Returning this morning from an unscheduled visit to Virginia Oncology Associates, figured it was probably the right time to fill everyone in on how our girl is doing, and what in the world I meant by that cryptic tweet early Thursday morning.
First the facts. Abi is experiencing what can only be described as severe nausea. She hasn't been able to keep much of anything down consistently since Tuesday. And by anything, I mean anything: pain medicine, anti-cancer medication, liquids...you get the picture. The nausea has become all-consuming, because it affects so many other things - including nutrition, pain management, ability to sleep. It's a pretty tough cycle.
Abi describes it as the three circles of nausea:
- Green - No nausea. Where most of us live almost all of the time.
- Yellow - Nausea
- Red - When it takes every ninja mind tool at her disposal not to give back everything she's had in the past two hours.
These days, yellow is the goal. Yellow is relief.
The last scan confirmed there's tumor growth at the beginning of her intestine. It appears that's causing the nausea, and it appears that it's something that can be addressed with radiation. We're weighing that option even as I type this.
In the meantime, Abi got fluids today, and will continue to keep trying to get the nutrition she needs. She is trying so hard. Fortunately, her vovó is here to make her sandwiches just the way she wants them.
Assuming that things stay the same, this will be the course of action over the weekend. She'll go to the clinic on Saturday and Sunday to stay hydrated and get treated for nausea, and we'll see Dr. McGaughey on Tuesday - and expect that we'll have a decision on radiation timing then.
And therein lies the rub.
This weekend is the baby shower for another of her tier one New Jersey cousins. It's been circled on Abi's calendar for a long time.
And starting radiation right away will affect plans she's had to spend a week in the mountains with the Mayers (Milly, Fil, Silly Bill, and Bob). She's been looking forward to this more than I can express.
Throughout the last eighteen months, Abi has been absolutely determined not to let her disease get in the way of spending her time as she chooses, and if you've followed the blog, you know that means with the people she loves. Soaking up every minute. And she's been mostly successful at it.
In her words, she's been winning a lot lately, and it's clear she's not ready to sit anything out. This is so much more than a simple case of FOMO. It's about collecting the best memories, and tucking them under her pillow so she can pull them out when she needs a little help filling her heart.
But there have also been too many times already that the disease has gotten in the way. When she's had to beg off on plans to see Presley Lynn and Ashley. When she had to leave her first pizza club meeting early, and when she missed some of the bachelorette weekends' activities. She's got a long list of people, like Jeff and Tanya and Dena and Kenn and ...well, it's a long list.. that she wants so much to have coffee with, or just to sit down and catch up and see where the conversation goes - and who so generously continue to reach out to her despite her inability to make firm plans.
Abi calls these times her missing memories. The memories she's not collecting. The ones that aren't there when she reaches under her pillow. And while I promise you she's so grateful for those she's made, and continues to make, the missing memories eat at her.
Because they're evidence of how the disease is trying to advance on her sacred ground. That the disease is trying to deny her ability to choose. She protects that ground at any cost, maybe because she fears that once she cedes it to the invader, she may never get it back. So more than the pain, more than the fatigue, more than the nausea - that's a thought that she simply can't tolerate.
So if you ask me how our girl is, I'll give you the medical stuff, and ask for prayers to help to ease the nausea so she can get some nutrition. For your prayers to erase the pain.
But even more - I ask you to keep Abi in your mind as she grapples with the pain of a temporary loss in her ability to choose something that means so much to her. As she struggles with her missing memories.