The 5F

My apologies to our faithful followers! I have been hearing from several of you lately because it has been awhile since the last blog post. There just wasn’t much to report! Gwen was still pretty much dealing with double side effects from chemo and starting Xalkori and was tired. She is still teaching full time and coaching track!


Today, we can update on a few things! Gwen and Justin just had high school spring break.  They went to Disney and spent Easter there with his parents. Our Mom went along, too. I hear there was a parkwide egg hunt for 44 eggs and the Orilios found 3. I’d say that was pretty good!


The trip went well until they were on their way home and wound up about 10 cars back from a single car accident with a fatality. They feel blessed to have been 10 cars back and not closer to what could have been much worse.

Gwen had an appointment yesterday. Things are going well. This was the first appointment since she started the Xalkori, so she took some time to find out how the medicine works.  Basically, we all have cancer cells in our bodies and our immune systems attack those cells.  When you have cancer it is because the cancer cells have gone haywire and our immune system can’t keep up. Xalkori targets those mutant cells and stops them from dividing and growing. It will essentially go after the weakest first and then hopefully go after the more concentrated masses. Somehow there was some miscommunication right after Gwen’s lung surgery and she didn’t get the memo that she still has a mass in her lung that was not removable. I think she was still too doped up on drugs to remember that part… But, she kinda had a lot of other information being thrown at her, like “you have cancer, and it’s not good,” so maybe she just missed it.

Dinner out because it was Friday
Dinner out because it was Friday

This time, when Doc G referenced the chemo, she made it sound like it had done it’s job very well – that is different than the impression we got last month when it seemed like there’d only been a ho-hum response.  She said there was only “a little disease present.” It sounds as though the thinking right now is that they will shrink this lung mass as much as possible, but they will likely radiate it. Doc sounded hopeful that with radiation, they may be able to kill it all and get Gwen into remission. I am not sure of the time line on that.

Gwen goes back in one week for a CT scan to check to see if Xalkori is doing its job, and they will do an MRI of her brain – which will be her first brain check since the fall. She also has a follow-up with the ocular oncologist in a week and a half, so stay tuned!

Finally, today was the Gwen 5F; a thank you brunch for the organizers of the Orilio 5K. The 5Fs were for Gwen’s Favorite Fabulous Foods Fun Feast. There were a lot of foods that one would consider brunch items, and then I guess what made it “not breakfast” was that Gwen wanted delicious treats such as chocolate cherry cake… I wanted to take pictures of the brunch so I could add them to the blog, but alas, I was so busy eating I forgot until most everyone had left which is what happens when one sister who is on lots of medication is in charge of a blog about her sister who is also on drugs. And there were mimosas. 

Again, my apologies to the attendees. You are the reason for the brunch. We can’t thank you enough for everything you did, and continue to do, for Gwen. I show my thanks by forgetting to take your picture. But here’s some shots I did get once I remembered my objective!




2 thoughts on “The 5F

    • Stay strong Gwen……it can be a crazy roller coaster but always stay positive…looks like you are living life and that is so important……..positivity, new technology, love family and friends …….and prayer will get you through!!!! Always on my mind…love Mimi n Steve XXXXXOOOOOO


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