Just a quick update to let you all know that Frances has been released from hospital today.
As expected, the side effects from the radiation have left her pretty exhausted and she need to rest up for a few days before her next chemo on Thursday.
Mum and Dad will have the fire stoked for her in Ballarat!
Todays update is from Frances (with a little help from Mum)
Today Frances started the first of five rounds of full head radiation. They believe the side effects from the treatment will be minimal over the next few days. Generally a week or so after treatment is when the more major side effects start. Hopefully they aren’t too bad!
They have confirmed Frances is defiantly starting chemo but are still debating when that’s going to be. She needs a rest period after radiation and her oncologist and radiologist are trying to get the balance right.
All going to plan they may let Frances out of hospital after radiation treatment is complete. She can then come back on a weekly basis for chemo and rest up at home.
Anyone that’s in Melbourne over the weekend, please feel free to drop in an say hi. Things are pretty boring and quite at Peter Mac on weekends and a know she would love it!
Last night Frances was transferred to Peter Mac, she feels more comfortable there as they understand her history.
Today she has seen several different doctors, all looking after different things from the oncology side of things to pharmacy, pain management, radiotherapy and any other department that’s looking after her. We know she’s in good hands.
They have decided that the priority is to start radiotherapy this Friday, for 2 full head treatments to reduce the swelling in her brain. Currently she is high doses of steroids to help the symptoms but they had said there are health risks for patients being on high doses for long periods of time.
Last weeks liver ultrasound came back and showed the cancer in her liver has grown. The oncologist has decided to start another chemotherapy to focus on the liver after the radiotherapy has been completed in around a weeks time. The chemo is similar to one Frances had quite some time ago. (Taxol I think) They’ll know in three treatments if it’s working. Fingers crossed..
With so many doctors, nurses and visitors today has been very draining on Frances, especially because she is finding it difficult to communicate.
In regards to communication, Frances has asked that if anyone wishes to contact her they are welcome to, but she asks for no text messages as she can’t read them. It’s making her quite upset to try and read anything. I’m sure you can understand that this would be very distressing for anyone.
Frances has her phone and would love some calls from friends and family. If she can’t answer please remember to leave a voicemail and she will get back to you when she’s able to. She’s doing heaps better with the speech side of things but still stumbles a bit, she finds if there is too many people or distractions she can’t focus on what she has to say.
Finally, Frances is able to have visitors and I’m sure she would love to see some other familiar faces. She is in ward 9.
Apologies for the blank update yesterday. The update I wrote ended up in cyberspace somewhere.
Frances is still in the Royal Melbourne and we are waiting on word for a transfer time to Peter Mac.
She had to stay here and wait to see a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon came late last night and said unfortunately it is not an option to operate. The team at Peter Mac will work out the next treatment plan. Most likely they will start the full head radiation this week. We’ll know more on that later today hopefully.
The condition Frances has is called Dysphasia (google for more info). It’s still difficult to communicate and she is getting quite frustrated. A new symptom that started last night is double vision, which is quite concerning although it seems better this morning.
Frances said she can understand what we are all saying but when she responds the words just don’t come out correctly!
The speech therapist has been in this morning to help Frances with some communication strategies. The therapist was also able to give us some advice on how we can help her, which was handy.
I’ve been passing on all of the well wishes from everyone and Mum, Dad and the rest of us appreciate everyone’s support.
I’ll update once Frances is settled in Peter Mac later today or tomorrow.
A little while ago Frances asked me is she was ever unable to write her blog could I please do it for her.
At the time I said yes, at the same time I was thinking how the hell was I ever going to be able to write like her!
I really hope the next update you get is from Frances, but until then you have me, Jackie (sister)
Today Frances was admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital after an “episode” which has caused stroke like symptoms. She is having difficulty communicating in writing and verbally and is very confused. From what we understand the tumours in her skull and in the membrane surrounding the brain are causing quite bad swelling which is pushing on her brain.
The doctors are running tests and scans to determine what they do next and they will be transferring her to Peter Mac tomorrow sometime.
Please pray the next update is from Frances.