Friday, June 15, 2012

Jeanine again

A few days ago, Jeanine went back to the radiation oncologist and he suggested that it was time to radiate the other tumor that he had told her about. She wanted some more time to recupe from the previous radiation, so she will go back a week from Monday and make a decision at that point.

Jeanine, my sister, Mardy, and I talked to the PA for her original oncologist today and the PA confirmed what the oncologist had already said. There is nothing more that he can do for her. Jeanine cannot have any more chemo. The PA suggested a call to a hospice. Jeanine had hoped that when/if the biliary tubes were unblocked, she could go back to her normal (for her) lifestyle. The PA inferred that it was time to quit fighting, but said that they would support her if she decided to continue to do so. The PA also said that in most cases radiation is allowed in the hospice environment when it is done to provide pain relief. Jeanine now has a big decision to make and she is the only one who can make it. The PA also told Jeanine that her bilirubin levels have risen again... It is now at 30.

Jeanine continues to live at home. Mardy and I, along with a good friend, take turns staying with her. In a couple of weeks my brother, Dave, and his wife, Laura, will move in with her for an indefinite period of time. She mostly sleeps/daydreams her days away, but every once in a while, she'll get a burst of energy and do a little cleaning or bookkeeping. She is still very aware of her surroundings and even if her eyes are closed, she knows what is going on most of the time. She enjoys visiting both on the phone and in person, but tires out quickly.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Last Thursday, Jeanine met with her Radiation Oncologist. He told her that as they had done the work-up on her liver, they had found that there were actually 2 tumors that could be affecting her biliary tubes. They were radiating the top one, but there is a lower one to the side that also could be causing the problem. He said that they could not radiate both at one time, it would be too hard on her liver. He told her that after her radiation was done and she has had time to recupe a little, they will check and see if radiating the other tumor is an option or is necessary.

On Friday, Jeanine went to see her Oncologist and he told her what he had told me. She is seriously ill. He told us of things to watch for. He also said that if her bilirubin goes down somewhat, she should plan on checking to see if the clinical trial would still take her. She had a blood test on Thursday and he had those results. Her bilirubin was 22. It was 7.5 when she was in the hospital 3 weeks ago. Her test a week later showed that it was 17. The normal is 1.

He also told her that her potassium levels were rising. He prescribed a medicine that she was told to drink. She got most of it down before she threw it up. When she called him back, he told her to limit her ingestion of fruit instead.

Jeanine has finished her radiation schedule as of today. She had her 5 days of radiation. We were told that it is called surgical radiation because of its pinpoint accuracy. With the exception of some extra pain and severe tiredness, she had no serious side effects.

Today the radiation tech called me into a room and told me that he wanted Jeanine to see the PA. The PA and the tech said that she is much more yellow than she was. It was no surprise to her. She had told me this morning that this was the case. The PA will talk to the radiation oncologist tomorrow and decide if she needs to see him ASAP or if she should see him next Tuesday at her regular appointment. The PA did say that the radiation takes a little time to "cook", so there is still hope that it will help.