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why does it have to be a sad night?

First, the sad, sad news about the Burgess family and the loss of their son.  

Then, I got an e-mail from my friend Karen's husband.  Karen, you may recall, is my friend in Maryland who was diagnosed Christmas 2006 with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  They caught it in time and just she was in remission a whole month when it came back, a cancerous tumor in her face.  My husband and I went to vist her in September.  In December, she was going back to the hospital for a stem cell replacement.  They were going to harvest her healthy stem cells, give her a "chemo blast" (an extremely heavy duty blast) to kill all the cells, and then replant the healthy cells.

Last Friday (Jan 11), she was having sudden problems breathing so we took her to ER.  They found that she had a bloodclot move to her lungs.  That is now under control with blood thinners, and all is fine. Her tumor that was growing in her face is under control with the radiation (now over).  I don’t think a scan has been done yet, but think that cancer is gone.  She is having mouth sores, etc from the radiation that will probably start healing in a week or two. 

They found more cancer near her hip while she was in with the blood clot.  She is starting another round of chemo for that.  It will probably be 5 days each time for 3 cycles, 3-4 weeks apart. They are deciding whether or not to radiate this new tumor once the chemo is done. 

The stem cell transplant is on hold until the cancer is in remission.

Emotionally, she is handling it pretty well, although pretty discouraged that it keeps coming back.
She should be home from the hospital ( St Joseph ’s) Thursday or Friday

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

This is the part I hate about living far away; I can't go to visit her in the hospital.  I can't be there for her.  We've been friends 20 years this summer and I wish I could do something.

Mostly, I wish to God she were healthy again.

Right now, the tears won't come.  They're there, but they won't come out.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
oh damn Inky... I'm so sorry. I know how frustrating it is to live far away from the people you love, it totally sucks. At least in this age of technology, you can email, text, etc. .. it's not exactly the same, but a card can make someone's day, you know?

I wish I was there to hug you and listen to it all in person, but you always have my shoulder, honey. And my prayers are with Karen and her family.
Jan. 21st, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
See icon.

Hang in there.

*more hugs*
Jan. 21st, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)

*big hugs*

I'm so sorry Mary...
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
Everything they said. Love you, and I'll send up some prayers for you and Karen and her family.

Love you.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
Okay, a few things:

1) My mom had the blood clot/lung thing a year or so ago. It sounds scary bad, but it's not. Make sure to ask the hubby if they are putting a filter in her leg. If not, they should. It will catch future blood clots. Mom has one.

2) Mom also has the cancer-in-hip thing. Here's the good ("silver lining" if you will) side that her oncologist explained to me: Usually when you have cancer, it spreads to one of two places: blood or bones. You WANT bones over blood. If it's in her hip, that's good. It's in BONES, not BLOOD. This is very good. Mom drinks tons of milk (and has for yeeeeears - like 25 years), so mention to hubby that he may want to get as much milk or dairy into Karen as possible. Just as it slows deterioration of bones, it slows cancer on bones as well. Mom drinks nearly a gallon a day. If she can't stomach that much (and honestly, no one sane can), get as much as possible. Half a gallon is a good goal.

I know this sounds uber scary from so far away, but trust me, because my mom is going through most of that, it's not as scary as it sounds. Swear.

I love you. And I'm here if you need me.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )