Friday, February 4, 2011


Another set back. Yesterday Mom woke up with a dry, sore throat that we thought (hoped?) was a result of the dry air in her room. This morning it was still there, a little bit worse but by tonight, it was bad. So bad that she couldn't swallow her pills. The nurse will take a culture tomorrow morning to see if it's an infection. Either way, it sucks. She's already so uncomfortable, and now this. Her immune system is compromised, so it's not surprising that she would catch a bug, but it's just bad news and we all hate to see her so uncomfortable.

This morning was the first morning she couldn't get breakfast down. No matter how lousy she felt, for the past two weeks, she has always been able to eat a good breakfast. She may not have eaten much the rest of the day, but breakfast was solid. Not today. Today she took two bites and was sick. The nausea diminished throughout the day; she was only sick in the morning and spent the rest of the day fairly un-queasy. But she only got a few bites of lunch and dinner in. The nurse practitioner (who is awesome, by the way) ordered her another fluid IV, which she hasn't had to have in about a week. But she's not getting enough fluids in to keep her safely hydrated, so back to the IV.

The physical therapist noted that she was stronger today than yesterday. I mentioned to Ross that the past two doses of systemic chemo that she had were closer together than they will normally be (Wednesday, then Monday, when moving forward it will be only Mondays and then a week off every three weeks) and that may be why she's feeling it so much. The oncologist told us the side effects would be cumulative, so it makes sense that she'd be worse this week than last week. The good news is that she doesn't need to have another system chemo treatment until February 14th. Which is a shitty was to spend Valentine's Day, but she usually feels pretty good on the day she gets the treatment, it's the third day after that it seems to really catch up. So I'm hopeful that she'll continue to get stronger and feel better throughout the next week and be strong for the next round of chemo. Maybe I'm making up medical rationales to make myself feel better, to help understand why she still feels so miserable. Maybe we're all grasping at straws, trying to keep hope. Maybe this truly is the ravages of chemo and once it takes it course, she'll have a break from the cancer and feel amazing. Maybe I should stop all of these maybes and focus on the moment.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. I really hope so.

My goals (hopes?) for her for the next couple of days are to have the sore throat clear up and not be anything scary serious and for her appetite to return. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with her for a couple of weeks. It's going to be so hard to leave. Gary always says I'm in an impossible situation, and it's true. How do you live a life that's split on two coasts, when you're needed 3,000 miles apart but at the same time?


  1. OK - I haven't written in a couple of days - I left my job and was setting up (trying to...) a home office - yes, I'm still as technologically inept as I was when we were growing up in Peoria.....

    It sounds like you've had some very good and some tough days this week. What stands out when I read a few days' blogs at a time is Flynne's (and all the Kirshenbaum"s) amazing resolve. The story of the 55 foot walk turning into a 90 foot walk; the 10 squats turning into 12; and the consistent goal to regain vision - that's what Flynne and you all are about - and that's what's going to continue to provide more good days! We all pray for that! And by the way, what a treat to read the blog from YOU! I really felt like I was hearing YOUR VOICE!

    On another note: I wish I was in Seattle this week - instead of Dallas! Maybe you've heard just a little about Dallas hosting the Super Bowl during the worst weather we've had in many years.......I've been driving my family around town this week - because I live with all Dallas-born people who cannot drive 5 feet in the's actually sad for all those who have planned for the past few years to have an exciting (and lucrative) Super Bowl week. Kim T: Aren't you enjoying this?

    Flynne: I so hope you feel better in the next day or so and that you continue to gain strength (physical strength - your emotional strength is always intact - and amazing) - please know that our prayers are with you at all times.

    We love you!!!!

    Aynsley: Have a safe trip back to NY. I know it will be good to get back to the Big Apple and you can then look forward to your next cross country trip. Thank you for your efforts to keep all of us informed. It means the world to us.

    I have to go shovel my driveway......I thought I left that job back in Peoria 30 years ago....

    Love, Me

  2. Dear Aynsley,
    It was so good to see your mom yesterday. I hadn't seen her for a couple of weeks and I definitely saw that she has grown stronger. From personal experience, I know that there are good days and bad days when dealing with this illness and I hope and pray that there are more good ones than bad ones. On another note, I also want to say that my family appreciates your blog very much. We care for Flynne a great deal and reading your blog makes us feel as if we're right there with her. The hardest job in the world is being a daughter, but it is also the most rewarding. You are cut from the same cloth as your mom - two strong and wonderful women. We wish the Kirshenbaums only the best.
    Esther and Mike W.

  3. Hi guys,

    Sorry to hear about the nausea and sore throat. That is such a bummer. My stepmom had a lot of mouth and throat sores when she went through chemo, which I guess is a side effect, along with the nausea. So could that possibly be the reason?- I hope it's not an infection (even though either way it's sucky). Thinking of you always!

    Love, Totally Louise

  4. Hi Flynne, I hope you are feeling better today. As they say some days are better than others. Please keep strong and we are praying and hoping for better days. You are an amazing person and have become stronger each day. Your daugher and son have made me feel like I am there with you.(I wish I was.) Please give her a big hug for me. She has been wonderful, reminds me of my daughter Kaylin. They know just what to do to make us happy. Lots of Love, Kathy R. Goldstein

  5. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa ( may be another choice. i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious sore throat.