Sam's Network of Love and Light

All my stirring becomes quiet around me like circles on water - Wendell Berry

It’s been a year


We are coming up to a year since we first found out Sam’s tumour markers were up. It has been a tough year of ups and downs as you can imagine.

Since finding out that there was residual tumour tissue from the big surgery in Boston we have been working on a theory suggested by the people who organized the tumour profiling. We were given a list of chemotherapy possibles. Some of them were similar to the drugs Sam took way back in February when she did her first bit of chemo. Others were known to be very harsh on the body with heavy side effects. One drug had a relatively mild side effect profile and was actually not on the official list. It’s called Velcade. It had potential based on a theory out of  San Diego. It has never been used officially for solid tumours but it has a long history of use for non-solid tumours. That refers to tumours based in blood or bone marrow, widespread in the system and not a ball of tissue like say a brain tumour or a kidney tumour.  Sam’s type of cancer is classified as solid but it has some characteristics that are not like other solid tumours. It’s mucinous and for reasons scientifically over my head may have some response to this type of Chemotherapy.

For the last three weeks Sam has had weekly injections of Velcade under the skin. It’s just a little shot given at the hospital and only requires her to be in the clinic for an hour or so. We will continue with this for the next coupe of months and redo a CT scan in January.

Pain and nausea are the other issues we have to deal with. Sam has been on multiple types of opiate based pain killers all of which seem pretty good at managing her pain. The problem has bee the nausea that comes along with many of the drugs. Some days she can do as much as get out of the house for a few hours to visit her horse and do a few errands (those are good days) while others are limited to the couch with next to no food or fluid intake because of intractable nausea and vomiting. Not fun. We’ve tried lots of different anti-nausea drugs. Today we are picking up some heavy duty anti-nauseants are hope they will help. It’s a vicious circle of nausea limiting food and fluids, causing weakness and lightheadedness, leading to worse nausea.

I am heading to Mexico tomorrow to re-charge the batteries. Sam is not well enough to come as we had originally planned. I have somewhat reluctantly agreed to go for a shorter period of time only because many of her amazing friends have organized a full scale “take care of Sam” schedule the entire week I am away. Her mom will also be helping out a great deal. Many thanks to all of you.

Sam actually has been wanting to update the blog herself but is on energy-use rationing imposed by yours truly.  She agreed that I do this update on her behalf. She is sitting beside me and would like to say, “Thank you so much for your support. All the visits, food drops, calls, emails, and phone messages have been amazing. Keeping me in your hearts, your love, thoughts and prayers are tremendously appreciated.”

Sam and Jesse

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