From Elaine's CaringBridge Site
Journal entry by Laura Roberts — 6/7/2015
We made it through week 1. It was no picnic but God brought us through it.
Elaine's blood marrow biopsy came back negative which is great news. There were three lymph nodes removed and sent for testing. One node tested positive for cancer the other two were negative which is also good news. We expected a positive result from one of these since the shoulder showed up so bright on the PET scan and she had started saying that her shoulder hurt. The fact that only one is positive is a definite plus. We still have a questionable place in one lung that showed up on the CT scan but did not show up on the PET scan. The 54 week chemo/radiation/surgery plan already took into consideration multiple places so these test results just confirmed what we expected but doesn't change how we go after the cancer.
Elaine took chemo Monday through Friday last week. She was given Vincristine and Irinotecan on Monday and Irinotecan only Tuesday thru Friday. Monday she was sick, sick, sick. The nausea medicine we started with didn't work very well for her. I called the after hours nurse twice that night and we were very close to the emergency room. As soon as we got to the clinic Tuesday morning the doctors and nurses were ready with fluids and other medicines to get her nausea and sickness under control. By the time we left the clinic Tuesday Elaine looked so much better. We've been able to control the nausea with the different medication and she hasn't actually gotten sick since Monday. She still experiences some nausea but the new medication helps that much better.
A known side effect of the vincristine is jaw pain and Elaine has experienced that side effect. With each new side effect that she experiences there is a medicine to help with it so we are able to help her discomfort with these medicines. There are other side effects that she is experiencing but they are not nice and I doubt she wants me to discuss all of her bodily functions so I will leave it at they are not nice but we are managing as best we can with different medications for each of the symptoms.
Since all of the tests are complete now we have sent another package of results to MD Anderson. I expect to talk to them this week to see what they have to say about Elaine. We still have an appointment Friday, June 12th. I'm not sure if they would do a phone consultation or if we will need to travel there. I'm prepared to travel there if needed to make sure we are doing everything we can for Elaine's complete healing and recovery. I'll write more about that later.
The support that we are getting here is remarkable. Family and friends are showing their support by posting encouragement, sending cards and sending gifts for Elaine. Elaine is receiving cards from friends of family and friends that we have never met saying that they are praying for us. It is so wonderful to see the large prayer network that we have. I see prayers answered daily from God and I am so thankful for all of the prayers that we are receiving. Please know that I thank God and pray for each person that is praying for Elaine.
For the most part Elaine's spirits are okay. She has her moments especially since she is experiencing so many side effects from the chemo. She sleeps a lot. We did go see her tennis team play on Thursday night and it did her a lot of good to see some of her friends. I struggle with how much to push her. We are going to talk to a psychologist Monday so hopefully she can help Elaine with her feelings and help me know when to push and when not to push. Elaine is motivated differently than I am so I have to be careful with how (type A) I am with her.
This week Elaine only receives chemo on Monday so I hope she will feel better this week. Please keep praying. This is big but God is bigger.
Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
On to week 2....