There is now a small (well, not so small) bump on Kathleen’s spine. ‘Pitted’ when pressed meaning there is fluid present. You sort of wonder why it didn’t show up on the MRI/CT. Although to be fair, the radiologist did note “fluid.” So tomorrow its yet another image, this time with a special gallium contrast. Then they are going to try and drain a bit of it to examine the fluid in detail. We got the sense there was probably a lot of back and forth between the neurologist and the main chemo doc as to the relative dangers (fluid escaping into or out of the spine) and benefits (understanding how to better treat it). So they will guide the needle via ultrasound to do it carefully as possible. Here is hoping….. Well, hoping for not just answers, but treatable answers.
Kath is tired, scared, anxious about the procedure, anxious to do it as soon as possible. As I mentioned previously, the pain is really starting to wear her down. She has a lot of strength to her, and thankfully, an amazing healthcare TEAM looking after her. All the nurses are really great, some double plus great. Its such a relief to leave at night not having to worry will she get the care she needs when I am not there. Having that trust / faith is so invaluable at a time like this.
I’ve got to say, you and Kathleen are the most amazing, seemingly unflappable, stoic, remarkable people I know. The ups, the downs, the bumps, the pain, the dopiness with the pain management tools. The stiff upper lip, the pictures and the continued dog walks. You guys are marshaling on, through the trenches. There, enough metaphors and imagery.
Thinking of you, with my own upper lip stiffened in salutation.
Dear Kathleen and Mike,
I wish for you both a day of less pain and more answers that will alleviate that pain even more. You deserve a break, a big break if one must say. You are both so strong and full of beautiful knowledge about how to guide yourselves through life in the best possible way – you astound me with your open-heartedness and ability to share your path with us. Big hugs to you and thinking about you lots.
Stacee and Isobel
I hope that they are able to remove not only the sample of fluid to see what it is but all of it and soon as it seems to be the culprit for the pain Kathleen is going thru. Pain that doesn’t go away wears anyone down, Kathleen has had lots of it and for a long time. She has amazing inner strength ! Wishing that the two of you could catch a break and just ‘get away from it all for a weekend’ but it seems that’s not to be so it’s good to hear that she is getting the best of care and that it provides you with the ability to go home, knowing that the team is looking after her so well. I’m sure that these night time breaks help you to gather strength for what each day brings. Stay strong. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you and are for strength and endurance, love and laughter, peace and comfort. Give Kathleen a big gentle hug from me.
Each day offers more hope in some way that the caring team of experts can get to the bottom of this retched pain. Like the word Stacee used in her note, so true, Astounding! Your bravery and the love, like never seen before. You are all in our thoughts each day. Love, Colleen and Terry