Tuesday, November 24, 2009

awake and eating

Mom's awake and finishing up a late lunch of East-West leftovers: yesterday's spaghetti (quick bolognese with angel hair and parmesan) plus a bowl of Korean seaweed soup brought over by Mrs. Farwell a few days back.

When I saw Mom in the bathroom a couple hours ago, I noticed that her feet were swollen, the left more than the right. Her feet and ankles also had the same reddish/purplish discolorations I'd seen before. I asked Dad whether these patches were as prominent when Mom's feet weren't swollen, and he said they were indeed visible even when Mom's feet were normal. Dr. Royfe had the chance to see Mom's feet yesterday, when they were less puffy, but he apparently didn't find the discoloration remarkable. For the moment, then, I'm going to assume they aren't the sign of anything urgent.

Mom's alertness is at about the same level as it was yesterday. That's two days in a row, now. Is she improving, ever so slightly?

Other big news: Dad's correspondence with New York Presbyterian has paid off: the facility wants to see Mom for an initial appointment on December 8. We'll be driving up on the 7th and checking in to a hotel-style guest facility right there on the hospital campus. It's possible that insurance will cover the use of this facility; if not, it's not a terrible deal at $225 per night for at least three people-- and that's for a rather large 1-bedroom space with its own living room and kitchen.

Aside from our friend Renée, we've had kind offers from other folks who have expressed a willingness to house us during our stay(s) in New York. Two things, however: (1) this upcoming December 8 trip is only for one night, as the only purpose of the trip is to allow the docs to evaluate Mom. We're still unsure whether she's a viable candidate for their intra-arterial Avastin study. Also, (2) location matters when you're dealing with someone's mobility issues. Having Mom right smack-dab on the hospital's campus is, logistically speaking, the best possible scenario. Wheeling her across the street from the guest accommodations and into the huge complex that houses the bulk of the NYP campus leaves us with little to do but take a short stroll. All other options will involve elevators, stairs, cars, traffic, distance, and time. For December 8, at least, there's little need to trouble anyone about a place to stay.

Things will be different if Mom is successfully enrolled in the clinical trial. It's possible that Mom will have to stay in New York a while, in which case cheap accommodations will be necessary for the family. I assume Mom will be housed inside the hospital proper for the duration of the trial period. Or perhaps she won't need to be: if the procedure is quick and simple (no one has to drill directly into her head; the microcatheter is inserted into the carotid artery, i.e., into the neck), then Mom might need only a single night at the hospital, after which NCI can monitor Mom and send the data back up to New York. I'd much prefer such a scenario to spending days or even weeks away from home.

Much still to find out. Wish us luck.


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