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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chemo Phase 2 Check

Hello friends, it's been January since our last post. Hard to believe just how quickly this year is going now that we are at the mid point of March. 

Great news! Susan has finished her chemo regime and did it with flying colors. You'll remember it was done in 2 phases. The first was a concoction of "poisons" administered through her port every 3 weeks over a 12 week period. The second phase was another concoction of different drugs administered weekly for 12 weeks.  Due to a bad cold she had to postpone only one of her first phase treatments but she still completed the course in 25 weeks. 

Can you believe that!  Yes, it's been that long since she began the chemo.  But then it was last July when she had her first surgery. My it goes fast. 

Here is a photo of her last session a week ago yesterday.  Our thanks go to the Dr. Mario Sy and his staff for the top notch care they've given Susan.

Last Chemo Session 8 March 2013

Now that we are done with chemo it's on to the radiation phase. This week Susan met with the Dr. Rajput who will perform the radiation. She told us initially we should plan on daily doses 5 times a week for 6 weeks and confirmed that this week.  She explained the procedure of pinpointing the radiation so as to avoid the heart and lungs. It's pretty sophisticated. Susan will get her markings next week.  Her markings will be tattoos but they will not be hearts, anchors or flowers. She will begin treatment on 3/27. Hormone therapy will follow radiation for 5 years.

Susan has remained positive and quite strong throughout the last several months. She has done remarkably well with each chemo treatment. In talking with many others who we know we are so fortunate and blessed.  It could be much worse. 

A couple weeks ago Susan was to begin her session when all the nurses raced to the lady in the next room. She had gone into shock from her medication. It was scary. But not 30 minutes later a lady 2 doors down did the same thing. Very scary. Very, very scary. Susan fortunately never experienced anything like that.

We've seen a young man a couple of times - maybe in his early 40's - in for his treatments. He clearly was having a tough time with chemo in lots of ways. Sad.

Last week we met a lady in for her monthly treatment. When we asked how many more she said, "I'll be on this forever". I asked what cancer she had. She told us she has an incurable bone marrow cancer. WOW talk about a ton of bricks! 

Waiting for Susan's last treatment we encountered a "chemo friend" we'd met before and who had completed her chemo a couple of weeks earlier. She reported that in that short time she is feeling so much better and has so much more energy. That's even more for Susan to look forward to. 

We know we are blessed. Susan is reminded of that each week she comes home from her group session at Gilda's Club. Although those sessions are good they can sometimes be sort of a downer for her too.

It's Back!
I'm also excited to report Susan is getting her hair back!  I can't believe how fast it is growing. It's different from her "original" hair but looks wonderful. It must be 3/8" long already. It's a different color too. I like it. Yesterday she went to see her friend and hair stylist Fran. I told Susan that was very optimistic to think Fran would style it so soon. She looked at me with that expression of "you dork". I think she wanted to show it off actually and it turns out Fran trimmed her neck. 

Son Brad will be flying home with Susan's mother Ella tonight.  Ella has been wintering in AZ with Susan's sister Peg and family.  We know she's anxious to get home so will drive her to the Waterloo area on Monday. Hopefully our winter is done and she can get resettled quickly. Brad will unfortunately return home on Tuesday. 

Brad and Amanda also have great news. They are expecting their second and our forth grandchild next August. We are of course excited as they are. I'm sure that will be a travel destination next summer. Wait a minute, that's August in Yuma, AZ!

My dad is getting along okay since the loss of Mom at Christmas. He's trying to get a routine but that has to be hard to do. His health is okay at 92 although the skin cancer he had removed 2 years ago has come back as tumor in his neck. He has chosen to let nature take it's course. His birthday is next Friday and we hope to make it over for a dinner with him and a couple of my siblings. 

Things are well with us on all other fronts. We look forward to seeing our snow bird friends on their return to the heartland. We hope you all have a wonderful spring and a very bright summer. 

We'll keep you posted on progress along the way. 


  1. Always good to see that big smile!

  2. I am so pleased that things are progressing so well. And I am awed by Susan's
    grace and strength through all of this.