News from California

 Finally, I m catching up with all of you to tell you that things are going a bit better.  I have finished 4 chemo and immunotherapy sessions.  The last two chemo really wiped me out and it was even hard to get out of bed.  No nausea or vomiting.  Just wiped out and weak and couldn’t eat.  I ended up in the hospital 2 more times and just fatigued and wiped out, couldn’t eat or drink and had a UTI.

This past Thursday I did my first immunotherapy by itself which is IV for and hour once a month. I did well and no side effects.  My scan 2 weeks ago showed shrinkage of the cancer mass and the oncologist was very happy as he was only hoping it would not have grown.

Now I will continue IV immunotherapy once a month and scans every 3 months.  As long as the tumor continues to shrink that is the plan.

I have been going everyday at 0900 for an IV antibiotic since I was in the hospital for 30 days in a row to get a half an hour infusion.  I go 10 minutes away and my brother takes me everyday and Sylvia on weekends.  That ends this week and then I start Physical Therapy to try and gain my strength back in my legs.  I have been using a walker for about a month now.  With not eating I lost a lot of muscle and strength.

Chidamoyo continues to work hard.  Covid-19 hit hard in the second wave January 1st and immediately Zimbabwe went on lockdown which has continued through end of February, over 1500 people have died now.  Our hospital is busy but not . Covid as we can’t do much with no ventilators, limited oxygen and no drugs.  Patients are sent home.

We are doing deliveries and C/sections and seeing other illnesses too.  So far all our staff are well and the Chinese vaccine was supposed to be given this week to health care workers- 2 shots one month apart.

We were so sorry to lose a close friend to Chidamoyo and Zimbabwe, Dr. David Katzenstein who we worked with on HIV/AIDS research projects.  He died from COVID in Zimbabwe.   Very sad to be losing our collegues.

Borders continue to be closed and there are curfews and manditory mask wearing.  We pray things will get better.

We are getting good rains this year in Zimbabwe and crops are doing so well.  Keeping busy in the fields will fully help decrease Covid-19.  So we are thankful for the great rains.  The Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm was given this week to people at hospitals in Zimbabwe.  Please pray they will not be scared to take it.

I speak with Major 3-4 times a week and make some of the decisions.  We are thankful for our financial support that has been such a big help as prices have gone up so much.  

Thank you to all who have been praying for my illness and treatment—it has been discouraging at time but you keep me going and you have made the difference in my progress.  Thank you to all!     

It's been great to be home and enjoy some of the family celebrations I usually miss out on.  My sister-in-law just celebrated her birthday and we (brother and sister-in-law and myself) have been doing breakfast together after my infusion each day.  Never had time for that before!  We have to pick up and take home as no indoor sitting in CA yet and too cold for me to be outside--even though we got up to 81 this week--yeah!

How nice it was to get visitors now.  Cindy Artico Carson from Seattle and Cathy Holdener from Sacramento stopped by for visits.  Cindy is a Chidamoyo alumni and Cathy and I went to nursing school 46 years ago and started our first job together at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento in 1977!  She and her family have visited twice with us at Chidamoyo.

Finishing chemo
Kathy Rose's birthday--(sister-in-law)
                              We had cupcakes!
Michael and Major putting fertilizer on crops
                         Cindy visiting from Seattle

Cathy from Sacramento



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