St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Update on Margo

Margo, my spouse of 40 years, finished chemo for breast cancer on the 14th.  It was difficult with a couple of hospitalizations along the way.  Today we got results of scans that showed most of the tumors had disappeared except for the largest one that had shrunk to two small ones.   That was good news.

The surgeon set March 11th for removal of the left breast and lymph nodes--time enough for her to feel better.  Right now she is very tired, but her mouth sores are starting to go away and she is able to eat soft stuff OK.

During the chemo, tests, scans and so on, something happened that caused her left arm and hand to swell up -- lymphedema, it is called.  It has been a problem since September,  The last 3 days we spent going through evaluations on the arm and hand.  It appears she will start a daily ultraviolet, hand massage, and new wrapping protocol to bring the hand and arm to be better. It is swollen very tight skin.  As surgery will remove lymphnodes, the worry is that the swelling may get worse if not aggressively treated now.

Daily trips to treatment for the next month--will give me an opportunity to go to Rochester (we live in the country) and to do some serious walking exercise, and a chance to explore the huge medical library and read the latest medical books and magazines on our conditions.

Margo smiled the first time in a couple of weeks Tuesday, and today was again laughing a little.  When  she gets to the place where she brings out the vacuum to go over the spots I didn't quite do well enough, I will know she is feeling better!

Scott is suffering through a bad cold that we are hoping not to catch.  Margo's bone marrow has bounced back, so it is churning out the blood cells and platelets and bringing her immune system back to normal very quickly.  Mine is still low -- I have to keep it low with prednisone to stop MG, but I haven't gotten sick from anything, even though for the past 2 weeks we spent most days at the clinic with all the sick folks around so guess it is good enough.