Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Yes, I'm alive...  And even showered, finally.  Surgery went well, not fun, that's for sure, especially the part where you have vials full of fluids from your insides hanging off you.  Two of the drains came out today and the remaining two should hopefully come out Monday.  That will feel very, very good.  The pathology showed a very good response to chemotherapy.  25% of the large mass remains, and 2mm of cancer remains in one lymph node, after early scans showed four enlarged lymph nodes.  I had twenty lymph nodes out though, which hopefully will work out ok for me re: swimming and other fun things in the future.  The surgical margins were all clear and clean, so basically I'd like to think at this moment that I am cancer free.

Monday I see the radiation oncologist and will know more details about when and how much of that I am having.  It will be four weeks or six weeks probably, and is five days per week.  The radiation is happening because of the cancer, even the teeny bit, remaining in the one lymph node, and because a bit of the tumor hung on despite the chemo.  It is done to  take care of any potential "rogue" cancer cells wandering around in my chest.  It is the easiest part of this whole thrill ride, and the hard parts are pretty well done.

I have a ways to go to heal from the surgery and am still pretty much lying around taking pain pills.  My cousin left me her "Six Feet Under" complete collection after her visit, so I am pretty well set on tv between that and "Parenthood."  I know what Mia and I will be doing tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Jon here:  surgery yesterday was successful.  Double asectomy, two implants, lymph nodes on her rightw side removed, port removed and four drains put in which will be in for a week to ten days.  Laura is tired and in some pain but doing very well.  Both surgeons stopped by this morning and are happy with how she looks and is doing.  She has two drains on either side of her that need draining and measuring the discharge every four to six hours so Ani and I will something to do.  We will be discharged around one today and make our way back to astoria...  Our niece Rose is planning on coming this morning for a visit which will be nice.  Thanks for the well wishes and music played on the radio for Lu!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jon Here as if you can't tell by my pedestrian writing style...  Laura and I go into Portland tomorrow for her 5:30 AM surgery check in on Tues. Jan 22.  The National Cancer Society has gotten us a hotel room for two nights as she will stay in the hospital Tues. night after surgery.  This week was supposed to be a good one for Laura, Chemo was a few weeks ago now so some of the worst side effects are disappearing and it was her last chance to swim and run for six to eight + weeks.  Well, as life is, she came down with a wretched cold Sunday and had a fever Monday and or Tuesday... But the fever was gone by Wed. so it seems like she will be healthy enough for the surgery.  Then just to make sure Laura is kicked while down, she woke up Saturday morning with her eyes all crusty and bloodshot and watering and ichy.  Mid day yesterday  Ani said that it really looked like pink eye so Lu went to Urgent Care and yup it was Pink Eye!

Thank goodness Ani said something cause with the drops, it feels better today.  After praising Ani on the our beautiful morning walk to the water today, Ani said look, it really wasn't hard to diagnose.  Her eye was pink and it is called pink eye...

Last night, I went to the Wet Dog Brew Pub where the Portland Timbers Captain Jack Jewsbury was doing a public relations gig and got his autograph and won a sweet way too big Timbers Rain Coat!!!  I had him sign the coat too!!!  Way fun!  Anyway, we all wish Lu felt better but at least we are moving along to surgery!

Ani is making GF cupcakes right now and there are a few fun football games on this afternoon to take our mind off things!  Go Patriots!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An actual update

I saw Dr. Raish today and he reported on the mri I had Monday.  According to the mri, the lymph nodes all look normal in appearance.  This is very nice news, though whether or not cancer cells are still present is yet to be determined by the post surgery pathology.  The larger mass in the breast is smaller, and still visible, though (I can't remember his technical term) unmass-like, more skeletal than tumor-like.  Again, there is no way to tell whether any of it is still cancer until the pathology comes back a few days after surgery.  So....  it is good news (nothing stayed the same, or grew, and nothing new apeared), with a grain of salt (we don't know exactly what any of it is).  Regardless of what it is, it will all be out of my body by mid-day on the 22nd and what it is or is not will determine whether or not there will be radiation following surgery.

And that is the news for today.  Aside from the slightly boring stuff of everyday life.  I am coming out of chemo sickness more every day.  I do not seem to be ending up on the couch by four in the afternoon this last few days.  I have been to Portland twice this week, once to see The Book of Mormon (totally awesome) and once for two cancer related appointments and a quick lunch at the Indian buffet.  I also went to St. Helens to watch a swim meet yesterday, and am heading back to Portland tomorrow.  This would all have seemed impossibly exhausting a week ago, so something is definitely shifting, and shifting nicely.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy new year

Happy new year all.  Judging from facebook surfing, We are not the only ones for whom 2012 was a difficult year.  The first half involved Ani's lingering back injury, surgery, rehab, and ultimately, thankfully, recovery.  She is running, swimming, most happily skiing again.  New year's will see her making training plans to be ready for track season.  The second half involved me being diagnosed with cancer, as you know...

Jon thought a good New Year's resolution for me would be not to have cancer.  Seemed straightforward enough, though I added in the not small goal of "not being such a freak about everything" to my list.  If you know me, I have set myself a pretty challenging goal here, one that will require constant vigilance to manifest.

Tim told me last night: "Resolutions are a flawed concept."  I think he just didn't feel like being bothered by his mother about my wish for him to set a goal.  But we did come up with a couple of palatable ideas for him.  I spent the evening talking with Tim, always enlightening.  Ani went to a friend's and Jon went out to dance and blow off some steam with good friends.

Tim and I stepped outside in the cold at midnight as all the ships blew their horns, he let me hug him, and we went to bed.