A Report from Luke

Ellen and I have just returned home from our trip to Denver for her first chemotherapy session. She is sleeping.

The staff preceded the treatment with a considerable number of warnings about possible immediate side effects and adverse reactions, and made her sign a bunch of releases. This made both of us a bit apprehensive.

But the treatment passed well enough, with no apparent negative effects, which was very encouraging to Ellen, whose spirit has remained strong and positive throughout. She is a remarkable person, as we all know, and she is showing it now in new ways.

It was a long process, and uncomfortably sedentary, everyone spoke in low tones, and the skies outside were leaden gray.

They brought Ellen a good lunch and she ate everything in sight, which was wonderful. She has never been a big person, but has in the last couple of weeks been losing a pound a day and is now very thin. It is hard to imagine how someone can have such a strong appetite, be eating a lot, and still be losing weight consistently.

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It all finished at the end of the day on a positive note. It was over without Ellen feeling any pain or ill effects. The sun came out. And the first news from our party of companions who have successfully crossed the Andes came in as the nurse unhooked all the machinery.

We were so well treated by our cousins Kim and Stephanie Hutchinson, with whom we stayed. They live near the hospital. And fed us beautifully and gave us all kinds of friendship and support. Stephanie is a highly trained registered nurse and gave us some valuable advice to boot.

We missed the blizzards. It has been close to a record snow year, with one great storm after another. There was one yesterday, and one is forecast for tonight. But we got home safely.

We are both feeling encouraged, but must keep in mind that these chemicals are sufficiently dangerous that the nurses who attached Ellen to the machine are supposed to wear two sets of plastic gloves any time they touch the tubes or the connections. The idea that they are injecting something this toxic into one we love so much is profoundly disturbing. Let us hope it kills the cancer.

The worst feeling of malaise and nausea is supposed to be three, four or five days after the treatment. So do keep Ellen close to your heart this week end, please. And there are five more treatments to come. The next one will be here in Gunnison.

Ellen has some remarkable doctors helping her. Dr. Davis, her surgeon, is highly skilled and experienced. She is in very good medical hands in both Denver and Gunnison.
And look what was waiting here for us to eat tonight.


Nuestra comadre Orquidea Blanco nos preparó algunos chiles exquisitos. Gracias, Orquidea.




4 Replies to “A Report from Luke”

  1. Gracias Luke por tu comunicación! desde Lima los acompaño con mi cariño y la oracion de tantos amigos peruanos, tambien desde Puno! Tengo amigas muy queridas que han pasado muchas veces por este viaje de Ellen….y estan bien guapas!!! Así será con Ellen tambien! Que maravilla que ambos se acompañen con tanta ternura. Qué regalo de La Vida. Un abrazo a cada uno!!! María Julia


  2. Hi Ellen and Luke. Ellencita, so good to read that treatment #1 is behind you and you’re feeling okay so far, and hungry. There’s a gift certificate at Gunnison Health Food for you guys (and friends who might shop for you). I think anyone can add to it as the balance drops. Come, come, chica! Lots of love.


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