Friday, November 21, 2014

Dear People We Love,

We have received a few notes from some of you who make us believe that you think our last update was sad...or perhaps that we were indicating that things are worse than we thought.

We just want to clarify that, while we were hoping that Dr. Lin was going to say that our last few rounds of chemo had seriously shrunken the tumors (we hope that every time), we don't feel at all like things are gloomy. Harv's CEA count has remained stable -- which isn't really bad. It means that it's not getting worse.  It means that we still have work to do and that cancer isn't actually winning this war. 

Harv met with his local oncologist and they figured out a way to continue with chemo and have Harv feel good for Thanksgiving and Christmas and our upcoming trip to Maui.... So, cancer ain't got nothin' on us!

We appreciate your kind words and thoughts and prayers. And, we will take them whenever you want to share. :-) But, we're doing pretty well.

Lots of love to you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Not much different to report today... We left at about 5:30 this morning and arrived in time for Harv's 7:45 appointment (with a few minutes to spare). I, as usual, took myself to Milstead & Co. Coffee and enjoyed a croissant and a latte. (Sadly, my triple tall latte is not seeming quite as strong as I like it.)

Harv finished up his PET scan a little before 11:00 and we took ourselves to the cafeteria across the street before an 11:30 appointment with Dr. Lin.

Not surprisingly, the PET had not been read yet, but Dr. Lin looked at it. The official report will come out later, but basically, the tumors that are in his body are relatively stable. Significantly smaller than a year ago, but still there.  The tricky part with Harv's particular situation is that his liver tumors respond better to one kind of chemo and the lung tumors (which we kinda knew about already) respond to a different kind of chemo. 

He hasn't lost weight which is a good thing. And, his energy -- while not quite as high as 5 years ago -- is pretty good. Both of those things are encouraging. 

The plan right now is to continue with the infusions he's been having for lungs and add a pill chemo to keep the liver tumors in check.

We'll keep at this plan through December and probably into January, but we'll make sure chemo does not interfere with Thanksgiving or Christmas meal planning. So, we'll start infusions the week after Thanksgiving and try to figure things out so that Christmas eating can be fun.

In other news, Laura had her two days of photopheresis and is back in Leesburg. She sounded pretty upbeat when I spoke with her, but I imagine she's pretty tired. She has some good friends in Leesburg who often fix her dinner on the night she comes back. I sure do appreciate those people. Sendin' a hug to them!! 

Tonight, Sarah and Hannah will have their last high school cross country banquet. I am gonna get teary, I'm pretty sure. What a wonderful group this has been -- the runners, the coaches and the parents. Thank you all for making these four years so special.  

Sending you all wonderful wishes for a Thanksgiving full of love, rest and lots and lots of good food. 

Peace to you all.

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week...

Tomorrow, Harv and I go to Seattle for his PET scan. We are hoping that it shows that his cancer has decided to retreat so he can switch over to a maintenance chemo.  While he kinda figured out a way to make his symptoms slightly less intense, I wouldn't say it has been much more "fun". 

We don't know what Dr. Lin will say, but in our dreams his cancer would be in control (or, better yet, go away completely) and he wouldn't ever have to have any more infusions.

In other health news, my sister, Laura, goes tomorrow for a treatment for her graft vs. host disease. See this link for more information.  She'll be at Emory University Hospital (outpatient) for a couple of days every week for the next eight weeks. 

We also have dreams for Laura... that the graft vs. host disease would go away and she would be able to enjoy life without annoying health issues. I do believe she's had enough to deal with over the past few years. She deserves happy and healthy in big doses.

Thank you for tuning into our lives...and for praying with us for all these things.

We love you.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear Sehome Cross Country People,

Yesterday the girls and I went to the State Cross Country meet in Pasco. We drove over to Yakima late Friday night, arrived at our hotel at about 1:30 in the morning and snatched a few hours of sleep before we headed to Pasco for the meet.

We hung out at the meet watching races and enjoying time with the team. And, watched both boys and girls become the State 2A Champions! It was thrilling! 

But, for me, it was thrilling not only 'cause they did so well in the races, but because I feel so strongly that Sehome Cross Country is a family. It has been a great family from the early days through the last meet of their senior year. 

Perhaps slowly at first, but steady nonetheless, I have grown to love and feel a kinship towards all that is Sehome Cross Country.  From the coaches and assistant coaches to the runners who don't know me much at all and to the parents... I am so thankful that our paths have crossed. I'm thankful that my girls (and I :-) ) have been a part of a team that feels like a family. 

As I drove home from the meet last night, I tried to think of the words that would convey this full feeling in my heart for this wonderful team.  I'm not sure I have the words to convey my deep gratitude for such a gift.

So... I will say "thank you." And, when you read those words, think way deeper and way stronger than you might initially think.  

Way deeper.