Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Jenn says she doesn’t have any word back yet on the results of her MRI imaging from Tuesday, but she said she’s not worried. Her doctor is a straight shooter and if there was any problem he would have said something.
The other good thing is that although her digestive problem persists, Jenn says she hasn’t had a fever in two days. She is on some new meds and she says it may be possible that they’re working better than the previous prescription. Jenn also has not needed a transfusion of platelets for two days, so that is good news as well. Keep up all the good thoughts and prayers!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Jenn said she also had visitors over the weekend, despite being in an isolation room, and she’s always glad to see them. Luckily, Jennifer’s cousin Candice lives in Sudbury, and is able to be there so often. Candice and Jennifer - I can’t help but think of those two as the snotty kids who were always underfoot at Grandma’s place when they were little. It’s amazing to see them as two wonderful women these days who are still the best of friends .. even if they are still basically a couple of nice beer-drinkin' gals from Timmins.
So today was a new day and Jenn had some pain in her back. The med team is not sure what it is, but Jenn says they may be able to book an MRI to find out more. That might be happening tomorrow. Her digestive system is still a worry. With all the meds, and chemicals that have been forced into her body in the past month, I am not surprised. She is still on liquid nutrients and that means she cannot eat or drink normally. That is upsetting. When we are healthy, we just take so much for granted.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
His speeches were so good that he was often written up in TIME magazine. TIME also named him as one of the Top 100 people who shape our lives. In later years he became Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, the deputy director of UNICEF and in recent years, has been suggested for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was in Timmins again today and I was delighted to listen to him for nearly 90 minutes. It’s a good day.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Jennifer was losing more of her hair today, but she says it doesn’t really bother her. I am not surprised. Jenn is the type of person who quickly gets a handle on reality and sets priorities. She says she knows her hair will grow back once the chemo does its dirty work on the cancer cells … and besides, like Tasha says, Jenn is gonna be beautiful with or without the hair. No argument there … all the Maltais women are so good looking.
By the way, she sure enjoys the notes people send. She told me she was especially pleased that her Uncle Ronald took the time to write a nice letter. She really enjoyed reading and re-reading it. The Care Mail thing is one of the best things at the hospital. Scott’s Mom, Denise told me about it a few weeks back … if you want to send Jenn an e-mail just send it to the attention of Jennifer, Room 4665, Cancer Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org . Every weekday, the volunteers at the hospital print out the messages and bring them to the patient’s room.
So that’s a good thing. Here’s another good thing.
Jenn says Denise is becoming like her own personal ‘super nurse’ because she provides such good care and just spoils her. How nice is that?
Jennifer had another CT scan today. The med team is checking on her digestive system because its acting up a bit. They’re pretty confident it’s just a reaction of the chemo, but they’re not taking any chances. Jenn will get the results on Friday. We had a discussion today about the level of care she is getting. So far, Jennifer has nothing but praise for the people at the Sudbury Cancer Centre. We are lucky to have it.
In the meantime, this means no food or drink for Jenn. She is being fed by a tube that carries liquid nutrients right into her body. I felt bad last night because I absent-mindedly told her about the steak and mushrooms I had for supper. Jennifer was jealous. She says her mouth waters when she sees a food commercial on TV. The good thing about the nutrient tube is that Jenn says she is getting her strength back. But I have to remember not to mention food when we chat. Funny how we have to be careful what we say … Jenn was mentioning to Scott just today that she felt really tired earlier in the week. She told Scott… “I felt like I’d been hit by a bus…” Nathan and Tyler suddenly looked at each other in shock, thinking their poor Mom had really been hit by a bus. Scott had to explain to them that Mom just felt that way. Jenn and I had such a good laugh when she told me about that tonight. By the way, Jenn says thanks for the cards, the e-mails and the kind comments and sends her love to everyone.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Jenn says she got a graphic impression of how powerful the chemo drugs are today. The nurse had to wear special white coveralls and goggles as he hooked the IV solution up to her PICC lines. Jenn said the nurse explained that the drugs are highly acidic and cannot come into contact with bare skin. I have the feeling that we will be learning lots about these things in the coming days.
There he is!
She also had plenty of visitors and that sure brought her spirits up. Even when she took a nap, visitors dropped by and left gifts. Jenn was pleased with the soup that cousin Valerie brought… and she sure likes the new DVD player that Val left as well. Of course she was happy too when Candice arrived with John and Gee (Giselle) who drove down from Timmins. Gee’s sister, who is a hairstylist, sent along some scarves and hats Jenn might like when she loses her hair. The hair loss thing still bugs Jenn a bit, and she mentioned she might take the advice of a nurse and just get it cut beforehand. She is still not too sure.
We talked for the longest time last night (Which is great – but I think I talked too much after half a litre of wine) and while we talked about cancer patients we’ve known in the past, we agreed that even though chemo-therapy is not easy, it seems that they’re making it easier for patients to cope with it these days. Jenn says she sure feels grateful for the treatment and says she feels she has to do something now to “give back” in her words. I am proud of her for that. Hmmm, I’ve always been proud of Jenn.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Jennifer also had a visit from Denise, Line and Amy, (her mom-in-law, aunt and cousin) who were able to bring her outside to enjoy the sunshine for awhile. How nice is that? Jenn says she also enjoyed her physio-therapy session and is feeling good about the feeling and strength in her legs… it’s not complete yet, but she is optimistic. She is also practising her balance for sitting up. She says it is amazing how much we rely on our stomach muscles to do things. She doesn’t have full feeling of her abdominal muscles so that’s a challenge right now.
If you read the posting earlier today, you will have noted the information about Care Mail. Jenn says it works. She got my first message today. I plan to send more messages whenever the mood strikes me. But the best part of the day, for me, is the wonderful long talks we have. What a treat that has become.
So let’s hope the chemo-therapy does what it is supposed to do. Jennifer knows she will be feeling poorly, but her main worry is the fact that she will be prone to infection if any germs get through. Scott told the boys today that Jenn is off limits for kisses for the next two weeks; hugs only and lots of hand washing. The upside is that the side effects of chemo-therapy are said to be only temporary and will end once the treatment does. My worry is that with all this H1N1 Flu going around, somebody might be a carrier of the flu bug and not know it. Regardless, I am going to take my cue from Jennifer and keep smiling.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Anyway, she has had her PICC lines installed… they are the double-tubes that will carry the chemo-medication inside her body. They’re inserted through a vein in the arm and go all the way inside her to a point near her heart. You can read more about it here: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Chemotherapy/Linesports/PICCline
Jenn’s cousin Valerie and Dennis dropped by for a visit today. Jenn said she was happy to see them since they just returned from a vacation in Newfoundland. She said they helped her move down the hall to her new room.
Oh by the way, Jennifer has a new room. She is now in room 4665 at Laurentian Hospital’s cancer treatment centre. If you are able to call her, the toll-free number is 1-866-469-0822. Jenn said she loves the room because it’s the same size as the regular ward room but she has it all to herself. And she is happy that it has a window too. I know Jenn really misses being outside. She and Scott and the boys live in the country and they like it like that. If you look in the Archives over there on the right side of the page, check out September ’06 and see a photo of Jenn and Scott after a day of fishing. She was the “pickerel princess” back then. Anyway, Jenn is pleased the hospital has put an extra cot in the room so that Scott can spend more time there. She figures she will be in the hospital for another month, and so she is already planning a few movie nights with Scott and her boys.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Jennifer is also the animal lover in the house, and when Scott showed her a new movie of Buddy romping the yard, Jenn got all teary-eyed. So Scott and boys will be bringing the dog the hospital parking lot on the weekend, so Jenn can see him. If you haven't seen Buddy lately, he is a massive white husky about the size of a bear. (click the pic!) I snapped a photo of him this morning after we waited with Tyler and Nathan at the school bus stop. The boys were pleased I was in town. As usual, we honoured the tradition and we had chocolate cake for breakfast. We have to save some cake for the weekend. The boys' favourite cousin Victoria is heading north for a visit.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
We’re sure feeling better today about things. I spoke with Jennifer last night and then again this morning, and it was a great to hear her. She sounded much better than she has in the past few days and said she was feeling better too. She said she had some feeling in her toes. The best part is that she has had lots of visitors dropping by. Even her boss, Junior, dropped in with a take-out supper -- Jenn said it was much better than the hospital food. It’s kinda nice when your boss runs the biggest restaurant business in Sudbury. The boys were up to see her and she says they will be dropping by after school today as well. She also said she is grateful for the many expressions of kindness from so many people. Jenn has her cell phone with her, so if you know the number, give her a call. If you don’t have the number, e-mail me and I will send it to you.