Saturday, August 30, 2008


I am reminded daily of the value of friends and family as we wade through this difficult time. Thank you. Okay, this is not a substitute for thank you notes. I know Miss Manners would never accept a blogged thank you note, and, quite frankly, I can't even begin to count the gestures of kindness that we have received. Visits, cards, vegetables, meals, miracles in envelopes, brownies and other treats, prayers, loaned dvds, books, cheer in a box, home-made posters, photos, agghhh...I shouldn't have started because there is no way I'll remember them all. It's not like wedding gifts , which are all opened at the same time, and are all tangible, and, while the bride and groom ooh and aah over each crystal candleholder, there's someone sitting behind them with a tablet and pen, writing down all the names and what was given. This isn't that organized--I'm not that organized. This is as random as the gifts we receive. I want to say thank you to the older couple that sends Maura a card almost every week. You should see how it puts a smile on her face. I want to thank her friends who would think I'm weird for thanking them just for hanging out at our house. I want to thank the friend who left my washed and ironed blouse hanging on my front door...I think I know how you got a hold of it, but I'm not sure. I want to thank the young friend who was so moved when she saw Maura in so much pain, that she actually bought and offered illegal the hopes that Maura would take it to relieve her suffering. I want to thank that colleague at the college who understands that I just don't care about anything at work like I used to and who understands that it's a temporary condition. I want to thank the colleague who said that my newfound perspective is an improvement. I want to thank strangers who let us know that they are praying for Maura. I want to thank the young friend who, just a few weeks into remission herself, committed to be a friend to Maura (and all of us) and has been an amazing and steadfast source of knowledge and strength and black bean burritos. I want to thank those who can handle "bald in the land of big hair", and those who at least try. I want to thank God because he sends these hundreds of wonderful people as proof of his love.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chemo Days for Cycle 5 are behind us. No life-threatening issues, although Maura did get a transfusion of two units of red blood cells yesterday. Fortunately, it was not under the same scary circumstances as at the end of chemo in Cycle 3. Nevertheless, it's disturbing that her red blood cell count is not recovering quickly. The transfusion has not perked her up as we might have liked--no burst of energy today. Instead, she is very quiet, too tired to engage in conversation.

My God, how I love this person.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We arrived home at 1:30 a.m. following Day 2 of chemo. The chemo units were very busy today, so we waited several hours past our appointment time before they could get us a room. In the meantime the pump beeped to let us know that the chemo bags were empty. I took care of it myself in the waiting room. Since Tropical Storm Edouard, I've become an expert at disconnecting her from the pump when needed. And that beeping sound...when this is over, I never want to hear that beep beep beep again. Maura came home exhausted, somewhat nauseated, but otherwise, okay.
She is losing her eyelashes. She has a single bottom lash left, and the top ones are thinned out. Small price to pay for tumor termination.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Today Maura had CT scans and a visit with her oncologist, Dr. Benjamin, chair of the Sarcoma Center of M D Anderson--a guy who's seen more sarcoma than almost anyone in the world. Today, Dr. B. told Maura that, in disease as extensive as hers, she is having one of the best responses to chemo that he has ever seen.
Thank you, God.
Amen. :)
p.s. Cycle 5 starts on Sunday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

By Popular Demand

Maura's chili recipe will be at the end of this post.
 It's been a quiet week.  Blood counts have been very low as expected, but they are starting to climb back up now.  The week has been predictable, which is good. When she felt bad, we knew why and we also knew that it was temporary. 
Here is Maura's vegetarian chili recipe:
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (same size as the diced tomatoes)
1 can beans (red or black or kidney or your favorite)
1 pkg. Morning Star Meal Starter Crumbles (in the vegetarian frozen food section...looks like ground beef)
1 pkg chili seasoning
Sautee crumbles and onion on medium heat in a large frying pan.
Add other ingredients.   Stir over medium heat until hot. Serve. 
Optional: Serve with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese
Tastes good with a side of corn bread.
Wasn't that easy?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just A Touch Of Bleh

There are reasons for taking anti-nausea meds.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Chemo days of Cycle Four are over. Hurray! This cycle went very smoothly, with the exception of the one-day delay due to Tropical Storm Edouard. Maura refused all the hospital-administered ant-nausea meds on Friday and some of them on Thursday. She felt pretty good, under the circumstances. Her blood pressure and heart rate have been "acceptable." Nice not to have any scares like last cycle. Thanks again to all for the cards and visits. They mean a lot to her-to us.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Day 3 of Chemotherapy is cancelled for Tuesday because of the impending arrival of Hurricane Edouard in the morning. Maura is hooked up to the pump. When the pump beeps tomorrow (when the chemo bags are empty), we will be at home instead of at the hospital. They gave her a quick lesson in how to disconnect from the pump, and then she has the rest of the day off. Chemo resumes on Wednesday(Day 3), both the pump and the "in hospital" drugs.  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Maura and her friends having fun with wild wigs. Don't they look awesome?

Central Line

Today Maura had her central line reinserted into the superior vena cava. Everything is fine. It was a much easier procedure this time than in May.