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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Judy's intestines are awakening!

I know, I know: This is something one generally doesn't talk about, and even less covers in writing in a semi-public forum. But the news is too exciting to keep quiet: Judy experienced a first real bowel movement this afternoon, 12 days after surgery!

The significance is huge: It means that she will most likely lose her NG tube tomorrow since the gastric juices now will slowly be processed by her intestines, and before long she will be weaned away from the liquid drip-administered nutrition and start eating "real" food. And once she is back to steak and ale--well, OK, not so fast!--we'll be eyeing the return back to the house.

Today, Judy went for three separate walks in the station, pushing her IV-tower ahead of her. Gone were the little pink houseshoes and out came those badass Keens. She wanted to walk, not lounge. I was at the hospital for the last of these excursions, and it showed Judy's unbending character: At about 1:30 p.m. she had told the nurses that she wanted them to disconnect (not remove) the NG tube because she wanted to see how long she could go without getting nauseated. (Dr. Phillips had heard even more intestinal action this morning than yesterday, so the hope was that some processing of the gastric fluids might happen.) When I arrived at the hospital after teaching at TTU around 3:15 p.m., she had been going for almost two hours without the tube. She felt queasy, but she wanted to go for one more walk. Man, she walked soooo fast, pushing the tower ahead of her with a single-minded determination. Once or twice she stopped, feeling a little nauseated. But she wouldn't have talk of stopping and going back to the room. "I'll do the whole spider" she said in reference to the various hallways that are like the three spokes of a wheel radiating from the nurses' station. She was muttering under her breath that she was going to finish her walk. She walked so fast that she must have elevated her heart rate so much that she even became a little panicky. But she finished. She was NOT going to stop. If anybody can beat this cancer by willpower, this tiny woman will. Lance may be a faster cyclist than Judy ever was, but--no joke--it is hard to imagine that he had or has much more determination.

After this exertion, and after having hosted a fairly large number of visitors, we decided not to go outside, despite the absolutely delightful fall weather here in Lubbock. That's on the agenda for tomorrow again. She knows that she pushed the limits today, and she didn't want to push them so far that there'd be ill effects. Thank goodness, because we couldn't have talked her out of it!

Thank you for the many, many posts and also the e-mails today in response to yesterday's blog entry and photo. I know that you provided your share of stamina today!

Let's see what tomorrow will bring. We will stay optimistic and hope we don't have any setbacks.



Sherry G. said...


So glad to here that you are doing so much better. I've been really rootin' for ya. I talked with my mom (Helga) yesterday and she wanted me to let you know that you are in her thoughts daily. When she called it was evening in Germany, so she said she was going to give you a big toast with some neue wine. I guess on vacation that's her version of "liquid diet". My prayers and best to you always.

Cindi said...

Hi Judy,
Glad to read of your progress. Hope you get to go outside today! Cold and crisp up here again last night-had to cover the lettuce and spinach. Tried to take Dixi & Kodi out for a run this morning but they're paving the road-so now we're all confined to the house for the next several hrs. Road tar and white coats are not a good combo.
Cindi :>

eddie w said...

Way to go Bit, I am hearing great things. May the Lord watch between me and thee while we're absent one from another. Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Precious One!
Prayers are answered! Perhaps not as quickly as we would have them answered, but the progress report of Tuesday night is fantastic. When you get out of the hospital John and I want you and Jurgen to come to our place in the country and enjoy this luscious fall weather and stay for the best stars in the world!

Love you and will see you this afternoon.
Becky Orem

MichelleL said...

Way to go Judy (and your intestines!) on your progress. Nice job with the walking and the clamping of the NG tube. Hopefully that will come out soon and you can be back to enjoying "pizza night" with Jurgen. I can tell you are getting really close to going home and I couldn't be happier. I know it's hard to be patient (no pun intended) but you are doing great. Big hugs!


Nana (Deb Stevenson) said...

Between your posts and update from Candice, I am staying on 'top' of the progress our little tigress is showing! I'm still available to help and continue to pray and keep positive thoughts for Judy!

Pam J said...

Judy keep the healing going ! I have been praying for you since Kathy J and Christine S told me the situation. I expect to see you at the 2009 TMBRA race series!

Anonymous said...


So glad things are looking up. Hope you get outside tomorrow. Great biking weather! We're thinking about you!

Carol C

Brian Still said...

Great to hear good news, great that things are starting to work as they should. More prayers thrown your way.

Anonymous said...


You look like you're steering a bike (or an 18 wheeler) walking with your IV tower! Very impressive! You're doing beautifully; there are no shortcuts to recovery. You're one tough gal!!
We love you, Little Bit!
Priscilla, Daivd & Elizabeth

Judy said...

Judy Judy,

The things we learn about one another that brings a special feeling to heart. I never knew that you liked trees. And my favorite at that. The Redwoods. I've been there many times. Just Loved it. Missing my singing partner. Be of good cheer. My prayers for healing to my Father in heaven through Christ Jesus who bore it all for you. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm in Austin but thinking about you. I am glad to hear that you have worked your way back up to wheat somethings. Just keep chewing! This second battle of the war is tough. Cathy Pope