24 hours. That’s just enough time for a day’s work, a short school day, or a weekend day that feels a tiny bit longer because there might be a few hours of rest squeezed in there. That’s just one short day. But for someone waiting to get home that’s a very, very, very long time. It’s less than 24 hours before Stacy is discharged from her 4th in-patient hospital stay. She is officially half way done with her chemo treatments! To say it’s been a marathon is an understatement. The drugs that are literally saving her life are also killing even healthy fast-growing cell as they eat their way through all the microscopic cancer cells. It is an amazing and agonizing process. Truly miraculous. But man, it is a freaking marathon for her.
But there is good news. Her recent MRI scan showed that the tumor has shrunk a WHOLE LOT. Maybe even more than 80%? And this was something to celebrate in a ton of hard days full of exhaustion, nausea and almost non-existent white and red blood cells leaving paper-thin immunity to illness. What that means is that this cancer is really responsive to chemotherapy. And her oncologist says it is equally responsive to radiation. Since the tumor is so small, the recommendation is to have radiation rather than surgery to finish off the tumor. Surgery could leave her with a permanent loss of function in her arm and hand since the tumor is literally in the nerve sheath of her median nerve in her left arm. So, she is very relieved to have an option that will eradicate the tumor but leave her arm and hand function that may return her to a more ‘normal’ future. Whatever that means....
So, she heads into 5 straight weeks of radiation (Monday-Friday) most likely beginning the last week of February with 4 more overlapping in-patient chemo cycles before she is done maybe mid-June? During her radiation she will need to stay in Stanford. That is a lot of time away from home and the place that brings the most comfort in the long and hard days. There is so much gratitude for the internationally renowned medical care at Stanford. Truly remarkable life-changing medical care in a beautiful setting. But far from Dad’s best soup, her most comfy sheets and nieces that ask so very often when Aunty is coming home. Such a mixed bag. But that is how life is, full of mixed bags.
So, if you’re wondering, the needs are the same. Stamina, hope and grit for the long road, lots of encouragers to volunteer their time, prayers and practical gifts as Stacy slowly but ever-so-steadily moves towards her finish line. There are so many to thank, those that gave money so her rent is paid the next few months, gas & Jamba Juice gift cards, blog comments and just knowing that people are with and for her. Those who have been able to literally sit with her in the hospital or transport her to/from her in-patient stays have been life-saving. This is so difficult to make it any moment by herself. Please keep it coming. I cannot tell you how much she needs you all. Please contact me if you’re interested in visiting her when she is at Stanford and we’ll organize that hope train!
Please send cards, letters or gifts to her apartment:
4070 Nord Hwy
Building 9, Apt #256
Chico, CA 95973
All the love we have,