It’s been a long time since I update you all on what’s going on here. There have been all sorts of issues with Amanda at school, behavioral problems and acting out violently with some self harm. There are a lot of reasons, stress at home with Teri, stress at school, stress with her friends online, and she doesn’t deal with it in the most productive ways. We’re working on getting her some additional help, but the problem with that is that she doesn’t think she needs help with anything. Getting her to work with someone will be the big challenge there.
Drew has had some behavior issues lately as well, he acts out in some weird ways to get attention. The day before going back to school after winter break, he was stressed about going back to school and got in trouble for doing a few things we specifically asked him not to do. He took a bath in our bathroom that night, and used my beard trimmer to shave his head. Yep, he full on pulled a Brittany. It’s growing back ok, and he headed off any teasing by taking Teri’s advice and saying he was doing it to support cancer patients. Helping drew deal with stress in more productive ways is another goal this year.
Alex is doing pretty well overall, still a lot of challenges around communication but it’s improved a lot. He does much better at school than he does at home, I think some of it is that he just want to relax when he’s home and not have to work so hard at it.
So, now onto Teri. My last blog post talked about the clinical trial she was starting up. Well, the drugs didn’t seem to do anything positive, the tumor marker numbers continued to go up and she still has the sternum pain, so they took her out of the study back in October. The doctor gave us a few options, but was pushing getting Teri onto another aggressive chemo. Losing hair and being sick as hell was not something that Teri had the energy to do, not after fighting for 7 years, so he pulled out another chemo that she would be able to handle better. She’s been on that, one week on and one week for a couple of months now, and we’ve seen some mixed results. Before Christmas, we had some positive test results that showed two of the markers dropped and one had its rate of increase slowed significantly. However, the test this last month didn’t continue that overall trend. One still went down, but the other two went up. They increased the dose of the drug, which is really starting to take a toll on Teri. Fatigue, headaches, and some nausea, not nearly as bad as that first year of chemo we went through but still can make it tough to function. A couple more weeks and we’ll have the next test to see if increasing the dose helps, so for now it’s still the waiting game.
Teri did get to finally take that vacation away from the kids that I’ve been trying to get her to do for years. She’s let me go off for weekends her and there, a couple of trips to NAMM and Vegas to see Billy Sheehan and The Winery Dogs, but she never felt like she could leave. Her close friend came to stay with us for a while after New year’s, and the two of us convinced her to take a trip up to Sedona, a girl’s weekend, and I would handle the kids. It went very well, they had a great time up in nature (Sedona is really by beautiful) and all three kids were alive when she got back. Now I need a vacation again…
So, I’ll try to update this more this year. It’s tough, and by the time I have the time to sit down and write I’m too exhausted from the day to think and put a coherent thought down. Writing is good for me, though, getting these thoughts out of my head, so whether anyone actually reads this or not it’s helpful to my sanity.