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Update Time!

I've had several inquires as to how Julie is doing (and had my butt kicked a couple of times for not posting). I haven't posted because there has been no change in her condition. But that is certainly no excuse for my not keeping y'all posted on how she's coming along. As far as the cancer is concerned, there has been no change, which is good news. Her last scans were in January, and they were clear. Her next scan is scheduled for late May, unless something comes up to change that. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement with her neuralgia pain. We tried another nerve block (her fourth), which (once again) failed provide her any relief. She is still on multiple opioids to keep the pain somewhat under control, but she is in some degree pain all of the time. It only varies in the level of severity. She's a tough lady, and manages to push through the hurt most of the time. Her strength and endurance hasn't returned completely, but she does perform her normal activities, her household chores, and helps me in the yard. She has finally managed to gain a little weight, and no longer looks like a pretty walking skeleton (yay!). So all-in-all she's doing reasonably well. I thank you all for your continued interest, concern, support, and well wishes. Everyone take care![...]

Time for an Update

Due to a couple of concerns of mine, Julie recently had three different scans performed earlier than had been previously planned. I am happy to report that all three scans came back clear! That's great news for us, and gives us some time to breath and relax a bit. There are no guarantees with this nasty disease, and as you know, the last time that we thought we were clear, she had a recurrence shortly thereafter. But we're good for now, and we will enjoy the good news for as long as it will last! Thank you all for your positive thoughts and ongoing support![...]

A Bit of a Scare

Just a short post to let everyone know how things are going. But first, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying the holiday season. Recently, Julie had her first scan since completing her radiation. Unfortunately, it showed a couple of very small nodules in her lung...too small to biopsy. Our oncologist thinks that it might just be a minor infection, or an effect from her radiation treatments, but she referred us to an MDA lung specialist to get his opinion. Fortunately, he is of the same opinion, that it is probably just a minor infection. There are no guarantees, but that is both their opinions right now. The recommendation is just to follow, and do another scan in three months.We will stay optimistic, and just hope fro the best.[...]

Radiation Treatments Complete

Julie has finally completed her 35 daily radiation treatments. The treatments really did a number on her skin, so it will take a while for that to heal, but at least that phase of her treatment is complete, and we won't be locked into staying in Houston, as we have been for the last couple of months. We were actually able to get home for this Thanksgiving weekend. Because this cancer is resistant to chemotherapy drugs, there there are no preventative measures available to us. We just have to hold our breath now, and hope that we don't have another local recurrence, or metastasis that this particular cancer is so notorious for. We will continue to be watchful, and she will have regular tests and scans. She is feeling pretty good right now, even though she's still on opioids to control her neuralgia pain. She felt well enough for us to make a run over to Louisiana last weekend for a little gambling. I'm happy that she's feeling well enough to enjoy herself a bit, and that we now have some time available to do whatever she cares to do. We truly thank you all for your continued support and your positive thoughts.[...]

Status Report

Nothing significant to report, just a courtesy posting. Julie starts her fourth week of radiation treatments tomorrow. The treatments are to eliminate any rogue cancer cells that might be remaining after her second surgery, so there is no way to monitor the effectiveness of the treatments during, or after, the application. She's having a few side effects, but nothing that she can't handle so far. Thanks for the continued good wishes and positive thoughts.[...]

Next Steps

Julie had her stitches from her last surgery removed this week. Next week she will get marked up for radiation, and if all goes as planned, her treatments will start the following week. She will have treatments 5 days a week, for seven or eight weeks. There has been no improvement in her postherpetic neuralgia pain--she is still on heavy opioids for pain control. We'll see how the radiation treatments go, and hope for the best...[...]

Julie's Sugery

A quick update on Julie's surgery. She had her surgery on Friday, and made it through just fine. The plastic surgeon didn't have to do as extensive repair work as we were afraid that he might be have to do. We are back at the apartment, and while she's in some pain, she's getting around just fine. So now we hope that she heals okay, and when she's healed in three or four weeks, she'll start on six weeks of daily radiation. Making progress, but still have a way to go...[...]

Bad News

I'm sorry to report that Julie has experienced a recurrence of her breast cancer. The only hopeful aspect of this bad news is that this appears to be a "local recurrence", and not a spread of the cancer to any other parts of her body (metastasis). The new spot is in the area of where she had her mastectomy. We are in the process of developing her treatment plan, and we don't have a schedule yet, but it will involve surgery, followed by radiation. We don't know yet if more chemotherapy will be required. We are hopeful that surgery and radiation will eliminate the problem, but this particular cancer is notorious for its aggressiveness and its recurrences, as it has just demonstrated. It's a damn uphill battle. Cancer sucks![...]

A Quick Update

Just a quick post. Julie completed her first three-week (of 8) chemo cycle without significant side effects. She started her second cycle today. Side effects are cumulative on this chemo, but we'll remain hopeful that they will remain minimal. Julie has already stated that if she begins experiencing significant side effects, she will stop taking the chemo. As much as I want her to continue, I can't say that I blame her. Her neuralgia pain has not improved at all, and she certainly doesn't need any more misery added to her daily discomfort. Thank you all for your continued good wishes.[...]