Much as Leah's last post-Never A Dull Moment-started out, so does this. "After hitting a wall in regards to my ailing digestive issues", Leah was once again, yesterday (Mon 10-15-12), admitted into the hospital in Eau Claire. After continuous vomiting and pain thru the weekend she needed some relief. Upon admittance, she was placed on the lovely fourth floor, of the new wing, where the rooms are modern and spacious. Dr. Basu lead the "charge", ordering blood work and hydration. The blood work showed moderate/severe dehydration which was causing kidney problems (back pain), exhaustion/weakness, etc. She was also given meds to ease her pain. Next she was put back on TPN (a liquid nutrition treatment that is "fed" thru her powerport directly into the blood). This is the same treatment they used last January (for 10 days) when her digestive system shutdown. She will realistically be fed this way for the next few days, until she stabilizes and gains some strength back.
Ok. Next is the one test result that, in the former post, we had not yet received. One week ago today, Leah went to Menomonie to have a follow up with Dr. Basu and get hydrated. ( Note-we figure that in the past two months, there has been roughly 7 or maybe 8 days that Leah did NOT vomit, so she has been getting hydration more often ). She was informed that the blood/tumor marker, known as CA 19-9, was elevated, up in the 300 range. Normal is below 50. So they took another blood draw and sent it off to the lab. Those results, testing the same marker, have gone up another 70 points in the 2 weeks between the 2 tests.
So it is now being discussed about starting a new chemo round later this week. This time the thought is, only 1 med, a moderate amount of it, weekly, with weekly monitoring of the blood markers, to rate the effectiveness of the med. this new med/chemo has a name I'm not yet familiar with, though we're told it goes after pancreatic cancers. We will know more about this as the week progresses.
As I sit here waiting for Leah to call back, I see the caring bridge photo and My Story description that begins, "On March 28th, Leah received the news.....". In the photo, taken that evening when we got home, I see or maybe rather remember the shock and the hope that we felt. It's hard to believe that was over a year and a half ago. Leah has been through so much. These days, her appearance has changed (on the rare occasion that we go out in public, she is often not recognized) and she wears the signs of her battle proudly. But it has taken a toll. She is so strong and brave, but also so weak. She is tired. She needs a break. So I sit here, praying and hoping that her body will react in a positive way to the treatment....and her digestive system will wake up, much as it did last winter, and she can be able to eat some solid food, and avoid more chemo, and be able to come home, and sleep, and walk, and go out for lunch, and draw some new pictures, and write some new stories, and play some music, and laugh, and live. Come on universe, please give Leah a break. She deserves it.
Leah, I love you and miss you. Please come home sooner than later......Rob