Sister update

So… since the initial diagnosis last fall of cancer in the brain and lungs my sister was shipped to Montreal to begin what was supposed to be her one and only radiation treatment for the brain tumors about 2 weeks ago.

She arrived in a very weakened condition due to a lung infection and a water build up around her heart which had gone undetected.

They have the infection under control now and have drained the water which improved her condition significantly so she has been downgraded from critical to sorta critical.

The steroid they started her on in the fall to reduce the swelling in her brain also caused significant muscle deterioration for which they have now scheduled physio. That same steroid also caused a racing pulse, 80 beats to 150 and and back in seconds. She now has medication to level that out.

They seem less concerned about the lung cancer at this stage as it seems slow moving for lack of a better term and one of the doctors has even suggested a new biopsy to determine if it is the kind that could be treated with pills versus the usual Chemo route. An earlier biopsy gave the somewhat happy news that no cancer was detected in her lymph nodes.

All of this leaves her in a bind as she now has to be rescheduled for the radiation treatment, a special helmet has to be constructed for her which would protect the non-cancer areas from radiation exposure. She is simply too weak to undergo what is expected to be a 45 minute session at this point.

The family hopes she can stay in Montreal rather than be shipped home until she is well enough for the radiation treatment. At any rate my nieces and nephew say she is in good hands in a brand new hospital and the care is genuinely first rate.

Brother update

After passing out from heart meds and t-boning a truck he and his wife are on the mend, the cardiac surgeons have suggested a sort of pacemaker as a possible life extender, any other sort of surgery i.e. a bypass simply isn’t viable due to the degree of tissue damage incurred after a series of silent heart attacks. A transplant is also not in the cards.

And Sainted Irish Mom just keeps on keepin on, kinda like Ma Joad.