:Weekend update

A quick weekend update before digging out so Carol can take Suzanne to work. Her Jeep is in the garage. Again. Sleek Sue and I will follow a bit later. Zena and Wyatt are scheduled to have some baby teeth removed. Wouldn’t ya know, it started snowing last night. It’s too dark to tell if it’s still snowing this morning.

Saturday was quite a day, preceded by a night worried about Rocky, Rick’s dad who was staying with us. The night before he almost woke Rick up at 3AM to take him down off the mountain. He couldn’t catch his breath. Next time I hear that from someone, I’m making sure they stay in Denver!!! Friday night he was breathing really fast, hardly exhaling. This was after we all went to bed. Rick asked him if he was alright and Rocky said yes. I stayed awake another hour, hoping to hear his breathing level out. It slowed down a bit, but still way too fast! Both Rick and I were nervous, wondering if we should call 911 or wake him up and take down the hill. Saturday morning Rick told him he needed to stay in Denver because the altitude was affecting him. He never should have stayed at this altitude because he has pulmonary disease! By Sunday, Rocky was back to himself.
The tumor was 4.4 cm. The neurosurgeon was able to remove all but about 1 mm, which is fingered out around a blood vessel. This was not unexpected and something he had talked to Chris and Herman about; supposedly the only complication he foresaw. He was very happy with the way surgery went, including being able to aggressively cauterize remaining tissue, which cuts off the blood supply to the tumor. The remaining cancerous tissue will be able to be radiated using pinpoint technology, possibly a gamma knife or a cyber knife. We saw her a couple hours after surgery. She smiled, lifted a hand and said, “done.”

And on Sunday morning she was ready to eat! The physical therapist had been by before we arrived and had Chris standing up on a stool by the bed. Everything seems to be working correctly, confirmed by a few tests Dr. Duke did while we were there. Chris is in good spirits, has all her wits about her and will be moved out of ICU this morning.


Besides the smile, note the carpenter’s level hanging off that rack. Her surgery was done using some kind of Stealth Guided Computer Assisted Navigation system…the latest technology. But the machine tracking her blood pressure isn’t working correctly. Not sure how the level is suppose to fix that, but I couldn’t resist getting a photo!

The other day Kathy asked me why is Chris my hero. She’s my hero because she has accepted her situation, from the beginning, with grace and dignity. She doesn’t whine about it; she simply looks at what must be done to buy more time, as long as it’s quality time. “I’m buying myself some more time.” Her positive outlook has surely helped her defy the odds. The survival rate for IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer) is 30% is the first year. Chris has passed the five year mark. Yesterday, the occupational therapist asked her about her long-term goal. To play a round of golf, was the reply. You can bet she’ll be doing that later this spring. Or this summer.

Kathy also wondered what has touched me the most. My family, I suppose. Saturday afternoon, Rick and Nate picked me up from Clothes Day – would that be Clothes Quarter Day? – and I joined the rest of the family at the hospital. After surgery, Dr. Duke entered the waiting room, took a look and commented on how many of us there were (seven). “That’s the way we roll!” my niece Emilie replied.

2 Comments on “:Weekend update”

  1. Kathy says:

    The level is like a talisman of protection for Chris from carpenter Rick!

  2. katy says:

    Your Chris is a hero to us all, Debby. Please tell her that. My mother, who battled her way through cancer many years ago, also did so with a grace and dignity that inspires me to this day. She taught me how to live one day at a time, to enjoy each moment, and to cherish life and love.
    Spring comes this week, and with it, officially, The Season of Renewed Hope!

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