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 17, 2008

Another good week

More good stuff. Mom's had pretty good energy this week - good enough to drive herself to Curves one day for a workout! That same afternoon she went out for lunch with a large group of girlfriends. By the time she got home she practically passed out she was so tired, but she managed to stay up long enough to watch "Lost" until 10 p.m. (To support Patio, I've forced myself to become totally addicted to "Lost" - but just for her sake. Now that's dedication.)

One day Mom realized that she'd forgotten her pain pill that morning. She's been taking Oxycodone, a powerful medication. But her main source of pain was from her hip, unrelated to the cancer, and the injection to her hip was so successful that she's been pain-free. So for the last few days she's off the stuff altogether.

When Mike came down we went for a great drive up to the top of Mt. Diablo, where none of us have been for years. (That's where we took these photos - click them for a larger view.) We used to go there regularly when the family all lived in Walnut Creek. We drove by the house where we used to live and even went by our old high school. It was pretty fun.

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I hope all is well with you...


Sunday, February 10, 2008

A little update

Hello everyone. Just a little update - since I last wrote things have been a little up and down. Mom drove her car for the first time since she got sick, and went for a walk around the Heather Farms pond, - her first recreational walk, if you don't count the trips down the aisle to the Safeway pharmacist. She was eating well and feeling well, too. The last couple of days haven't gone so smoothly. She's felt a bit queasy and lacking in energy. But she went to her first support group at the Wellness Community and thought it was helpful. She completed her third chemo treatment, and though she seemed unfazed by the second one, the third one kind of wiped her out. Go figure!

Mike came down and spent the night, and we went for a short walk at the Lafayette Reservoir, which is where the photo was taken. (Click the photo for a larger view.)

That's all for now. Stay in touch...


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.