Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First the Facts

Dear Family and Friends,
First the facts: Dr. Inhorn said Francis' biopsy report brought in a "non-diagnostic result." In other words, though there's no visible cancer, there's "no progress" in discovering the root of the problem. He added that there's "inflammation" where the needle was inserted,
When I asked him if he still thought it could be "small cell cancer," he said "that's a good educated guess" because this type of cancer can cause of a lot of inflammation, and can originate in unusual places though he admitted as Doctor Anne Lemire told me after mass on Sunday, it's considered a lung cancer. (Yet there's no sign of this on the CAT Scan.)
Dr. Inhorn said they'll need another, bigger, biopsy with more tissue. Also, -- that there's "inflammation" where the needle was inserted,
So he asked Dr. Agren to review the X-rays to see what he thinks about a different procedure to get a bigger piece of tissue. And Dr. Inhorn will speak with me on the phone tomorrow morning at 8:00. So I'm determined to get off to bed!
Francis' spirit continues to be at ease, sweet, and attentive to those around him (though he needs frequent naps) in spite of the fact that sitting up straight causes him pain even with the IV meds. That means for comfort's sake he must lower his hospital bed back into a sort of reclined position. Since it's hard to eat that way, I feed him supper, and floss his teeth before I leave. It's a touching tender exchange I'll never forget. Yet he walked on his own today with a PT nearby, to and from the nurse's station.
He hasn't lost his sense of humor either, enjoying articles in the Sunday New York Times which Lynn and Lee (our godchild Rowan's mom and dad) brought him yesterday during a delightful visit. Though we haven't officially adopted Lynn, she is true daughter to us. Though we haven't officially adopted Lee, he is true son-in-law to us. Our relationship with Lynn goes way back. She helped us pack up my mother's things when maman died in 2000. And since Rowan was 17 months old (She's 5 1/2 now) we've been babysitting her weekly and often sharing that regular supper with Lynn too. Lee joins us in the summer and holidays, since he's a professor at Rutgers University who has to commute home for weekends.
During this challenging time we give thanks for the close family we have in Lynn, Lee and Rowan, and in you McGillicuddys and Remys (George my cousin, his wife Heidi and their son Charlie,) our local relatives on my side, and Pat Demers my cousin in Acton whose mother Aunt Isabel is my mother's last sibling.
Examples multiply of the loving concern of neighbors and friends. I found a casserole in our fridge on Saturday; someone had slipped in while I was taking a nap. My cousin George arranged to pick up our car to bring it to the body shop today from which tomorrow a neighbor will drive me there to pick it up. Another couple will come Thursday (Joe can do top notch electrical work) to fix a light in the closet. Yet another neighbor brought my watch to Days to get a new battery, and picked up a 50 lb bag of organic chicken feed for pullets! (They've graduated to the egg laying ration now!) These are not the only examples.
One of them is Susannah Sanfilippo who just created a blog to facilitate communicating news of Francis' journey and mine. I realized forcibly today we're not alone on this journey. All of us are caught up together in the big event of life's flow. Your love has drawn you into our piece of it.
I know that some people would prefer getting updates on email, so I will continue doing that with my already existing email lists. But Susannah will post them (as she did the past ones.) The advantage of the blog is that it'll include photos and will allow you to pot messages too I believe. But it will also make it easier to share. As the circle of concern widens, I have less time and energy to respond to most individual emails. Since I am now beginning to take over Francis' tasks -- paying the bills, etc. etc. including making the first part of our no-bake cookie recipe, I must use my time more wisely than ever.
One last thing about my precious visit with Francis this evening from 5 - 8: I fried one of our pullet's first eggs -- Hey, -- and it had two yokes! -- and brought it to him in the hospital. He said it was the tastiest egg he'd ever eaten! I told him not to share a bite with me. It was all for him!
When it's ready, -- probably tomorrow, (and remember photos will be coming), you can check it out at http://elaineandfrancis.blogspot.com/ Not right now, -- but soon.
(What a beautiful word meaning "grateful" in Spanish)Elaine

1 comment:

  1. What a thrill about the egg! In the middle of all the hard decisions and apprehension, a moment of pure joy.