Thursday, March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006

Jamie reporting from Jaci & Erica’s new condo!!!

Since Jaci and Judy accompanied Erica to the hospital today, I was assigned blog duties. I will do my best to fill you in on all of the happenings of the past few days and how Erica is doing. The past 3 days have been pretty hard on our girl. As some of you know, Monday was Erica’s first day of a 10-day radiation treatment. The radiation is done on an outpatient basis but requires her to go to the hospital everyday for treatment. Also on Monday, she received another of the dreaded lumbar punctures. The good news was that the lumbar puncture came back showing all healthy cells, the bad news was that the LP caused horrible spine and back pain that has pretty much made her immobile for the past 3 days. In addition to the constant back pain, the combination of radiation and chemo caused severe nausea. The only time that she is o.k. is when she is lying flat on her back covered in ice packs. She actually told me the other day that ice packs are her new best friend ;)

Getting her to and from the hospital the past 3 days has been very hard. Not only is walking and moving very painful for her, just about every time she does move, she has to head to the bathroom because of nausea. When we took her to the hospital on Tuesday for her radiation treatment, she had to be admitted to the Emergency Room so they could hook her up to an IV to administer fluids, anti-nausea meds and pain meds because she wasn’t able to keep anything down. After a long day on Tuesday, she was finally able to come home and sleep in her own bed.

Wednesday’s trip to the hospital presented almost as many challenges as Tuesday’s. The pain and the nausea were so bad that she wasn’t able to lie down for the radiation treatment. Her doctor decided to skip the radiation treatment for the day and focus on her pain and nausea. Again, they hooked her up to an IV and gave her fluids, blood, and more anti-nausea meds to try and make her feel a little better. She managed to get home a little earlier yesterday and she, Jaci, Judy and myself were able to enjoy a delicious dinner together.

Today’s trip to BW was a little better then yesterday’s, but this time she had to have an MRI to try and figure out what was causing the intense pain and stiffness in her back. The 3 hour long test was quite an ordeal but she had a fairly calm and pain-free afternoon. After meeting with the neurologist who examined her MRI results, we learned that she might have a small spinal fluid leak which is causing the pain. Spinal fluid leaks are usually patched up in a very simple procedure, however, since Erica will be having two more lumbar punctures next week, they thought it pointless to try and patch it up. So, they sent her home tonight with a new prescription for steroids and some new pain meds (including a FABULOUS morphine lollipop, no joke) and she is feeling better then she has in days. We just finished a delicious Chinese dinner courtesy of Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Bill, thanks for the chow fun!!!

She heads back to the hospital in the morning for one more treatment this week and then she will spend the weekend resting and having fun with this weekend’s round of visitors Uncle Jimmy, Auntie Shirley, Jonathan and Ted!!!! While the past 4 days have been a series of both physical and emotional ups and downs, she is still holding strong, and when the pain subsides enough, that beautiful smile still shines through.

12 comments:

joyce said...

Erica dear...I have been kept up to date via my personal in-between-man, and I'm glad to hear that you had a better day today thanks to those lollies! I hope tomorrow will be even better.

As always, I'm thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers. Keep your spirits up!

Lotsa Love,
Joyce

Jeff MacKinder said...

Add another to the random count of people checking in here.

I tried sending an e-mail, but I don't know if it was an old address of yours. I just wanted to let you know that I have been keeping you and your family in my prayers.

My mom, also wanted to let you know she has been saying a rosary each day before she takes her nap for you. She knows how brutal that chemo can be, and spending all that time in the hospital.

Love and peace to you and your family.

-Jeff MacKinder
jeffmackinder@hotmail.com

Christopher Alonzo said...

Erica,
just saying hello and stay strong. keeping you in prayers. I know you will prevail.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adam said...

Erica - Congrats on pulling through such a tough week. Hope that you have a nice weekend at home with your visitors (and of course LOLA!)

Greg Genco said...

Erica,
Wow, what a hard week. Very glad to hear you are still smiling! You have the strength of a whole lot of people.
Hang in there and keep on getting better ( healthwise that is, your wonderful personality and generous spirit are fine the way they are).
Gamabatte!
with love,
Greg

Mike Muscio said...

Erica:
I heard about your struggle today and I wanted to send you a blog and let you know I'm thinking of you and praying for you. It is awesome to see so many familiar names on your site and we are all sending you good vibes. Remember that awesome birthday party you had I think in 7th grade and we swam all day at your pool. You have had an impact on so many lives and you are tough. You are going to beat this sickness. Take care Mike Muscio

christine said...

Can't sleep... thinking of you... Hope your headache's all gone... but you get to keep every bit of your radiance!

May the awareness you gained from your new diagnosis be a source of new strength that carries you through the many treatments ahead.

Wish I could be there to give you a HUGE hug!

xoxoxox
your pseudo-sis
Christine

AJ. That's right, AJ. said...

Hey. I have a blog on this site and stumbled upon yours while looking around a little. You have the same name as my wife, and that struck me. Also, you are in Boston, which is where my heart lies. Also, I just found out that I may have cancer, and will be undergoing tests in the coming week. Just thought you would be interested in a small world encounter. good luck!

Sarah Ponce said...

Erica,
I am so happy to hear you are in good spirits. Take care of yourself and keep that gorgeous smile glowing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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