Monday, January 10, 2011


Mom rode down to radiation today in a wheelchair. Every other day that's she's had radiation, she's ridden in a stretcher. Sitting up requires a lot more strength, endurance and energy. And today, she was fine to do it. We don't yet have any medical confirmation about tumors shrinking, but our own anecdotal evidence (less pain, more strength, less slurred speech, more alertness, etc) seems to indicate that she's responding to treatment. Maybe we're seeing what we want to see. But I do believe in the healing power of prayer, positive thoughts, laughter, hugs, massage (I told you I was a hippie) and more importantly, Mom does too. Healing takes many paths, but believing that it is possible seems to be an important next step.

That being said, we're trying to keep everything as positive as possible. While I am definitely open to hearing everyone's stories about their own cancer or other battles, please keep the tragic ones out of Mom's ears for now. If you need to share some amazing magic treatment from Thailand that saved your boss's niece's neighbor, tell me all about it in an email-please don't suggest to my mother that she should be in Bangkok instead of where she is, getting phenomenal care from world class oncologists (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is extremely reputable! Google them!) and quite possibly the most heroic nursing staff in the country. Every procedure, every treatment, every medication that Mom takes has been carefully considered and approved by her and her family. We all desperately need her to be with us for the next three decades and we have no intention of compromising that possibility. Please know that every decision is a reflection of the decisions she's making (she's 100% in charge of her treatment) and love is our only motivation.

Yesterday I reported that both my parents enjoyed a glorious 9.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This morning, the amazing nurse G was talking with my dad and thanked him for all his help the night before. "Huh?" "You know, thanks for being up between 3 and 4am, helping her with the bathroom and ice and everything." "What?? I gotta tell you, G, I don't have any recollection of that." And that, my friends, is how you get rest in the hospital. Forget that you were awake at all. It's truly sleeping like a baby :-)

Tomorrow she has an MRI scheduled to see if the doctors can see what exactly is interfering with her vision. The hope is that if we can identify where the problem is, we can treat it and get her vision back. Apparently the doctors are also all in favor of a clean-shaven Ross.


  1. hello to the kirshenbaum family,

    reading this blog has become part of my morning routine. i appreciate your thoroughly honest updates on your mom's progress in her fight against cancer. there are times where i am in tears, but i also love that i can laugh & smile reading about some of the funny family anecdotes that you include in your posts. :)

    while i may not always have a comment to share, please know that i am thinking of your mom on a daily basis, and hoping with all of my heart that she continues to get better & better each day.

    lots of love to you all,


    p.s. i also can't wait to see a clean shaven ross.. i don't think i've seen ross without a beard since he was in high school? :)

  2. Aynsley:

    I am excited about the continued progress your Mom is making through this process. I'm also excited about the opportunity to have the MRI show how to shrink what is causing the loss of sight - AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE BEARD TO COME OFF!!

    It sounds like yesterday was another good day - gaining strength can only be a good thing (love the use of the wheelchair instead of a stretcher).

    Please continue to pass along our love, thoughts and prayers. Let's have another good day!!!!!

    Love, Mark

  3. Another day of positivity and healing!! So glad to hear Aynsley.
    I also want you to know that in reading all of your entries, sometimes you have mentioned something Gary says relating to any subject and it always makes me smile or crack up with laughter. I am so happy you have found each other AND I cant wait to meet him in person.

    Lots of love,
    Donna Gluckin Fishman

  4. Aynsley,
    how great that Flynn was able to be transported in a wheel chair instead of a gurney. It's a sign that Flynn is getting the treatment she needs. As I was re-reading your post, something occurred to me. The words you chose: strength, endurance and energy, if you take the first letter of each word, you get,"SEE." I think that's a good sign. :)
    Best of luck tomorrow with the MRI.
    Looking forward to more good news.
    hugs and lots of love,

  5. Donna-you're right. Gary is pretty hilarious, and basically the best thing ever. I'm so glad that shines through in the blog.

    Jodi-SEE=Magical!! Thanks for pointing that out-love it!

  6. ROSS:I want you to know that your mother and the entire family are on my prayers. God bless you all. I can sense a lot of love and caring in everything you and your sister have written. I know for sure there will be more good news to come. GOD IS GOOD. Ross: Te quiero mucho con tu barba o sin tu barba. Muchos besitos. Say hi to Claudia please.
    Idalia Navas from Miami Beach.

  7. Thinking of your family and your Mom nonstop since I heard. She and my Mom went to school together and have been friends for 20 years since the apparel school days, and now at Eddie Bauer. Your Mom has been a good friend to mine! I have had literally everyone I know just thinking her name and healing and we will continue to do so until she is well! All my love, Rebecca Salcedo (daughter of Carolyn) xoxoxox