Update from Keith: February 6th, 2008

Today was a mixed day. There were some pretty good signs. Taylor was much more comfortable going down to radiation this morning and had no problem with any of the things they have to do to get her ready for anesthesia. That was a marked contrast from yesterday when she was really having an awful time down there. I'd like to think the improved attitude was due to her getting used to the routine, but I have a strong suspicion that the dose of morphine they gave her 15 minutes before we went down was the real reason behind her nonchalance. Opiates will do that.

Included among the not-so-good-signs was a return of frequent vomiting. She still won't eat and we have now gone since Sunday that she has eaten a meal. Since that time I think she has had half of a Kit-Kat bar and 4 french fries from McDonald's. She almost threw up the french fries. I wish we could figure out a way to eliminate her nausea in a way that does not increase her pain and which will allow her to eat again.

Speaking of pain, she continues to be clearly uncomfortable. She was in a bad mood most all of today because of it. Her pain will hopefully be a distant memory in just a couple of weeks as the radiation and chemotherapy begin having significant effects on her tumor, but we are not there yet. We're not even sure if the pain in her head is causing her nausea or if the medicines are causing the pain in her tummy. As to which pain is worse, it is hard to say. Regardless, she is very uncomfortable and it is hard to watch.

Taylor has had what we have dubbed "Hospital Hair" for most of the 2 weeks she has been there. Hospital hair is a matted, unkempt, bee-hive like fro that inspires comments from nearly all who see her. It was sop tangled that it made no sense to even try to comb it as it would just lead to pain. We have been waiting for her discharge to take her to a barber to get a buzz since she'll lose her hair anyway, but the nurses finally took pity on us and helped cut it short today. Her new 'do not only looks better but it will make things like putting on her oxygen mask late at night much easier. Plus, it's cute, in a cancer kind of way.

I know I'll get in trouble for writing this, but I am worried about Kris. She has been really down this week at the hospital. I think the combo of Taylor's continued pain plus not being able to take her home yet has really got her down. This whole thing seems only 16 days old to me (essentially beginning with the first CT scan on that fateful Tuesday) but for Kristin (and in reality) it's been around much longer. I was in France for 7 days when T really started taking a turn for the worse and I was in Baltimore when she started throwing up blood a couple of days before the CT. Thus, the burden of Taylor's illness has been on Kris much longer than I. She is especially sensitive to Taylor's pain and takes each discomfort hard. She eats little, sleeps less and (not surprisingly given T's condition) gets very down. The only long-term solution will be T's improved health, but in the short term I am going to urge her (us) to see a psychologist who specializes in cancer-families. The hospital has several and a couple others have been referred to us. In the meantime, please include Kris in your prayers, too.

Tonight Nana is staying with T, and Kris and I are home with Charlie. We went out to dinner at Charlie's favorite restaurant, Panda Inn (he likes the Pot Stickers). Everything was great until Kris got up to take Charlie to the potty which brought memories of Taylor and her love for going potty with Nana at Panda Inn into my mind. I'm sure the other diners were wondering why I was crying and I scared Kris on her return as she thought I must have heard some bad news. Nope, just a temporary loss of control.

Tomorrow is Taylor's third radiation treatment. I've been going to work each day this week, although on a shortened schedule. I'll be with Kris and T for her radiation appointment and then go to the office once she is back in her room. Then, it will be back to the hospital in the afternoon. It's wonderful therapy for me to get back to work. The closer we can get to our pre-cancer schedule, the easier everything will be.

It's great to be home with Charlie and Kris tonight, but it is a lonely house without Taylor. I can't wait until she comes home.