TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010 7:46 PM, CDT
Time no longer seems like it is flying. Although I often feel like I am dragging myself through each day, I can’t figure out how the end of the day came before I got much done. My guess is that stress and exhaustion figure in this picture – but I just have to set them aside. We have been more blessed than many, and we remain thankful for that.
Since I last posted news two weeks ago, there has been little improvement in Jack’s nausea. He is still unable to consume more than about 200 calories a day. As such, he has now lost just shy of 100 pounds since the beginning of the year. It is terribly frustrating for Jack -- and unnerving to me. We have tried a thousand different combinations of food/temperature/timing – you name it – without much success. Jack had another appointment with one of his oncologists at MD Anderson Cancer Center today and we discussed the problem of his inability to eat. The doctor prescribed a new anti-nausea drug for him – it will make him very sleepy, but it may reduce the nausea enough for him to start getting more nutrition. The oncologist believes this route is far preferable to a feeding tube of some sort. Apparently the chemo dose that Jack received in April – along with a truckload of nausea-inducing antibiotics – destroy tissue at the cellular level. Until that tissue regenerates, Jack will be fighting these miserable stomach spasms. Between now and the next oncologist appointment, Jack will have an appointment with the palliative care clinic – they may offer some help in fighting his nausea. He will also have another MRI of his skull/brain to assess some balance problems he has been having. We don’t believe either of these appointments is indicative of deeper problems, but the doctor wants to make sure there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed.
In spite of everything, there is actually some GOOD news. Jack’s cancer markers are stable – yay!!! He continues to get stronger every week, and as long as there is something he can hold onto (he’s not dizzy – it’s just the balance issue he has), he can walk several yards. He is sleeping well. His hair has not started growing back – but the silver lining is that he has not had to shave for months. All in all, we are happy and consider him fortunate to be where he is at this point in time. Adding to the changes he has gone through, at the end of the month, Jack will retire from Lockheed-Martin. Later, he may choose to do some consulting but, for now, a full-time job is not in the cards. Hey – it’s time to relax a little! Now if we can just get him to be able to eat!
We have so many things to be thankful for – an ever-present God, incredibly supportive friends, and a family that brings us immense joy. Praise goes, again, to everyone who continues to lift Jack up in prayer; thank you! Thanks also goes to Dick and LeeAnn M for a dozen ice cream sandwiches, to Dee and Dan B for a joyful bouquet of roses and for helping me by picking up groceries as I need them; to a group of amazing friends who have taken tasks out of my hands in order for me to meet my work deadlines; to Marilyn C for the thoughtful bubble bath and lotion to soothe me; to Sally M for donating time and platelets in honor of Jack; to Dick and Mark for a "movie night" with the guys; to the Boards I serve on for their extraordinary patience and understanding; to the endless offers of help that everyone sends our way; and to the TQS friends whose quilts Jack and I and the grandkids continue to enjoy… words escape me, but please know that we stand in awe of the loving hearts all of you continue to share with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
With much love,
Jack and Sue
It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !