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Columnist
Challenges aplenty since last column
By Ruth Gesmer Silverman | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 2/25/2008 12:15 AM

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Since my last column, which ran Feb. 11, I've been an inpatient at Evanston Hospital, eaten too much food and lost about 12 pounds.

Go figure!

Through the portacath near my collar bone, I'm already on my new chemo drug -- Abraxane. So far, no reactions. I'll be on it once a week for three weeks and off for a week.

I've also regained very limited use of my legs, but only ongoing physical therapy will keep me moving forward. Thanks to one of my daughters, who flew in from Dallas, piles of accumulated mail now reside in bags, probably to be unearthed in another millennium.

My other daughter has called every day from Israel -- not quite as much fun as visiting her, but, nevertheless reassuring and connected.

I have a lovely home-health worker who tries to anticipate my needs without being intrusive. We are just getting to know one another.

The physical therapy has me walking with help, but I've been told it could take as long as a year to regain 90 percent mobility from the neuropathy that caused my legs to lose function. Much was achieved with 14 daily "zaps" of radiation aimed at the tumors pushing against my spinal cord, combined with a few well-ordered steroids, but those must be monitored very carefully.

Before my new adapted seats were delivered, I did spend another couple of hours trying to get out of the bathroom, but the problem was solved by our Buffalo Grove Fire Department paramedics. They say they have had more unusual requests!

We didn't go into details!

Then, of course, there's the issue of real nutrition. Leaping out of the fridge and into the microwave, containers of chicken soup -- both with and without matzah balls -- vie for attention. I haven't seen scientific studies, but it might be fun to see if a medical journal has published one.

My next goal is to get precious kitties home. They will sleep with me on the first floor since I cannot handle more than one step on the stairs to the upper level. I'm looking forward to their loving purrs and head-bumps.

Together, we'll "march" forward, delighted to share with our readers all the positive feedback -- and lots of dark chocolate!