Archive for August 1st, 2010


Silence of the blogs

Brian here, sitting in at the blogger’s desk for Julie, who’s away taking a nap.

Kind of hard times at the moment, though not in the way you might expect.  You may recall that Julie started on anti-depressants a few weeks back.  In general that seems to have been a great move.  Contrary to what you might be imagining, she doesn’t sit around all day with a big silly grin on her face pointing at mundane objects and giggling.  Really she just seems to have leveled out a bit emotionally, much more like her normal self.

The trouble is that she’s having some cogitative difficulties.  In speaking, she often has trouble finding the right word.  Her thoughts are sound, and she can handle complex discussions though she tires easily, but the words aren’t always right.

We’ve seen motor skill problems also.  She stumbles a little, and has problems screwing lids on bottles.

The surprising difficulty is in operating the computer.  It seems to be primarily a  visual or hand-eye coordination issue, but it means that simple tasks are suddenly very difficult.  She couldn’t bring up the calendar in Outlook recently, and I found she had the cursor on the wrong button.  Her typing is error prone, and passwords are a challenge.  This from a woman who’s spent hours and hours designing databases, helping build websites, and playing complex computer games.

As you can imagine, this is terribly frustrating to Julie.  It probably also explains her absence from the blog scene recently.

The oncologist’s staff picked up that Julie didn’t seem her usual self, and the triage nurse called me to discuss it.  We concluded that it was probably due to the anti-depressants (which Julie predicted they would say), but that the oncologist would want a brain MRI to rule out brain cancer (which Julie also predicted – I told you her thinking was sound).  The MRI was taken two days ago, and we’ll probably have results tomorrow or the next day.  We’ll post something when we know the results.

Julie continues to sleep a lot; so much so that I think even the cats are in awe of her.  She’ll typically sleep about 16 hours at night, be up a couple of hours in the afternoon and evening with a nap or two scattered around, and then back to bed.  I’ve been encouraging her to sleep if that’s what her body is telling her, but the need for it concerns me.

Her appetite is also way, way, down.  At first I wasn’t concerned, associating with the chemo and the nausea.  This has been going on for a while now, though, and I’m concerned about basic nutrition.  I picked up some of those nutrition drinks doctors recommend in these cases.  She doesn’t like them much, but promised me she’d drink them because she knows I’m worried about her.

So, early next week I’m going to talk with the oncologist’s staff about the MRI results, about the anti-depressants, and nutrition.  We’ll keep you posted.

For those of you who follow the blog, regularly, Julie added a new feature about a month ago.  You can now subscribe to the blog, and the new postings will land in your in-box automatically.  See the subscription box on the right hand panel under the calendar if you want to sign up.

And though we’ve said this many times before, we can’t thank you all enough for your support.  The notes and card, the e-mails, the comments on the blog, the books and gifts all mean so much to us.  A special shout-out to Sharon, our personal angel across the street, for getting Julie to and from appointments when I can’t, and to Sharon’s friend Jessica who hardly knows us but pitched in that one day when neither Sharon nor I could.  Wow!  You’re all just amazing, and Julie and I are so lucky to have you watching out and caring for us.

Post archive

August 2010

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