Greetings from the ************ family. Once again, it's been a while since I've written with news on B*******'s health status. For the most part that's because there's been little to report - she has been continuing pill-based chemo at home, with few side effects. She has had little if any nausea, which has been great. She's had some itchiness and dry skin, which are side effects of one of the chemo medicines (Accutane). We take care of these with Benadryl and moisturizing lotion.
She has regained the weight she'd lost following the initial radiation/chemo phase. There is a little swelling in her left foot, and we are trying to minimize this by keeping her feet elevated whenever possible. It's usually possible, so this really amounts to almost all the time, exceptions being trips to town, etc.
We have not been back to MD Anderson since December. At that time, the doc (Dr. Y) had us set up an appointment two months in the future. He also began backing off the level of steroids (Decadron) that had been prescribed for her. I've learned that steroids have all sorts of strange side effects, one of which is development of a round face. B******* went from having a thin face to having a very round one, which didn't please her. The doc has dropped her steroid level twice since that visit. We're told going cold-turkey on steroids is a fatal mistake, so the level has gradually dropped from 8 to 6 to 4 mg/day. Change is hard to see on a daily basis because the decrease, like the increase in facial swelling, is gradual. Still, her face is slowly returning to normal.
She had an MRI performed at St. ******** Hospital on Friday. Tomorrow (Monday) we'll have her blood drawn for a number of tests the doc requested, and on Tuesday we'll leave VERY early for a 0900 AM appointment with him at MD Anderson.
So, how are things going with her, now that all these details have been recorded? I really don't know. She generally feels OK, although she's usually tired. I am anxious about the Tuesday appointment. Just as it's hard to discern day-to-changes in B*****'s facial swelling, it's hard for me to say whether her illness is progressing. I try to be perpetually upbeat with her, but part of me is worried and not optimistic. I hope that's just the anxiety of the upcoming visit getting to me.
We will know more on Tuesday. And on that note, we would all (including the boys) appreciate being remembered in your prayers the next couple of days. I'm praying for healing and I'm praying in thanksgiving for all the wonderful blessings we've received. I'm also praying for the strength to continue dealing with this illness. It's hard on all of us and will continue to be tough, no matter what the doc tells us on Tuesday. We have a little “suffering” of our own to contemplate as we go through this Lenten season.
Blessings to all of you,
B***, B******, and the boys
Once again, I thank you for keeping them in your prayers.