Songs for Lisa UPDATE...
UPDATE 2/25/08: All is well, all is well. Lisa had a tough Friday morning when the nurses/doctors screwed up her pain meds and she subsequently ended up locked out of getting any at all. My dad was there during the whole ordeal and contrary to his usual demur personality, became a little unglued at the nurses. I'm glad I wasn't there, because someone else would've been hurting as bad as Lisa. By the time we got into see her Friday night, she looked and felt great. It was hard to believe that she was that bad off only hours before. All weekend proved marked improvement each day. They're weaning her off the pain meds and hopefully she'll be home today with any luck.
There is a LONG road of challenges ahead for her and the rest of us. The doctors told her to go ahead and plan on being out of work the rest of the school year. They said chemo will make it impossible to be there regularly. That doesn't sit well with her at all. The reintroduction to food and eating is going to be tough. 3 months of bland puréed food followed by slow reintroduction to regular fare all the while she's starving and dreams of food at night.
All said and done, we're all grateful that she got through it in good order, and with the support of her man Merv and the rest of us she'll get through the next few months. Thanks for all the support and good vibes. Lisa is and the rest of us stand amazed at all of it.
Just to keep you up to date, I'll drop in my Dad's note from last night...
"It went almost exactly as the surgeon, Dr. Goza, had outlined for us on Tuesday. Couldn't do it with a laproscope, made a bigger incision, removed a baseball-sized tumor from the large intestine and an unspecified length of intestine, an unspecified number of lymph nodes, then reconnected the colon. No other organs affected. No cholostomy. Chemo with the previously advertised "kick ass" drugs to follow at some point.
The only thing different was that the post-op activity went from "get her up walking Thursday evening" to "have her sit in a chair and flex Thursday evening" to "we'll wait until Friday."
The iPod project is going well also. Mrs. Alva and I worked pretty late on it and have loaded every song you all have passed on to us. She'll be ripping and downloading throughout the day today. It's not too late if you think of one to add, so don't be shy. The plan is to wrap up last minute work on it, and go over and deliver it this evening (the new Nano is pretty awesome!).
For those interested, my brother Mathdude has posted as good a bio on Lisa as one could write (great job Bro).
Thanks again to all your efforts gang. Like I said, it matters.
I’ve been debating whether or not to blog about it ever since I was informed of the news not more than one short week ago, but I think I’ve come up with a reason to draft a post.
Following a failed treatment for a massive iron deficiency in her blood, my sister was sent for a CT scan of her abdomen. As happens a thousand times a day across the world over, doctors discovered a tumor in her colon. In a whirlwind of doctor visits over the past seven days, the doctors have elected to operate right away and she will have surgery tomorrow.
I could write paragraphs about the utter shitiness of getting news like this and how devastating this is for my family, her boyfriend, her friends, fellow teachers, and her students. I can assure you, all that you’ve heard about it is true.
Right now she is doing well and we are all feeling optimistic. The colon cancer survival rate is high due to the organ’s ability to contain it. So far, the doctors have found no traces or indications that it has spread to any of her other organs. She’ll have the tumor removed and do chemo therapy as soon as she recovers from the surgery.
Having a few survivors in our circle of friends and family has produced a metric ton of great advice. Keep it coming. I think the worst part for me personally is not being able to help, not being able to do something for her. Last night, Mrs. Alva came up with a brilliant idea, and as we discussed it over lunch today, I thought of a way the rest of you can help if you feel up to it.
We all know the awesome power of healing music can provide. My other sister works in a dialysis clinic and says that a popular thing amongst all her patients is to tune out to their iPods while getting their treatments. I’m certain it’s par for the course at chemo and radiation treatment centers too. My brother and sisters are going to get her an iPod and give it to her when she comes out of intensive care tomorrow, or more likely Friday. What I’d like to ask of you guys is to give me songs that you think we should load onto it. Whether you know her or not, you can be a big help to us. They can be inspirational, soothing, or whatever YOU think might help. Off the top of my head I can tell you she’s a big 80’s fan, hair metal, dance, new wave, but digs the Ramones too. Her tastes are pretty wide open. It would be awesome if I could set up an IDM created playlist for her. Hit me with as many suggestions as you can. I know Cup of Coffey can crank out a worthy list with her eyes closed, Jackson too. If you have original tracks just email them to me and I’ll ensure that they get loaded. If you feel like donating songs from iTunes, Amazon, etc… I’ll see to it that she gets it added to her account. In either case, I’ll make sure she knows which are from who.
Drop your ideas in the comment section or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for anything you can suggest.