Friday, June 18, 2010

Rachael and Sarah

Rachael in the blue gingham and Sarah in the lacey pink on August 8, 1988, at the wedding of
Shelley's father, Truman Rodfong, and Greta Browne (yours truly).
The third girl in the background is my daughter, Sofia.

About 10 days ago Shelley's daughters, Rachael and Sarah, visited Shelley and accompanied her to the outpatient clinic where she got her PET CT scan for a more definitive treatment plan. After the procedure we all went out to lunch at the little Chinese restaurant on Broadway, just a few blocks from Shelley's house.

Two days later Rachael returned, accompanied by her friend, Cristina from Reading, to accompany Shelley to the ENT doctor who would interpret the results of the scan for us. The news was not good - the tumor has grown and it appears it has spread to the lungs. The radiation and chemotherapy plans will take this into account.

After that appointment we went to a Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. Shelley ordered seafood soup which she picked at while the rest of us enjoyed guacamole, tamales and vegetable fajitas. I must say that it was very pleasant as Rachael and Tina were excellent company.

Later Shelley told me that at home she put the rest of the soup in the blender and was able to eat it that way. She can eat whatever she wants but is supposed to take five feedings a day through the tube to her stomach in order to get adequate nutrition and put on some weight to better endure the treatment and fight the tumor.

As of today, June 18, Shelley is receiving her first full radiation treatment, after a dry run the day before. In the morning yesterday I took her and John to a hearing about the back payments in their rent - nothing conclusive that I could make out. But Shelley was in good spirits. She quoted her dad, and I'm not sure of the exact words but it was something like, "I just run with the punches." (Laughter)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shelley's walking to the bank

I can't believe it, but Shelley's walking to the bank today. I (Greta) don't have access to the car - my husband's driving today - so can't drive her. Tomorrow I'll take her to her appointment at St. Luke's and offered to take her to the bank after that, but she's determined to make it today. It's hot out there, so I hope she'll be OK.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home from the hospital

After a week in the hospital, Shelley went home this evening. She has a lot of energy and is walking around and talking as much as ever. In fact, she seems rested and much better than when she went in last Tuesday. Her first radiation therapy session is scheduled for Friday.

She has learned to take care of her tracheotomy and tube feeding needs, but Visiting Nurses will be stopping in for any help she might need.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shelley was sitting up feisty as ever when I visited this morning. She has a feeding tube in her stomach and while I was there she got her first 'meal.' As you can see, her color is good and she's taking charge of her life. But before I left she requested more pain medication, saying that her pain level was '1000.'

The roses are from my garden and the 'pet' is Betty - John brought it to her last night.

Shelley doesn't have a clear idea yet of what will happen next. Some of the plans: starting the combo chemo/radiation treatment, setting her up in the nursing home close by for a few days, and having visiting nurses help her at home. But no word yet on when she'll be discharged or what the treatment schedule will look like.

I'm very impressed with Shelley's good disposition and energy.

By the way, if you want to leave a comment feel free to use the 'anonymous' option, but include your name in the comment so that we know who you are.

Love, Greta

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Keeping track of Shelley

Hi, family and friends of Shelley. This is Greta. I'm starting this blog so that all of Shelley's friends and family can keep track of what's happening.

Today Shelley is at St. Luke's hospital getting a stomach tube in preparation for the chemotherapy and radiation that she needs to treat a large tumor at the base of her tongue. Yesterday she had a tracheotomy, to facilitate her breathing during the period of treatment.

The tumor was diagnosed earlier this month with a biopsy after Shelley continued to have a sore throat despite two rounds of treatment.

Soon we will put more information about Shelley on the blog, including photos.

Come back soon.