Just after callicrates and I got back from Father Wally's 90th birthday party, we got a call from our friend Denny with news. I met Denny and celebril through blackgryphon somewhere around 1991 or 1992.
I tend to expect the worst, but in this case the news blindsided even me: Heather has inflammatory breast cancer. It is more lethal than many other forms because it doesn't become symptomatic until after it has invaded the lymph system. In a small stroke of mercy they avoided the usual misdiagnosis which happens with this form of cancer since it mimics mastitis at first.
We found out about two weeks ago that the chemo was doing a fine job of killing her, but not touching the cancer. She went to an appointment at Duke University in hopes that someone there might have some new information. Since Andy was going to a recruiting drive at UNC and Heather and Denny live in VA, I tagged along.
Heather qualifies for none of the studies, and they're now aiming for quality of life. Denny's unsoftened estimate is 10-11 months.
A miracle could still occur. At the moment Heather is on a new run of chemo, and if it manages to shrink the tumors they can operate. Who knows, she might even find a current study; clubjuggler and jklgoduke know of a surgeon specializing in breast cancer and I gave Denny the information.
Their eldest daughter, Regina, knows what's going on. Their two youngest, Dannielle and Erica, do not but they know something is going on. I will probably visit whenever I can to help out; Andy will also try, though he has more constraints than I do.
In other news, Andy's uncle fell off a roof and has managed to break a majority of the bones in his body. He's being worked on by one of the surgeons who patches up racecar drivers. He didn't injure his spine, thankfully. I hope Andy's relatives understand the absolute relief Andy and I felt when we realized it was "just" a bunch of broken bones.
In other other news, Andy gets home tomorrow. I can't wait to see him again, even if the net separation this time will have been about 24 hours; less if his flights don't get delayed tomorrow.