Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Treatment Plan and Progress

Dear Family and Friends,

Francis and I met with his radiology oncologist today, Oct 21. Provided the cancer doesn't spread -- since that's a "problem with sarcomas" (So we need those prayer/vibes !!! ) -- Dr. Zilliotte said -- "there's a good chance to control it... (and,) it's a realistic goal to shrink the cancer for good and control his pain." So they'll "zap it hard" with "a good dose" of radiation for a total of 21 radiation treatments. Unless something unexpected happens 13 more would bring us to November 9 for his last treatment.

Witnessing closehand the challenges of dealing with the side effects of radiation and drugs, (Never mind chemo on top of that, and surgery too!) I admire cancer survivors as never before.

Blessedly there's the light with the dark. Francis, who has lost a lot of weight already, is beginning to get out of bed on his own now. He walked around the house by himself while I was outside directing two helpers about what still needed to be done to winterize the gardens. Then, for our M-F 10:30 appointment this morning, instead of using a wheelchair to go from parking lot to building, he walked holding my arm, having to bend his head a few times to control dizziness. Those two forays wiped him out for the rest of the day. But, when the VNA nurse took "his vitals" later in the afternoon, she noted they had all improved. All because of the walking. So we're encouraged!

From my end, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that even with all the help we're getting, I still cannot get all the work done in time to do my yoga practice (which my hip & knee absolutely need.) So I'm sleep deprived all the time. My plan then, is to ask Stephanie to invite helpers who can take turns (a Favor Brigadeer) to come either late afternoon or early evening to take care of Francis' needs while I do my yoga practice.

Francis and I are members of a small nation-wide community whose members meet via a conference call once a month. Since Francis and Mary Alice in California are both battling cancer, the facilitators sent this prayer to open our meeting this Sunday. I thought you might like it too.

Into Your Silence…..
God of this creation, of this day,
of this moment, we speak words into your silence –
but with profound reverence.
Our heads are spinning with astonishment at the universe
which we find ourselves in, living our lives within the phenomenon of evolution, an unfolding,
changing, unfinished reality.
To be part of it is an honor.
We give you thanks as we look into the abyss of your energies.

William Cleary (We Side with the Morning)

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