Sunday, January 15, 2012

New News, It's Not All Bad

Stephen King had his CTscan last week and we met with Dr. K on Wednesday for the results. Good new is: no sign cancer is getting worse or spreading, bad news is not noticably getting smaller either and there is a (new?/old?) lesion on his spleen which bothers her somewhat. When questioned, she just said we will watch it, no biopsy, as the spleen is prone to hemorrage. We will continue with plans for chemo again Feb. 1 and then repeat CTscan. Hopefully that will give cancer time to respond more positively to treatment. If not, it is back to square one and we look at different treatment. Apparently there are many, many drug combinations used with his type of cancer; some are successful on some people, some on others. We all feel this combo is working for him, his pain is nonexistent now, that has to mean something good is happening.  He does have some infection in right lung which appears to be fading slowly. This isn't cancer, more likely pneumonia. He is feeling somewhat shaky this morning (Saturday) from treatment on Wednesday, pain in legs, rumbly tummy, weakness increasing. By Monday the diarrhea and total body aches will hit full force and next week will be one of resting, pushing fluids and making bathroom jokes. We have this chemo stuff down, People, we can handle it! Truefully, Steve does really well managing his pain and weakness thru all this. God has blessed him with a patient serenity he usually does not possess. Thank you, Lord. I know this was for me, more than him. At least, I am claiming it. Our days on this Journey are quiet, simple and filled with a feeling of partnership. We are a trio, Stephen King, me and God. He is very quiet yet sure in his faith. Prayer grounds him, I believe. I know it helps me to settle my thoughts and deminish my fear.
Mackenzie had her transfusion, received 2 units of strength-building blood. This week, we have seen a big difference in her. She has gone to 2 evening events at school and appears to have an easier time breathing. The low hemoglobin just won't carry enough oxygen to her damaged lungs. Praying the transplant is scheduled soon.
Wow, it is Sunday evening already. Weekends fly by even when your are retired.  We had a very busy day, visitors in and out all day. Family checking on Stephen King, bringing brownies, kids and grands sharing lunch with us, more kids coming over to watch IU and weep. Good day :-) except for the IU part :-(  For a couple of homebodies who generally only have each other for company, today was a whirlwind. We watched in wonder at our grandsons, both full of energy and chatter. Caleb telling tales about his good friend Barack Obama messaging him on his Blackberry and Gavin spinning tales of Lego creations he has made this week. Did our own boys have THIS much energy? I did have to chuckle, the boys weren't here at the same time yet each asked me to TELL his Dad to let him do something, "You are his Mom, he has to mind you". Apparently I am the queen!
Winter has come to stay, I guess. After weeks of 50 degree days we have cold winds and snow flurries in the Valley. I forget from January to January just how cold and dreary the Ohio Valley gets in the winter. Or how hot and humid it is in the summer.  Someone remind me why we live here and not someplace with blue skies and balmy breezes. I really love small town Indiana, but am coming to the age where the thought of more moderate, enjoyable weather is attractive. I know I could not get Stephen King out of these hills and hollers though. His parents left Indiana when they retired for the desert of Arizona and he never understood why. He loves the gentle, green hills and the twisty narrow roads of our area and won't leave for more than a week or two at a time. Our favorite kind of day out is driving the backroads trying to get lost on one we have never traveled. There are fewer and fewer of those after 45+ years of this. Steve can always find the most interesting new paths to follow, sweet little homes tucked into a clearing, acre after acre of patchwork fields or deep dark woods growing close, nearly closing the road with their towering treetops. He points out houses of men he has worked with or woods where he has hunted or in one case a neat house on a hill where his dogs treed a coon in the garage belonging to two old ladies who were less than thrilled with him and his dog. We drive past homes we have owned wondering why we sold, or others wondering why we bought! I was 16 when we met, he was 19, we have grown up and grown old here together. This is why we stay.
Have a peaceful week, Everyone. Talk to me, Girls.


Courtney said...

Brings back such good memories of childhood in the middle of the backseat (or front when the boys got bigger)and traveling those little roads together. Still my favorite thing to do when I'm home! It is a wonderful place to live even with the shitty weather, but any time you want to come to Oz and enjoy real weather... Love you

Alison said...

We often lament as well about the crazy Indiana weather. The snow last week made me remember time with my dad riding in the truck down the back roads to get parts, or in a tractor plowing neighbor's driveways, thinking of all of the good treats from each kitchen when we stopped to chat. Cinnamon rolls at Lucy's, warm cookies at the Shaffer's, the tapestry of the Lord's Prayer and the vanilla wafers at the Baldwin sisters. Such fun times with Dad and the dear people who have long since passed. I think when it snowed Mrs. Shaffer would start cookie dough in the morning, in hopes we would stop by. I try to take the back roads with the boys after a Saturday morning trip to the bank in my hometown, radio on the "oldies" station that now plays music from when I was their age.

Glad to hear that the news wasn't bad and that he's responding well to meds. We are praying like crazy that things continue to improve for both Steve and Mackenzie. I just can't even fathom having all of that on one plate. Your faith is amazing!

Miss you all. Hope we can manage to get together soon. Love and hugs!!

Janelle said...

Hedy, I just want you to know how much I appreciate all of your updates. I will echo Alison in that you and your family are constantly in our prayers...such a strong, loving family you have. We will pray that this round works to shrink the cancer!
Life here is keeping us busy too. Work stuff, keeping up with a 5 and almost 3 year's been fun to watch the girls play together this winter...they seem to be getting closer with age. I'm now grateful we were able to have them so close. This next one will be a little farther apart....yes, we are pregnant again and due in mid August. We are very excited and feeling blessed.
I miss my gaggle friends so much. Here's to hoping we will get to see each other soon! Love and miss you all.

Hedy King said...

Oh my goodness, Janelle. That is great. I love hearing about new babies. You and Anna are making me miss my gaggle girls and all their babies. I hope we can get together when this last crop is in!! I still haven't seen Caleb. I'm so far behind. I'm voting its a boy for you too. But after Miss O, he might seem a sissy! Could a male child top her antics?
Life is difficult right now, but brighter days are ahead, I know. It is in God's hands, as always and we trust Him to make us strong.
Thanks for sharing the goods news, Sweet Girl. I love hearing from you all.

Alison said...

Congratulations Janelle!!! That's so exciting!

Hope we can all get together some time soon!