It's been a long time since we posted but we have great news! Jeniece's PET scan showed that her tumors are not growing and are even slightly smaller and one has shrunk 50%!!!! The Oncologist said that he is shocked (this is normally fast growing cancer) and wants her to keep on doing what she's doing. He recommends another PET scan in a few months to verify no further growth.
It's been a very difficult week. There were 3 cancer patients here, Jeniece, Tina from California and Ilse (dutch spelling for Elsa) from Toronto. Tina and Ilse were in very advanced stages of their diseases. Tina passed last week and Ilse passed early Wednesday morning. Jeniece was truly a gift for Ilse's husband Marty as she supported him during that painful morning. Some might say this was a reason for us to be here. Marty spent much of the morning with us as he cried, shared stories of how they met, how he was blown away by her beautiful singing voice and how he fell for her. It's beautiful how our beloved Jeniece connects with people with her kindness and love. Today Jeniece had some bone marrow removed. It was spun in the centrifuge, "cleaned" and then the stem cells returned to her in an IV. Yay, the last major treatment is complete!!! This is supposed to give the immune system a major boost to fight the cancer. Now we're in the home stretch with easy treatments over the weekend and then home Monday. We can't wait to get away from the desert and home to cool fresh air, family, friends and football (well, maybe not football for Jeniece). P.S. Jeniece is throwing a pizza party for the staff at 3pm today. Should be fun.
The girls are here!! Katie and Laura arrived yesterday morning. They've been a much needed break from the routine. They've got us all laughing and having fun. One of the staff said they are keeping Katy and Laura. Take a look at the picture gallery to see them in action.
It's a bit like ground hogs day here, everyday is the same. I'm getting through most of the treatments by 2 or 3. We do a short walk afterwards but can't go far due to the heat. Saw a local women walking while holding a white bed sheet above her head and around her body to block the sun. I had my first Dendritic treatment with no side effects, yeah. The nurses excitedly came running and said look out the window. They were so excited because a rain cloud was passing over us (this being the driest city in Mexico). One nurse told us that she has never seen the ocean or snow. Another reminder of how fortunate our lives are. The day's are rolling by and next Thursday Katie and Laura are coming to lighten our lives. Looking forward to seeing them!!!!
Today, along with my other therapies, I started Dendritic cell therapy which involves taking blood and activating and multiplying the killer cells and returning it to me the next day. Protocols are keeping me pretty busy most of the day. I can only imagine Ron must be bored out of his mind since its literally hotter than hell outside. All in all it's a very sweet experience. The doctors and nurses are incredibly kind and sweet. They are genuinely interested and make our every comfort their goal. This is a true private hospital with only 18 beds and 8 are the cancer ward. We found a fantastic coffee shop which serves amazing coffee (it's not cheap!).
We have arrived and the staff could not be sweeter. Not just nice, but really really sweet. Treatments have begun and so far all is well. Feels like a long time to be here. Also, driving here feels like Mexico, not some luxury resort. Now that I have settled in and met with the doctor, I feel like they are really pulling for me. It's going to be a good experience but long. They asked that we don't leave the building in the afternoons because the temperature is usually 115 or 120 and it's unsafe for us. Yow!
As I am packing up and putting things into the suitcase, I keep getting pinged on the phone with the well wishes of friends and family. I am overwhelmed with the out pouring of peoples love and support. What an incredibly great world we live in. Even as there is a swirl of partisan politics causing so much stress in peoples lives, it's nice to know we can create our own circle of love. While having this diagnosis can be very troubling to the mind, every time I start up with fear, I remind myself no one has control of my thoughts but me and only I can create heaven to live in.
I am excited about this trip like a Olympian athlete entering the stadium on Friday before the games start with all possibilities before them. I am determined to make everyday count during my treatment giving it my all in mind, body and spirit. You can help by holding the vision of me being healthy, hiking in my beloved mountains, dancing with spirit. Please do not hold concern or worry in your hearts. It does me no good and may in fact hold me back.
We will be staying at the CMN hospital in the desert in San Luis, just over the border from Yuma Az. Ron gets his own bed in our room. It's been running 110-115 degrees and I fear Ron may melt before we get home. We are so fortunate to be having our friends Laura and Katy come for a visit for 5 days and then Nora and NeaL for 5 days. Who could believe we would be so surrounded by love.
Sending you so much gratitude for all your incredible support and love. It has already been an awesome journey even though difficult at times, with so many experiences of the heart that were never expected. Thank you for traveling on this journey of the heart.
As many of you know, Jeniece has chosen alternative care for her cancer. Currently, she is undergoing treatments 3 days a week with Dr. Nigh at the Immersion Health clinic in south east Portland. She knew she had found her tribe at Immersion when there were singing bowls in the doctors office. On Aug. 2 she travels to New York for a previously planned event and will return home on Aug. 6. We will then travel to the CMN clinic in San Luis Mexico (next to Yuma AZ) for 28 days of treatments. We leave on Aug. 13 and will return home on Sept. 10. She is upbeat and positive and is already making friends in the alternative care community.