Message from Dr. Cua – Fri.May 13, 2016

Erin received a message from Dr. Cua a little while ago which said, “Your recent fine needle aspiration showed a tumor. However, they cannot fully characterize it without more tissue. I’d like to have you come in for a  ‘core biopsy’.  Brenda will contact you for an appointment”.

Since the message came after 6pm, I assume that we will hear from Brenda (his office assistant?) early next week.

I think that a core biopsy is a with a larger needle allowing for a larger sample.


Visit with Dr. Cua, Head & Neck Surgeon – Wed. May 11, 2016

Today we took Erin to see Dr. David Cua, a head and neck surgeon at Kaiser, Morse Av., to see about the lump on the right side of the back of Erin’s neck.  He read the CAT scan which Erin had last Thursday, and he said that the scan is inconsistent with the lump being a lipoma, a soft benign accumulation of fatty tissue. Her lump is hard and the size of a golf ball.

He did a needle biopsy which he said is the most accurate way, short of surgery, to determine what the lump is. He called a cytologist who set up shop in the office right across the hall. She analyzed each slide to determine the type of cells in the sample.

The first biopsy try, the lump was hard and not coming through. There was no fluid, so it is not a cyst. Then he put an attachment on the handle of the syringe and this time, she determined that it was muscle tissue. The 3rd try had “adequacy”. Meaning that the sample was large enough to send away for further testing. We will probably hear more within the week.

After the doctor’s appointment, Erin needed to go to the bank, to lunch, and to the new CVS. Each of these 4 stops involved Erin’s  getting in and out of the car, which she did quite readily. Clark thinks that Erin seems more interested in actively participating in life.


Erin Brandon – Mother’s Day Dinner – Sun. May 8, 2016

This evening we went to Brandon and Lisa’s for Mother’s Day dinner. Erin was very active in the conversation. Besides the appetizers shown, Brandon barbecued tenderloin steaks. Clark’s was nice and red. For the non-meat eaters, Lisa had crab stuffed salmon.

The evening started out very mild and a little on the humid side, but ended up cool enough for a jacket.

Beck sported new glasses (very briefly). He is near-sighted.

On the way home our plan was to stop at the new CVS/Pharnacy at Fair Oaks and Howe. But, Erin was too tired to go in, so I just ran in to get a couple of things while she and Clark waited in the car. The new store is very roomy and airy with shelves low enough that you can survey the whole store.


Happy 85th Birthday, George! – May 7, 2016

Today Clark and I went to the Club Pheasant to George Radovich’s 85th birthday celebration. We barely greeted George when he asked how Erin was. George was in Brandon Sr’s poker group which met at our house every month the last few year’s of Brandon’s life. As a teenager, Erin used to hang out around the poker table for awhile.

George is an avid 49er fan as this very clever birthday cake exhibits. The last thing George said when we left the party was to say hello to Erin.

MRI followed by JimBoy Tacos – Thurs. May 5, 2016

We made our semi-annual visit for Erin to have an MRI, followed by our semi-annual visit to JImBoy Tacos. Erin had the MRI at 1pm followed by an appointment at 2:15 pm with Dr. Lallana, the neuro-oncologist, who reads his own MRIs. He said her MRI was great! If anything there has been a slight decrease in the enhanced area of scar tissue. Erin complained about a lump on the back of her neck. He said it is probably a lipoma – a benign fatty tumor, but arranged for her to have a CAT scan. He called radiology and they said that they would fit her in today.

When we got down to radiology, they said that one machine was tied up, so that only one was being used for regular appointments and drop-ins, so that there would be an hour to 2 hour wait, but they could schedule another appointment another day. We decided to wait it out, which took almost an hour and a half. So, we ended up spending 3 1/2 hours at Kaiser.

Erin seems in good spirits.

Erin at Dad’s on Folsom – Tues. April 26, 2016

For our Tuesday lunch out today we went to a little hole-in-the-wall, called Dad’s on Folsom. We have walked by it a lot in the evening when we go next door to What’s the Scoop. I expected a tottering old man behind the counter. Instead there were 5 young Vietanamese workers busy producing sandwiches as they were ordered.

We walked in just as 5 men from nearby SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) arrived. There was one other couple eating. By the time we left, every table was taken. There were 20 people: 16 men and 4 women.

When I got home, I looked on the internet and found out that there is a Dad’s on J and a Dad’s on S, both downtown. Erin enjoyed her Lockdown sandwich: chicken, bacon, and mushrooms, and her fries.

Afterwards, we walked nearby to Office Max, and on the way back to the car thought we would pick up some Gunther’s coffee ice cream at What’s the Scoop, but alas, we were too early. It doesn’t open until 1pm.


Early Happy Birthday, Colleen!! – Mon. April 25, 2016

Colleen is returning home to Boulder tomorrow, so when she stopped by tonight to say good-bye, we celebrated her birthday a week early. Erin wasn’t in the mood to be in the picture. Colleen and Wheeler had gone to a movie and dinner after he got out of class, and she had dropped him off at the motel, before she came over to say “Good-bye”, so he wasn’t available for the picture.

Colleen is about to blow out the candles. When I suggested that she and Wheeler drop by for some Ettore fruit tart, she didn’t realize that it was going to be a birthday celebration.
It was nice having her in town for a few days.


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