Update: Friday, May 31, 2002

Dewey sent some more pictures...

[ VIEW PICTURES ]


Update: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - Judy

Dear Ones who love our Debbie,

I am going to start this update by asking for your continued prayers for Debbie. We are praying for a sign from God to let her know just what course she should follow in the next few weeks especially. As she prays for wisdom each day, she waits for some sign that will let her know that the radiation & hyperthermia treatments are working. It's been about one month since any real signs of improvement have been noticed and if the radiation continues without improvement the toll it takes on her body doesn't seem to warrant is continuance. There was dramatic improvement with the radiation at first and the new treatment seems to be making some noticeable improvements but the tumor remains. These decisions are tough to make and also then to know how to follow on until the battle is won.

I returned from my 5 day journey to visit Debbie, Dewey & Aurora yesterday. Debbie was already in treatment when my plane landed so I taxied to Max & Amy's home to be greeted by 4 sweet children (Aurora & "her boys") and Amy. Aurora looks so sweet and has matured & grown so much in the last 6 months! Her greeting, "Gramma Cracker's here." was music to my ears. : ) Dewey arrived a few minutes later to take me & Aurora to Santa Monica where Debbie was being infused. She looked beautiful & radiant! Her smile was so encouraging. It was her birthday & this was the first course. After this treatment was finished, it was time to go on to the clinic in Culver City for the second round followed by a visit with her doctor. It isn't possible to wait in the room with her so I waited in the reception room where I was able to visit with some of the other patients while they waited & also to observe the way things were. It was interesting to listen to their accounts & thoughts of the treatment. As you can imagine, there was some good news and some struggles. I was especially glad to have the opportunity to sit in during the visit with Dr. Bircher, his nurse and Debbie. I must say as I weigh all I saw and heard that the bottom line is that Debbie has experienced dramatic improvement, and that is what counts. But as I said earlier, it is now decision time again.

Debbie seems to handle the treatments well. She has moments of fatigue and some emotional moments but it is truly amazing how she has coped this last 1 years. Debbie made me feel so comfortable. In addition, everyone I met had so many kind things to say about Debbie. She has touched many lives with her own. Three of the office staff gave her lovely gifts for her birthday.

Amy made a vegan pineapple upside down birthday cake for Debbie that night and we all had our time to wish Debbie Happy Birthday before it was time for her, and me, to rest. It had been a very long day. Thursday, Phyllis Rokus took us all out to supper for the second round of birthday celebrations and Saturday, I took Debbie, Dewey & Aurora out to eat at Debbie's favorite restaurant in Topenga Canyon where they serve delicious vegan entrees in a lovely setting. We sat outside under the trees beside a stream. It was a good time. Later, after we returned home, Debbie wanted to go for a walk. I must say her energy was quite evident on that walk! I was having a hard time keeping up. A big birthday party is scheduled for this Sat with friends coming from near and far to help her celebrate. All in all, a wonderful time with Debbie.

Monday thru Friday, Debbie goes to treatments that take a minimum of 3 hours of her day (more if she is scheduled to see a doctor or has additional treatments). The treatments are scheduled only a day ahead so long term planning is not possible, but she manages to handle it well. I was also encouraged to meet many of her friends at the Culver Palms Church of Christ on Sunday and to see how she interacts with others who are also suffering.

I am so thankful I was able to go. Thank you Earl & Tami for making it possible for me to be gone. Thank you, too, to Max & Amy & family for the wonderful welcome they gave me during my visit. It was hard to leave Debbie, but we all look forward to seeing them back here in Atlanta, hopefully, in June. MUCH LOVE & BIG HUGS TO ALL!

Judy/Maman/Gramma Cracker

Debbie


Update: Sunday, May 26, 2002 - Debbie

Thank you all for your birthday messages that just warm my heart and make me smile. I love you! An update is coming soon about the birthday festivities and my mom's visit (so great to have her here!), but meanwhile, please pray really hard that we will see some tumor reduction on Tuesday. Sylvia really zapped the area on Friday with the hopes that we'll see some good stuff after the 3-day weekend. Thank you for joining us in that earnest prayer. May you all have lovely times and many blessings.

Debbie


Update: Sunday, May 12, 2002 - Debbie

Dewey just gave me the most beautiful and moving Mother's Day card, and I just came from church where Deborah, who has advanced leukemia, and her son Justin were baptized. She is my age and her son, who is 19 and a marine, exudes so much love and admiration for her. Both of these things touched me deeply and I am thankful for these gifts on this day.

I am also so thankful to be Aurora's maman. To be here to celebrate her third birthday, to watch her growing into such a thoughtful and beautiful person. I thank God for every day he gives me with her. What a gift!

Since I last wrote only good things have continued to happen. The healing continues. And God has answered my prayer, enabling me to fully embrace this healing without wondering how long it will last. I had my second Herceptin treatment on May 1st and will have the next one on my birthday on the 22nd. My mom will arrive that day too!! I have so missed my family and this is the best birthday present.

And the latest good news came this week. When I inquired if it could ever be possible to make an exeption to extend my insurance coverage for a month, I was told that it had never been done but that they would check. They called back the next day and said that due to my being at the end of a course of treatment that was working, they will extend it an extra month, but that's the limit. Praise God!!! Dr. Bicher believes that the extra time will give us the chance to eradicate the cancer in my breasts as well as treat some of the bones, if necessary. The combination of Herceptin with the radiation/hyperthermia treatments has worked in reducing the tumors in the left breast to maybe nothing now. We've also been watching much of the skin and tissue in the right breast slowly return to normal! Since that first Herceptin infusion, I have had no new pain in my bones. We began giving the original group of external tumors, the stubborn "mother" group, an extra dose of radiation each day and hope to see results next week. The miracle of healing is exciting to watch. God is so faithful! And your blessings and prayers are being heard! It is powerful.

May I ask you to pray for the resolution of the cancer in the breasts. That we may leave here within the extended coverage time able to rejoice in the healing and without misgivings.

You have all given strength and encouragement, so faithfully, to me. Thank you so much. I hope you can feel the love I am sending your way. You are all such a blessing to me. Happy Mother's Day!!

I love you,
Debbie


Update: Monday, Apr. 29, 2002

Dewey sent some more pictures...

[ VIEW PICTURES ]


Update: Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2002

Debbie's cancer support group (about 15 in all) got a night out on the town. It was a dinner at which her cancer support group leader, Lynne Filbert, was being honored. Lynne's father bought tickets for their whole group to this $250/seat dinner! Rob Lowe's grandmother and great grandmother both died of breast cancer and so he has been a big advocate. Steve Gutenberg was also there to show support. Looks like they had a great time.

[ VIEW PICTURES ]


Update: Monday, Apr. 15, 2002 - Aurora

I am fine, and quite easy to take care of these days, as I can
get into stuff and amuse myself for ages. In fact I've has made a Photo
diary for you.
I also made up a poem...

"Prechous darlin angel girl, princess of the prairie,
Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, Tinkerbell the fairy!"

Please tak a look at my photo diary.

Aurora

[ MY PHOTO DIARY ]


Update: Sunday, Apr. 14, 2002 - Debbie

My heart sings for joy reading your messages, picturing you, so happy to be "in touch" and to know of your prayers on my behalf. Thank you so much. I see God's intervening hand in so many ways and times and places... wow. Thank you for beseeching Him for me. Once again He steps in to assure that I am getting the most from my treatments. My body always responds! That is a miracle too. I keep being in the positive smaller percent, always!

There have been some really sad times lately, losses of lives of people I love... the pain of loss never lessens and it always comes as a shock. Thank God we have one another and that we are truly a community, helping each other out. There is so much love around! I feel it every day. I am always humbled and amazed at your love. Thank you so much!

Last week was full of doctor's appointments and visits to determine what we would do about the fact that tumors (in my left breast) grew despite the drugs I was taking. We decided to start me on Herceptin, the "special" drug we've been holding in reserve. Although it has an even greater potential when combined with chemo, we decided to start it on its own first. I had my first infusion on Thursday and will have one every three weeks, along with the new Aredia drug, Zometa.

Herceptin works by binding to the multiple Her2nue receptor sites on my cancer cells, thwarting their efforts to make the cancer grow so aggressively. It has minimal side effects with the greatest danger being cardiotoxicity. I prayed for the first hour of the infusion that the drug would hit all the receptor sites, that none could hide, that I would be in the percentage that Herceptin works for, that my heart would be protected, that my liver and kidneys would deal effectively with eliminating the drug and dead cancer cells... About five days earlier, my left hip had begun aching again and I needed an effective systemic treatment to deal with all my bone mets. When I got up after the infusion I felt no more ache in my hip when I walked! It is definitely better and is a sign to me that the drug is working! Praise God!! I would appreciate prayers for the healing to continue, for all the tumors to melt away.

May you be surprised by blessings this week. I love you. Debbie

Debbie Franklin dfranklins@compuserve.com


Update: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2002 - Debbie

REJOICE with me! The PET scan showed NO NEW SPREAD - all the vital organs are still clear!! The new lumps in the left breast just barely light up and therefore we have caught them early. I've had 3 radiation / hyperthermia treatments on them, while giving the right breast a break due to my first-time radiation burns there. The cancer continues to retreat in the face of this treatment - praise God! The bone mets in my hips light up the strongest on the scan and I am considering having Dr, Bicher treat them as well once we get the breasts under control. The 3 spots on the spine were not as intensely dark as the hips - a good sign. There are multiple mets in the pelvic area and other places, but nothing that we didn't see on the Feb. bone scan. I meet with Dr. Martino (my oncologist here) a week on Monday to discuss adding a weekly Herceptin infusion to my regimen. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody that directly deals with the Her2nue protein my tumor highly overexpresses. It's one of the ways this cancer is aggressive and Herceptin potentially robs it of that "weapon". The main bad part is it is toxic to the heart. It's been known to put BC into remission when nothing else would. It could hopefully knock out my bone mets!! They usually couple it with the chemo agent Taxotere. But as I'm currently doing radiation, we would infuse it alone. I'll let you know what we decide.

Thank you again and again with many kisses for your love and prayers... I felt an army of angels ministering to me during the PET scan. God is listening and protecting my organs. I cannot express how relieved and happy I am right now. One year ago today I had my biopsy. And tomorrow, Good Friday, is the anniversary of my diagnosis. It is hard to believe. And I am so thankful for every day, every moment. Thank you for sticking with me this whole roller coaster ride. It is not over yet, but we are witnessing God's healing hands and just how open His ears are to our cries. I love you all. Happy Easter!!!

debbie


Update: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2002 - Debbie

Thank you for your love and prayers. This has been a difficult couple of weeks and I have needed encouragement. Some good news: the insurance has approved the PET scan!!! and, although the MRI was of the left breast (to see about the new tumors), it showed the right one sometimes. Dr. Bicher felt that it looked like the cancer is greatly reduced in that breast. We will get a proper reading soon. Hallelujah! This is also the first day in forever that I feel like going somewhere. We worshipped at Culver Palms this morning and are going to the beach this afternoon. I am eating better too and therefore have more energy. I had managed to get down to 115 from not eating lately... but making Thai curry changed the trend. :) I also slept much better last night than in quite a while. We are making the most of the day. I love you all so much.

debbie


Update: Thursday, Mar. 21, 2002 - Debbie

Reading all of the messages coming in, I feel held close. Thank you my friends - your love and faithfulness always blow me away. May angels visit you always.

Last night, as I lay on the MRI table in that claustrophobic space with my arms above my head, hearing the machine gun-like sounds of the scanner for an hour, I kept imagining all of you, like angels floating above and around me, smiling kindly. I listened to the Healing Beauty cd and could imagine myself at a Praying for the Rain concert and all the light and people who would create their unforgettable ambiance. I truly felt God drawing me closer to Him as the machine did its thing, probing the other breast, the left one...

I found out today that it's 99% sure that the two "lumps", one 1 cm and the other (the one I found a few days ago) 3 - 4 cm, are cancer. And it didn't show up in the Jan. MRI and so is on the move. This IBC is so aggressive. But thankfully we caught this one early on and Dr. Bicher feels that he can eliminate these lumps fairly quickly because of that. Meanwhile, the right breast is SO MUCH BETTER that I am confident that this is true.

I need your prayers for several things:

-that the insurance company will agree to cover a PET scan (so we can be 100% sure of the diagnosis and to see ANY other evidence of cancer in my body).

-that the current treatment continues to work and that it works quickly for these new tumors.

-that none of us will ever lose hope or give in to discouragement.

On a good note, after suffering incredibly awful withdrawals from the MS Contin (morphine) over the weekend, I believe it is finally out of my system and I HAVE NO MORE PAIN!!! Praise God. That's one less drug in my system.

I love you all so much. I miss contact with you. I look forward to a time when I can see you and receive you at our lovely home en France...

Blessings to you.
debbie franklin


Update: Saturday, Mar. 16, 2002 - Dewey's e-Mail

This weekend we have come up to Camarillo to have a reunion of friends. Gene and Gerard, Ric Vorhaus from San Francisco, and Keith and M. Labnau who came up from Arizona.

Although Debbie's present therapy is going well, and the breast is actually 70 percent better, this past week we have noticed some new growth. The doctor says this does happen sometimes with very stubborn cancers, and although he is still confident that he can he can get it all, it could take an extra few months. They have upped the rads of radiation a bit since, which should help.

This, of course, didn't make Debbie very happy as she was getting her heart set on going home before it's too late to plant her vegetable garden this year. She needs to accept that that's not going to happen this year unless I find some angels or elves to do it for us! Maybe there's someone out there in Cyberland who is interested in an adventure in France for a couple months?

Also, the timing could get a bit close as far as our American insurance coverage is concerned, But it's not yet time to worry about that. In fact, today she has noticed the new growth is reducing slightly, which is, of course, a very good sign and may mean that we're not that far off scedule anyway. We have learned that every new day anything can happen, and often does! So we're staying with our plan of getting home as we hoped, and go with the flow.

Debbie needs encouragement at this time, so keep the messages coming in. She still intends to write her update asap but still is not well enough.

Dewey

[ VIEW NEW PICTURES ]


Update: Thursday, Mar. 7 - Some Pictures Received from Debbie and Dewey

Again, here is a portion of an email Fritz received from Dewey yesterday with some news in it (Hope this is o.k. to post, Dewey!)


Debbies asleep right now, 3 in afternoon. and has therapy in 2 hours. she sleeps alot still, the therapy does that, but she has halved her dose of morphine, and will try more in a few weeks...
Im watching aurora and scooby do. we saw shrek last night, its got some funny bits.
Ive taken on 3 jobs here, but just hope i'll be afforded the time to get them done. debbie says we leave in 5-6 weeks, but we still need to meet with the doctor about that. We do need to be home before june because of the insurance thing, but debbie wants to be home some time in april to plant her vegetable garden. or it will be too late. I myself dont care, but wont leave here untill the doctor is happy about it.
Aurora asked to go back to atlanta twice last week. when we do come back, i imagine it will be for 2-3 weeks, to pack up everything and ship it home. etc.
thats all for now, except that ill get debbie to write an update soon as poss.
Love Dewey


Update: Thursday, Feb. 28 - Some Pictures Received from Debbie and Dewey

Debbie, Chris and Diane

Debbie and Aurora

Debbie in the Hospital

Aurora's Bedroom

Aurora Dancing with Charlton

Debbie and Aurora


Update: Thursday, Feb. 21 - Dewey

(Following is a portion of an email Tami and Fritz received from Dewey yesterday with some news in it)


"Diane came down from San Francisco to help us out for a week or so, its been like a holiday, but sadly she needs to leave tomorrow.

Debbie's therapy is working well, her breast is 60-70 per cent better now. But it does wear her down, and the fatigue is hard on her both physically and emotionally. But Shes hangin in there!

The problem now is the new bone tumors they found, and the 3 in the spine are worrying, she needs to just be careful physically. They will move on to treating them when her breast is 90 percent better. But I dont think we will have enough time left in America before our health insurance expires. We need to be back in Europe before June for our insurance to continue. Since being here I have sold 3 paintings, and have 2 murals to fit into our remaining time here. Praise the Lord for that.

I did have my 2 root canalled teeth removed 3 weeks ago, and I feel much better for it, but I do still have swollen glands in the neck, blocked ear and a few more symptoms in that area which I'm not pleased about. If they don't go away in time it may be something unrelated which i will need to seek help about when opportunity permits.

The Ellzey family who we live with here continue to be more than wonderful to us. They have treated us like family would."


Update: Monday, Feb. 18 - Debbie

Oh, all of you dear loving friends... thank you for being there so powerfully in my moment of great need. Please rest your minds and know that I am so much better now. We are calling it an "episode" that remains a mystery. It was so scary and the pain was so intense and just kept escalating until they injected the morphine. But I was able to leave the hospital five days later, after a night of no recurrances. I went home and caught up on sleep for the rest of that week and the following one. I slowly resumed my "normal" activities and now am essentially fully restored to my routine. I am continuing treatments at VCI and continue to see the external tumors shrink away! In fact, the morning of the attack, I awoke amazed at how much healing had taken place so far. It seems that the episode was a reminder not to let my guard down, nor to take anything for granted. I must keep focused and diligent. I have renewed all of the healing things I have done and pray that God will continue to bless the healing process. He is an awesome God. Even through the hospital experience, all of the nurses and techs were like angels. The doctors were thorough and caring. My roomate was a joy. There were many blessings in that strange hospital world (I felt a bit like I was on another planet!).

There is one real shadow that remains. They did every conceivable test to try to find out what caused the attacks. One of them was a bone scan. It was extra hard to be away from Aurora again, but the hardest part was the result - new spots on my spine. Dr. Martino told me that it seemed I had disease progression (dreaded words) and that we needed to consider changing my drugs (Aredia and hormone therapy) as the cancer seemed to have "figured" them out already. I was very sad those few days. However, when I saw her last Monday, she wasn't convinced I had disease progression and it was possible ( a long shot, but possible) that the new spots occurred during a 2-week window following my November bone scan and before the second hormone drug kicked in. Next Monday we will decide whether or not to do further scans to try to determine if indeed the cancer is progressing in my bones or not. These 2 weeks she wanted to keep everything as much like the weeks prior to the attacks as possible. And so far, so good. Please pray for no disease progression and for continued healing. Thank you for the way you diligently pray for me. Your love, prayers and messages encourage me so much. Thank you for never abandoning me. I love you.

May you feel my hugs and kisses,
Debbie


Update: Tuesday, Feb. 5 - Earl Bridges

Dearest Friends of Bridges and Debbie,

This past Saturday night, Feb 2, Debbie was taken by ambulance to the hospital with acute severe pain and difficulty breathing. Since then, every test imaginable has been done and some re-done to try and determine the cause. As of this AM, no cause has been found. Bone scans will be done today to see if the cause is hairline (or other ) fractures in her collarbone, shoulder etc. (possibly caused by the radiation treatments).

Debbie says the pain she has from these "pain attacks" is worse than anything she has ever experienced. She is on an I.V. in order to inject pain medication as soon as an attack hits.

She, as well as all of us, urgently request prayers on her behalf. The doctors cannot say for sure that these episodes are cancer-related or caused by some other problem. Debbie remains in the hospital and we pray that she will be released soon.

Thank you for your faithful prayers - we will keep updated.

May God bless each of you-
Earl & Judy Bridges & Family


Update: Sunday, Feb. 3 - Fritz

Last night Debbie and Dewey went to a movie during which Debbie had extreme chest pains and difficulty breathing. They were taken to the hospital where she has been on morphine all night. They also have been taking catscans of Debbie's chest area. They are moving her to St. John's hospital sometime today so she can be closer to her oncologist. Dewey indicated that they might be able to go home today. The doctors think it may be one of two things: a torn esophogus, which happens frequently to patients undergoing radiation therapy, or pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the lungs. This morning the pain moved from one side of the chest to the other which the doctors said was a good sign. Debbie called and asked that we let everyone know so that you will be praying for her today. Please pray for Debbie and ask everyone you know to be in prayer for her.


Update: Thursday, Jan. 31 - Debbie

I don't know why I didn't think of this before??! Every now and then I get to go online on someone else's computer, as our compuserve has been down for so long now. I have held you all in my heart and mind during these last few weeks as I watch the tumors shrink, slowly but oh so surely! I've wanted to share with you how this treatment is going. It does take up much of the day, 3 hours there and sometimes as many hours in naps. I was told that the fatigue I feel now and then is from my body dealing with the debris of so many cancer cells dying - so, bring it on! I sleep till noon lately (when I can). There is so much I want to do, but I have to forfeit those things whenever anything about my healing needs doing. I'm fine with that.

I am really enjoying the young adults support group at the Wellness Community on Tuesday nights. The majority of women there have breast cancer and are in their 30's. The others are dealing some crazy cancers elsewhere. It would seem that cancer in this age-group is on the rise. I wish there was something I could do about it...

We spent the last two weekends with friends around the area. Two weeks ago, we spent the night with Yak and his folks. Aurora loved playing with older girls for a change. (She adores "her boys" though. They play from morning till night and it's so fun to watch them interact! We, the parents, are constantly amazed and entertained.) It was a lovely visit, followed by surprising the Sierra Madre Church of Christ the next morning. They are the ones who manage the fund that has been allowing us to live without working throughout this journey. It was great to meet everyone there and to see some of our loved ones too: Joe and Tari Rokus and family (Arurora and Jennifer got to "do" Sunday school together), and Maurice and Marie Hall. On the way home we stopped at Phyllis' house to hug everyone there. We hadn't seen her folks since our arrival before Christmas.

Last weekend we went sailing with Peggy, Travis and Brandon Cooksey! Although it was very calm, we got to experience the quiet of the boat gliding over the water for part of the time. Aurora fell asleep in my arms as we sat at the prow, wrapped in blankets, with Peggy and Brandon. We spent the evening on the docks for a party (I actually slept in the most cozy, comfortable bed inside). Before we left the next day, Peggy and Travis lavished on us tons of lemons, oranges, tangerines and avacados - yum!! We got to meet Ron Beale's Claudia too, as he helped Dewey try to sort out our computer stuff. It's so fun to have so many "old" friends around here. To get to participate a little in their lives. It's part of the blessing.

I left you all hanging about Dewey's surprise birthday party on the 11th. It truly was. He had no idea. And Amy worked tirelessly all day on getting the place ready for it as well as making two beautiful cakes. Malia and Yak came over to help. Dewey thought Malia came over early to babysit Aurora so that we could have a bit of time alone together before dinner. We flew kites on the beach until the sun went down. It was a priceless time. I will let Dewey tell you about the party and the rest of his news (and boy does he have some!).

Aurora loves to reply, "not for days and weeks" instead of just "no". She continues to grow into a fascinating and lovely child. She asks almost every day if she can "kiss your boo boo maman" to make it better. And you know, it is getting better!

I got amazing results back from my MRI and x-ray. There is no tumor mass on the chest wall! and no "focal nodule" in the glandular tissue! The tumor is confined to the skin of the breast, albeit a thick layer of it, hence the hardness of the breast. There is also alot of water retention causing some of the hardness. But no mass inside, attached to tissue, means less work for the treatment I'm doing! There is also nothing in the other breast, nor in the lungs - hooray!!! God continues to keep His healing hands on me. IBC has the potential to spread over the whole torso and to the thighs, so the fact that mine is confined to the one breast is a miracle in itself. And what is there is shrinking - praise God!

I thank you, on my knees, humbled by your ceaseless prayers on my behalf. Your love continues to wash over me. I have so much hope. I can see myself into the future. Thank you for being by my side throughout this long long journey.

I love you. May you see new blessings in your life today.

debbie franklin


Update: Thursday, Jan. 10 - Debbie

Finally, a moment to write to you all. It's been an intense few weeks, and in between treatments and doctor's visits and scans, I have often needed to sleep. But I want all of you to know how blessed and calm I feel overall. How I think of all of you praying for me and sending me healing thoughts. This gives me great peace and hope.

The Ellzeys are wonderful hosts. They continually make us feel so comfortable and welcome. Aurora loves "her boys" and they are all still fascinated with each other. Each day is a blessing.

The treatment is basically 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. So far, we only know from one day to the next what time treatment will be! It truly makes us take one day at a time, although it would be nice to have some idea and create some sort of routine or schedule. Fortunately, the clinic is only 10 minutes away! Often, Dewey and Aurora drop me off and pick me up. I either do radiation before or after the 2 hyperthermia treatments. It takes 15 minutes with setting up each shot. Sometimes there is a wait for various reasons. During the actual treatment, I imagine the cancer cells as gratefully coming into the light to be relieved of their destructive life. As they can't die on their own, they are happy to be "helped" in ending the evil they are doing to me. I imagine thousands of them rushing to be the ones who get "zapped" each time. (Pretty good, eh?)

I mostly enjoy the hyperthermia treatments. They are two 45-minute sessions on one of three machines, each with their own "personality". I don't really like the ultrasound machine - it's pretty uncomfortable for me at this point. The two microwave machines are wonderful. The heat feels good (they get to 42 C) and after a few minutes I am so relaxed that I fall into a deep sleep. So I get good rest then. All of the techs are lovely people and very caring as well.

Dewey had made me a sort of cage/basket protection device to wear under my clothes. (One friend thought it was my actual breast! Very funny moment). It has become invaluable during these treatments as the external tumors are oozing stuff 24/7. They are shrinking, albeit slowly. It is good to see this! I met with Dr. Martino (my oncologist here) and with Dr. Matt (the Chinese herb guy who did wonders for me before) this week and both said things are positive thus far! I had an MRI of the breast and a chest x-ray today. It will be interesting to see exactly what the internal tumor looks like. I did NOT like having the MRI - not fun! I had my Aredia infusion on Tuesday at St. John's in Santa Monica AND got my 3-monthly shot of Lupron this time (Zolodex last time). I'm still on the pain medicine and the Arimidex and Iscador. We got some great vegan cook books and enjoy trying the tasty recipes. Juices continue to be an important part of our daily routine. It is great that the Wellness Community is in Santa Monica, just 15 minutes away. We are slowly getting into the groove.

I've just felt a bit out of touch and like I'm on another planet lately. I miss everyone. I look forward to seeing all of our California friends. If we couldn't be with my family in Atlanta, this is the best place for us to be - isn't God SO GOOD?! I can see His had all along the way...

Dewey turns 42 tomorrow. He said he doesn't want to even think about his birthday, that he doesn't have time... we shall see.

I love you. Thank you for being there for us, for me. Please feel the hugs and kisses I am sending now.

Blessings, Debbie


Update: Tuesday, Jan. 7 - Dewey

Stop Press
Yesterday, we saw the first visual signs of the tumors reducing in size!
Update coming soon...
Dewey


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