Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the house comes up

Well Ken and I are doing well, we have made some changes to our schedules and it is getting a little bit better. We have been overwhelmed by the work. The town has not had regular doctors )(except one) for some time now and we have been really pressured to see a lot of patients, and we just cannot do that, as we can only work as fast as we can work and when we get behind we are spending the entire evenings working on charts. That is no fun. We realize with this new job we do not have the responsibilities we had when we were running our own clinics, however we also have lost a lot of autonomy, in that we cannot make all the decisions about our work like we did before. There are clearly pros and cons to this employee thing.

We might not last at it, and might end up going out on our own, but we will see.

Our house is going well, and we continue to love where we have bought. Just off the back of the property are miles of trails and I have gotten back to running 3 times a week. Up to 6 miles now.

I have been having a lot more pain lately with almost everything, and so will be having a CT scan in the next few weeks. The oncologist left it up to me, he said that even if we found something (a metastasis) there was nothing we could do about it, so why do the testing. I guess this makes some sense to me, but I guess I feel if I am going to be going out on my own with a clinic, there will be some commitment there and I would like to make sure that all this pain is not from the cancer.

I guess I also wonder if at all possible if this radiation enteritis only affected a small part of the small bowel, if it were to get really bad, if some day I could get it resected. Also not sure if that is possible, but I feel it would be nice to look forward to SOMETHING for this pain ??

The routine is for the first 3 years to get CT scan every 6 months or sooner if there were new symptoms. My last CA 125 was nice and low.

We are currently on our way to Seattle to take Josh to catch his flight to Prague on Sunday morning.

I am quite nervous about this, but also quite excited for him as it is going to be such an experience. He is going on an anthropology course 1 month, studying the gypsies. He then writes a paper on it,. There are 17 of them going. He is doing his paper on the influence of television on the gypsies. I guess even though many of them do not have any modern amenities, they ALL have satellite televisions. Sounds like it could be very interesting. So they watch all the very stupid things people in north america do with their money and lose all persective on reality..... at least their reality.

Last Sunday night one of my “cancer buddies” died. I believe she was 38. She had ovarian cancer. It was diagnosed in 2005 and she had a remission for 4 years, a recurrence in 2009 and then intermittant chemo since then. We became online friends... She was also a musician and I sent her my most recent CD and she was so inspired by me having done a cd (while on chemo), she recorded a CD last summer. (at this time she knew that she was not going to be cured from her disease) She had the most incredible voice, she had 2 small children and wrote a blog almost right until the end. Her husband wrote it right up until the end. They had both prayed that when the time came it would be fast, and she would not suffer, and it did all happen pretty quickly and she had time to spend at home with her children, and if a death could be beautiful, hers was. It was a family experience with the children and her husband reading to her and just spending time. She went into a coma about 4 days before she died.

Another cancer patient, and a musician I know from my house concert series, Anne Feeney, was just diagnosed with brain metastasis. She was diagnosed last summer with small cell cancer of the lung, and underwent chemo and radiation. SHe had opted at the time not to do a form of radiation to the brain that was a low dose form. I guess since so many of those with small cell cancer of the lung, get mets to the brain they do some form of generalized radiation to kill off any cancer cells in the brain. She is now undergoing gamma knife radiation treatments to the tumour in the brain, which are high dose treatments to a very specific area, in fact like surgery without the scalpel. She seems to be doing well as the last I heard, she was off in Oakland , California at a conference, so here’s hoping that the Gamma knife was successful.

Our family has been absolutely devastated this week by an accident our neice has been in in Australia. It was a head on accident in which she seems to have bore most ot the brunt.

She was treated at the scene by a helicopter ambulance crew, with blood transfusions and chest tubes. (apparently she and the other lady injured at the site were the very first patients to revieve blood at the scene, via air ambulance) In the past they have brought blood to the scene, but they have just started carrying blood in the ambulance.

She sustained a serious head injury, and a fracture of the sternum, which caused her lungs to collapse (which is why they put in chest tubes at the scene) She also had internal injuries, fractures of her lower spine, and her femur. My sister and her husband caught a flight on Sunday night midnite to fly to Australia.

It is truly amazing that she survived this accident, but it seems as though she was in the best possible place, she was airlifted to a trauma center that specializes in head injuries. She was placed in a drug induced coma right at the accident scene and they began breathing for her right away.

Since this blog is taking me so long to write (2 weeks thus far), my neice is definately getting better, she had a second surgery 2 days ago to repair a fractured femur and elbow, and though there have been a few concerns post op, she seems to be doing well.

She has an enormous amount of challenges ahead of her, including a few more operations to repair broken bones.

An interesting tidbit about Australia health care. I do not know a lot about their system, but my sister tells me that they have this system whereby all drivers have to renew their licences annually, and the money from this goes towards paying for the costs of motor vehicle accident injuries. So all of her care is paid for, despite that it might be a very long rehab etc. Interesting.

We have just heard that we have been selected for a stage at the ORegon Country Fair.

We will be playing on the Shady Grove Stage at noon on Saturday the 9th of July.

We have been planning this trip since we left, and we will also be performing at Brewed Awakenings on the 15th of July at 6:30 pm, in Bandon. I have been trying to get ahold of Bulllards Beach campground as well, but since our cell phones have changes, we have likely gotten off of their list. (we have been playing there for 4 years now)

Our land is a 1.67 acre lot and it is pie shaped with the small part opening onto a cul de sac.
The large part opens onto the forest at the back.
We have to build the house up front because there is an archaeological covenant preventing us from building at the back. The place the house is sitting is basically on the edge of an ancient creek. (Our street address is Ancient Creek lane.... cool eh?)

so the back part of the house where I am standing to take this photo is almost directly west, and also opens towards the forest.

Well I have been writing this for way too long
Bye for now
jankenb @