Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ups and Downs

Hello from Medical Central.

Deb continues to battle fatigue. During the week she is able to work and do some chores around here, but she tires easily. I think she is disappointed that a new round of chemo is starting next week. I'm sure she would have preferred to have the surgery and start the next phase of treatment.

I have been thinking a lot about all she does and how she is able to carry on with life without any drama. I remember being so impressed with her when we met, and after we married, she seemed to always know what I needed and how to look on the positive side of life. Deb always liked to let situations develop and her patience was the key to our relationship. In fact, I don't know anyone she ever lost patience in or wrote off. Deb has a talent for keeping friends and overlooking any negatives. She is able to wait for people to change and enjoy the changes.

I am reading this and realize how pitiful it is in capturing the Deb I love. I know that she has made a difference in many lives. Certainly Sebastian and Masha, but so too with Kathi and Jim, Kris and Aaron and Erin and Rob. Her strength is quiet but always there. There is always a smile and a laugh. She is generous, loving, forgiving and makes great meat loaf.

We are spending less time picking up and weeding the garden, and more time snuggling in bed with Strider the wonder dog. We try to hug more and argue less. We aren't trying to finish everything on the list of to do items, but spend more time relaxing. This isn't to say that Deb isn't active or doing things, but she and I know that some of this stuff will still be there tomorrow.

I don't know where the time goes. Kathi and Jim are now married fifteen years, and Kris and Bud fourteen. Wow!

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
Maya Angelou 1928-, African-American poet, Writer, Performer

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
Gilbert K. Chesterton 1874-1936, British Author

Sebastian has been home over a month. His parents must be very happy.

Take care,


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tired Blood and Fatigue

Hello Campers!

Someone told me that I should respect my elders, but it's getting a lot harder to find any

No seriously, I'm here all week. Ta DA!

I had a wild day at work today, as if it isn't obvious. We continue to adjust, my new boss and I, he all full of black and white and me so full of gray. He is going to be a good one, on par, I believe, with the best I've had.

Deb had blood drawn today and her red blood count was lower than ever, so she had a shot of Aranesp, to boost her count. She will get one every two weeks.

Last week wasn't the best one we've had, as Deb was so fatigued that from her Chemo on Tuesday until Saturday night she couldn't get too far from her bed. Thankfully, she had scheduled Thursday and Friday off work.

She starts Paclitaxel, Taxol, two weeks from today. The side effects look a lot like the ones she has now. We hope that by having the chemo every week, the side effect will be manageable. Someone who had Taxol every three weeks mentioned she had to stop working, so probably not what Deb needed to hear, but good, so we can be vigilant. Deb continues to work, feeling that being slightly off at work is better than being home.

Tonight is just a beautiful portrait from God. The temp is in the seventies, the sun is shining through the trees. Lately we've had the most beautiful sunsets. Deb and I enjoy walking through the yard with Strider.

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.- Captain Corelli's Mandolin

I had to include that, something I found that sure seems to crystallize how love is when it is true. How close are Deb and I to that, I'll have to ask her. It probably changes from day to day. But I can't imagine life without Deb, and so we are entwined. I mean, our silverware is all mixed together for God's sake.

We had a great note from Gaby Felkel, Sebastian's mother along with a wonderful torte from Augsburg, Germany that was very good.

We still find ourselves amazed by all the wonderful people who ask about Deb and continue to pray for her. There are so many, including some great people at work, including conductors and people in my office. There is no way to thank them enough except for Deb to recover, so they can all see the power of prayer. No matter what happens, we praise God. We thank him for the good news about Danny and his remission. We pray he continues to heal.

Thanks everyone for reading this. It's become a good way for me to chronicle Deb's week, and mine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Change in Direction

Hello All!

Happy Independence Day. Remember that Freedom isn't Free. Please remember all those who have died serving the cause of freedom and those who continue to serve in far away places.

The past week has been interesting and challenging, bringing new feelings and old issues to the surface.

Deb seemed to have developed a sensitivity to the smell of the chemo lab. In fact, looking at her new IPod cause her to recall the smell, so naturally, she avoided looking at the IPod at every opportunity. She told me that she didn't want to have the chemo session yesterday, the first time she felt that way enough to vocalize it to anyone. It was switched from Thursday to Tuesday and along with today, Independence Day, Deb will be off work until next Monday. When she arrived the scent wasn't there so she was able to read her new, personally autographed copy of Janet Evonovich's book, "Lean Mean Thirteen" during the session. Thank you Kathi!

She came home with the news that she is going to start Taxol once a week for the next twelve weeks, in place of the current drugs. The tumor hasn't reduced enough to be removed, and since it hasn't enlarged, there isn't a reason to rush into surgery. There was an option of having Taxol every three weeks, but the dose would be much stronger with the resulting increase in side effects. She also has to take steroids before the first treatment.

Speaking of side effects, there is the vomiting today, without warning, so I think the family picnic is out. Looking at the side effects of Taxol would make an alcoholic sober. Google it and then imagine twelve weeks of doses. Can't be something to look forward to.

Elsewhere, things are going well, albeit without the hum of teenage television and grocery bills. We haven't had anything further from Sebastian, but his parents sent two beautiful books, one about Augsburg and one about Bavaria. They also sent an Augsburg Torte, a beautiful and delicious concoction.

Deb continues to get great support from family and friends. Cards and phone calls cheer her, and the prayers of everyone make the real difference, as we know that God's plan will prevail in all things.

Please take a moment and check out this site.
and read the poem "To Whom it May Concern"

Our sincere appreciation to everyone for their support, love, prayers and hugs, as both of us try to deal with the silent killer called breast cancer. We just learned that Teresa, my sister's sister-in-law is testing for cancer, both breast and cervix. She would be only the latest of several siblings that have battled cancer. Please pray for Teresa, as the time before knowing the full truth can be a long, lonely nightmare, filled with stress and insomnia.

Maya Angelou tells us, "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.". Indeed!

Love to all,