for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted any news for a while. It's all good news right now. Patio had her first chemo treatment a week ago Thursday, and her second treatment this last Thursday. She had low energy off and on the first week, but no major consequences. She didn't have any nausea, and she wasn't totally wiped out - although one day she got up at 1 p.m. and went to bed around 6:30. (I guess you could call that wiped out.)

But prior to the second treatment, we met with her oncologist, and he gave her quite a positive prognosis, relatively speaking. She still has a fatal cancer, but he expects her to receive some benefit from the chemo, and even said that if things go well she could be a candidate for a hip replacement. Mom's anemic, so she's now getting some special sauce added to her chemo to boost her red blood cells. The chemo treatment was on Thursday, and Mom's energy has been way up since then, inexplicably. No nausea, a pretty good appetite, and she managed to stay up late two nights in a row to watch "Lost."

On Friday we went to John Muir to get the cortisone-lidocaine injection into her hip, which has been causing most of her pain. Amazingly helpful! She's walking much more upright, putting less weight on her cane, and looking forward to better weather to do some walking for exercise. Wow.

Lastly, we were told by a friend about the Wellness Community, a non-profit support center for cancer patients and their caregivers. They're an amazing group of people doing incredible things for people who need help - and everything they do is completely free. We went to an orientation meeting Friday, a three-hour dietary meeting Saturday, and Mom starts a weekly support group on Wednesday. And they give you hugs. 'Nuff said. Here's the link to their website.

The notion of "progress" when you're dealing with a fatal disease is an interesting one. It's easy to project your current physical or mental state far into the future, as though it's fixed and won't change. We can easily ride the emotional roller coaster of elation and despondency, clinging to hope for lasting health on one side and cringing with every setback. But there will be more setbacks, along with more beautiful days of being conscious in this moment of the gift of being alive. And while it's tempting to think that Mom is in a completely different state than the rest of us, I would argue that it's more similar than different. None of us get out alive. We live in the delusion that we don't need to pay attention now, because we have long lives ahead of us, and we can always do it later. Mom has the unwanted advantage of a much shorter timeframe: life isn't happening at some point in an indefinite future. It's happening now, in all it's sweet and painful glory. Now is the time to pay attention, to practice forgiveness, and open your heart to the wonder of it all.

Thanks for all the support, everyone. We all, especially Mom, appreciate it.



At February 5, 2008 7:38 AM , Anonymous Whitney said...

Wow, this is very encouraging news and as always, Dave, a beautiful and thoughtful report. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Hand in there, Pat. You are an inspiration!




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