Latest on Leane

This is husband Mark sitting in for Leane. I’m pasting in the email below that I’ve been sending to friends and family. I don’t know how often I’ll have a chance to post here, but you can reach me at .

Leane just started her 17th 4-week cycle of continuous chemo (3 on, 1 off) and we started to see mild neurological side-effects about six months ago, mosty affecting her coordination and balance. This and her chemo-induced muscle weakness got progressively worse until she was dependent on a wheelchair and couldn’t get in and out of bed without help.

About three weeks ago we started noticing brief 20-minute episodes of aphasia and confusion. She saw a neurologist and he said it was TIA’s or mini-seizures from chemo or both, and put her on preventive meds for both.

These episodes grew steadily longer and more pronounced, and from Sunday through Tuesday of this week she slept more or less round the clock and was monosyllabic and incoherent when she did wake up for a moment.

A pain crisis she woke up with Tuesday morning put her in the ER, at which point the consensus of the home health nurses, the ER doctor and finally the oncologist was that she needed to start home hospice care. So we got that started as soon as we got home from the ER.

Fortunately, Leane seems to be starting to do better. Yesterday Wednesday was the first day in a while that was better, not worse, than the day before. She’s still sleeping a lot, but she’s also waking up on her own and asking for juice, Ensure or a bacon cheeseburger. 🙂

For my part I’m pretty much running on adrenaline and caffeine, but the hospice provider has trained caregivers for about $10/hour so I’m going to have them spend the night once in a while so I can get a good night’s sleep. I’m no good to Leane if I’m totally exhausted, and I also have a fairly intense day job (though I do work entirely from home).

I’ll keep you apprised.

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