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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jane Levie Update: On chemo, doing well

I sent this mass-email out last month and forgot to post it here.

Dear friends and family,

Since I'm sure many of you are wondering, I thought it was about time that I send out another update on how my mom is faring these days.

Her first 10-week chemotherapy round went really well and ended just before Christmas. Amazingly, the only ill effect she suffered during that time was losing most of her hair--she was never nauseous and never in pain. (Actually, right when her hair began to fall out she decided to just shave it all off. Ever since she's been wearing a variety of cute little caps we purchased at a local salon and wig shop.) Her doctor expressed his amazement at how well her body is handling the treatments.

The doctor performed x-rays again to determine if the chemo was working or not. He said that out of 5 units of improvement possible, it seems to have worked about 2/5 or 3/5 of that--so that's pretty good for a first attempt. Since it worked at either slowing the spread of tumors (or shrinking the existing ones...I'm not sure which) he decided to keep her on the same chemotherapy treatments for another 10-week session.

Again, her body is handling it very well and she's doing pretty good. The only thing we notice this time is that she seems to have lost a little more weight. At this point it is nothing to worry about because the doctor says she's still in a good range for her height. (Whenever I'm home in Livermore with her I try to get as many calories into her as possible. We make daily stops at In-N-Out for milkshakes...which I have to admit, I don't mind one bit!)

For the most part, she's back to her regular routines: she goes to movies and lunch with friends, goes to church on occasion, and even braved a trip up to Gualala and Point Arena this past weekend with me. She took me to see her family plots in the two rural cemeteries (for nostalgic purposes only!) and we hung out with my in-laws. I can tell she's getting back to her "old self" because she was excited to eat out all weekend and always ordered seafood. She's also resumed driving--in fact, she bought herself a very nice new car just after Christmas. (This is a BIG deal if you know my mom at all. But don't worry, it is still a Volvo!)

Over the holidays she obviously enjoyed having my brother home. They went to movies, hung out at the house, and he helped her shop for her new car. She and my dad have also started a little tradition of eating at their favorite Japanese restaurant every Monday before or after they go to chemo. The lady at the restaurant is always so happy to see my mom and loves chatting with my dad about living in Japan.

As always, my entire family appreciates the love, support, and prayers from you all.


PS. Attached is a picture of my mom and her handsome (no bias from me...) son-in-law during Christmas. =)

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