Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Medical Mysteries

Our family is dealing with some pretty weighty issues right now. DH's grandmother has lung cancer. It is metastasized renal cancer that she had years ago. Traditional chemo is not effective on this kind of cancer. There is a new drug out that is supposed to help, though it is not a cure. It is supposed help slow the growth of the cancer to prolong life. However, she has had a severe allergic reaction to the medication on the first try. The doctors took her off the medication, waited for the reaction to clear and then tried again with the addition of Prednisone to control the reaction. Unfortunately, this regimen did not help so she can't take the drug. Truthfully, I don't know what this means in terms of how long we have with her but I do know it is going to be a long road no matter how long or short it truely is. I am sad for my DH and my MIL.

In addition to this, my DH's father is dealing with memory issues. When this started almost 2 years ago he was diagnosed as having subclinical seizures that were causing gaps in his short term memory. They have tried different drug combinations to combat the seizures and hopefully arrest the memory degradation. However, the results were not what all of us had been hoping for. After a poor job review my FIL quit his job. However, MIL and the job counselor were able to get him onto long-term disability so that they have not lost his income entirely. This happened a few months ago. Fastforward to two weeks ago. FIL wore a portable EEG machine for a week to determine the frequency of the seizures. Come to find out he is NOT having seizures at all. Instead he is suffering from early onset dementia. From the research that DH has done, this type of dementia has a direct genetic link. It is carried in one of three chromosomes. This is a dominant gene. There are tests to determine if DH carries the gene. That is all well and good. There is ongoing research into new drug therapies and all that. The fact still remains that there is a 50-50 chance that DH could come down with this same affliction in as early as 15 years! Our DS will only be 17 in 15 years!!! I am terrified right now but unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do other than worry which leads to depression which leads to overeating which leads to possible health problems of my own.

DH is probably going to have some testing done. I am not sure about his brother and sister. Their grandmother appears to have had this same illness so it is definitely a genetic issue that needs to be at the least understood. Hopefully, there will be something that we can do about it if the eventuallity warrants it.

For now, I have to concentrate on the positives and the things I can control. The positives are that we know about this now, there are tests that can be done and there are drug protocols that can be used if needed. The things I can control are my diet, the family's diet and my own reactions to the stress. I can make weight loss a priority. I can make living in the moment and trying not to worry about the future a priority as well. For now, that is all I can do and that is what I WILL do.

1 comment:

  1. Cali! I didn't know you had a blog! Glad I found you and many hugs for you guys. That's a lot to deal with.