What can be said at a time like this? We suddenly become aware that every moment is even more precious than we believed. The biopsy, as Debbi wrote, was positive for cancer, and Dr. David Lovett informed us that it is now more important to fight the infection than it is to subject Debbi to further chemo which will weaken her further and might allow the infection to take over.
It takes a while to get used to the idea but Debbi seemed comfortable with Dr. Lovett’s explanation. Dr. Lovett examined the results of the scans and studied the treatment summary that I prepared for him. He spent time reviewing the documents that had been sent from Sloan Kettering and even dashed back to his office to take another look at the view of the lungs in the most current of the 12 CDs I had retrieved from Sloan’s film library. After he had assimilated all possible info, he bluntly asked Debbi, “What would you do from here?” He was giving Debbi the choice of pursuing further chemotherapy or accepting Hospice, palliative care, and fighting the infection that is still causing her to expel green tinged sputum.
Within the blink of an eye, Debbi requested the Hospice route and working on fighting the infection. Dr. Lovett then related that he had read a study from England describing the benefits of fighting infection over pursuing chemo at junctions similar to this. To this end, Dr. Lovett modified her antibiotic regimen and also modified her pain medications to try to keep Debbi out of pain or to at least bring the pain down to manageable levels.
So, for the time being we are not focused on the cancer at all. Instead, we are watching Debbi’s temperature, hoping the excess fluid in her legs will be excreted via the Lasix medication, and placing her in an environment where she wont be alone. Alone is an understatement. Rea, Shuie, and Yonah were joined by Sima Ellie and Huvie and myself. Despite the din, Debbi was able to sleep when she needed to. Rest and sleep allow Debbi to be pain free and build strength.
We sincerely hope that the Cape environment will speed Debbi along to a stronger, pain free, and infection free state where she can enjoy her loving family, her devoted friends, and her prized hydrangeas for many months to come.