Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sinus pain, backaches and blurry vision

This is Lynn's husband, Joe.  A few weeks ago, Lynn started to experience sinus headaches.  Since it was accompanied by congestion, we hoped that it was a sinus infection.  The clinic prescribed her an antibiotic.  Dayquil completely eliminated the pain.

Then she started getting backaches, and her vision began to get blurry in one eye.  By then, we were truly worried and got her in to see the cancer doctors and to get an MRI.  The scans came back and indicated that the cancer had moved to the spinal fluid that flows between her brain and her spine.  This is very bad news!

We started Lynn immediately on whole brain radiation.  She has had seven doses out of fifteen.  Her symptoms became progressively worse.  Her vision in her one eye blurred to the point that she needed to cover it.  And we're medicating to treat pain and nausea.

I guess that I'm to the point at which I'm in busy-mode.  Thankfully, her mom is able to be with us.  We are keeping a log of medications to help make sure we stay ahead of the symptoms.  And we have the cell phone numbers of multiple doctors.  [So thankful for the quality care that we are getting!]  There have been moments, of course.

We told the kids last weekend.  Jacob, who is only five, doesn't quite get it.  Lauren is eight.  She cried when we told her.  Later, as she was going to bed, she asked Lynn what "level" she is at.  Lynn told her that it is 4, and Lauren understands that means it is bad.  She was hit hard.  I prayed with her, provided a father's blessing, and she fell asleep holding my hand.

Meanwhile, our church has organized a group fast for Lynn's benefit.  I appreciate all of the expressions of faith and support.  Despite all of the pain and distress that we've experienced, we have been greatly blessed.  I try to take the philosophy that, whatever happens everything will be all right.  That's hard sometimes and especially hard for Lynn who is grappling with the possibility that her kids (especially Jacob) could have only passing memories of her.  I've promised her that, if it becomes necessary, there will be many of us who will remind them of the courageous soul that is their mother.  They will know her too through the wealth of photos and video that we have recorded over the years.

I almost wanted to delete that last paragraph.  I hope that you and Lynn will forgive the private view into these poignant fears.  We are dealing with the reality that this condition only sometimes responds to treatment.  At this point, I am hoping for one step at a time.  We have a vacation scheduled in the start of February to go on a Disney Caribbean cruise.  Serendipitously, Lynn's final dose of this round of radiation is scheduled the day before we are to leave.  The chemo medicine that is most likely to be administered (we need to complete some more scans before settling on the proper medicine) is administered bi-weekly, so she would not have to miss any treatments.  We just need to get her symptoms under control.  I'm praying first that we can take this family vacation.

UPDATE: About a week has passed since I began drafting this post.  I updated a few facts (seven doses of radiation rather than two).  And I guess that I'll leave the slight glimpse into our fears and immediate hopes.  I am happy to say that Lynn has responded well to the palliative treatment.  Her backaches are gone.  Her headaches and nausea are manageable.  Her visions has even gotten better.

Yesterday was a good day.  We were able to go to see a movie -- Lynn and me with my sister, Nancy.  And Lynn went to eat Jeni's ice cream with some friends.  It's great to see her up and around, and I'm becoming much more hopeful that we will be able to go on this family vacation.

Thank you for all of your many little acts of service and love.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that she was up and around and doing better. What a blessing! We love Lynn so much.

  2. I was so flattered that I made the blog, then AJ was like, "some friends"?! Whatever. It was totally me, and it made my day. :)

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