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December 6, 2010

This is Debbie again. Jill had me put her computer in a drawer yesterday – it requires too much energy to type. Today is chemo day – she will be the first in this area to receive this new chemo. I have a vision of the chemo destroying cancer cells – like that Mucinex commercial where Mucinex wipes out the mucus family that’s taken up residence in the victims’ lungs.

Yesterday Jill received a sponge bath which she described as necessary torture.  She sent me a text about 2am this morning saying they gave her a catheter – too much effort to get up to pee. Hank, Kim & Bill (sister & her husband) and I  were all there for awhile yesterday afternoon. During that time the physical therapist stopped by to see if Jill was ready for therapy. I wish I could describe the look on Jill’s face (and repeat her actual comment). Lets just say the therapist quickly got the idea that her services were not required at that time. That brave therapist will be back today – because Jill really does need to have her muscles exercised in some way.

Dr. Zhang (Dr. Ingber’s associate) stopped by to see how Jill was doing. She mostly went over what we already know. She did prescribe Ativan to help with the anxiety. Other than the cancer, anxiety seems to be Jill’s worst problem. Xanax if good short term relief, but the Ativan should give her long-term anxiety reduction. Keeping the anxiety level controlled should also reduce her heart rate and help her get some actual rest.

Prayers for now would be for Jill’s body to be able to handle the chemo – a necessary evil at this point. Especially pray for the anxiety to go away. I understand that she’s frightened – who wouldn’t be, but mental health is also very important to recovery. Jill needs that “peace that passes all understanding”. Medication helps – God’s peace is better.

If you want to send Jill a personal message, please do so here and I’ll print them and bring them to her today. If you want to leave a message that you don’t want everyone else to see, send it to my personal e-mail which is


20 Comments leave one →
  1. Wendy permalink
    December 6, 2010 9:15 am

    Jill, if only we could physically give you some of our strength and take some of your physical/emotional pain. If that were possible, I know several of us who would do it in a heartbeat!! Please know that you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers–many, many prayers. We love and miss you!

    Debbie, again, thank you for keeping us updated! We really appreciate that, and realize you too are probably exhausted physically and emotionally. Know that my prayers are for your entire family, as well as for Jill. Take care.

    • Jennifer permalink
      December 6, 2010 11:19 am

      I, too, want to echo Wendy’s sentiments. We are all pulling for you, Jill…and Deb! Thanks for being Jill’s fingers! Love and continual prayers…Jennifer

  2. December 6, 2010 9:39 am

    Jill, thinking of you constantly and sending you strength and healing vibes.. Much love and strength to your family too..

  3. Ellen permalink
    December 6, 2010 9:52 am

    Jill, even though I’m 3,000 miles away and in another country (eh?) I’m keeping a beside vigil here. Love the internet!

    Hoping beyond hope that that the new Chemo does to cancer what Mucinex does to mucus, what Raid does to pesksy insects, what Liquid Plummer does to clogged drains, and what Proactive does to zits.

    Lighting a candle for your comfort and recovery and sending you much love and looking forward to your delightful repartee!


    ps: Thanks Debbie

  4. Mina permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:04 am

    Sending many well wishes your way. Praying for peace and continued strength.

  5. Jakk(Kim) permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:30 am

    Prayers for “everything”, Jill. That the chemo gets rid of all the crap, that you rest easier, that your anxiety is reduced, that you can get some much needed rest. All of it, my friend.

    Also, I’ll say a little extra prayer for the therapist that will return to see you today 🙂


    and yes, exactly what Ellen said – thanks Debbie, for keeping us in the loop.

  6. Babs permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:51 am

    I want to say all the right things. Prayers and peace my friend. I re-read something you wrote many years ago about the Forum. I was amazed that it was still as real today as it was then. You have an amazing way with words (which is why the PT will probably send a substitute tomorrow *eg*).

    God wants you to live, laugh and love often. You are stronger than the cancer. Know people world-wide (and I’m NOT kidding) are lifting you up to the Highest Power.


  7. Thalia permalink
    December 6, 2010 10:56 am

    Jill, we haven’t met, but I am hoping that will change. I envision me, you and my friend Kim, who also has metastatic disease, participating in next year’s 3-Day in Seattle in whatever capacity we are able. I envision your white blood cells as great white sharks seeking out and devouring cancer cells. I see you being wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort and being held close and gently by your Higher Power. We haven’t met, but I write to you with tears in my eyes because you have touched me and given me hope and shown me how to live with dignity, love and humor. Peace be with you.

  8. Murray permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:15 am

    Hi Jill,

    At every stop light and every turn, when I think of you I say a quick prayer. Justin’s been checking up on you (via the blog), too – he’s in finals this week. Even my daughter, whom you’ve never met but knows how beloved “Mrs. B” is, out of the blue asked our priest to pray for you yesterday. We’re praying for all good things. Maria

  9. Sami permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:17 am

    Dear Jill 🙂 I wish I were as clever as Ellen, that was great! I pray that you get a restful sleep that enables your body to keep focused on the ultimate goal.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Also, thank you Debbie. 🙂

  10. Penny permalink
    December 6, 2010 11:48 am

    still praying you through this with folks all over the world. we all have prayer warriors on it, too, Jill. We love you!

  11. December 6, 2010 11:53 am

    I’m glad Debbie lives close enough to be able to visit regularly and keep us all in the loop. Bill and I made the 3-hour round trip yesterday and visited for quite a long time. Even though they have Jill on a lot of dopey meds, she is her same self. Maybe even with a little extra vinegar added (and the bladder catheter will take care of the “p” part of that formula.) Debbie reminded us that the tests showed nothing is wrong with Jill’s heart. It’s doing a great job, just going a little fast at times due to anxiety.

    Jill told us that the routine for this new chemo, which only takes 5 minutes to administer, is a 28-day program. You take a dose on day one, another on day 8, and after the 28 days are up, you do it again. I visualize that it’s already starting to do its good work of scrubbing out the bad stuff, so there will be easier breathing and easing of anxiety. Let the healing begin!

    All you praying people out there are awesome! We love the support. 🙂

  12. E Lis permalink
    December 6, 2010 12:17 pm

    Yes, at times the physical therapy seems ridiculous but does help (((HUG))). I recall too well it taking all of my Dad’s energy to even pick up the phone at times when he was in the hospital, but he told me it was what he wanted so I’d call and let him catch his breath before we’d talk much more. Sponge bath can be about the same…

    I really hope the chemo helps. I hope you are feeling better soon and pray for your doctors to also have the wisdom, guidance and compassion they need.

    With my Dad’s chemo, my Mom use to envision it like the war that my Dad fought and probably helped give him the cancer. We would tell him they were soldiers coming to fight – it wouldn’t be pretty, it could work and we were all battling along with him. I’m one of your soldiers Jill.. I’m visualizing cutting down the ‘bad guys’ and saving all the ‘good guys.’

    Prayers! – Lisa

  13. E Lis permalink
    December 6, 2010 12:23 pm

    And Jill I know I’ve said it before, but never forget you helped me with my son’s journey. You did not know it at the time (I was just to stubborn, young or what have you at the time to truly talk of it much.). I will never forget and always have you in my heart as you were one of the very few individuals who stood by me when P was diagnosed with Autism. I watched those who I loved walk away and I was a ‘yee young one’ at the time. You were always there for me! Even in your times of trouble, I feel your soul walking with me and mine with yours and know God is walking with you and yours. I pray, of course, also for your son and husband and know they are being watched over. Much love… always prayers… the fact that you can still find ornery and laughter says alot about you. (((HUG)))

  14. mom permalink
    December 6, 2010 2:06 pm

    Onward all you praying soldiers, marching jill to health. Any other soldiers you know out there who can join the march please let them know. Jehovah Witnesses came to the door today and a Kim and a Lou are now on Jill’s prayer list and I got a hug from each of them to give to her. Wonderful people they were too. Love to you Jill and all the prayers I can give to you.

  15. Bemused Boomer permalink
    December 6, 2010 3:24 pm


    I’m glad to hear you had enough energy to express your (unprintable) reaction to the idea of Physical Therapy at this point. No one will ever, ever, ever accuse you of being a wimp!

    Rest now, in the arms of God, and know that some days you have to fight and some days all you have to do is show up.


  16. Laura (Bayou) permalink
    December 6, 2010 3:45 pm

    Sending you and your family FAM love.

  17. E Lis permalink
    December 6, 2010 6:18 pm

    ahhh Jill’s Mom… you get an extra (((HUG)))

    I learned today also my Dad gets to again go through cancer treatment and I love all. Many prayers… good thoughts. onward upward soldiers…

  18. Tammy permalink
    December 6, 2010 6:27 pm

    Loved your essay on laughter that Taera posted for us. Laughing might be far from how you’re feeling now, but the cool thing about writing is that you can and do go on making people laugh even when you don’t feel like it in the flesh. Your spirit is beautiful, funny, and feisty and thoughts of you are continually blessing me.

    • December 6, 2010 6:56 pm

      Tammy, let’s all share a laugh that Debbie can read to Jill —

      Reverend Clive Morgan was completing his homily in St John’s Church about the dangers of alcohol and the need for moderation and temperance.

      He announced at the end of the sermon in a loud, clear voice, ‘If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.’ With even greater emphasis he added, ‘And if I had all the wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.’ Finally, he intoned in an extremely serious manner, ‘And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.’

      The Reverend Morgan then sat down. Jerry, St John’s leading chorister stood up and announced with a smile, ‘For our closing hymn this Sunday, let us sing together hymn number 109: ‘Shall We Gather at the River.’

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