Friday, November 30, 2012

From Beck- Em's New Normal

It was bittersweet to have the Guard/Brown crew head home. We’ll miss them, but it’s such a relief to see Em feeling better and ready to be back on Maui.

I’m writing this not as blog facilitator, but as a friend who’s watched Em go through this whole deal. 

The events have been shocking and fast and scary. So what  can I tell you about Em's cancer, and about where she is right now?

First- nobody can predict the future, not even the crazy-smart oncologists we saw in San Francisco. But what we know is that Em is getting the best medical care possible. She’s got a solid mix of traditional and alternative therapies in the works. And most importantly, she is feeling much, much better. This is a day-by-day fight.

Next- if you’re wondering how Em is doing in all this, I can tell you she is rock solid. Em has shown such incredible mental toughness, she is up for the fight, and she knows it’s going to be a marathon. As she and JB settle back in to a routine at home: one week chemo, the next week rebuilding her strength, they will have to figure out the new normal. And that’s a work in progress.   

How can we help- what Em craves from all of us is normalcy. This isn’t a state of denial around her cancer, but more that she doesn’t need to relive it all the time. And no need to worry that she’s housebound; you’ll see her at the gym, the beach, & yep, Costco!

So many of you stopped by, helped with yard work & watched Kahala. All of you, even by checking her blog, have let Em know how much you care. She says over and over how blown away she is by the outreach and kokua from so many people.

Thank you all, and I know Em, JB and Brooke will be updating the blog more in the coming weeks.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Autumn leaves!

Hanging with lovely Dorien during chemo #6 and enjoying some beautiful fall leaves I brought back from California! We continue to appreciate all of your support. I wish I could thank each of you in person, but I'm focusing my energy on healing.

with aloha,

Monday, November 5, 2012

From Brooke

From Brooke Brown:
The past two weeks have been crazy busy with meeting with doctors, commuting to San Francisco and Marin, and keeping up with Kahala, who is enthralled by Becky and Jane's incredible 4 1/2-year-old twins, Finn and Emalia!  

Finally, the meetings are behind us, and we have a bit of breathing space before the appointments begin again on Tuesday in preparation for Emalia's next round of chemo--no. 5--at Kaiser SF on Thursday. 

The good news is that Emalia's tumors have shrunk! She has responded well to the chemo.
But right now Emalia's only treatment options are chemo, rest, and diet/exercise. The regimen entails chemo off and on to shrink the tumors. Chemo regimens are every 2 weeks and can go about 6 months, and then she’d get a break. If tumors reappear and/or grow, she would start chemo again. 

More good news is that Emalia is no longer in pain, and her nausea is now mostly controlled. She still tires easily but is more and more able to get out for walks, get on Becky's elliptical, and play with Kahala. It has been so heartening to see her able to do these things--like go trick or treating in the neighborhood with JB, Kahala, and the Worley-Mitchell crew; and, it is also clear to me how much energy these fun things take from it is essential that lots of rest time is available for Emalia to use. 

We are beyond happy with Emalia's medical team here--which includes UCSF and Kaiser SF doctors as well as two Marin oncologists--and that they know each other and communicate back and forth readily makes for Emalia feeling even more supported and closely held medically.

We had a wonderful meeting with the head of the Osher Center, an MD who is also UCSF's chief of oncology. (Osher Center is UCSF's integrative medicine "arm.") This MD advised Emalia to use diet to create a "hostile terrain" for cancer cells, something she has already begun. Also exercise is key and vital for her fight.

I know it is hard for many of you to not be in direct and frequent communication with Emalia, and please know that Emalia must continue to ration carefully what energy she has, prioritizing JB, Kahalakea, and exercise--and so far simply hasn't had energy to spare. I can only say that she is SO appreciative of your support and knowing you are with her/us on this journey. We all feel your love streaming our way and know that there is absolutely no way we could do this alone. 

We will return to Maui shortly before Thanksgiving and return to California in January for another scan.

With great aloha & gratitude,