Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a bird in hand is worth two IV's of chemo...

checked back into the infusion center this morning at 8:30am...

we got a little crazy this morning, and took the freeway instead of alameda..
sand hill road exit here we come... home of billion dollar venture capitalists on the road less traveled to chemotown, USA.

its amazing how fast our weeks are going. this is trish's 10th infusion of taxol/herceptin, which leaves her with only two more to go after today.

she will switch to 63 days of FEC + herceptin, but during these 9 weeks, she will only be hooked up to an IV on 12 of those days, and of those 12 days, 6 of them should only be for 30 minutes.

so.. where were we... ahh today...

by 9:00am, nurse denise had the blood draw complete, so we decided to head downstairs for an hour or so and wait on the blood test results..

trish, ria and i headed over to the lucile packard children's hospital cafe to grab some food, and we are now we are sitting outside next to the waterfall...

ria came down to spend about an hour with us this morning.
during this time, she managed to become a foster mother.

this is an ever-developing story that i will be able to milk for weeks...

trish and ria went for a little walk while we were outside, and returned with a bird...
it appears a little baby bird flew itself directly into a wall right in front of some construction workers. being the loving mother ria is, she picked it up off the ground and she took this baby bird under her wing, offering the sweet little tweet some water out of my oatmeal spoon.

the bird, clearly in a state of shock, began to relax within a few minutes of ria's comforting. it was now time to see if the bird was ready to return to the wild...

little tweet, now on its own two legs, stumbled a bit and promptly fell into the water fountain.
with grizzly bear like reflexes, ria quickly snatched the bird out of the water, as if it was a salmon swimming up an alaskan stream...

it was clear the bird wasn't ready to venture off..

as ria was leaving to head home, she decided to give little tweeter one last chance at flight... the construction workers on their coffee break watched with eager anticipation, and cheered the little one on.

and off tweeter went...

at an altitude of about 7 feet, it was off into the great blue sky.... that is, until it bounced off the cancer center's stucco wall 15 feet away..
after a gasp of "uggghhsss" the construction crew fell silent.

tweeter landed in a patch of variegated palms, camouflaged and not easily found.
careful not to step on the rookie flyer, ria headed into the patch on a rescue mission...

the rescue was a success... tweeter was down, but not out..
knowing that a cancer center was no place for a baby bird, ria left to go home to babysit cousin lucas, with tiny tweeter in hand...

so that brings us back to the chemo joint...
trish is sitting in chair C6 today, close to a window.
i would call it the third best seat in the house (there are 6 seats in each room).

its 10:15am and we are still waiting on the blood test results, but they should be back any minute.. ill update you when they come back, and give you the week in review a little later.. and if we have any tweeter updates, ill let you know as well.

trish & ria outside at the waterfall

little tweeter

10:30am update
after traveling home in ria's purse, tweeter is recouping in a basket on ria and judas's porch.

blood counts on trish are back, and good...

blood counts on little tweeter, TBD...

blood counts:

white blood cells, Absolute neutrophil count (ANC):
was 7.44
is 5.7 (1.7 - 6.7 is the desired range)

red blood cells, hematocrit (HCT):
was 28.4
is 29 (highest its been since july 1 treatment)

nurse denise hooked trish up to the pepcid/benadryl/decadron at 10:20am..

with some luck, we could be out of there around 1:30pm today..

more updates later..

11:30am update
the pre-drugs finished about about 30 minutes ago, and trish began on her taxol at 11:15am. this will take about 90 minutes, then she is on to the herceptin and home.

the week in review

not much to talk about in the past week, but ill give it a shot.. (pun intended)

trish and ria headed to whole foods after chemo and did some shopping. aside from being a little loopy, trish usually feels pretty good after chemo. it isn't until she begins the neupogen shots that she starts getting the aches.

back at the stanford cancer center, but no chemo today...
this time it was to meet with plastic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner (scroll down to the third doctor) to discuss various reconstruction options.

surgery is still a ways off, but we would rather discuss the options sooner than later. we already had a good idea of trish's choices, but after talking with Dr. Gurtner, we are a little more knowledgeable of the options, and can ask better questions to other doctors and to those who have gone through similar experiences.

we are looking at two different reconstruction techniques:

1. DIEP Flap, which is similar to a muscle sparing tram-flap, but using newer techniques (very basically put, its a tummy tuck and and the breast is reconstructed with abdominal tissue, but no muscle)
2. silicone or saline implant

the other option is the timing...
both choices can be performed before or after radiation therapy

as with everything, each of the four choices above has their own list of pro's and con's.

and this point there is no hurry to decide, but like i said, we can now make a better educated choice as to what is right for her.

more information on various reconstructive options can be found here

we plan on meeting with the surgical oncologist to discuss the mastectomy aspect of the surgery soon.

thursday night, trish headed to healing touch and had another good session with chanda

the weekend was spent relaxing around the house. trish, caden and i headed downtown redwood city on friday night and had sushi at the Suisha House

trish did some gardening over the weekend, maintaining the tomato, jalapeno and artichoke plants we have in our little garden. we watched a couple movies, went a a couple stores, and that was about it.

trish and caden headed over to maddux park for a play date, and in the evening steve, cerena & lucas had us over a nice dinner.

and that was pretty much it...

trish continues to feel pretty good.. her biggest complaints continue to be the side effects of the nuepogen shots and the itchiness she is getting in her hands.
following the advice of dr. telli, she has been putting benadryl on her hands, and that helps somewhat, but its not a perfect solution.

if she had to be achy or ithcy, i think she would take the aches..

more updates later..

12:45pm update....
12:40pm taxol finished up, and now its herceptin's turn. 1/2 hour and we should be done.

trish's friend, lyndee is hanging out with us this afternoon...
they are talking about whatever it is girls talk about...
but its making trish's last half of the day go much quicker..

getting home around 1:30pm continues to look promising..

2:30pm update...
we are finally home...
but only after a stop at The Dutch Goose for some lunch :)

trish left to go shopping with cerena... go figure

i need to go get an update on tweets..

Trisha & Lyndee


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,
Thanks for letting me hang out, today! It was so great to see you both. Trisha, you look beautiful! You are such a trooper. Look forward to spending some time with you all soon.
Always sending positive thoughts & prayers your way:)
Lyndee & Family

p.s. love the tweeter story...too funny!

mamafish said...

Keep up the good work Trish! You are amazingly strong through everything!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you got another one done and you are almost finished with this cycle...surgery will be here before you know it. I was at Stanford yesterday and was hoping to get up to the infusion center to see you...but my appointment ran late...imagine that :-)...continue to stay strong...you are an inspiration to me...

Staying strong-

Cerena said...

What's up with tweets mcgee?