Saturday, July 17, 2010

MRI, Tysabri, and Demo

I had an MRI scan done this past Monday and the results were "no change", which is good. However, something is wrong with my veins. Now, whenever I get an IV, they have a very hard time putting one in. It felt like she was digging with an ice pick with the IV contrast needle. I should have said something, but I didn't. My head shakes so badly, even taking two extra Klonopin, that they have to put these big, thick pads over my ears before they put my head in the "helmet". It works, though. I also asked for earplugs, and nurse ice pick said I shouldn't need earplugs with the pads. I told her that I still wanted them, so she huffed off to get some. Needless to say, she wasn't the nicest person I've had the pleasure of encountering!!

Friday, I had my Tysabri infusion. I told my nurse about the ice pick nurse, and she said that I should have nicely requested that she try another vein instead of digging around in one spot. Since I'm there for nearly three hours, I told Arnie to take Monty home, and that I would call him when I was ready to go. We live five minutes from the infusion center. Anyway, when they got home, Arnie said that after he took off Monty's leash and vest and got him a drink of water that Monty went and laid in the hallway outside my bedroom and wouldn't budge from there until it was time to pick me up. Guess I'll let him stay with me from now on.

My husband and I are Reform Jews. I mention this because I got a call from a friend who works at the Temple where we are members. They were having summer camp, and she asked if I would do a demo for them. This was last Wednesday. There were 30 kids, ages 3-1/2 to 11. The demo went real well, except that I forgot the slices of string cheese that Monty will do just about anything for, and which I use during demonstrations. At one point, I had him do his commando crawl, then showed them how he helps me up off the floor. They clapped. Then, we did something that was outstanding. Arnie was sitting in the back of the room. I took Monty off his leash and told him to get daddy's hat. He trotted down the steps and down the isle, looking neither right nor left, picked up the hat and brought it straight back to me. We got a standing ovation for that one!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Guys

We had a wonderful visit with our two sons, dear daughter-in-law, and three grandsons last week. Scott, the youngest, and his family have finally moved back from South Africa. He is now teaching at a private school in northern Mass, then they will move to Brooklyn where he got hired as head of the Science Department at a posh private school. The boys will be able to attend the school, which is fantastic news.

Arnie and I went up to Charlottesville to meet his new oncologist. This is a very nice man, and we both liked him a lot. He (Arnie) will be starting on a chemotherapy drug on or about July 20. We are awaiting news on help for paying for the drug, as it's over $7,000 a month. It is in pill form, and has the side effects of causing bleeding from the nose and other orifices, plus it makes your hands and feet hurt, sometimes so badly that it becomes hard to walk. Then, they lower the dose. He will take this four weeks on and two weeks off.

The bad news is, the cancer he has--Stage 4 renal cell cancer--is incurable. They can hopefully prolong his life with chemo, but he will have to stay on one kind or another for the rest of his life. I am behind him all the way. I'm happy that he's decided to try another chemotherapy drug, but I will understand completely if he decides that his quality of life has deteriorated too much and he doesn't want to take any more chemo.

We went to see Othello yesterday at the Blackfriar's Playhouse. The building is a replica of Shakespear's indoor theater. It was fabulous! We're going to try to go maybe every other month to see a play there.

Next week, Arnie has scheduled a private guide to show him places that General Mobey was. We will do other things, but that day Montana and I will be on our own. We'll hang around the hotel, and take walks and hopefully sit outside. However, the weather here has been so darn hot--we had three straight days of 100 degrees! No rain in sight, so I'm having to water every day. I sure can't do as much with a water hose as a good soaking rain can do for my gardens.