Update...{December 29, 2014}

Jane was discharged from M D Anderson hospital this afternoon, Monday December 29th as Jane has been able to tolerate a liquids diet without significant pain.  Jane has been sent home with antibiotics to combat infection, pain meds to manage her pain levels and a restricted diet.  Jane's doctors will monitor how Jane progresses over the next few days.  Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support as we are very grateful for our family and friends.  Have a Happy New Year and enjoy the remainder  of the Christmas season.

December 29, 2014

Since Saturday Dec. 27th, Jane has been in the hospital battling a partial bowel obstruction as the cancer tumors have grown to restrict her bowel movement.  This is quite painful and Jane has been on a high dose of pain medications to battle this side effect.  The doctors have advised us that the obstruction often resolves itself with the passage of time so this will become a "wait and see" approach.  Jane's diet has been restricted to small portions of liquids only and regular pain medications.

We appreciate your continued prayers and support.

December 10, 2014

     Since our last update in October 2014, Jane has continued to suffer from certain side effects related to the hormone therapy protocol.  After consulting with Jane's M. D. Anderson doctors, Jane has discontinued the hormone therapy for the time being.  The doctors, however, continue to treat the side effects related to Jane's cancer and the side effects from the various drugs taken over the past three years.  Although you would never know it because Jane is strong, Jane is in constant pain that often elevates during different times of the day and night.  The doctors are doing all they can and Jane continues to persevere and meet each challenge with positive hope and a renewed sense of vigor. 

    Since Jane was diagnosed with a recurrent, metastasized cancer in October 2011, we have asked all of you to pray for Jane's healing if it is God's will through the intercession of Blessed Bishop Alvaro del Portillo.  Bishop del Portillo (1914 - 1994) started out life as a Spanish civil engineer in the 1930s and then was one of the first three men ever ordained for Opus Dei, a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church, in 1944.  He served as the right hand to the Opus Dei Founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, in the formative years of the organization and then succeeded St. Josemaria as the second Prelate of Opus Dei from 1982 to 1994.  On his death in March 1994, Pope John Paul II recalled Bishop del Portillo's "zealous priestly and episcopal life, the example he always gave of fortitude and of trust in divine providence and his fidelity to the See of Peter."  In 2002, a cause for the canonization (sainthood) of Bishop del Portillo was initiated and, in 2012, as approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced that his life had been recognized as one of "heroic virtue", which is the first step towards sainthood.  From this time on, Bishop del Portillo was styled as a "Venerable Servant of God".  In July 2013, Pope Frances published a decree declaring the miraculous character of a cure for a young Chilean boy attributed to the intercession of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo.  Bishop del Portillo was beatified on Sept. 27, 2014 in his birth city of Madrid, Spain and is now referred to as "Blessed Alvaro del Portillo."  In the Roman Catholic church, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo needs one more miracle to be attributed to his intercession in order for Blessed Alvaro to be officially declared Saint Alvaro!

     The Christmas season is already upon us as we are in the second week of Advent.  Jane's two sons from LSU will be coming home in the next few days for a month long winter break.  Jane plans to spend a quiet holiday at home with family and friends.  We wish each of you a very merry Christmas and please know how grateful and thankful we are for so many family and friends at this very special time of the year.  We pray for all of you every night. 

October 28, 2014

     Jane was originally diagnosed with a recurrent cancer in October 2011 so the month of October 2014 represents the third anniversary (3 years!) of Jane's initial diagnosis of a recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix.  Since that time, M D Anderson and its many doctors and staff have provided incredible professional care to Jane.  Jane has been through two formal clinical drug trials and a few other more standard type chemotherapy treatments; Jane is presently on a hormone therapy protocol.  To battle the related side effects that have accumulated over the past three years as a result of the cancer treatments, Jane has managed through multiple out patient procedures, hospital visits, emergency room visits, etc. and lots of help from M D Anderson supportive care to manage pain levels and related side effects.

    So far, Jane continues to hold her own and stay as active as possible.  Although Jane still suffers from acute pain and spasms, she remains cheerful, positive and hopeful.  One of our doctors mentioned during one visit that one way to beat cancer is for cancer patients to live as virtuous and as normal a life as possible.

    At this point, we are simply grateful for each day, for the small things like a visit from an old friend, and also for the big things as October 2014 is also the month of Jane's 23rd wedding anniversary.  Through it all, Jane's many family and friends have been right there along the way, praying, laughing and helping Jane to get better and feel better.  We could never thank you enough for all your support, love and assistance, but please know that we pray for each of you every day. We have come a long way and we are ready for the journey ahead!

September 29, 2014

Over the past year or so, Jane has been battling the accumulation of abdominal fluid that has caused significant abdominal pressure and pain from time to time.  Paracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal fluid), a condition called ascites.  A common cause of ascites is cancer like Jane is suffering from at this time.  Jane has had the fluid drained over the past few months, but the fluid continues to reaccumulate.  Since there is the potential for continued reaccumulation of the fluid on a regular basis, Jane's MD Anderson doctors have installed a long term drainage catheter in her abdomen to allow Jane to drain the fluid daily at home.  So far, things are working great.  However, the general pain from Jane's cancer has continued to elevate so Jane's MD Anderson doctors have increased her pain medication levels to better manage the daily pain. 
Jane continues to maintain a positive outlook and hopeful spirit as we head into Fall weather.  It will be three full years at the end of October 2014 since Jane was diagnosed with  recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix.  Since that time, it has been kind of a roller-coaster, and we have requested many of you to pray to Don Alvaro de Portillo, the first Bishop of Opus Dei, who was recently beatified by the Roman Catholic Church, to intercede on Jane's behalf.  We ask that you continue to pray and remember Jane and her caregivers in your daily prayer intentions.  We remain grateful and are indebted to so many of our family and friends who have helped us and prayed for us along the way!

August 22, 2014

Jane had a procedure performed at MD Anderson to drain a significant amount of abdominal fluid which had accumulated over the past few months.  This should provide Jane with at least temporary relief to get her through the next few weeks or so.   This build up of fluid is fairly common and the doctors are doing the best they can under the circumstances.   Jane continues to persevere and hold her own against the recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma cancer and the accumulated side effects over the past 34 months.  As you would expect, some days are better than other days but we are grateful for each and every day!

Many of you ask how can you help and you have helped by your prayers, rosaries, Masses and many cheerful notes and messages to Jane.  Jane's two older boys are back at LSU, with our remaining Strake Jesuit Junior at home so the house is a little less active and quieter.  We sincerely thank everyone for staying diligently with us through the highs and lows and also being very helpful over the last two and a half years plus!  We pray for you too as we march on.

Update...{July 22, 2014}

     Jane met with her doctors at M D Anderson on Monday July 21st for a regularly scheduled check up.  The doctors are monitoring the progress of the hormone therapy that Jane is presently taking and so far so good.  The cancer tumors are still there but Jane is holding her own.  Jane will remain on the hormone therapy for the foreseeable future.  Although Jane continues to suffer from multiple side effects as a result of the cumulative effect of the various treatments since October 2011, Jane continues to fight and defy the odds.  Jane remains fairly mobile and is able to attend daily Mass and interact with family and friends.  Jane's house has been full with all three sons home for the summer and it will be a little less active when two of her sons return to LSU in Mid-August.
     We continue to be grateful for everyone's support and assistance through this long battle.  You have all been very generous with your time and prayers and we continue to pray for all of you in our daily prayers.

June 24, 2014

As a quick update for June 2014, Jane continues with the hormone therapy that the MD Anderson doctors prescribed and is taking a daily dosage of the drug Anastrozole.  Although the drug itself does not appear to be producing any major side effects, Jane continues to suffer from other side effects such as, among others, chronic pain, lymphedema and abdominal fluid retention.  The doctors are attempting to manage the side effects with medication, to the extent possible. 

Jane stays as active as feasible under the circumstances and remains positive and hopeful.  With summer upon us, Jane's two boys from LSU are in Houston and working summer jobs.  So Jane's home is full with all of her three sons this summer.  We remain indebted and grateful to the many family and friends who continue to brighten up Jane's day with acts of kindness and prayers, Rosaries and Masses.

Update...{May 12, 2014}

Jane met with her doctors at M D Anderson today, Monday May 12th.  Based on the doctors examination and test results and the symptoms that Jane is exhibiting (retention of fluid in abdomen, increased pelvic pain levels, etc.), it appears that Jane's cancer is not responding to the Gemzar chemotherapy drug.  The doctors have prescribed a new drug for Jane, Anastrozole,  which is an oral pill to be taken daily; the good news about this drug is that there are no major side effects.  Jane will discontinue the every other week IV chemotherapy treatments.  MD Anderson has  had some success with this drug in ovarian cancer patients and Jane's tumors appear to be exhibiting ovarian cancer type characteristics. Anastrozole works by lowering estrogen hormone levels to help shrink tumors and slow the tumors' growth.

While Monday's news was not great as Jane's cancer remains stubborn,  we do have a plan and remain hopeful.  Jane's spirits remain positive and upbeat.  Jane had a great Mother's Day yesterday as her own mother was in town for the weekend.  Also, Jane's two older boys came home from college on Sunday afternoon so Jane spent Sunday evening with her whole family (including her two LSU attendees and a Strake Jesuit sophomore).  We continue to be grateful for everyone's care and concern and the outpouring of prayers, rosaries and Masses.  

Update...{May 1, 2014}

On Monday April 28th, Jane was administered the chemotherapy drug "Gemzar" as planned at MD Anderson.  Jane did experience some of the expected side effects  such as flu like systems, nausea, etc., but overall she tolerated it fairly well.  Nonetheless, as the cancer tumors are still in tact,  Jane remains on a regular, daily regime of powerful pain medications to manage her daily pain levels so this is no walk in the park, as you might imagine.  Jane will take the next couple of weeks to, among other things, build up her white blood cell count and her general energy levels.
Many people ask us often "what can we do for Jane?".  Although Jane loves receiving  your sweet notes, flowers, food, quick visits when she is up to it, etc., we continue to rely on the power of your prayers, rosaries, Masses, etc. so please continue to pray for us.  May 1, 2014 will mark the start of the 31st month that Jane was diagnosed with a recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma and we know that we are not walking alone as we have so many family and friends walking right along with us. Thank you again for everything.

Update...{April 15, 2014}

On Monday April 14th, Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson and started the first round of the chemotherapy drug "Gemzar".  The plan is for Jane to take the Gemzar drug every other week through IV.  Rather than once a week, the doctors will administer it every other week to provide Jane with adequate time to handle the drug and it's expected side effects.  The most likely side effects are expected to be flu like systems for a couple of days after treatment.

Jane remains in positive spirits and ready to go forward with this new drug.  We continue to be humbled by the strong and consistent support of so many family members and friends.  We are touched by the cards, emails, prayers, Masses and rosaries offered up for Jane.  It is Holy Week and the Easter season is upon us.  We wish everyone a Happy Easter and please know that each of you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Update...{March 31, 2014}

Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson on Monday March 31st.  The doctors have concluded that the Avastin drug has run its course as it appears that Jane's cancer is no longer responding to the drug.  The fact that there has been a significant build up of abdomen fluids (which is often a side effect of the growing presence of cancer cells) supports this observation.  Jane's doctors performed a procedure last week to remove some of the abdomen fluids in an attempt to alleviate some of Jane's constant pain.

After talking with Jane's doctors, Jane is really not a candidate for another Phase I clinical drug trial as she has already been through two experimental treatment protocols over the past thirty months.  The plan now is for Jane to try a traditional chemotherapy drug called "Gemzar", which has been in use since 1996 and has been successful in ovarian cancer applications.  The characteristics of Jane's tumors and ovarian cancer tumors appear to be similar and the doctors believe this application has potential.  Gemzar will be administered in IV doses once a week over a three week period and then Jane will take a week off to allow her body to build up strength and energy.  The doctors are not expecting any significant side effects other than flu like systems for the first 48 hours or so after each dosage and Jane's white blood cell count will have to be monitored.

As the MD Anderson doctors advised us at the beginning of this journey, Jane's battle with cancer has been a little like a rollercoaster ride - - - with highs and lows. Today's news was not great news as Jane's cancer is still growing and not responding fully to the drugs.  However, she has beaten the odds thus far, we do have a plan and we continue to be hopeful.  Jane continues to have a strong fighting spirit and an amazing faith.  We sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers, Masses, rosaries, etc. and please know that we pray for you too.  Thank you again for your incredible support.

Update...{March 10, 2014}

Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson on Monday March 10th.  The tests reveal that although the Avastin drug has likely slowed the cancer growth, the cancer is growing.  A major side effect from the cancer cells is a build up of fluids in Jane's abdomen  which is causing a number of complications and regular pain.  The present plan is to keep Jane on the Avastin and manage the side effects with medications as best as possible.  Jane will continue to receive the Avastin in three week cycles and then have a major test review in about two and a half months.

It has been over thirty months since Jane was diagnosed with a recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma cancer.  Jane has continued to receive terrific, professional medical care from M. D. Anderson's staff of caring professionals.  We sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers, Masses, rosaries, etc. and please know that we pray for you too.  Thank you again for your faithful support. 

Update...{February 17, 2014}

On Monday, February 17th, Jane went through another cycle of the drug Avastin at M. D. Anderson Hospital.  The plan now is for Jane to undergo a number of tests at M. D. Anderson in about three weeks (around March 7th) to "restage" her cancer.  Once Jane's doctors review the tests' results, they will then recommend a path forward for Jane.

Although Jane is handling this illness as best as possible under the circumstances, she has had to take increased levels of daily pain medications to manage the general abdominal pain levels caused by the cancer.  Jane remains, however, very positive and fairly energetic, all things considered.  We continue to be overwhelmed by all of your prayers, support, rosaries, hugs, etc. as many of you have helped us in big and small ways.  We are eternally grateful for all your efforts and we are praying for you too.

Update...{February 12, 2014}

Since our last post on January 28th, the timing of Jane's testing plans have changed slightly. Jane is now scheduled to have another round of the drug Avastin on Monday February 17th.  Jane will then go back to MD Anderson around March 7th to have a series of tests performed to "restage" her cancer and then, on Monday March 10th, the doctors will recommend a plan forward based on the test results.

Thanks again for all the prayers and support as we feel them.

Update...{January 28, 2014}

On Monday, January 27th, Jane went through another cycle of the drug Avastin at M. D. Anderson Hospital.  The plan now is for Jane to undergo a number of tests at M. D. Anderson in about three weeks (mid-February) to "restage" her cancer.  Once Jane's doctors review the tests' results, they will then recommend a path forward for Jane.  Since we have learned that each cancer situation is unique to each patient, as you would expect, lately Jane has had some good days and some not so good days. As Jane continues to battle the cancer and the corresponding side effects from the cumulative effect of the drugs, Jane's attitude remains positive and hopeful.

You have no idea how sincerely grateful we are for your continued love and prayers.  We are humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement.  We are praying for all of you.

Update...{January 7, 2013}

On Monday, January 6th, Jane went through another cycle of the drug Avastin at M. D. Anderson hospital.   The side effects after this treatment have been more difficult than typical on Jane.  Jane continues to fight hard and get through this round as best as possible. At the end of this month, the plan is for Jane to undergo a number of tests at M. D. Anderson to "restage" her cancer.  Once Jane's doctors review the tests' results, then they will recommend a path forward for Jane.

We hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas holidays and we wish everyone a Happy New Year. We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support and love throughout her illness. We are praying for all of you.