Thursday, October 6, 2011


I just wanted to give a quick update because many people have been wondering how Mom is doing as the surgeries approach.  In a nutshell, I would say she is doing as well as expected considering the circumstances. She continues to shine her bright smile and positive attitude to all those surrounding her, but I am in the unique position to see all the feelings that lie beneath her strength.

As you can probably imagine, Mom's anticipation about her surgery has been building exponentially over the past week.  This obviously makes it difficult for her to concentrate on much of anything, but what makes the time prior to surgery even worse are the headaches!!  After going off of her pain medications that she had relied upon for two years, she is now experiencing horrible withdrawal symptoms, the worst of which are severe headaches.  She is also experiencing pain in other parts of her body (joints and previously injured foot) because the pain medications were helping these areas more than she even realized they were.  We think the joint pain is due to her Sjogren's disease that she was diagnosed with earlier this year. This is the same disease that caused Venus Williams to withdrawal from the US Open just last month.  Mom is allowed to take Tylenol, which, as you can imagine, doesn't do too much for the pain when compared to her previous medications, but nonetheless it does help to take the edge off.  Heating pads and ice have also helped to reduce the amount of pain and to relax her muscles.  At this point, she is just ready to have the surgery and get it over with.

Mom and I are still in Paso Robles (I drove up from LA on Sunday to be with her) and we will be heading down to Pasadena on Saturday morning.  We will get settled into Dad's apartment and try our best to relax on Saturday.  Sunday evening we will head to a hotel near Cedars-Sinai because Mom's first surgery is on Monday (10/10) and she has to be there at 5:30am.

I will be sure to update you with how things go on Monday if I don't post sooner.  Thank you to everyone for your support, well wishes and encouragement!

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  1. Thinking of you Lettice!!! (Oh, and you too, Julie!!)

  2. Lettice-- We are sending good wishes your way and will be thinking of you.. Love You---Carla and Jack XO

  3. It works...nice seeing you all last night....mahalo for dinner too...Love, CeCe and Papa XXOO

  4. Lettice - our thoughts and well wishes are with you today as you begin this process. You are in such good hands and are surrounded by love from everyone. As my sister would say "angels around you"!!

    Carol Bechta

  5. Good Morning! I'm so glad you're doing this blog Julie! Such a great way to keep us all "Posted"Best of Luck to your mom on Surgery Day! Julie O'Keefe