Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We have a game plan

We just finished up the first consultation with Dr. Benny Phillips, who specializes in gynecological oncology. Judy went into this meeting with three clear goals in her mind:

  1. be accepted by Dr. Phillips as a new patient
  2. be recognized by Dr. Phillips as not just another face but make a personal connection
  3. come out with a clear idea of where we are going from here
All three objectives were accomplished.

The interfacing between physician and patient (and spouse) is so important, and I do not think we could be more pleased with today's development. Dr. Phillips took his time answering our questions, was frank in his assessment that we are facing a tough six months at the least, and showed more than the usual empathy one expects from somebody who sees patient after patient, year in, year out.

Here's the plan: Judy is scheduled for surgery for next Thursday, September 25, at Covenant Hospital–Lakeside here in Lubbock; we will be given the exact time next Wednesday. After surgery, called a cyto-reduction during which as much of the cancerous tissue as possible will be removed, she will face three to five days in the hospital. Thus we are expecting that she may come home the following Monday or Tuesday. The next six weeks will be spent mostly at home, with maybe some part-time work possible toward the end of that period. The cyto-reduction requires a fairly large incision as it is definitely a very invasive procedure, so lots of rest will be needed.

After her recovery from surgery Judy will start chemotherapy, as we expected. The length of these treatment cycles will obviously depend on various factors, but Dr. Phillips expects chemo to last several months.

We are thankful that we are not facing any prolonged wait and that we now have a clear idea of what the next steps are, even though they are practically identical to what we had surmised. Dr. Phillips' assessment was optimistic, even though he made very clear that this is a serious bout of Primary Peritoneal Cancer.

Judy had to go back to work after our 3 1/2 hour appointment but asked me to post this information. I am sure she will add some thoughts later.



Cindy Weisinger said...

You are both so amazing! Taking the bull by the horns! You go! Sending good thoughts your way, Cindy

Anonymous said...

Judy and Jurgen,
I am sorry to hear your news but am inspired by your focus and spirit. Thank you for keeping me in the loop. I will be checking in on your progress and wishing you strength and calm as you begin your treatment.
Shelly Lydon
Santa Rosa, CA

aka Kathy said...

I've been thinking about y'all today and wondering how the doctor appointment went - now you have a course of action. I'll miss seeing Judy at Palo Duro and we racers can only hope that Jurgen can handle it without her!

Anonymous said...

.....well, i like the methodical approach and positive attitude!!! i / we will miss having judy at the p.o.p for sure! good to have a buffer if you know what i mean. judy did you share w/ jurgen the time i rolled up on you and emily that time at pdc...?? if not, per haps i can in a couple of weeks.

we'll keep in touch and please keep everyone posted


Anonymous said...

btw, first "blog" involvement i've ever had. didn't know it would be so easy and fun!!


Leslie Smith said...

Judy, this is Leslie -- Wayne & Lorane's friend. Remember at New Year's we slept at their house in Shallowater? What a fun night we had, and I am so happy I got to spend that time with you all.

Listen, Dr. Benny and his wonderful staff took good care of me when I was in your shoes not so long ago. He knows he is a tool in the hands of the Lord, and God blessed me with Dr. Benny and they both continue to take great care of me! You will have at least a 5-year relationship with Dr. Benny and he will take wonderful care of you.

I would love to talk to you and answer some hard, crazy, sometimes silly questions that you just wonder about this thing called cancer and chemo. Email me and I'll give you my phone number. 4lsmith@nts-online.net

I'm with you, babe!
Leslie Smith

Anita und Udo said...

Liebe Judy,

die Berliner aus der Winzerstraße treten mit einem imaginären Blumenstrauss an und gratulieren Dir von ganzem Herzen zu Deinem heutigen Geburtstag. Unsere riesengroßen Wünsche sind die für Deine Gesundheit und nochmal Gesundheit! Am kommenden Donnerstag sind wir in Gedanken fest mit Dir verbunden und natürlich mit Deinem Ärzteteam,das Dir optimale Hilfe geben soll. Darüber hinaus wünschen wir Dir, dass es trotz allem ein lebenswertes neues Jahr werden möge.
In Liebe grüßen Dich Anita und Udo
18. Setember 2008

Anonymous said...

Judy & Jurgen,

So glad there is a game plan. We'll be thinking about you and continuing to pray for you.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Lots of love, hugs and prayers.
Tracy, Amy, Trey & Sam

LdawG said...

Judy Jürgen,

Glad to hear there is now a plan. Judy you do have permission to take this one to the curb... :)

Coach Lee