Friday, April 09, 2010

Random Sister Update

I spend last week visiting my lily-livered sister.  When I bought my plane ticket last month, I figured by the time I got there, she'd be worn out from the chemo, and I would  be spending most of my time cleaning the house and trying to get her to eat something.
I couldn't have been wronger (it's a word, trust me).  Not only does she feel NOT sick, but she has energy and an appetite.  The only thing she doesn't have is hair.  Her head is Mr. Clean all the way.  In fact, I thought she looked odd because she didn't have his earring to match.

***

Our eldest sister created a special a card for her.  It's laminated, and on one side is the word, "Cancer".  On the other side, it reads, "Be nice to me."  Any time she feels she deserves a little extra consideration, or if something is too hard, or if she is too tired, she is supposed to flash this card.
Playing the cancer card, you see.

We got plenty of milage out of it.
She couldn't remember which day it was.  "I blame the chemo."
Put the remote in the fridge? (And hey, who of us hasn't done that?)  "It's the cancer."

Plus, her husband is Polish, so they are a real hoot.
"I have cancer, what's your excuse?"
"I'm Polish!"
"Okay.  You win."

***

Each day, she wore a different hat that I had made.
::warm fuzzy::

***

At some point early in the treatment process when my sister was feeling anxious, she laid down for a nap.  Her cat curled up on her stomach and settled rather oddly on the liver area.  "Well, okay," thought my sister, "that's not terribly comfortable, but it's not bad."
Then, the cat stretched out a paw and gently placed it just above my sister's left breast; right over her chemo port.
My sister immediately relaxed and felt at peace.

Good kitty.

***

My sister is taking part in a world-wide trial.  Apparently, 88 other people in the world have what she's got. Split into two groups, Group A gets three drugs, Group B gets two.  As her doctor expressed great faith in that third drug Group A would get, we had all hoped she be placed in Group A.  But, she's not.
However, after her post-treatment scan came back with good results, I told my sis that the "super mystery drug" that Group A was getting that Group B isn't getting is probably a cat.
"What?"
"A cat.  They get your two drugs, plus a cat that lies on their stomach.  Like yours did.  You have a medicinal cat.  You have a Group A cat."

***

And here's the good news you were waiting for.  I saved it for last because it really is that good.

After only two of her six scheduled treatments, the baseball-sized tumor has shrunk 50%.  The little tumors ("tumors all over") are smaller, too.
Treatment number four is this coming Monday, and she'll get another scan to measure progress maybe a week or so later.

I have to tell you...
I could really believe she's gonna kick this thing. 
I can't wait to see what the next scan brings.

9 comments:

leeann said...

I so very hope you're right. Kick its ass, LLsister!

Shanna said...

Good luck to your sister.
I totally believe in the empathy and healing powers that our pets bring to the table. They just seem to know when you are ill or sad or if something is wrong. I have had several experiences with my animals helping me heal. One example, I started having serious bad contractions at 22 weeks with my daughter and the doctor didn't want me to drive incase it was nothing. I laid down on the bed and two of my cats laid with me, one on my belly side one on my back and they started purring in tandom. Within 5 minutes the contractions totally stopped. After that whenever I had a twinge, even if I was standing, those two would start following me around until I sat down and then they would cuddle up to my belly and purr until things settled back down. So don't rule out the power of that cat to help your sister.
My mom had similar experiences when she went through chemo and her surgery with her cats and she is now going on year 12 of remission after they told her she wouldn't make it 6 months. The cats did it, I swear.

Teresa said...

Go Go LLSis! (and cat)

las794 said...

That's wonderful news! She definitely has a medicinal cat. Once when I was sick in bed with a bad fit of Meniere's (vertigo), my kitty got up on the bed, hopped up on her hind feet, leaned across my chest, and licked my face. She'd never done that before. I swear she knew I was feeling bad and was trying to comfort me. :)

Dani said...

You go Ms. Lilly Liver!

And you go kitty too!

The Merry said...

Very encouraging news indeed! Good to hear.
And yes, I think some extra catnip would not go amiss :)

Andy said...

Outstanding, Roses! Thank you so much for the update. I have been wondering about her progress.

Prayers continue...

Thumper said...

Yesssss...! +1 for smaller tumors and +1 for having a MediCat!

The Gray Monk said...

Pets are amazing sometimes for their ability to empathise and do just the right thing to help. My prayers are still with her.