Update from Mom and Mel

We arrived at St. John’s on Friday at 2pm to be admitted.  Surgery was supposed to be at 4pm however they were backed-up and didn’t take her for her port placement until almost 7pm.  So mom and I moved in to her room, decorated, blew up my bed, and got things situated.  She finally got to the room at 10pm.  The surgery was a piece of cake, she did great as expected.  Her chemo regiment started at midnight following a 2-hour intense hydration period which is done prior to every round of chemo.  She is receiving Vinblastin, Cysplatin, Interferron, and the doozie is the Interlukin 2.  It is a 5-6 hour process of hydration & chemo.  Today is day 3 which is expected to be the worst.  Mom and I have been prepped that this regiment is a very harsh protocol, however she seems to be handling it extremely well.  She sleeps most of the day and night, has not had any significant emesis, but is extremely fatigued.  She has had some intense nasal congestion which has irritated her throat from the mouth breathing and it has exacerbated her retching.  She is now receiving some breathing treatments in addition to applying vicks vapor rub which dad dropped off today… its helping a little.  Besides the fatigue and breathing, her other biggest issue is the amount of fluid retention this regiment entails.  She is receiving thousands of ounces of fluids every day, and her output is minimal.  In addition, every time her BP drops it requires additional fluid. Her IV pole is quite a site, two poles with 5 IV regulators. At the height of the chemo administration she has 8 bags hanging.  Her nurses are fa-nominal!  They are so knowledgeable, helpful, and treat her like their own sister.  I was able to help her with a very brief shower today which took everything out of her.  But she is feeling better and refreshed, and were ready to hit dose 3, 4, and 5 head-on.  She hasn’t been awake long enough to check the messages on here, but as soon as she can she will.  We will try to update again in a couple days.  We are still on schedule to go back to moms on Tuesday, but we come back on Wed for a 3-4 hour hydration.  However she will be home for X-mas, and we are all thrilled for that.  Feel free to keep the messages, prayers, and well wishes coming. For those of you who have asked, mom’s address is:

528 Breezewood Ct., Brea, CA 92821

Thanks to everyone for all the support.  Melissa


5 responses to “Update from Mom and Mel

  1. I am so glad Heather is at home and has you to help her through this treatment. Please give her a hug for me and tell this is no excuse for her scrabble play.
    Keep up your strength too.

  2. I love you Heather! You are amazing and doing such a good job fighting this thing along side your wonderful family! God bless! k
    Boise has some snow now, but not like north Idaho! My mom is stranded and I don’t know if my kids will be able to make it out of Seattle and Portland. The passes keep closing!

  3. Mel,
    Thank you for taking the time to let us know how Heather is doing. She has been on my mind a great deal during these last few days. Tell Heather I am sending lots of love her way.

  4. Heather, Mel and Maxine,
    We are thinking of all of you. Hang in there. Thank you for the update. Ever since I had some of the asparagus Mel made – I am hooked on it. Stay strong – we love you!

  5. i’m very moved by this. bravery. courage. heroic.

    god bless you all

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