Updating the update

Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Since my last post updating Anna’s progress, there have been some significant and positive changes.

First, Anna’s doctor has made a change in her schedule. He examined her on Saturday after Anna had finished her scheduled chemo treatment. This was suppose to be the last chemo treatment before Anna had surgery, but Anna said that during the examination her doctor became excited (sic!).  These are Anna’s words. Personally I can’t imagine her very staid, and even-keeled doctor getting excited, but anyhow… During the examination of her left breast and lymph nodes, he noticed a significant reduction in the size of the cancerous masses.

Anna said he was excited because this change had occurred in the course of the last two week cycle. Up until this examination, Anna had only described his opinion of her progress as being cautiously optimistic.  As we have both read on the internet, chemo doesn’t work for everyone the same way, so there is a bit of craftsmanship to the science involved in the administration of the chemo regimens that doctors prescribe to their patients. But now that Anna’s body seems to be responding very well to the current regiment, the doctor thinks it would be best to extend the current cycle for three more sessions to see if there is further reduction in the masses and more importantly annihilation of any metastasized cells in her body. This will push Anna’s surgery into February rather than the end of December.

Anna also had a chance to talk with her radiologist. It seems that Anna and the radiologist share a connection; that is,  Anna’s mother and the radiologist’s mother were school friends back when they were growing up in Incheon. These kinds of connections are very important in Korean society, and consequently the radiologist took a more detailed and careful look at Anna’s case and gave Anna a call on Tuesday. The radiologist described Anna’s breast cancer as resembling a bunch of grapes, with the largest number of masses in the breast itself and fewer clusters spreading through the lymph nodes from the breast to just under the  left underarm. Neither Anna nor I were aware that her cancer was grape-like, I think both of us envisioned it as one large tumor in the breast and smaller secondary tumor near the underarm.

In other news, the end of the school year is quickly approaching and that means Anna is busy filling out application forms for next semester. These applications are for  Noah so he can enter the lotteries that many of the best  kindergartens in our area use to select incoming students.  Since we have three children and are labeled a “multicultural family” we often have better odds at securing these coveted spots than your average Korean family with a single child.

Anna spent the morning filling out the applications and now it is time to run around to several schools, drop off our applications, the associated paperwork, and the obligatory “here’s my foreigner” that is required when one claims to be a multicultural family.

Korean spouse: “Here’s my foreigner.”
Foreign spouse squeaks, “Hi.”
School official looks foreign spouse over critically to be sure that he/she is really non-Korean.

Really, it’s gonna be the best part of the whole afternoon.

3 Responses to “Updating the update”

  1. Linda Says:

    So glad for the positive updates. Grape clusters is a new image. With lots of love and I hope you did look foreign…. (hmmmm)

    Linda

  2. jbrawn67 Says:

    Linda:

    I borrowed some images of some breasts and some grapes from the internet and put them together using Photoshop. After assessing my handiwork. I decided that the visual image wasn’t in good taste, so I didn’t post it.

    I guess I was foreign enough. Noah made it through the lottery/selection process. Actually the school official who checked me out was worthy of being checked out herself! She was a very attractive young woman.

  3. Michelle Says:

    James, James, James…

    Just so you know, I really do have my angels and spirit guides working on Anna! Every night I send them to you guys first and foremost. They are pretty darn good at what they do, so I think you guys are in good hands all around.

    So happy to hear that things are getting better.

    xo,

    Michelle

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