Sunday, January 3, 2021

Dear Kids,

When I wrote my letter last week, I didn’t know that Bentley and his comp were down with COVID!!  Yep, they were quarantined over Christmas.    And here they had all the usual Christmas meals lined up.  But it’s to their credit that they still kept very busy.  By now their quarantine should be over, and I hope they’ve both recovered completely.  BTW, I don’t know how many of you checked out their “Light the World” videos that Tom featured on his facebook page; it’s very beautiful music!  While I was surfing down facebook, I saw that my cousin, Laura Milano Smith, had links to the same videos, so I assume one of her grandchildren was in it, too.  That means that Bentley has a third cousin in his mission and doesn’t know it.  (If your great grandparents are siblings, you’re third cousins.)

The highlight of my week was talking to Dr. Lewis, my oncologist, on Monday.  It was better than I even hoped for!  The main tumor in my lung only grew 2.4 mm (less than 1/10 of an inch) in 5 months.  That’s incredibly slow! I don’t have to see him again for 6 months, and I won’t be having any chemo for the time being.  Even though the main tumor is actually bigger now than it was when I first had chemo, he says he mainly looks at how fast it’s growing, and if there are cancer cells in my blood.  (There aren’t!) He said it’s important not to overuse chemo early on, because it becomes less effective the more you have.  He believes in using the bare minimum until you really need it, like when the cancer gets into my liver.  So I don’t know what my situation will be in 6 months, but I’m grateful for the time I have now.  Thanks so much for your prayers!

Speaking of the time I have now, my leg is still bothering me a lot, but it’s gradually improving.  My blood tests showed that I have “post-surgical anemia,” meaning that I lost a lot of blood in the surgery and my body hasn’t replaced it all yet.  (Dr. Lewis calls that surgery “bloody and brutal.”) No wonder I’m so tired and lethargic.  Nurse Sharon told me to eat more protein, and she gave me some good suggestions. 

Dad and I worked a 1000 piece puzzle that Sonia became obsessed with.  She kept hopping on the table and biting the pieces, so I had to put her in a kitty carrier whenever we worked on it.  When the puzzle was done I decided to frame it, so I carefully turned it over and spread white Elmers glue over the back.  That holds the pieces together.  Then I put it under our bed to keep it safe.  I should have paid more attention when Sonia went under the bed to check it out.  Dad dragged her out, along with the pieces she bit off.  I sort of patched it together, and I’m still going to frame it.  

I hope you’re all having a Happy New Year!   Love, Mom