In comments and email, I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for an update on how Susan’s doing. I’ve been mostly ignoring those requests, though. And I have a good reason.
Basically, things have been going pretty well for the last several weeks, and I’ve been loathe to jinx our good luck by saying, “Things have been going pretty well.”
However, it’s well known (within the part of my head that sets the rules for jinxes) that by explicitly acknowledging the potential jinx, you defuse it, so I think we’re OK, and I can give you a little bit of an update about how she’s doing…and about how I’m doing, too. Because I like to talk about me.
Mildly Good News Is Really Great News
Susan’s recent MRI shows no new cancer growth in any of her soft tissue trouble spots: nothing in her lungs, nothing on her liver. The MRI also shows that the blood clot that went into Susan’s lung is dissipating.
MRIs don’t show what’s going on in the bones and it’s been a while since Susan’s had a bone scan, so we don’t really know for sure how she’s doing there — and her bones are where the cancer has really taken root and given her trouble. However, a pretty simple way to tell whether you’ve got tumors growing in your bones is by the intense pain they cause — and Susan isn’t experiencing any new pain.
Susan’s tolerating her chemo very well. We seem to have the dosage right, because by being careful about what she eats, Susan isn’t feeling a lot of side effects from the Xeloda. Meanwhile, we’re slowly reducing the steroid (Decadron) dose, which Susan is really excited about, because she hates the way it puffs out her face. Who wouldn’t?
Susan has a physical therapist coming over to our house three times a week, helping Susan get some strength back into her legs. And it seems to be helping. I notice that Susan’s able to get around much more quickly and confidently with her walker, and is able to do tasks that she hadn’t been able to do just a month ago.
There are some little signs that Susan’s getting some feeling back in her lower legs. That’s of course good news, but the bad news is that feeling is in the form of pain. Susan’s being very tough about that, though, and only complains about the pain when I tell her that she’s required to complain at least a little bit or I won’t feel good about myself when I complain nonstop about this nasty hangnail.
As far as her brain goes, Susan’s still totally mentally clear, which is the best news of all.
How I’m Doing
If it’s OK, I’d like to take a moment to boast, because I feel like it. Namely, I feel like boasting that I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’m able to take care of Susan and the kids. Right now, every day I am:
- Getting the kids up
- Getting the kids dressed and to school on time
- Fixing all the meals for everyone
- Taking care of the dishes
- Doing the laundry
- Straightening the house
- Making sure homework gets done
Until this year, I’ve pretty much left these tasks to Susan. Sure, I could handle these jobs when Susan was sick or unavailable, but that was always in emergency mode. Now I do them every day, and I’m getting darn close to having them down to a system.
In addition to all this, I of course still have my job, this blog, and my cycling. And other stuff.
So yeah, I feel pretty pleased with myself. Kind of like I’ve moved into the Expert class or something.
Win a Cycling Trip in Italy or France — More Prizes!
As you no doubt know by now, Ciclismo Classico is donating a cycling trip — either the Maratona of the Dolomites in Italy or the Tour de France, your choice — as part of a raffle to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Well, The Minnehaha Classic Canvas Bag Company is sweetening the pot. First, Second and Third prize winners will also get their choice of one of the following: