Remission?

2010 May - June

Created by Tom on 08/05/2010
. Wednesday, June 2, 2010 Dear friends, Well, Karen's improvements seem to be holding and getting better. Maybe it is the homeopathic remedy Alice Wilson gave her. Maybe it is all the loving energy and prayers she's been bathed in from all you folks. (She has really valued the cards she's received so far, and would love more.) Maybe it is some determined spirit in another dimension or deep in her cells (perhaps the longevity DNA on her mother's side) that has set things up so that she's simply not going to die at this time. Maybe it is Karen's radical experiments with eating non-pureed foods. Who knows?! But she is still very much with us and still seems to be improving, despite the "normal" odds. She is still taking minimal drugs. She is still mostly alert and in good spirits (with occasional downs and bad nights, but then again we all have those). Her energy is good, with me sometimes having to talk her down from adventures I fear she's not ready for (like going to an outside appointment without her wheelchair when she hasn't even walked around outside her room yet). She's doing lots of thinking and talking, and is quite popular with the staff at the nursing home, who are as amazed at her aliveness as the rest of us (although WE know about her traditional Karenesque spunk, and it is new to them!). Karen's sister Michelle and brother-in-law Bruce have given us some breathing room by paying for two more months rent on Karen's apartment so that, if she actually recovers, she'll be able to move back into it. (My finances would have a hard time swallowing that, and Karen's Social Security check is, as far as we know, being quite legally taken over by the nursing home.) So yesterday I withdrew the 30 days notice I'd given to her landlady a few days earlier. Although I am making no assumptions about how this will all turn out, I'm making arrangements for Karen's naturopathic oncologist to examine her and get a CA125 (cancer marker) test done (and perhaps an X-ray) so we can evaluate the state of her cancer (is she having a remission?). It won't cost us more than a few hundred dollars and we want to avoid having her thrown out of hospice prematurely (they only support you while you're dying), so we're doing this outside of the Medicaid insurance system. Because Medicaid doesn't like people switching back and forth between hospice and medical system (suspecting you're gaming the system), I'll also be talking to some hospice people not associated with Karen's hospice company to find out how hospice treats people who seem to recover during their hospice care. If we find out that Karen DOES seem to be recovering and can safely come out of the closet about it without losing the right to hospice care in the future, we'll then call in her primary oncologist (whom we love) and get Karen back into regular medical care and rehab, if possible. We'll also be having some serious conversations about what life will be like for her and me and us if and when that happens. It seems that even miracles aren't simple.... In the meantime, even as I continue to visit Karen and have long phone calls with her, I'm back at home beginning to link up more with my co-op housemates, with the Co-Intelligence Institute, with local friends, and dipping into the flow of some of my former work realms (the City of Eugene, FourYearsGo, wise-democracy innovations, the mind-boggling daily news, etc.), as well as beginning to log the new flow of appointments in my calendar (which I lost a month ago and found again a few days ago!), cull important phone numbers from the endless scraps of paper I've been collecting, getting a broken tooth filling replaced, etc. -- in other words, stepping back into my life. I can feel its centripetal pull already and, while I have mixed feelings about that at the moment, I think it is the right move at this point. Poised in present time, noticing what seems to want to happen, grateful for all those holding us.... All blessings on the Journey. Coheartedly, Tom