No hearsay this time. Below is the most recent update on my aunt in Texas. For a reminder why I'm calling her "Aunt Uncle," please see this post.
Greetings from Texas. Time flies, partly because there's so much to do. There's a little to report on the "Aunt Uncle health" scene, so here goes...
Over ~6 weeks of home stay/outpatient rehab, Aunt Uncle was not doing so well. I think it largely resulted from the effects of radiation+chemo, radiation-affected sense of taste, and "round 1" of the second phase of chemo-only treatment. Basically, her nutrition, ability to keep food down, and appetite were affected to the extent that she lost about 22 pounds [ed: this is troubling to me, as she has always been very small; she only hit 100 pounds when she became pregnant with her oldest son], and as a result quite a bit of strength. To some extent associated with this, she became depressed.
She recognized that she would have a better opportunity to reverse all this if she was able to return to "inpatient" rehab status for a while, and a week ago today she was readmitted. I think things have worked out pretty well, at least on the physical side. She still has the uncertainty of cancer to deal with, but her appetite has increased and she's getting stronger as a result of the rehab they're doing with her. She will be discharged and return home (and transition to "outpatient rehab" status again) this coming Monday.
Yesterday she had an MRI. If you've never had one of these, they're tough for people who dislike close spaces. Imagine being slid inside a culvert and then having people bang on it. She had some medication to help her relax and it worked to the extent that she was extremely relaxed for the rest of the day (i.e., wiped out). We'd expected to meet with the neurosurgeon in the afternoon, but for some reason that appointment was canceled. This really bothered Uncle Aunt, because she'd hoped to learn something about the MRI results. Now we have to wait ??? to learn whether there's any evidence of the radiation and chemo treatments on the tumor.
I think a new appointment will be scheduled today and I'll send out an update after we have that meeting. I doubt the appointment will take place for several days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
She finished the second 5-day round of chemo last Friday, and the absence of any related nausea is encouraging. Maybe we won’t have a weight loss – weight gain cycle and we’ll be able to make more progress on building Aunt Uncle's strength.
On other fronts, Aunt Uncle's mother [ed: my Nana] returned home yesterday after having spent a couple of months helping us out. What can I say? She's welcome back, any time at all.
K***** and C***** have a home at St. ********** High School. Their attendance there is truly a blessing, one of the real bright spots in our lives. Besides making K***** and C***** at home there, and "watching out" for them as a result of Aunt Uncle's illness, people at the school are taking care of us both spiritually (lots of prayers) and physically (food). Last night, we finished some lasagna that C****’s Latin teacher had made for us (dropped off by her husband, the principal) and next week we will begin receiving meals prepared by the school’s women’s group.
R***** and S***** are fine. They surprised Aunt Uncle last night by dropping in unannounced at rehab. They’d brought A***** with them, and what doesn’t go better with babies? K**** took the opportunity to grab a little shut-eye while the boys were out. A****’s still on a short-sleep schedule, so K**** has to grab sleep when she can.
Our Thanksgiving will be made more joyous by the company of Aunt Uncle’s brother A****, her brother Gr****, and Gr****’s wife (G******) and son (Br****). They’re flying in tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to seeing them. Thanksgiving is a “holiday” at rehab, so we’ll spring Aunt Uncle early in the morning and take her to either S**** and K****’s house our to ours. We have so much to be thankful for, and high on that list is the love, support, and prayers from all of you. I know we’re in a tough period now, and your prayers and cards are even more important. We will hold each of you in our hearts and pray that God sends His love and blessings upon you and your families on Thanksgiving and every day following. Please give one another a warm hug for us, OK?
B**** and the gang
Please continue to pray for my family, especially that my aunt is able to eat again. She has always been very small, and wasn't much more than 100 pounds. Losing 22 of them can't be a good thing at all.
Also, please renew prayers for my Nana. That trip took a huge toll on her, and the mental strain of watching her daughter suffer with this cancer and everything that is going with it has made her own health worse, as well. Now I'm more worried about her than before, as well. *sigh*
One thing that is good, I think, is that my father's family is forgetting their differences a bit, and estranged members seem to be coming back to the fold again. I know that has pained Nana, too, and it might be good for her heart to have her children around her - all six of them - at this awful time.
Thank you all, again, for the prayers.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.