Hard to believe it’s been almost two months since our last update. Rather than try to capture everything in the last few months in detail, here’s the bullet-point version – with pictures!
October 15 – NET Cancer awareness fundraiser at Bryn Athyn Bounty farmer’s market, with proceeds going to the Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network.
November 8 – A trip to the ER; Anne had intense abdominal cramps and pain, to the point that the pain required narcotics. It passed and Anne was feeling much better by the next day, but she has had consistent, daily, really bad stomach cramps since then. It’s the big mystery at the moment; there doesn’t seem to be a physical blockage, but the cause could be anything from a reaction to the lanreotide, to adhesions from the surgery, to a recurrent ileus (intestinal paralysis), to any number of other things. Anne will skip her upcoming lanreotide injection to see if that makes a difference; the lanreotide has been effective in reducing symptoms like flushing and heart palpitations, but we want to see if it might be responsible for the abdominal pain. If it is, we’ll talk to the doctors about reducing the dose or switching to Sandostatin, another drug that acts very similarly to lanreotide.
November 9 – Anne’s birthday! The abdominal pain was much better, and the kids had fun giving Anne her gifts. The best part: from November 7-13, our good friends Nick and Ashlee were here with their two kids, and for part of the time Ashlee’s sister Emily too.
November 12 – Run for the Stripes Walk / Run at the Philadelphia Zoo. It was COLD – but so great to see so many local people coming out to support NETs research at Penn.
November 13 – Samuel’s birthday. He loved all his presents, but the hands down favorite (that he still uses every day) was the knight outfit from Nana and Papa (Anne’s parents).
November 30 – We bought a new house! It’s less than 10 minutes from my parents and from the church, close to grocery stores, single-story (useful if Anne has future surgeries that limit her mobility), with lots of space and a HUGE basement. We’ll be moving in slowly; we have some renovations to do (taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, putting in a fence, taking out the carpets), and our stuff hasn’t been shipped from South Africa yet. We did buy a number of furniture pieces from the previous owners, so it’s livable now, but we don’t expect to be really moved in until some time in the spring. Which is fine with us – after four fairly hectic moves in the four years we’ve been married, we’re looking forward to having everything in its place before we move in.
December 13 – Coleman’s birthday, which we celebrated on the next day. Hilary (Coleman’s mom) made steak au poivre for dinner, and Coleman was spoiled rotten with thoughtful gifts.
December 24-25 – Christmas eve / Christmas day. Every single one of Coleman’s siblings along with spouses and kids was here, a very rare occurrence! The kids loved spending time with their aunts and uncles and cousins, and we have loved the time with our big family.
Upcoming: for our birthdays, Coleman’s parents gave us the gift of a weekend away, and we’re taking advantage of it this weekend to celebrate our fourth anniversary (December 30th). Eleanor’s second birthday will be on January 24th, which is the last of the November – January “big events.” Coleman will continue doing miscellaneous work for the church (developing small group content, occasional preaching). And of course, we’ll be working toward moving into our new house!
On the medical side of things, as said above, we’ll see how Anne’s abdominal pain responds to a month without lanreotide, and depending on the results of that, she’ll undergo further tests to try to find the cause. We have also heard that Penn has started performing the 68-Gallium scan (the scan Anne went to Pretoria for), and we hope she can have a scan within the next few months.
So, that’s us. Sorry for the lack of updates! And thank you all so much for the continued thoughts, support, love, and prayers. We really appreciate it.