Finally… A bit of good news!

My family posing at the SAAC Pep Rally

I realize I have been a little remiss in my blog posting of late, so I hope to remedy that with this little update.  Of course, since my family has been here I have been enjoying my time with them immensely.  (I will blog about the Timms Family exploits after they depart next week.)  It seemed a shame to take time out while they were here to be alone and write on the computer.  In addition, I was desperately trying to finish Anne Patchet´s “State of Wonder” for book club, particularly since I picked the book and was hosting the meeting last night.  Despite my efforts, in the end, I was still missing fifty pages or so… but you know how that goes.  However, I am eager to write, as I have some good news to share with all of you.

Two weeks ago I commenced with my second round of chemo and have been faring pretty well since then.  Despite a brief allergic reaction to one of the drugs while it was being administered, my body seems to be coping with the side effects pretty well.  I did get tired and felt very weak for about five or six days after the treatment.  During this time, my mom and I barely left the house and going to the supermarket felt like running a marathon… In addition, cabin fever was beginning to set in.  I was desperate to resume a some-what normal life.  When my dad and sister arrived on November 1st we immediately headed to wine country the next day since Jon had a four day weekend.  On the trip my mood picked up tremendously and I have been feeling good ever since.  Two days ago, my family and I went to school to attend the SAAC pep rally for my soccer team, currently in Quito, Ecuador playing a tournament against the other South American International Schools.  It was quite a moving ceremony as the students and soccer captains presented me with the beautiful paper cranes that had been folded in my honor.  The athletic department also gave me the proceeds of the Race for the Cure event they held at the school two weeks ago.  In thanks, I gave a short speech where I publicly acknowledged the Nido community and the students for all their support and offered some words of encouragement to the team.  Although I got a bit teary-eyed, I was pleased that I made it through the speech, unlike some of the emotional speeches I never got through in High School speech class.  (The one dedicated to my sister rings a bell… I believe I attempted four or five different times to deliver that speech and never could get past the first line.  Mrs. Wiley, I´m sure, can verify this…)  At the top of the page is a picture of me and my family holding the cranes.  At first I was wondering what in the world I would DO with a thousand paper cranes, but luckily the end result was very beautifully done and I will hang them with pride.

And now.. on to the good news.  Yesterday I went to the doctor to have them fill out a form so my sister could get paid during her time down here, via the Family Medical Leave Act.  Dr. Buhler was very kind to fill out the irritating and redundant questions… How many times does one need to say that I am undergoing chemotherapy for the next six months and that my sister will be providing physical and psychological support?? Anyway, while I was at the appointment he told me that he recently had a patient with a similar diagnosis to mine.  With stage four breast cancer, the best hope for recovery depends on your body´s response to the chemotherapy.  The other patient responded to the chemo so well that they went ahead and did the surgery to remove the tumor after only four sessions of chemo.  Dr. Buhler hoped that I was responding to the chemo in a similar manner and so he went ahead and did a preliminary exam where he simply felt the tumor to see if progress had been made.  Luckily, he proclaimed that he believes my response to be very good:-)  He said that he could feel the tumor dissipating after only two treatments.  When I told my family the news it produced the first real tears of joy that I have had in quite some time.  Of course, we won´t know for sure until they do a full scan of my other vital organs sometime in December, but I am optimistic and truly hopeful for the first time.

Alright, well this weekend I am doing some more touring with my family and early next week we are off to Valparaiso and the coast for a few days, so I will hopefully report back sometime next week.  After my family leaves I will have some time to catch up on the blog and regale you with tales of family bonding.  I also have quite a few thank you notes to write to those of you that sent packages down with my sister and dad.  We had a mini cancer Christmas the other day and I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends and family.  Much love!

14 comments

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  1. eslroundtable

    I’m so glad to hear this news. The doctor’s preliminary exam results are wonderfully encouraging, and I’m glad he let you know about the positive response of the woman with a similar diagnosis. It’s fantastic that this new drug is now available! I can’t wait to see the picture of the cranes, too, as I only saw the in-progress project and not the end result. Love, R

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  2. Natalie

    Eli – I just discovered your blog (and diagnosis) through facebook. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so glad that you got good news at this appointment. If there is absolutely anything that I can do, please let me know. Love, Natalie

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  3. Margo

    You write so well. Thank you for sharing. I am always eager for your news. Eli, what an incredible time. I am motivated by your courage and determination. I wish I could literally shower with my praise an admiration, but a figurative nature will have to suffice. Besos Chiquilla linda!

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  4. Donna Arnold

    Eli, you have been in my thoughts and prayers, sweetheart. You write so beautifully and I love your honest, but positive spirit approach. It’s so great that you have support from all over the world!!!! It warms my heart that your family is all there and you are surrounded by love. I had a flashback of you helping Alison with her TPSMEA all state choir audition recording in our little choir closet across the hall from your Dads classroom. Alison was not having a good day and was ready to give up singing for her audition. You were cheering her on and encouraging her to keep trying. You stayed right there with her and eventually she got through it. As I recall, both of you made all state choir that year! Now little sister gets to encourage big sister and you both will be winners again. What a blessing to have a sister relationship that you girls share! Glad to know Randi Wiggins is coming to visit. Love her, too. You take care sweetheart. I will look forward to more updates. Big hug.

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  5. Fender

    Thinking about you all the time Shorty. So grateful to hear the positive developments. Give your family hugs for me, and give Jon an awkward man-hug for me.

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  6. Ashley

    That is excellent news, Timmsy! Sounds like you have a lot of reasons to be hopeful, not the least of which is your attitude. I’m sure it’s doing wonders for you to have your family around and to continue to have fun whenever you have the energy.
    Love,
    StanB

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  7. Joe Broccoli

    Eli-Wonderful to hear things are seemingly improving for you. Fabulous! Also glad you could enjoy your family when they came down. You are in our thoughts always. Keep up the good fight and stay strong. Much love, J Broccoli and E. Hickey

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