The MRI last Tuesday was actually BETTER than the one 2 months ago. There are these white areas on an MRI called "enhancements" which is area the dye goes to where tissue or something builds up. This small area of enhancement was visible last MRI; but gone this time. Last December when we were quite scared about too much white showing on the MRI; it turned out to be dead tissue from radiation; which was only possible to figure out via surgery. Anyway, this was good news this week - especially since Tara was worried because she had been having bad headaches for awhile; which can worry her. So, we happily showed Tara's head to Dr. Smith who agreed with Dr. Joganic that her head is healed - although the skin is very thin; it is still covering the wound which is fabulous! Dr. Shapiro prescribed more chemo - which she started on Thursday.
Tuesday night after spending most of the day at St. Joseph's Hospital Tara & Josh returned that night with kidney stones of all things! I bailed on this visit; by the time I got their phone call they were already checking in the ER; so Josh handled this one. Poor Tara - how much can a body handle? Really, now!!! She had kidney stones about 5 years ago; and man oh man, it looked so painful then and it was painful for her again this time. So, they gave her some more hardcore pain meds to get through it and hoped she would pass the kidney stone. Well, it took 4 days! She finally passed it last night; just in time to stand up in front of a young single adult congregation this morning and give, might I add, a very moving talk. So, now she only has chemo sickness to deal with. BUT, at least it's only ONE thing to deal with. No more saline flushes, heprin flushes, antibiotics, sanitary gloves, alcohol wipes, or various other supplies need to be in our house. They're all going in the TRASH.
Guess how many chemo treatments after this one??? 2!!!! That thought keeps me going. Tara wants more - I want her to feel better again - I dream of that day - so 2 more treatments here we come! After 14 supposed months of treatment (which has turned out to be longer because of the brain infections) we WILL finish. Like Tara said in her talk today, she will WIN and beat this cancer. Guess what else? We splurged and planned a cruise for Dec 17-24 to the British Virgin Islands to celebrate the end of Tara's treatment! I still have to buy the plane tickets; but the cruise is BOOKED. Merry Christmas Schlappis! I was so very sad that Tara couldn't even get in the water at Lake Powell; that we really just wanted to do something else that she could totally enjoy when this is all finished. She'll have 6 weeks to try to recover from all this chemo before the trip. Hopefully that's enough time to get enough medication out of her body that she can enjoy herself. She'll still have seizure medication that makes her tired; but she can alternate between sleeping on the beaches and swimming and snorkeling in those beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean! The chemo is starting to pile up (cumulative effect) and she's sick longer and more often; but that's to be expected. I, for one, just cherish the good days even more. The end is in sight!!! Then we have done all the doctors know how to do and Tara is in the Lord's hands. I, of course, will throw homeopathic treatments Tara's way and try to do everything we can to help fight this tumor and discourage it from ever returning.
One more thing.... we did indeed give away the quilt; but we have no pictures yet; so we've been waiting to meet the recipient and get pictures; and it's been tricky; so hopefully they will be forthcoming. Just know it went to a very special little girl. All we know right now is that an 11 girl named Lilly was in one of Arizona Oncology's Clinics; and her grandmother bought her a single raffle ticket. Lilly is fighting a bone tumor and is having a rough time undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Terri Thomas, one of the foundations organizers, took some tickets to the 2 clinics she works at and sold some tickets. When Dr. Shapiro drew out the winning ticket last month; Tara & I were initially disappointed that "one of our people" didn't win the quilt; but after finding out a little about the winner; we were very happy. We believe the quilt is where it should be and I hope it will provide some cheer to Lilly. We are hoping to meet her; but her mother has not returned calls yet - so the whole privacy thing has to be sorted out first.