Lots has happened new swimming suit, more walking without a walker and I have no bone does anyone know how I am able to do that? I have eaten more ice cream in 3days than any human being should be allowed to think about! So am making most of my new accomplishments and just returned from an ice cream social with my friend Irene Yung.
You may be wondering why I have not been posting as much recently, the answer is just that we have been busy. We are all doing fine, my family is coming out of winter very nicely and we have been able to squeeze in a decent amount of family skiing (thanks mostly to an aggressive push from Delphine).
Mom has been doing great recently as well. She is walking now with a 4 wheeled walker/chair combination that allows her to move pretty quickly and to sit and rest when she is tired. This means that she can basically keep up with us and her PT and OT have really improved her strength to the point that she can cover some pretty long distances without needed to take a break.
This all adds up to a much improved lifestyle and a lot more independence, and long with that will come a new address. Mom will be leaving the nursing home tomorrow and moving to a new assisted living facility (address below) on Tuesday. The Mirabella is a new building in the South Lake Union area of Seattle, it has a big and diverse community of residence who primarily live independently. Most of the residents are approximately mom’s age and she is looking forward to making some new friends.
Mom’s cancer treatment is also progressing pretty well. She has completed her first 3 week Chemotherapy course and after a week off she is set to begin her second course this week. We will know more in a couple of month how her cancer is responding on what a longer term outlook will look like. For now, mom is very much looking forward to a more active and normal lifestyle. Along those lines mom loves visitors. I know that everyone’s lives are extremely busy but as time permits and as the whether improves if any of you have the opportunity to make it to Seattle this spring or summer, please consider adding a visit with Jan to your agenda – she would love to see you all and misses regular interaction with her friends and family.
A huge thank you to Claudia Peck (mom’s youngest sister), Claudia has been the rock of mom’s support network here for most of the past 4 months. We are blessed to have her in our lives and to have her available to help us and to be spending time with mom every day.
Jan opens with: “I barf every day after PT and OT. So I’m thinking of limiting the time. Come back from PT: barf. OT: barf.”
Stephanie is here and helping plan Jan’s meals right now, among other things. Claudia says: “I think we need to get an ice machine installed. Tell anyone who visits to bring ice.” Stephanie adds: “cranberry juice.”
Jan says, “You can tell them I finally found my Legally Blond purse. Tell them they feed me too much.” In the background, Stephanie and Claudia discuss desserts.
Matthew (our regular blogerator) has been traveling for work and vacation.
“You ordered Diet Pepsi for every meal next week–even breakfast–so by Wednesday, we’re gonna hear: ‘Another friggin Diet Pepsi!’,” says Stephanie. “Because you like it right now. That’s the problem of ordering your meals a week in advanced.”
“That’s why I pick her meals,” says Claudia. Ah, is this fun or what?
Jan says treatment is making her so dehydrated that she gets Farmer Face. “The people at work were always getting after me for talking over the cubicles. I got a lot of notoriety for talking and making noise. ‘I promise I’ll change!'” Her forced quietude gives way to smiles like this after tea or water.
While mom’s days have been pretty full lately, there has not been a lot of news to post. She has a daily routine of leaving the nursing home and heading over to the UW for radiation treatments to shrink the tumor in her pelvis and hip. I am not sure that we have seen a real benefit to this yet but the goal is to reduce the size of the tumor and thus the pain that it causes mom.
She also officially began her first 28 day cycle of Revlimid yesterday. This is mom’s first chemo treatment for the cancer since November and we are starting cautiously to see how mom responds to the drug.
She has been in very good spirits overall, although the daily routine is pretty taxing and tires her out. She has had a few visitors lately and is always excited to see anybody that is in the Seattle area.
Visiting today with Claudia and Jan, Claudia said, in response to my asking her if she wanted to blog, “It’s the elderly watching the elderly.”
Jan: “We had Julie with us today so we had a perky person.”
Claudia: “Our topics of conversation: laundry, blow drying hair, which socks she’s going to wear today, which shoes won’t cause edema.”
Jan: “We thought when we got old we’d be talking about travel and fun things.”
Claudia: “Our parents always talked about bowel movements and we swore we wouldn’t and now…we’ve become our parents anyway.”
They are funnier even than this, you know. I can’t type fast enough to capture all the jokes.
Mom’s youngest sister is back in Seattle and she has been a godsend. Claudia arrived in Seattle on Monday and is settling into a routine of shuttling mom to appointments and keeping her company at the nursing home.
Mom has also begun some initial treatment for the tumors. She is having targeted radiation every day for seven weeks to shrink the tumors in her pelvis. The goal of this radiation is to reduce the pain so that mom will be able to increase her mobility.
She will also begin a 28 day chemo cycle on Friday. This will be a relatively less toxic drug than mom took the first time around and again the goal here is to reduce the tumor growth enough that mom can make some progress with her physical therapy.
Still a very long way to go and we need a little bit of luck to go our way, but we are beginning again to make progress and are very grateful for that.
This is just a quick post to let you know that mom has been transferred back to the Terraces at Skyline. She really likes this place, the PT is excellent and it is much more social than being in the hospital.
We have all been pretty busy lately, Joe was here this weekend while my family took a little 2 day holiday to Great Wold Lodge. Also in town were several members of our extended Vietnamese family. My parents (along with 2 other couples from their parish) sponsored an entire family from Vietnam when they moved to Spokane. They very quickly became part of our lives and part of our family. Although time and distance has put space between us, we quickly come together again like old friends.
This is another one of the blessings that we are given in trying times, we are thankful for all of your prayers and thoughts.