Subject: Jen wellness update #45 (18Jan01) Phase IV
It now seems overwhelmingly likely that Jen is suffering with a stage four metastatic cancer of the pleural lining. In plainer language, the tongue cancer spread microscopically to the lining of the lungs. Once there it became responsible for elevating her calcium levels, and causing a large amount of fluid to form next to the diaphragm, making breathing difficult.
Whilst at UCSF, Jen's high calcium level was successfully treated, and some of the fluid from her lungs was drained off. Then she begin to think more clearly, and breathe easier, although she still needs a slight oxygen assist to be comfortable.
Jen came home on Wednesday, mercifully coinciding to the hour with the arrival of her parents and brother from New York. It was an eerily warm day - we lifted the top of the convertible to get Jen's oxygen bottle in and out. I'm thankful that Jane & Larry didn't have to go to the hospital again.
Once we got the central oxygen compressor installed in the apartment, Jen's panic subsided and she's been comfortable at home now for a couple of days. Her family are around her, and sometimes she is able to lift focus away from her body and really see them.
She is so, so tired and weak now: she's been fighting for so long, but doesn't know how much longer she can.
We are all numbed by the speed with which this disease is debilitating Jen - on Thursday last, just before we received the call to go to Kramer's office, Jen and I had had a hard morning out doing physical therapy, and were looking forward to a quiet afternoon in. Whether denial or not, I can't say, but right up to then we didn't remotely expect a reoccurrence.
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