19th Nov2010

Getting better

by Dutchcloggie

I don’t believe in miracles. I believe in doctors being wrong. To make it clear, JD is not cured and she will not be cured ever. However, the improvement in JD in the past few weeks has been remarkable. Actually, she has been pretty stable for the past 3 weeks so I guess I should say the improvement since she has left the hospice.

It is difficult to describe what is going on in her head though. Ask her a questions and she’ll answer you one thing. Ask it again 3 minutes later and she’ll say something different. She tends to repeat or incorporate things other people have said a few moments ago even if they do not relate to the conversation topic she is talking about.

For example, my mother gave JD a pair of PJs for her birthday (which is in 2 weeks). Also, we are going away this weekend to Wales for 3 days. This morning the carers asked JD who gave her the PJs. JD answered she did not know but that they were a birthday present. The carers then asked what was special about this weekend. To which JD replied: It’s my birthday.

If you don’t know JD, it will make you think she is actually having a really normal conversation with you and so she will appear better than she actually is. Only if you have been present the whole time will you know she is actually mixing things and events up in her head.

However, things are still MUCH better than they were. Yes the tumour is growing and has made JD lose cognitive functions. She can not be on her own at home so it was god that I gave up my job. But it is more or less possible to have a conversation with her now, providing the answers can be Yes or No. She can ‘help’ me with doing the dishes and making cups of tea as long as I stand next to her to avoid 30 teaspoons of sugar in the mug.

So life has definitely improved and I now no longer fear she might not make it until Christmas. In fact, she could live for a good few more months into the next year. After all, the chemotherapy can shrink the tumour, just like the previous chemo did. Of course it will eventually fail but it seems that for now the chemo has stopped the rapid decline.

The steroids have reduced the swelling of healthy tissue around the tumour which means there is a little more space in her head again, which means less pressure on vital brain functions.

We have recently started to go swimming in the local pool. JD can no longer swim. She has forgotten how to do it and she does not use her left side) but with the use of one of those pool noodles, we have a great time in the water. Usually about 30 minutes and then off home for a sleep. A great way to keep busy and it gets us out of the house.

In the mean time, she still loves visitors so if you want to come over, give us a shout.

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