Wow! What a time. Tuesday Diane had over 2 liters of fluid drained from around her lungs. She was having such a very, very hard time breathing over the weekend. They also put in a catheter into the lining around the lung so that we can drain off fluid at home. This we will do tonight with the help of Barb Johannsen from Grace Lutheran. It is something that we will be able to do on our own in the future, but for the first time it is good to have someone there.
Today Diane also had her third chemo treatment and this went so, so much better than the previous week. No problems this time. She is very tired and weak, but that is a result of the chemo and also having to work so hard at breathing. Hopefully that might improve some. Next week is an “off week,” so she does not have chemo or any doctor’s appointments. PTL!
Again, thanks for the prayers.
The second IV infusion was quite an adventure. It should have taken about one hour, but we finally got home about six hours after we started the adventure. Diane’s blood pressure was low so they took a lot of precautions, many blood pressure tests and finally she was able to start the infusion. Again, we had tremendously great care by the staff. We commented to each other about what an experience it is to be the recipient of the care, skill and concern of the medical team. Thank you, Lord, for such people, and it was good to let the team know of our thankfulness also. Through all the mornings activities there was a great deal of laughter, which is such a medicine in itself.
Following the chemo infusion Diane had to have an x-ray of her lungs, which took no time at all, and possibly next week she will have to have more fluid drained. They might put in some type of catheter (I think that is the right word) through which we will be able to drain the fluid without having minor surgery at the hospital. So the journey continues, and the journey is an adventure.
Life continues to be full of gifts, as well as challenges. This past Thursday was Diane’s first actual IV chemo. She is involved in a research project but is able to do the chemo here in Auburn at Multicare. The chemo infusion went well with no problems and no side affects for this first time. The next two Thursdays will again be chemo. We know that there is the possibility of side affects with the chemo, but we pray that these will be controlled.
Friday and Saturday we celebrated my birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary in Long Beach, WA. We love the ocean and this morning (Saturday) Hanna (our dog) and I got to go for a long walk (Hanna ran and I walked!) along the beach before Diane woke up. Diane and I had a very good time talking, crying, praying and just being together. Thank you, Lord, for such opportunities.
Obviously, we do not know how things will work themselves out, but we continue to desire to live each moment and each day to the full. We talked about the two things we want the most: to love God with all that we have and to give our lives away to those people God brings into our lives. What more could we ask for?
The Scriptures that we are claiming are Zephaniah 3:17 and Psalm 103:17.
Let’s see: last Friday morning was a EKG to establish a baseline for the research project in which Diane will participate. Then Friday afternoon was an ameocentesis (totally uncertain of the spelling), during which they withdrew about 1 1/4 liters of fluid from around her lung. Now she can breath again. Then early yesterday a.m. was a minor surgery during which they inserted a power port through which all future I V’s will be inserted, all future blood draws will be taken and through which the I V chemo will be infused.
On March 13th will be the first chemo, March 20th the next and the third will be on Mr. 27. Then there will be a week off, after which we start again. That will be the tentative schedule for the next six months. Plus an occasional MRI and CAT scan.
A MRI, blood work, an EKG and more blood work are all a part of the journey. This journey, depending upon the results of the EKG, will now be a research project involving the University of Washington Hospital, Fred Hutchinson, and the Cancer Alliance but administered through Multicare and Diane’s oncologist. Starting March 13th Diane will be receiving an intervenous chemo once a week for three weeks and then there will be one week off and it starts again. All this is for six weeks, and then who knows!?
Diane’s lung is filling with fluid so it is a little harder for her to breath without coughing, but they might be able to extract some of the fluid once we meet again with the Dr. Dennie, the oncologist. All of this seems disheartening to both Diane and myself, but at the same time we are confident of God’s on-going presence with us.
Thank you all for your prayers!!!