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.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Good news, more news...

Man, this is getting tough. I feel like a soul-less reporter, bringing to you the good, bad, and ugly. Here I'm speaking from the soul, because it is difficult to (unfortunately, as some of you know from firsthand experience) bring you the news about MY OWN WIFE. And please, don't send me any sympathy comments, because right now it is all about Judy and I have the greatest people around me who support both of us and never forget me. Here's the scoop:

Judy had a rough day yesterday, and the night was pretty tough as well. You got that from the last post. Judy had a CT scan this afternoon to try to find out where abdominal bloating, the fever, the pain, the throwing up, etc. were all coming from. Fast forward: Around 6:00 or 6:30 p.m., our best nurse yet, Roxanne, came into the room with the great news that the CT scan had NOT shown any problems in the abdomen that could be related to the resection of her bowel. The docs had kept Judy off ANY fluids all afternoon (not even a tiny sliver of ice) just in case they had to do surgery again to fix what was a real possibility of being broken.

I can't tell you how it hurt to see my little JuJu lying in bed, pleading for just a little bit of water. All she was allowed to do was suck on a moist washrag--talk about worrying about infections in the hospital! Next time you guys race and you're thirsty and you're out of water, you think about our Judy, without any food for a week, a damn cancer eating her up, and not even being allowed to have even a tiny sip of water. It breaks my heart. And all she did was crack a dry (no pun intended) joke or just close her eyes. If she had started bike racing early, she would have won world championships. Seriously. I don't think that I've ever seen anybody so tough or determined. I've always known it, but not until now, if that makes sense.

The CT scan showed nothing that would indicate any need to repeat surgery. I am cautious with my words as I don't want to jinx anything. Been there, done that, will be there again.

But she's still in bad shape. There is an infection, even though her temp has come down to almost normal. I'm not going to mention docs, but I'm sure glad I can confide in our good friend and supporter Alan who also has mixed up her antibiotics cocktail that seems to do the trick. I wish it were all that easy, though. Judy also has some fluid in her chest, close to the lungs. Make a short story short, I talked to Dr. Weaver, who is in charge of the pulmonary aspects of the treatment, and suddenly everything clicked and he realized that the fluid might, mind you MIGHT, not is, a possible migration of the cancer via the fluids from the abdominal cavity to the chest. He and I talked, and let me put it this way: I hope that from Friday morning on our three attending doctors will have good communication channels and are all going to be on the same page as Judy and I and all of you. I am thankful to have this team of doctors, and I am confident that we are going to have the best care. I teach communications, and that's what is needed here, and I will do my best to ensure that. Jack, Sandi, Michelle, do you hear me?

Tomorrow, Dr. Weaver will initiate an aspiration of the fluid. Here is what we will accomplish: 1. If it infectious, a major part, if not most, of the infectious fluid will be drained from the body, which means Judy will have to fight less/receive fewer antibiotics=strengthening of the overall constitution; 2. Fluid is neither infectious nor cancerous: cool, she will continue her breathing exercises and recover faster; 3. the fluid is cancerous, as a result of migrating fluid from abdomen to chest: well, nothing will happen now--we have identified another villain, and chemo can be customized to kill that SOB too. So, it is a three-win situation. It may sound morbid to you, but let's remember: this is about Judy's life. We got to get after the villain, and we'll get it. We have everything it takes: A team of great physicians whom we truly trust, a tight support team of others in the medical field who keep me up-to-date, an incredible circle of tight and local friends who have been helping out in sitting with Judy and giving me a break, and an unbelievable crowd of loved ones all around the entire globe who, like YOU, are giving us so, so, so much support.

I'm crying like a dog (OK, the damn dogs in the neighborhood just howl, but I really do cry) while writing this. You are our friends, and we will need you now, tomorrow, and in the weeks, months, and, helldamn, years to come. And please don't be offended by that word, but I've always used it and is appropriate. Just ask Tommy out in Sedona, who is an inspiration to us all.


Thanks for listening to us. Please make her sleep well tonight and come out stronger tomorrow.


Cynthia S. said...

All prayers are with Judy(Little Bit) and I love you and i believe you can win this race but not only that you have won the race. Stay strong.

Judy Austin said...

Dear Cynthia,

Judy loves it that you call her by that dear nickname. Thank you for being by her side. It is comments like yours that sustain her in this tough time.


Celia said...

All our thoughts are with you both. It's fantastic to see how much support you are being given by so many friends. Their friendship and love will give you both the strength you need to fight this battle.

With love, Celia & Co xxxx

aka Kathy said...

Judy - You have a lot of grit and determination crammed into a little package. I know you have the inner strength to get through this. Keep those pedals spinning and before you know it you'll be back on top.


MichelleL said...

Judy and Jurgen,

Sorry to hear of the rough times but happy that the CT was clear. I know this is your first go-round with a surgery of this magnitude and I know it's scary. I bet you never thought you'd look so forward to a little popsicle! Progress will come. We will continue to pray for a quick recovery so you can get on with the real fight. Our little Judy is such a tough nut and she's so lucky to have such a dedicated loving Jurgen. Love and hugs,


MTB_Chik said...