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11 January 2015 @ 06:59 pm
Radiation and Chemo, Week 3  
We've just finished the third week of Kate's radiation and chemotherapy -- halfway done with this round of treatment. In some ways this is like Clarion: six weeks long, really intense, and transformative in ways that can't be predicted.

Medically this week has been not unlike the previous two. Side effects are more noticeable, but still generally manageable -- though there have been a few unpleasant surprises. We are continuing with the increased steroid dosage and Kate's speech and motor issues are much improved from early last week. We had our six-week followup visit with the neurosurgeon and everything is fine there: the incision is healing nicely, and the bruising is almost completely gone except for one patch on the arm, which is fading. We won't see him again unless there is recurrence (which is, unfortunately, a strong possibility with this type of tumor -- that's what the radiation and chemo are trying to prevent). We met again with the speech therapist, who gave us some interesting associational techniques to find a missing word -- and suggested playing Password as a form of practice!

Emotionally, it's been... well, it's been kind of rough for me, especially in the latter part of the week. But after a Saturday reading comic books, ten hours of sleep, and a long nap I feel much better both physically and emotionally. I will try to take better care of myself going forward. I'm also trying to live in the moment and appreciate the good things in life (and there are good things, even now) rather than dwelling on the unknown future.

Our friends continue very generous. I was fortunate to have people in the house at some of my worst times to provide hugs and practical support. Janna spent the weekend here, Mary Robinette is coming tomorrow for an extended visit, and Allan will arrive just as she is departing, with more to come later in January and February. Having people in the house is incredibly helpful for both practical and emotional support and I am more thankful to them than I can express. I am also very grateful to Brian and Page who are providing Kate rides to radiation treatments.

The new freezer is already nearly full of delicious foods -- "a freezer full of love" -- though there is still room for more. We have already received a lot of soups, especially chili, so if you would like to bring or send something we'd appreciate food we can chew. :-) We need foods that are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins and low in salt.

If you would like to stop in for a visit you'd be welcome; just email or text in advance to find out when we are home. Also, if you are in a position to do shopping, dishes, laundry, or other chores, please do mention it! These trivial little tasks make a great deal of difference.

Thank you so much for all of your cards, letters, emails, comments, and packages of love and support. They are very much appreciated. We'll get by with a little help from our friends.
 
 
 
wild_patiencewild_patience on January 13th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC)
I'm a big believer in the restorative power of comic books.

I wish we (the Bratpeople) lived closer so we could visit. Kate's in my prayers daily. Thank you for your updates. I don't suppose you two will be up to going to Potlatch this year. We will be there.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on January 15th, 2015 02:36 am (UTC)
Haven't given up on Potlatch yet but, to be honest, it's not likely. I can cancel our hotel reservation as little as 24 hours in advance so I'm waiting to decide until we see how much energy Kate has. The con is less than a week after the end of chemo and radiation and we've been warned that fatigue will continue to get worse for a while after treatment stops.