What’s Been Going On?
It has been a long while since I have updated the blog, but since last summer I have had to take on a lot more responsibility both at work and at home. My work has gone through a very big transition and my strongest employee took a job in another division. His move is having a huge impact on my workload, but it is a great career move for him and it benefits our entire department. In the long run this is what will be best for everyone. In the short-term I am working hard trying to get a replacement for him and keep things moving forward.
Since Jane came home from the hospital last summer her condition has gotten better and worse. The nerve pain in her left is being managed by strong pain medication. This is good because she is not in total pain all the time. The trade-off with the pain medication is that she is tired, dizzy and it affects her memory. We got a hospital bed for Jane because she was having a hard time getting in and out of bed. She has had it for about two months and is considering returning it because she does not like it and has not used it much.
Jane is not on any schedule so she sleeps when she is tired and is awake whenever. Due to not really having a schedule she often wakes up not knowing what day it is and we have to go over the day’s schedule two or three times. It is really bad when we go to church on Saturday night instead of Sunday because church is the only regularly scheduled thing she does.
Back in February, Jane had a couple falls and hit her head. We ended up in the emergency room to ensure that she was okay. The doctors found that she had some swelling in the brain and an infection. They put her back on Decadron (Dexamethasone) to bring the swelling down and antibiotics to kill the infection. Jane has been on a low dose of Decadron since then. Decadron is a steroid that is very effective in reducing swelling, but has a host of side effects that include sleeplessness, weight gain, muscle weakness and dizziness.
Where Do We Stand?
Jane’s last scan identified cancer in a lymph node on her neck and shoulder, slow growth of cancer in her spine and brain, and it identified some new growth in her brain. Next week Jane will start radiation therapy for the cancer in her shoulder. Our hope is that the radiation will relieve the pressure from the nerve that is causing the paralysis and pain in her left arm. The only downside is that it could cause nerve damage, that could lead to swelling. To try to slow the cancer in the spine the doctor is giving Jane a new bone strengthening drug, Xgeva. We are not sure of the effectiveness, but the side effects are small. We have already done pretty much everything that can be done for the cancer in the brain. The only thing we could possibly do is more radiation. But after the last round of radiation, all the swelling and brain surgery that followed, we are thinking that it probably isn’t worth the risk.
The newest thing to invade Jane’s quality of life is pain that starts in her left hip and buttocks that radiates down her leg. She is good when she is sitting down, but it is very painful when she walks more than a few steps. We put topical pain reliever on it for temporary relief and have started to use a wheelchair for outings. We are not sure what is causing this pain. She first noticed it after her fall in February, but it seemed to get better over time. Then she had a couple of less severe falls and the pain returned. I am not sure if the pain is fall related or if there is new cancer, we will check with the doctor on Monday.
The drugs and cancer are taking their toll on her and she is often tiered. We worked hard to get her out during the school year to see the boys perform in school plays and choir. Linda would swing by, pick Jane up and bring her to Gabriel’s soccer games. The boys and I take care of her as best as we can. When I am at work and the boys are at school, Jane’s mother and father have been coming over to help. They take Jane to doctor’s appointments, and help us around the house. We have a really strong team (family) to support her. There have been a crew of women from the church that stop by throughout the week to spend time with Jane, depending on how she is feeling. Jane is strong and is fighting hard, some days she is discouraged and other days she is pressing hard, but every day she is an inspiration and is always looking to God.
Jane lives on the knowledge that people are praying for her. It gives her hope in the times when she is discouraged. Jane asked that you would pray for her hope. Please continue to pray for her complete healing, we really need God’s miracle. Pray that the pain in her arm is relieved and that her arm is restored. Pray that the cancer would be removed from her body (brain, spine, lymph nodes). Pray that the pain in her hip and buttocks would be relieved. Pray for the boys as they spend the summer with her. Pray for wisdom, that I would be able to make right decisions with the doctors and to do what is best for Jane. Pray for Jane’s mobility, that she would be able to move unimpeded by pain.
We know that God is in control and that he is beside us daily, watching over us and Jane. It is His hope that gives us the strength to continue this battle.
As always, thank you for your prayers and support.