Out Of The Fog

Hi guys. It’s Peri. This will be brief. Yes I am coming out of the fog, but still hazy. First, yahoo I am home. I LOVE being with my family. I am in bed quite a bit, but not asleep. This means I can help with homework, read books, play Candy Land, UNO, and make believe with figurines. Plus the kids bring a new picture or note of inspiration about 3x a day each!  I am soaking up the love and pouring it back out, which leaves me feeling stronger and more alive each day.

I must put in a plug right here of eternal gratitude to the folks who have helped me through this ordeal. Family and friends alike have driven from out of town to provide full time child care, showing love to the children as if they were their own. Others have sent/brought delicious food, keeping all hungry mouths fed. Folks came and spent the night with me in the hospital, when I was weak, scared and confused. I am overcome with gratitude for the blessings we have received here recently, and those we have received all along my cancer journey. And I want to highlight my husband Gordon, who day by day continues to amaze me. He is truly a Godly man, a great husband, father and friend. He works very hard to provide for us, and makes time to engage and ensure that the children’s school and sports/recreation needs are met. Then there is me, who now is another “dependent.” He loves me so, and takes care of me with care and nurturing. He is my best friend, and despite all, we still enjoy one another and have time for some grueling Yahtzee matches :) .  What an amazing gift I have in Gordon.

For some time now I have been reading and studying information re alternative, more holistic approaches to treating my cancer. I have discovered many things and read a lot of personal testimonies reporting full healing, or at least improved health and diminished cancer. I believe there is a lot out there. I have prayed and contemplated much, wondering what I should do. I could add a lot of weight to my decision regarding treatment as a life or death matter. What if I make the “wrong” choice. It could negatively impact me, and my loved ones. Gratefully I know better. None of us can predict the future and if I prayerfully and intentionally make my decision asking for God’s help and guidance, this is the best I can do. So I did.

Today I went to the doctor. As you can well imagine, I made a list of questions. I fully trust my doctor and feel that we have a very good relationship. He tells me his truth and experience, but also listens to me and takes my feelings into full consideration. He treats me like a member of the team and I really value this. So today I decided to continue with chemotherapy.

In the hospital I received two treatments. Starting next week, Thursday, I will begin again. I will get tx 1x a week for three weeks (as long as my blood counts remain stable). Then one week off, then 3 more treatments. Then we will scan to note any changes (hopefully shrinkage). I feel confident that I will tolerate the chemo, as I have in the past and that the outcomes will be positive. This is my hope and prayer.

In the meantime, Gordon and I have been seeking and interviewing nannies so we can secure full time childcare without depleting the energy of our friends and family. We have spoken with some hopefuls and plan to make a decision in the next few weeks.

Gordon and I will add some pics this weekend.

Much love to all. Thank you SO MUCH for your posts. I really love hearing from you.

God bless.
Peri

10/16/13

Its been a few days now.  Peri is settling into her role as home patient.  Its very difficult for her to be confined to the bed most of the time and not be running the household as she typically does so well.  I can only imagine what it must be like to lay in the bed and hear the “things” going on around the house and not be able to attend to them as needed/wanted.  Especially as she hears how these “things” are being attended to and knows that she would handle them completely differently, at times!  Don’t get me wrong, we all are so glad that Peri is home.  There have been several Yahtzee, Uno and Snakes & Ladders games played, with the kids, on the bed in our room.  The kids have snuggled with, and drawn many pictures for Mommy.  You all know Peri, she may not be able to attend to everything as she wants, but she sure is trying her darndest to do so from the bed!  I do commend her for letting go of somethings that she realizes are out of her control and are not that significant, in the grand scheme of things.

Today, we went to the first Dr’s appointment since she has come home.  It was with Dr Helou, the surgeon.  He was pleased with how the recovery is going from the surgery.  The staples were removed from the incision.  We were pretty much dismissed from Dr Helou.  Dr Numnum is the next Dr’s visit.  It will occur on Friday the 25th.  We are getting more and more accustomed to the ileostomy and all that it entails.  We are also meeting with home health nurses, Dr’s, social workers, etc… along the way.  Never a dull moment!

It is hard for me to see my strong Peri in such a weak state.  The visit to the Dr was grueling for her.  She is half the size of her normal self.  She was small to begin with!  Sitting in a chair for 45 minutes at the dr’s offfice was excruciatingly painful for her.  She had to ask for a bed so she could stretch out.  My marathon running woman has been slowed tremendously.  I so want more comfort for her.  Until next time….

10/11/13

It is very nice to have Peri home with all of us.  The kids were surprised on Thursday afternoon to find out that mom was home.  We did not tell them she was coming, so it was truly a surprise.  Peri is adjusting to being at home.  It is just that, an adjustment.  No nurses round the clock to care for needs.  Thanks to so many family and friends, these last few weeks have been a somewhat manageable time.  Helping with food, kids, Peri care, moral and spiritual support, dogs, and the list goes on.  If I tried to list all the names and actions it would be a freaking novel!  So if all of you don’t mind, I will just keep it at this brief description.  It is a very inadequate attempt to express the true magnitude of appreciation we have towards you all for this.

We had a very busy day today.  I worked, and then this afternoon we had our initial meeting with home health followed by the palliative care representative.  These first meetings were a combined total of about 3 hours.  This completely wore Peri out.  She napped very hard when it was all done.  I think that we both felt very good about each of these services and what they are going to be able to provide to help us.  Lots of specifics are still up in the air for the next 2 weeks, or so.  During that time, Peri will continue to recover from surgery, have follow up Dr appointments, and think more about which path to take from here.  I will continue to keep you abreast of the situation and decisions.

10/9/13

52560d52e9cb6aee1b08ab4ePeri is being discharged tomorrow at 12:00PM!!!  She is coming home, FINALLY!  We still have lots to figure out and she will need lots of help, at least it will happen from home.  She will have to follow up with Dr’s in a couple of weeks to decide whats next.  She will have home health care for sometime.  We also will be utilizing Palliative care initially.

I took the following from Wikipedia; “Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient’s life. This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.”

I had no clue what palliative care was.  Now, those of you that didn’t either are well informed.  Stay tuned….

10/7/13

52536779ca16b4ee62b34743Big strides toward going home were made today!  The Dr.’s decided that it was time for Peri to loose the NG tube and start a clear liquid diet.  They are pleased with her recovery to this point.  The hope is that she will tolerate this, now that she has her new little friend, the ileostomy.  Should things go as planned, she will slowly progress into soft food diet and hopefully get to come home sometime soon.  Maybe even as soon as this weekend!!!  We don’t want to get going to fast, but that’s the plan.  One day at a time.  Like I have said before, she is truly my Wonder Woman!  That is all that needs to be said for today.  Please keep praying for this plan to keep moving forward in the direction of getting Peri home to us!

10/5/13

PeriHospitalThe day went pretty well yesterday.  Following the good night, she continued with a pretty good day.  She walked a little further than the day before.  She spent some more good time with her mom prior to her going back to Memphis for a few days.  It was a physically and mentally draining day for her.  Late yesterday afternoon she was quite run down.  Her ileostomy is showing signs of life or action as I call it.  Peri loves that.  This is one of the first steps that we need to start moving forward with other items on the list.  Hopefully, we can start looking at NG tube removal in the near future, etc….  Peri has been having daily crying sessions of gratitude and sadness.  It is  hard for me to sit with her through these.  She is so concerned about her babies.  This twist my heart like a pretzel.  However, these sessions are a good release for her.  They apparently are a natural part of going through this type of —– situation.  I want to give my true description of what type situation I call this but I will refrain.  There may be a day when I really let my filer down and let it fly!  If that happens I will try to not be too offensive.  Can’t please everybody all the time, right? Anyway,  Peri also told me that she has tried to respond to some texts and emails.  Wow, there have been some very interesting choices of words that have come from her brain at the moment.  Pretty crazy the effect that pain drugs can have a persons state of mind.  Due to this fact, Peri says to please continue to send her messages.  She is no longer going to respond for now.  This I feel might be in everyone’s best interest at the moment.  As always, she continues to send her love to all.

10/4/13

Peri is in the same recovery mode as I described in the last post.  Her strength is still amazing.  Each day seems to be a small step in the right direction.   Her walks in the hallway are getting a little longer.  She has eaten a Popsicle and a half.  It’s the little things….

Glenda, Peri’s mom, has been staying with her at the hospital overnight.  Last night I got to stay with her.  I sort of feel bad due to the fact that last night was a really good night.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad for it being a good night.  I feel bad because Glenda did not get much sleep the 2 nights previous!  Peri basically slept through the night last night!  Sorry I got the easy night Glenda.  Our plan is still the same.  Continue recovering and try to make some progress each day.  There is not too much to report for now although, what I am reporting is all positive….  I am sitting here with her as I type this.  The blinds are open on the windows of her room.  The sun is rising a and we are enjoying the moment together.  She says that loves all of you guys!

10/2/13

524cc64dab28b9991fdd4061Peri is recovering from surgery in true Peri form.  Her strength is amazing, even to the nurses working with her.  She is still in lots of pain but it is seemingly being managed as well as we can hope for, at this point.  In the last post I said that she was getting a colostomy.  I learned today that this was incorrect.  Due to her colon, as well as other intestinal areas, having lots of cancer, she actually received an ileostomy.  This is a new one on me.  I was not aware of such a procedure.  Its not too pretty to look at, yet amazing in the fact that such a procedure can even be accomplished!  I won’t go into more details on that.  The plan is for Peri to continue her recovery and then go home.  She will not be able to resume Chemo for around 3 weeks or so.  We are starting conversations as to what she actually wants to do when that time comes.  We have a little time to continue to discuss, with Dr. Numnum, what path she wants to take when that time does come.  Right now all we know is that she is recovering heartily and so wants to be home with her family.  We want her home with us more than anything!!  Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, comments, food, visits, texts, emails, cards, gifts, and on and on and on!!!  We have been blown away.  We still have an entire army waiting in the wings to do whatever, whenever we are ready.  Even though I feel numb, this makes my heart smile.  Thanks!

10/1/13

524b43abcb16b4dc627a110fPeri has made it through surgery.  Unfortunately, the Dr’s found quite a bit more cancer than they were expecting.  It has spread throughout her pelvis area, including her colon.  Because of this, they were unable to preform the “simple bypass” they had hoped for.  They have had to give her a colostomy.  We are in hopes that this will allow Peri to achieve the relief that she is hoping for from this procedure.  She will be in a lot of pain for the next several days.  Visitation will need to be limited during this time.  Thanks for understanding this.  I will continue to keep you all updated while she is recovering.  She should be in the hospital for 1-2 weeks.  Hopefully she will then be able to go home!  How nice it will be to have family dinner once again with Mom!!  The kids want and need that desperately.  That will make this worthwhile if we can do that soon.