Yes VP's...the blog continues. I didn't abandon you...really! I just took a break to focus on stuff around here in Mesa plus...my #1 job... helping our favorite gal heal...that's a VERY, VERY slow process. So here we are once again with an update.
We were all scheduled to go back to Houston this week to have the scans again and then to have surgery, if needed. I had arranged everything...flights...another apartment...the car...you know the drill. Then a little over a week ago, I noticed that someone had removed the surgeon (Dr. Gillenwater) from our appointment schedule. HELL!!! She’s the main player in this next stage of treatment. Then I noticed they moved the appointment to December 7th...what the hell??? I thought we were trying to stay on top of these nodes if they still contained residual disease and needed to come out so the cancer didn’t fly someplace else or didn’t get another foothold. So we got on the phone with the surgeons office and raised a little hell. Well...I shouldn't say "WE!!" I got on the phone and raised a little hell!! So now...Everything is pushed back a week instead of another month. We really didn’t want to wait until December. We now fly into Houston on Nov.12th, see Dr. Gillenwater and Dr. Hong on the16th.I just noticed that they have now made the appointment for the scans on the 17th. Damn...that's sort of having the cart before the horse so we'll get back on the phone and see what we can do to change that. Pre-op appointments are set for the 19th and the surgery is scheduled for the 20th. If we don’t need the surgery, we'll just cancel that and come home. The nodes are still there however and so we are thinking they will just want them to come out. Bren will be in the hospital for about a day and then they want us to stay 7days to do post-op follow-up. That puts us right smack dab in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday...wonderful!!! At least is isn’t Christmas! We have planned to come home on December 1st thinking the surgeon will want to see her on the 30th.
So I’ve spent the last several days rearranging all the arrangements I originally arranged...groan! I don’t have to tell you that these changes have added more pennies to the original trip cost and that just ticks me off. I think I’ll give the bill to the nurse that just erased us form the schedule and then DIDN’T CALL US! It’s hard enough to mentally prepare for all this, but then to make changes and not call to explain...well all I can say is GRRRRRRRRR!!! Brenda made me promise not to chew folks out until AFTER her surgery! Ha! She said it was HER throat they were slitting...not mine!!! OK Bren...I'll be nice! I'll TRY to be nice!
The healing here at home has been very slow. Bren still sleeps through most mornings. She gets up around 6:00 am to get her nose cleared out...lots of drainage...and she's trying desperately to keep that scar tissue from closing her nasal airway. She takes her morning meds and just falls back to sleep until around 11 or noon...then she's pretty much up for the rest of the day. She's even back to seeing our trainer 3 days a week for a half an hour for some rehabilitation...it's really not a workout...it's just getting her muscles to work again and build up some normal strength to do just day to day things that we all take for granted. So the medical folks out there shouldn't panic...she's not training for a body building contest or a marathon. She said it feels really, really good to just get all this moving again.
Eating is a huge challenge for our gal...she's sooooo thin!! I'm such a nag when it comes to getting good food down her. She still has no taste buds and no saliva so there really is no joy in eating anything except to fill her belly. She has to drink a ton of water and eat very slowly and chew a lot to get anything down. It takes her twice as long to eat and she just fills up with all the water she has to drink. High Protein Boost nutritional drinks are helping us keep the calorie count UP. What we eat now is based solely on what she thinks she can get down. I'm really not food driven at all so whatever she wants to eat is just fine with me.
The weather here has been spectacular. We hit record highs about 3 weeks ago and then the temps hit huge lows (that's lows for us in the desert...like low 60's during the day and mis 40's at night.) It snowed up in Flagstaff and there was some snow flurries at our cabin in Strawberry. Then the temps turned around once again and today it's supposed to be 94!!! It's just that time of year. We've gone out several times to have lunch and have just sat outside to enjoy our food...it's fabulous. The sky is a bright blue, there's no wind, and the sun is warm and welcoming. WONDERFUL!! The only bad thing is that there is NO rain in sight...we really need some moisture!
I've been enjoying training our dogs over the last 6 weeks. I've taken our 5 year old Abbie to Rally classes (that's a form of Obedience Training) and I've taken Tanner, our 2 year old to Basic Obedience. It's been great for all of us. I'll get them back into classes when we get home. I've definitely gone to the dogs!! Ha!
So that brings you all up to date with our ongoing MD Anderson treatment saga. We hope this blog post finds you all well and enjoying the fall weather. We're taking both computers back to Houston so watch for more blog updates the in the days ahead.
Toodles from the beautiful desert southwest.
Dee, Brenda, Abbie and Tanner