Friday, August 4, 2017

Looking Up We Think

This week Kay had her second weekly infusion of Taxol, after getting the Taxol plus Avastin last week. Each 4 week cycle consists of Taxol + Avastin week 1. Taxol alone week 2, Taxol + Avastin week 3, then a week off to recover.  Our hope is that the Avastin will allow the Taxol to work well enough to cause regression of Kay's cancer and relief of her discomfort and other cancer-related symptoms.
Almost immediately after the first infusion Kay seemed like she could feel things getting marginally better.  Now, only 9 days into therapy she is pretty sure she is a little bit improved.  Her energy is noticeably better, her belly swelling (ascites) is slightly less, and overall she just is in  less pain.  These are subjective markers of improvement, but really the purpose of this treatment at this point is to feel better, improve day-to-day function, and have less pain, so we are pretty happy about her response so far.
On the non-cancer front we have sold our house in Puyallup and are hoping to move to Tacoma by the end of August.  We had tried to purchase a new construction home in Old Town but the legal issues over wetland permitting and mitigation simply made this untenable, and so we dropped that attempt and feel like God was smiling on us.  Literally 30 minutes after deciding no longer to try to buy that house we looked at a condo a few blocks away.  
Both of us really like the place, the location, the floor plan and the view, and we have had an offer n that place accepted and pending our inspection plan to close on the sale before we have to leave our Puyallup home August 28th.
Thanks for all the support, prayers and thoughts of all of our friends and family.  Fay, Kay's Mom has sent daily cards with ideas for hats and scarves for Kay after she loses her hair.  They have been a daily cause to smile and be grateful for Kay's whole family.  Kay's Puyallup friends have been visiting regularly, bringing flowers, goodies, and love when Kay has really needed it.  Pastor Paul has been helpful for all of us, and many other friends and relatives have reached out with help and support.  I talk to my brother Bill regularly and it's nice to have his ear and virtual shoulder.
Jean is home and her partner Alan is visiting from Mexico.  He is a really nice fellow, and we are enjoying his company.  Brett and Taylor have been a constant support and we are grateful for both of our children.
Keep up the prayers, especially for confirmation that the chemo is helping fight the cancer and that Kay keeps on feeling better.  Although she is feeling a little better, we are hoping for "more better" than it is now.

With all our love,

Ed & Kay

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Latest on Kay

I'm back to posting on this family blog because once again we have news that we want to get out to friends about Kay's cancer that she and I just don't have the energy to pass on personally to all of our supporters, friends, and loved ones.  You are all in our thoughts and prayers, and we very much need and want your continued prayers for comfort, peace and good response to therapy.
After 8 years and 2+ months of fighting ovarian cancer, incredibly successfully much of the time, the cancer has seemed to enter an accelerated phase where after a 4 1/2 year remission at least 4 different treatment attempts have failed to stop its progression more than transiently.
Kay, Jean and I met with Dr. Elizabeth Swisher today at U. W. and it was not difficult to read her emotions on her face.  Dr. Swisher is usually a bundle of positive energy.  Kay once asked Dr. Swisher if she was her favorite guinea pig, having responded to her expert treatment so successfully. Dr. Swisher responded from her heart, telling Kay that she was one of her favorite people.  Today we could see a hint of sadness, of lack of good news to share, in her face and demeanor.
We have known since the first recurrence of Kay's ovarian cancer that further treatments had the expectation of knocking the cancer back, keeping it from progressing, and buying time hoping for a big breakthrough.  Even during her 4+ year remission following her third round of aggressive chemotherapy no one was bold enough to use the "cure" word. The bad news is that Kay's cancer growth has morphed into a phase where it seems to be relentlessly growing quickly. Kay is feeling more and more symptoms from the cancer, but overall most days remain good enough that she chooses to to accept further anticancer treatment.  That said, realistically we are starting to accept that treatment needs to be focused on reducing her symptoms and giving her as many days as possible where her pain, fatigue and other suffering do not outweigh the joys and happiness of life. Her physicians don't have treatment options with a very high likelihood of shrinking or even halting its growth.
That said Dr. Swisher had good suggestions.  Kay is going to try another course of chemotherapy, using a lower dose of Taxol weekly, rather than a higher dose every 3 weeks.  This may slow the growth of her tumor, or get it to regress for a while. with less side effects than a higher less frequent dosing regimen.  In addition we are hopeful that it will get rid of the ascites (peritoneal fluid in her abdomen) and pleural effusion (fluid around her lungs) that is causing bloating, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath.  We also have ideas on how to help with her nausea and fatigue, as well as her gastrointestinal difficulties under better control.
What we ask most of all of you is your continued prayers, that you try to be supportive of each other when possible and that you remember that Kay is the same Kay as always, she just has this relentless disease that makes her sick.  She will love phone calls, company and a good laugh, and maybe a good cry occasionally, but just cannot cry with each of you individually.  Kay told me that "our bucket of tears keeps running dry," and it just takes too much energy to be sad with everyone she loves.  Please prayerfully find a  way to treat Kay normally while acknowledging that it is a hard time and that she is not well.
Our love to all of you.

Kay & Ed