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sunset-671061_640My week away from the site has been filled with joy contrasted by underlying angst.

I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren, all five of them: three 7-year-olds, a 4-year-old, and the newest arrival, a 4-month-old. And then there is the very large "puppy" who gets wound up with the kids. Lots of noise and laughter, good food and good company.

I waited every evening for text updates from my friend's sister. Her biopsy results finally confirmed the type of lung cancer. It is slow a growing cancer and the tumors are contained to right lobe and pleura cavity. There is lymph node involvement though. After 15 days in the hospital, she was finally well enough to be discharged. She has continued to have fevers which seems to be related to the malignancy since all testing was negative. The good news is that she has one of the top doctors in the nation and he is a leading researcher in her type of cancer. They are doing further gene testing on her biopsy samples and hoping that targeted chemo developed just for her will be possible based on the type of genes. It will be another couple of weeks before that.

My friend's 81-year-old dad and his wife have been by her side all day everyday as if standing guard and running interference. I get it.  I can't help but think he needs a break and my friend needs a break from his wife. She convinced him to go home for a few days for a break and let me relieve him tonight. I will be going to stay with her for a few days. She is in the middle of a divorce and lives alone. (She has no kids.)

Last night was the first brief conversation I had with her. She didn't sound good at all―fever & vomiting again. I know she doesn't want to go back to the hospital. She struggles to talk and breath.

I'm trying to think of what we have here that might help... I think I'll pack up the wheel chair and the make-shift call button that we used for my mother-in-law. What else...?

I'm glad I'm finally going to see her again. It's been a month since I took her for her brain MRI. I welcome the chance to help but I feel so lost for words and am trying not to ask too many times 'how are you feeling?'...

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jan

Thinking of you today, and know how much you would like to carry your friend's burden. I'm glad you're going to be able to see her; whether you say a single word, she will know how you feel just by your presence. Take care.

Mar

So sorry for this struggle for your friend, Jean. I'm sure your presence will mean the world to her.\r\n\r\nFor another time, I'd love to know more about the makeshift call button ...

Denise

Hi Jean--How wonderful to be with the grandkids!! I bet your heart overflowed during the entire visit. There's nothing like the energy of the young. \r\n\r\nHow was the visit? What else did you bring for her?\r\n\r\nI'm so glad you keep us posted. I've been thinking of you. I can only imagine how much your heart hurts right now.