As Patsy mentioned in her last update, she had chemotherapy every 14 days from February to May, then stopped for the summer and enjoy Lakeside, hoping to continue treatment after Labor Day. She's been able to enjoy the pool some, but not as much as she had hoped. A July CT scan showed progression of the cancer (not unexpected, since she had paused chemotherapy), but she has started to have some pain and symptoms since then.
In other family news -- and we had not intended to be secretive or anything, but my dad is a private person and we felt it was his new to share -- Kenny (my dad, Patsy's husband) was diagnosed with sinus cancer in June. It is not a terminal diagnosis like Mom's, but it is a large tumor that has spread to his eye-bone, nose, and mouth. He started weekly chemotherapy and daily radiation on July 16 in hopes of shrinking the tumor and will have surgery to remove the rest of it this fall.
Part of not updating this website is that I didn't know how to handle updating people on both of my parents' cancers -- whether to continue to use CaringBridge, or start another site (my dad didn't want attention), or what. But it has also been challenging for me to update people individually. I appreciate the emails and texts, but it is hard for me to spend my days answering emails and texts to update people on my parents' treatment schedules. I would rather update at a central location where people who love and care for my family can see what's happening.
That said, at the suggestion of some friends, a mealtrainPLUS has been set up for updates and task calendars. Meal deliveries are not actually what my parents need right now, as neither of them can eat much. Dad has no taste buds from the radiation, and mom's GI system is, um, cancerous. But little things have been helpful -- visits, people to take our their garbage, or do a load of laundry.
That website is here: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/m8q29l I just returned from a 2 week tour, so I haven't updated the sites, but am trying to catch up with that this weekend.
One more bit of information that we haven't talked about because of its connotations: Patsy has been admitted to Hospice care. We don't want people to panic or start flooding her with phone calls (she's very tired and anxious already), but we have taken the advice from friends regarding Hospice which is: call them before you think you need them, so you can get the most and best care.
She's eligible for Hospice because she's lived well beyond her prognosis and because she is currently not seeking life-prolonging treatment. If she returns to chemotherapy after Labor Day, then she'll be discharged from Hospice and will do treatment (it is not uncommon for people to go in and out of Hospice). It's only been a couple of weeks since we've contacted Hospice, and they have already provided so much in-home help to manage her symptoms. In fact, a nurse just came on a Saturday morning to help manage some of her medications and symptoms.
Patsy is NOT bedridden -- she spent 3 hours at Lakeside with a friend on Thursday -- but she is very lethargic and has pain and symptoms that need more attention than her oncology office can provide. She's definitely spending more time sleeping and does not have much appetite after breakfast. Mornings are better for her, then she usually naps and goes to bed early.
David and I are at their house today cleaning up, moving things around, and trying to make it easy for them to have visitors. If you're thinking of visiting, definitely text first
In the mean time, please enjoy this photo of Graham and Angus in their new lederhosen (I was in Bavaria yesterday!):