Monday, January 31, 2011


Farewell January. We really are approaching Imbolc and the very beginning stages of the first thaws. Though of course everyone east of the Mississippi is calling "bullshit" on that one. And tonight driving home I kept my gloves on in the car. But still, we do know deep down that winter is drawing his final breaths. And the promise of spring surrounds us.

Mom's marijuana is definitely kicking in. Today she took a slice of apple and sighed with pleasure. "This apple is amazing. It's amazing, Ayns! It has so many flavors going on, it's crisp and it's juicy. Oh, wow!" Umm, yeah. To be fair, this was also after her second systemic chemo treatment, before which the doctors pump her full of medications that leave her manic, loopy and hilarious. But really, she sounded like a stoned teenager. She ate so much food today-all of her cream of wheat and peaches for breakfast, half an egg salad sandwich and chips for lunch, a few bites of apple, scone with jam, tuna salad, chocolate, taffy, chocolate chip cookie and juice for a snack and lots of soup for dinner. She was wide awake and alert all day, finally calming down for a nap around 4pm, and then she only slept for about an hour and a half, tops. I expect that she'll have a bit of a medication hangover tomorrow, in addition to being wiped out from her second systemic chemo treatment.

The good news about her treatment is that she only has to leave KG once a week. Due to cancer vacating her CSF, the intrathecal treatments have been cut in half, to only once a week. And the systemic will go on a two weeks on, one week off rotation; today was week two, so next week she gets a rest and only has to have the CSF chemo treatment. Her oncologist has also decided that she should go to the Bellevue Group Health oncology treatment center for her treatments, which I'm stoked about. It's adjacent to Overlake (and thus across the street from Whole Foods) and a really nice and quiet facility, with very easy parking. With this new development, I may be able to go home for a little while and feel okay about it; I know what the plan is for the next few weeks.

Just for the record, some people have been asking, Mom has triple negative breast cancer. I'm sorry if that wasn't communicated previously, but that's the diagnosis. It hasn't officially been staged, but it's my understanding that it's Stage IV, based on the way it spread and where it is now.

And now, some requests:
  • I haven't mentioned this in previous posts because I'm terrified to jinx it, but Mom has been having some visual sensory episodes. She can sometimes see shadows and can tell if there's been a change in the light in the room. Today she said she saw the sunshine. And she saw me standing in front of her the other day (she thought I was a wall). So, the next time you think of her, if you could send a prayer, vibe, image, whatever, focusing on her regaining her vision, we would all be eternally grateful.
  • Please please please, NO MORE baked goods! I know everyone wanted to send treats for her birthday, and everything she has received is amazing and delicious. But we're at capacity. There's a huge drawer filled with snacks that we're going to have to throw away in the next couple of days, and that's very sad. So if you're thinking about baking, put that energy into Mom regaining her vision instead.
  • Please respect that the past week has been very hectic and that we may not get a chance to reply to emails or texts. If you haven't gotten confirmation of approval to visit, please don't come. If you need to plan a few days in advance, that's not going to work for her-we don't know exactly what time her therapies are and we don't know when she'll need a nap or a shower. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but at this time, support from the periphery is more meaningful and helpful.

I need everyone to understand that she is very sick and is undergoing heavy duty treatment. Her rest is a crucial aspect to her recovery.


  1. Aynsley,
    I just wanted to thank you for writing such an amazing blog about your mom. I am all the way in Barcelona for the semester and am very thankful to have these day to day updates. The positivity running through all of these posts is definitely spreading to everyone reading them. I admire your ability to be so strong and positive.

    Please tell your mom and the family that you guys are always in my prayers and thoughts. Everyday I pray for another improvement in your moms health and from what I have been reading, it sounds like things have been improving. I know there will always be bumps in the road but over these past couple of weeks it has just been warming to me how the positivity in your family has led to such positive outcomes.

    Thank you again aynsley,

    Love always,
    Marissa Altchech

    Happy Birthday Flynne! I love you very much and again you are always in my prayers!

  2. So glad to hear that Flynne is eating so well. HURRAY for POT!!! How wonderful that the chemo treatments have been cut in half. And that she is starting to regain her vision, at least partially. WOW. So much good news. It's a testament to all of your TLC, positive energy, good medical treatment and Flynne's
    Thinking of your all daily and sending healing energy,

  3. Hi,
    I absolutely don't want to jinx anything, but hearing that you're having some visual sensory episodes, well, I bring every single part of my energy around that!!!! Also, love that pot and all of the delicious food you're eating. Sleep and eat and know that I'm sending love and support and blessings.
    Kimbo xo

  4. Thrilled with all the great news that you reported on today!
    I continue to pray for more days like this.

    Love and blessings,

  5. Flynne- Marissa is following the blogs from Barcelona. I Continue to light a candle for you each monring and pray for your speedy recovery.
    Sending you lots of hugs and kisses.
    Diana, Steve, Marissa and Daniel