough reason to give thanks. Decisions about what happens next can be made after she sees how the next round goes.
came home and she took a 2 hour nap and said it was the best sleep she's had
in more that 2 weeks.
Photo of the Day
Notice the smile at removal lof the tube from the port!
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