Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Traci's Better Day

Traci had a good night and an excellent day.  Interruptions, poking, and prodding every half hour through the night made sleep difficult but she was able to rest enough to be ready for the kids to come today and see us both (photo attached).  A number of visitors came today which were a huge blessing.  Her brother Allan returned to Phoenix this evening.  It was wonderful to have him here since Monday.  She has managed pain very well and is now off the drip altogether.  It’s pill form only for her now and that seems to be all she needs.  Remember she’s had 4 kids all natural so she has a pretty high pain tolerance.  She got up 3x times to walk and handled those challenges really well too.  She’s eating real food tonight.  Indeed, today has been a good day.


This morning we were visited by her plastic surgeon, Dr. Diane Alexander.  She was very happy with how Traci looked and left us believing that everything went as well with the reconstruction as she could have hoped.  Shortly after that Dr. Jennifer Amerson, her surgeon, came to check in on us.  Dr. Amerson has been as good as advertised (and she was VERY well advertised by so many friends and strangers we’ve met the last month) from the first time she met with us.  Her words today were informative but a bit sobering.  It seems Traci has 3 main hurdles to overcome in order to be cancer free right now and walk away from this without any further treatment, especially chemotherapy, which is honestly something we and many others have been praying she will not have to endure. 


The first of those three hurdles we are just about over.  The lymph nodes that were taken yesterday do indeed appear to be cancer free but we will know that for sure only early next week when the final pathology comes back on them.  The remaining two hurdles will be confronted once some other tests of yesterday come back early next week.  When we think about dear friends and family that have endured chemotherapy and radiation and who knows what else we don’t want to sound cowardice in any way should our journey with cancer include those as well.  We’re just being honest when we say we don’t want to walk down that road.  We’re also being true when we say we will if we have to.  We agreed tonight though that those are questions and answers we have no control over right now so our only task is to take the next step before us and do so with as much courage as we can muster.  That means simply right now Traci needs to rest, get bodily functions all working normally again, and continue getting ready to leave the hospital on Friday.  Whatever awaits us early next will week will have to do just that – wait!


The flowers, cards, calls, and visits really are life giving.  Thank you to everyone who has expressed in person or in letter form your love and support of Traci.  It has been a joy to hear from so many of you.  In time we look forward to thanking you personally.  For the moment, please accept the blanket thank you an end of day email affords us.


Your prayers for these last two hurdles to be overcome are very much appreciated.  I’m not a doctor so I won’t try to spell them out for you.  Doesn’t matter really anyway as those are post pathology report steps anyway.  For now, we’re encouraged, hopeful, courageous and supported by an army of friends, supporters, and encouragers.


Thank you all and we’ll update you again tomorrow night which will hopefully be our last night in the hospital.


Gratefully yours,

Rob and Traci



Rob Browne

Director of Russian Operations

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