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Monday, November 28, 2011

We have SO much to be thankful for.....Happy Thanksgiving 2011

The last month has been filled with much joy and many tears. Becky is finished with chemo and on the road to recovery--YEAH. She has also started down the path to Genetic Testing. Yale New Haven Hospital has a special clinic which has approved Becky for genetic testing for the BRCA 1, BRCA 2 AND P53 gene mutation aka Li­Fraumeni. Becky and Matt will be getting the results in early December. Becky has chosen not to receive radiation which actually has been advised by the Genetic Clinic. If the P53 mutation is present then "Cancer patients... who survive the first neoplasm are prone to develop second cancers, particularly within the field of radiation therapy". The p53 gene mutation is suspected in families who have early onset breast cancer, childhood leukemia (Ava @ 2 1/2 yr) and adolescent sarcoma (Phil's birth sister- Karyn age 13 yr). Fortunately the testing has been approved by the insurance company.

After much prayer and with Becky's blessing I have returned to Florida to be with Phil. He has been at our house in Bradenton since October due to work requirements at the River Strand Golf and Country Club. Laura and I drove to Florida last week with our dogs Calvin and Stetson (cocker spaniel and yorkie). Leaving my family and home in Ct has always been difficult. When I walked into my bedroom in Florida and saw my robe and pajamas hanging where I had left them 6 months ago I remembered the pain I felt when Becky called to tell me about her "lump". I am so thankful that is now in the past and we can all get on with living. Arriving in sunny warm Florida was refreshing and soothing for the months of stress we have lived through. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and her family and my nephew and his family who live here.

Laura left yesterday for CT and left an ache in my heart for my daughters and grandchildren. As much as I miss my family the time Phil and I have is precious. I am so thankful for this special opportunity we have to be together. We have the best of both worlds and we embrace every moment.

Life is a gift and we all need to embrace every moment. We praise the Lord for His mercy and grace which lifts and carries us through all trials. Recently I heard someone ask where is God during the suffering. He is right there with us comforting and crying as we cry just as He did when His Son gave up His life for us. Give thanks!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Almost DONE with CHEMO!!!!!!!

I know it's been forever since our last posting but life has been crazy. What a summer we have had. Izzi turned 7 in June, Blake is now 5 and Alex is 16- and ready to drive- HOLY COW!

Becky's cycles of treatment have been every 3 weeks without interruption. She has handled the nausea and fatigue by taking 3-4 hour naps everyday for the first week while taking Ativan, Compazine and Zofran around the clock. By day 10 her abdomen would swell up making her look like she were ready to deliver our 7th grandchild. We went to the ER twice without success. After some research by the nurses at Yale it was discovered that Becky had developed a condition called Lymphodemia of the Abdomen- a rare condition that occurs in women who have had the DIEP procedure before chemo. What that means in English is: by Becky choosing to have her mastectomy and then immediate reconstruction with her own tissue from her abdomen. The pathways of the lymph system were affected and every time she has her treatment the tissues in her belly become inflamed and swell. There wasn't much they could do for her - lots of CT scans and pain meds with hydration.

This past weekend (Halloween) was another new development for her. She started experiencing numbness with pins and needles in her feet and hands. She actually had fallen 3x in public. Fortunately she didn't hurt herself but she did laugh a lot. By Tuesday she had started swelling from her head to her toes - literally. So with the MOMMA(nurse) PUSH we were in the car heading back to Yale ER. Becky was very uncomfortable about being considered a complainer with the staff but I had to help her understand there are certain conditions and side effects that the staff needs to see - SO ON TO THE ER!!!! It was a trip well worth taking. She was given Lasix IV for the FLUID OVERLOAD and Neurotin for the Peripheral Neuropathy. By the next day she had a beautiful jaw line and normal neck.

So this Tuesday (Nov 8) we are on our way to Yale for her LAST treatment. So as I said before WHAT A SUMMER. You have all been so supportive to Becky. Our next journey will be with the Genetic Testing that started last week. I will be posting a comment on that journey soon.