Tuesday, June 9, 2009

BREATH

The sun didn't come out today in our end of LA. It was kind of a gloomy day. Like many Angelenos, we bundle up on days like today. Go ahead, make fun of us—but it's such a novelty to wear a sweater in LA! Pablo wore two shirts and a sweater vest and a suit coat; he wanted to dress like one of the dudes on the cover of 'Lemony Snicket.' Bundled in our long sleeves we traveled to CHLA with long faces. Despite the lack of solar rays, we found the most nourishing warmth this afternoon, indoors, at the CHLA Oncology Clinic.

How did this happen? What's this about? Our warmth had to do with something far more significant than solar rays. Our warmth had to do with our hearts. Our warmth had to do with Dr Mascarenhas putting his stethoscope to Pablo's back, behind his right lung, and hearing breath! The sound of BREATH, breathing, inhaling, exhaling: that thing we all do whether we like chocolate or hate Sarah Palin or love Cleveland in November or agree on how GM should be bailed out.... No sound could make us happier than what Dr M heard through his rubber n metal contraption. I'm almost winded with excitement just typing this.

Last Thursday, Dr M heard nothing when he put his stethoscope on the same spot. The fluid in P's lung blocked the sound. This was the impetus for the new round of chemo that started Friday. We had to throw something at that tumor, to knock the pants off of it, to push it back to nothingness, where it came from. The chemo Pablo started on Friday is the last house on the block for him, in terms of chemotherapeutic treatment. So, you can see why today's development is so important.


Dr M hearing breath means—in all likelihood—that the chemo is knocking back the size of the tumor, and the fluid that's building up between the lung and the sac that contains the lung. I say probably because we have not done an X-ray or a scan to verify this. And we won't do an X-ray until next Tuesday. Why? Last Friday, Dr M proposed that if we heard breath today, we'd let the chemo continue kicking butt on the tumors. He said something along the lines of, 'I can wait another week for good news.' We agreed. It's the Zen approach. It's worked for us so far. You know that cos you've ALL chopped wood and carried water WITH US.

We owe all of you a huge THANKS for your daily three minute blasts of love + energy. Let's keep the operation in motion. It's WORKING....

We are having a good night around here. We wish you the same.

18 comments:

Tiwanna said...

This is AWESOME News!! As a respiratory therapist I can understand the joy you felt of knowing that Dr. M heard breath sounds. It's a wonderful and awesome sound to hear when you hear it in a patient after they've been ill. I will continue in my 3 mins a day, which is actually more cause I'm always looking for Jeff's twitter post. Take care of each other and all my best prayers and thoughts for you all

JMJ said...

What a lovely post! So glad to be reading this. Jeff, your writing really inspires. Keep on truckin'! Constant love being sent your way!

thepiersolfamily said...

Yahoo!!! SO SO SO happy for the good news. Also love the getup from Lemony Snicket. We were thinking of Pablo tonight while Gracie and I built our first Playmobil pirate set. I told her how much Pablo loves Legos. Plus we know what a great pirate he could be! He would have taken us all down!
Tons of love to you and so happy for the sound of breathing...
xoxo
Laura Piersol

Shay Raviv said...

Great! Great! Great! Love to you all.

Anonymous said...

Thrilled for you all. My husband was talking about when Pablo is all better-- he'll remember all the incredible times you guys had during this last year -- you set the bar pretty high -- and he was laughing at the thought of Pablo at 80 looking for the haps. Maybe you had to be there -- I'm glad I was.

Anonymous said...

On our pediatric oncolog wing, there's a picture of a frog struggling to free himself from the wrath of a bird. The caption reads, "Never, never, never give up!"

I was tickled pink to read your blog today. Thrilled that Pablo is trying to free himself from this horrible predator, one breath at a time. Praying for you all that this is the chemo that works.

Love,
Molly and Laney Böttcher

stephanie said...

Yeah! that's what we want to hear.

Lisa Hickey said...

So glad to hear this news! It's truly the ray of "sunshine" I needed. I'm concentrating hard on Pablo's healing. One of my nephews in North Carolina is going through chemo right now for a brain tumor. He is the father of 2 little kids and his wife posted this quote on facebook this morning. I loved it and thought of you guys: "Pity is the experiance of meeting pain with fear. It makes one want to change the givens of the moment....But when we touch the same pain with love, letting it be as it is, meeting it with mercy instead of fear and hatred, then that is compassion." -Stephen Levine

JessiHector said...

this is great news! i'm thinking of little pablo everyday.

chad said...

great news, keep up the good work!

Lizard Eater said...

So, SO happy to hear this news. Sweet breath. How much we take it for granted.

Another Wilms' parent

Anonymous said...

Yes Yes Yes. Go Pablo, Go.

-JeffSarahOtto

Minneapolis/StPaul

Anonymous said...

You've made my day!!!!!!!!

Jenefer

Dawn: said...

Wonderful!

And- as demonstrated in your descriptions and the photos on here- Pablo has the coolest fashion sense of anyone I know.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!! Love to you!

Kerry Zeka said...

My heart is so happy! We will take every little victory we can get...no matter the size...big or small! The news could of gone one of three ways; good, bad, or middle of the road. I am so so happy it was good! We will continue our prayer vigil and also continue to hope for the very, very best from here on out. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You all are so amazing!

Wilm's Warrior buddies in OK
Sicily and her mommy, Kerry

LYNN said...

SUCH good news!!

carlina said...

heck yes pablo! keep up the good work everyone!