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.

4 Responses to “Silence of the blogs”

  1. August 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Brian & Julie,
    Oh my. I’m so sorry to hear of more frustration and worry for you!

    I wore my Supporting Julie T-shirt last night and have been thinking of you, wanting to reach out to you in some way. Everyone wants to know how they can help, including me, but we don’t really know what kind of help is needed. Meals for Brian? Housework? Yardwork? Lawn Mowing? Grocery shopping? Dog walking? Weeding the flower beds, watering the lawn?

    Email me if there is absolutely anything, at ALL. I know everyone at the office would be thrilled with a “chore”, no matter how big or small, a way to show you both that they care for you and support you. You’d almost be doing us a favor if you could give us a job or two. Give us a way to show you the love that we are all feeling. I’m glad to hear that you can feel the love, because it certainly is all around. Our biggest concern, outside of Julie feeling healthier, is that you don’t know HOW MUCH WE CARE! Everyone talks lovingly around here about you both, we discuss our worry and concern as well as our hopeful wishes that we all have more time to make more memories with you both, willing Julie to feel good and to have more good days. Just wanted to make sure you knew, and it sounds like you do. Our love, thoughts, and prayers are with you.


  2. 2 Lynnette
    August 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hi guys,

    Like Jenny said, we are all thinking about you guys often and sending our love even the more. I am finally back in the office one day a week and it just isn’t the same without Julie there. Truly, if there is anything we can do for you guys, let us know. We are chomping at the bit to help in some way, but don’t want to be a nuisance trying to figure out just how.

    Julie, keep on imagining those chemicals as giant monsters scaring away the cancer. Or perhaps they are the knights slaying the dragon. Either way, imagine them the winner and the cancer the loser. That’s how I see the battle going on in your body.

    We love you and are praying for both of you!


  3. 3 David S.
    August 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Good to hear from you, Brian. It’s inevitable that as more time goes by, we get more concerned.

    Julie, the computer thing must be really frustrating. Just know that your connection to the people in your life is certainly more than an online one, that you’re in our thoughts regardless.

    Sleep as needed…dream on…


    p.s. Life at Tosoh without Gunther isn’t the same. And I’m okay with that.

  4. 4 margaret Stonich
    August 4, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Dear Julie,
    I am sorry you are having such a terrible time. I am sure the MRI will be prove to be nothing just more crap to keep you worrying. I think about you every day and check your blog hoping for some words from you. Brian you are a dear to keep us all up to date. Please let Julie know that my daughter has gone into labor. I hope to be able to hold my new grandson sometime late tomorrow.
    I will stay in touch. Be strong.

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