Monday, May 28, 2007

A Quickie From Caroline

Hello Everyone -

I have so much to tell everyone, but I've needed to catch up on bookkeeping, book orders, organizing new businesses, doing my film with my film class, training Robert on some bookkeeping, trying to rest, sometimes I don't have a choice - the chemo takes over.

With Suzie here next week, I hope we can post some pictures on the blog. I have so much to tell you about our trips.

A quick note to Vicki McNair and Liz Potts from Skyline High School. It was so good to see you and my dear friends Sarie and Elaine Dial. So much more to say and people to thank on our various pilgrimages.

I have to get to bed now! Oops, it's midnight. Gotta go do some mouthwash.

Just up here in Colorado, with hummingbirds and snow. The snow melted earlier this week, but I could still hear some hummingbirds. I think everyone mowed their yard this weekend after the snow melted. We got our lawnmower fixed, thanks to Elwood our employee.

Sincerely, Caroline

P.S. I think this cancer has messed with the wrong woman.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Caroline is doing ok ....

Howdy ya'll - that's Texan for hello you all. This is Suzie again. Caroline is doing fine - she's off her steroid high and therefore has less energy.

I'm so happy to have my "real" little sister back. I can hear it in her voice - it's truly Caroline! I'm wondering if any of you caretakers have experienced this with your loved one. She's finally sleeping, which means Robert is getting more "good" sleep. I kept thinking about the time one of my best friends was in the midst of a horendous tragedy. We were at the hospital and my friend could not sleep or eat. The nurse told us her getting sleep was more important than her eating. I was beginning to think Robert would get up one morning and find a little pile of ashes where Caroline had finally burned out.

Caroline is getting physical therapy on her leg and she believes it is really helping, although I don't believe she can yet really use that thigh muscle. Robert said she can bend the leg a tad. She continues to have mouth and throat sores and sometimes she can't even take pills.

This is really getting her down. Caroline, as I'm sure you've come to know, has always been extremely active. She was involved in so many things and she worked at the same time. After moving to Ouray and marrying Robert, she jumped into the community with both feet. To not have energy and to feel so sick is depressing. She questions whether it's all worth it. Apparently the affects of FOLFOX are cumulative so she'll probably feel even worse after the next treatment. I'm going over on Tuesday to spend some sister time and give Robert the time to do some rockhounding. Robert is great at finding beautiful crystals. I swear, he knows everything about Colorado minerals. Caroline and Robert were a good match - both being geologists and continuing their interest and enterprise in minerals.

I'll travel to Grand Junction with Robert and Caroline next Thursday for her doctor appointment. Hopefully all the tests will give the go ahead for FOLFOX chemo. She's coming to the end of this chemo regime and we're all extremely anxious for her to take a scan and see what the FOLFOX has accomplished. Caroline and Robert have a friend who has undergone this chemo regime for a different type of cancer. He's shared his experiences while undergoing FOLFOX which has been extremely helpful to Caroline. His sharing of experiences and his support has helped her get through this.

I'd better scoot - have a million things to do before I leave on Tuesday.

You go FOLFOX ..... kill those cancer cells!

Love to all,

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hello from Prescott, Arizona

Hi ya'll, this is Suzie once again.

Caroline is doing fine - she's just really busy and has once again discovered SLEEP --- thank heavens!!!! Being on the road with her during our Gray Girls' Texas Trek, I came to truly appreciate what Robert is up against. The steriods really throw Caroline into a manic state and although she was decreasing the dose during our trip, she still fought sleep. She would be sitting on the bed in a hotel room fooling around with something in her hands and would fall asleep mid-whatever she was doing. Diane and I would tell her to get in bed and she'd say "I just need to finish this" --- and on it would go. Diane found her asleep in the bathroom one morning about 2:30 am. One morning after such a night, I made her write a letter to herself (to give to Robert to use when needed) reminding her how hard headed she is and that her caretakers need sleep even if she doesn't. I have no idea where the letter is - I'm not sure she ever delivered it to Robert. Soooo, we're thrilled she once again, at least periodically, is going to bed at a reasonable time.

She had the FOLFOX chemo this week although she had to have a blood transfusion due to her continued anemia. She told me Dr. Bergen seems to be more optimistic - he has to be as we really weren't sure she'd be here last Christmas and he told us prior to our Texas Trek that she might die in the car. He was so concerned Diane and I would be really upset with him - we told him it would be ok as Caroline would be doing something she truly wanted to do. I am so impressed with Dr. Bergen. I believe the mix of God's grace, Dr. Bergen's excellent doctoring, and Caroline's will is the reason she's still alive and living OUTLOUD.

She is continuing with her video and of course she got really behind with their businesses while out of town so much the past couple of months so she's working very hard to catch up prior to the upcoming summer season in Ouray.

As always, thank you for all of your love and support. We all need and appreciate it.

Suzie Gray West

P.S. We're thinking Caroline will be attending my 40 year high school reunion this September in Duncanville, Texas!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quick Update on Caroline

Hi all, this is Suzie, Caroline's big sister again. Al and I just returned from a week in Oregon. I spoke with Caroline briefly today and she wanted me to post and say she's doing fine but is really, really busy. Her leg continues to improve for which she's very thankful and encouraged. She is having trouble swallowing --- sores in her mouth and throat from chemo. She will see Dr. Bergen today (Friday) and then she and Robert are off to Moab with a long time friend, Dick, who lives in Grand Junction. She said she's continuing to calm down as the steroids are decreased. I spoke with Robert while we were gone and he told me she'd gotten really good sleep a couple of nights/days --- believe me, she needs it. She just goes and goes and goes --- I keep thinking she's going to burn up like a shooting star. I know they'll have a wonderful time and she'll absorb the beauty and peace of Moab.

Thank you for all your love and support of my little sister. She's a truly amazing woman and is fighting for her life.