She was discharged from Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington on Saturday evening, around 7:30 PM and moved into what we call our music room (used to have an upright piano there) with the tv, with a bathroom off it, and with the kitchen and dining room next door.

In the week since  we have had 5 additional radiation treatments, with this round scheduled for completion on Tuesday.  The following Tuesday she will begin her chemotherapy, which will be a combination of periodic injections and regular pills, with a period of time of receiving medication and a period off meds.  Of course, that is contingent upon how she and her body react to the meds.   Her oncologist is hopeful the effects will be mild, and that she might not even suffer hair loss!  I have offered to shave my head in solidarity, although so far she has rejected that idea.

Things seem to be going well.

At this point she is comfortable wearing her back brace for extended periods, even taking a nap in it.  Thus once she finished the radiation round, I am prepared to return to school, although I will take off when she has her first chemo.  I stopped by the school today to plan with them.

While she is still not allowed to drive, she now feels comfortable walking to the hospital so that she will be able to make appointments without me after her first chemo - I will join her when she next sees her oncologist in 4 weeks.

In the meantime -  she is beginning to do some walking with the brace on, and will soon do more.

Her spirits are good -  we have a course of treatment, and so far she is not even showing all the possible symptoms of her disease.

She had some blood drawn for additional tests today, and will have some xrays of additional bone structures to make sure the entire impact of her disease is know.

The steroids have killed her pain as well as helped shrink the soft tissue mass that was damaging her spine, but the side-effect is something of a spike in blood sugar.  We take her blood sugar twice a day, and she takes insulin when indicated.  So far because I am operating in what one might call the family equivalent of the "soup nazi" we have largely been able to control her blood sugar by diet.  The most insulin she has ever needed was 2 units, and half the time she has needed none at all.

The room in which she spends most of her time is full of color and fragrance from the flowers and live plants she has received since she came home - the ones she got at the hospital we had distributed to other patients to brighten their stays.  

Our refrigerator is now overflowing.  One couple who helped me clean and where the wife sat with my beloved while I had a dental appointment brought food, someone from her office sent a care package, and a friend from her church brought dinner on Wednesday the last of which we will finish tonight.  A friend from my Quaker Meeting offered to bring us some Lebanese food this evening from one of our favorites restaurants, but we had a huge lunch and we literally have no room in either refrigerator or freezer.

I have twice had to have people cover for me.  Once two people from my Meeting, the other time two people from her church.

Now it is no longer necessary.

I will still need to some more cleaning up of the space on the main floor so my darling will feel comfortable with those who want to visit.

There have been lots of supportive phone calls.

This weekend we will begin going through all the cards that have arrived.

We have received emails, messages on Facebook, twitter messages.

We feel incredibly supported.

Most of the people at the school at which I currently teach are fairly religious - my principal and my assistant principal both assured me that they were praying for us.

I have said before that we consider ourselves very lucky.

Looking back, one of our cats knew there was something wrong - he would lay on my wife's stomach directly over the tumor.  Since she returned he has not tried to lay on top of her -  on me is a different story, and he is a big kitty, 17 pounds!

We caught her condition in plenty of time to have high hopes for successful treatment.

We have access to excellent medical facilities and personnel very close to hom.

We are both rooted in multiple supportive communities - for each of us, our workplace and our religious communities, but then other circles - of family, of friends.

We have excellent health coverage.

It looks like our loss of income will be relatively minimal.

Most of all, Leaves on the Current will be part of my life for the foreseeable future.

We thank all for their continued support, in thought, prayer, concern, holding in the light.

We welcome your love with gratitude.

Thank you all.

Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Monday Night Cancer Club.

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