Tuesday, September 9, 2008


round two of three of the FEC+H is underway at Six Flags ChemoLand...

9:00am: arrived for blood draw, yep... stairs...

9:20am: nurse terry finished up the blood draw

9:30am: went downstairs and checked in with dr. carlson's office

9:35am: got into an exam room

9:40am: angela, a medical student working with dr. carlson came in to examine trish

10:30am: dr. carlson came in and examined trish

11:00am: heading upstairs to the ITA with a prescription of emend

11:30am: trish got a bed in suite B6

12:00pm: pepcid & decadron done

12:25pm: benadryl done

12:45pm: zofran done

1:10pm: nurse chris finished up the manual push of the epirubicin & 5-FU, and hung the cytoxan up on the rack...

2:00pm: cytoxan done, herceptin nextin

so we met with dr. carlson this morning. he continues to be pleased with trish's response to the treatment, but was a little concerned with her rough couple weeks. he believes the sickness getting tossed around the family had a lot to do with trish's discomfort, but nonetheless we are taking a coupla extra steps this week to make sure the next coupla weeks are as smooth as caden's ass.

1. trish took the emend pill about a couple hours before any chemo entered her bloodstream (she will take this pill again on wed & thur)

2. we will be coming back for hydration twice this week... once tomorrow, and again on friday when we are here anyway for the second dose of 5-FU.

hydration will be a one liter IV of some fancy medical grade gatorade and will take an hour or so. this will help ensure trish has plenty of fluids in her whether she needs them this week or not. at this point, we would rather be proactive as opposed to being reactive and trying to play catch up with fluids at 2am in an emergency room.

we also talked to the doc about what the next few months hold for us, and this is pretty much the break down:

october 14th: last day of chemo

surgery will be at least 3 weeks later

radiation will begin at least 3 weeks after surgery (radiation will be 5 times a week, for 5 weeks

so theoretically, if my public school calendar math is correct, and we can get all the appointments scheduled on the perfect 3 week intervals... trish could be finished with surgery and radiation two days before christmas.

in reality, everything would need to fall into place scheduling wise, moons would need to align, doctors from different departments would need to have open schedules, etc..
let alone the fact that this is all driven by trish's body... the three weeks after chemo is to allow her blood counts to come back up... the three weeks after surgery is to allow for her body to heal... there is no need to be rushing things just so we can hit a certain date.

we already knew that trish will continue on the hormone therapy, herceptin for a year...
what we found out today is that will be once every 3 weeks, not every week... so that will make the coming year a little easier. 18 trips to stanford sounds a lot better than 52.

trish's blood counts are up and down...

blood counts:

white blood cells, Absolute neutrophil count (ANC):
was 2.14
is 1.63

* this is the second week that it has dropped, but dr. carlson told us not to worry.
trish will get her neulasta shot on saturday that will help increase her white counts.
the doc said as long as trish is within 'chemo range' and is feeling good, that's all that maters. playing the numbers game each week will just drive us nuts.

so with that said, lets play the numbers game... :)

the reds are WAY UP... !!!!

red blood cells, hematocrit (HCT):
was 26.1
is 35.2

* trish began chemo weeks and weeks and weeks ago (april 22) at 34.5, so that two unit blood transfusion this past friday really helped her out. her energy is back, and is feeling the best she has in weeks.

so... for the week in review... its been yet another hectic one...

tuesday 9/2:
back at stanford for her last herceptin treatment of Round 1. trish had fever that night of ~ 100.8

wednesday 9/3:
after talking dr. carlson's nurse, jan... we went back to the cancer center for some blood tests. jan lectured us (in a loving nurse kinda way) about not calling her sooner when trish's temperature was running towards the hot side.

we found out today that the two blood cultures they took, 1 from her arm, 1 from the port, came back clean... nothing funky grew in them. but they wanted to make sure there wasn't any type of infection in her port.

jan sent us home with the augementin, and that night trish began taking them when her temperature went up to 101.7.

we had a great dinner of stuffed chicken and rice, courtesy of trish's old co-worker sarah.

thursday 9/4:
the fine folks at GSK make a great antibiotic, as the augementin has rid trish of her fever, and she is feeling better, but still fatigued.

friday 9/5:
an emotional day... we woke up early and headed up to the cow palace in daly city to wish the 3 Day walkers well. later in the morning we headed back to the cancer center for trish's blood transfusion. again, no fever.. the blood went smoothly and took about 3 1/2 hours

you can see pictures from Day 1 of the 3 Day here

saturday 9/6:
trish took it easy... the benefits of the transfusion had't hit her yet, so she relaxed around the house... again, no fever... trish had a suprise visit from birthday girl becky, brie, monica and christina... so the girls got to sit and talk about the boys for a little bit while this boy was busy playing plumber. our master bathroom shower is nearing completion... all we need now is a shower door.
the 3 shower heads, 4 body jets and 24 square feet of body cleansing goodness is working... plenty of room for trish, caden, me and bella... ok, i agree... thats just plain weird...

toilet: check
tub: check
shower: check
sink: yeah, yeah... im working on it.. wash your hands in the tub for now :)

sunday 9/7:

it was a big day...

sunday was the 5 month anniversary of trish's diagnosis.
sunday was the closing ceremonies of the 3 day walk.
sunday was the best trish has felt in weeks.

this cancer stuff is weird.

in many ways, the last 5 months have flown by... but at the same time the last 5 months have felt like an eternity.

our lives have been consumed by the this cancer thing...
we have learned a lot, received a lot, and hopefully we have been able to teach a lot as well...

all in all, i think we have been doing really good with it, buts its been all the friends and family, all of you, thats helped make it easier on us.

trish has her ups and downs, and given the choice, we would all choose not to have any of this, but in the big picture, we all are doing well and hanging in there.

we have learned to adapt, learned what to expect, learned what not to expect, learned how to better manage our time and learned how to make it as "normal" as we can on caden...

he will turn two at the end of this month, and is at a great age where he doesn't really care whats going on...

he doesn't care if there is hair or no hair.

he doesn't care if we are home all day long, or if we need to sneak of to the cancer center, as he loves spending time with grammi claudia, oma ria, opa judas & cousin lucas.

as long as caden has a sippy cup with some juice, a toy truck in one hand, a toy tool in another and some fruit to much on, he is a happy camper...

even if his mama is a little tired, he loves to hang out with her all day long, whether it be in bed or in the back watering the garden, or our in front playing in his swimming pool.

caden loves his mama, regardless.

every day is a great day for him, and thats what we think as well.

so on sunday, trish was feeling much better than the previous couple weeks. in the early afternoon, with caden in tow, we headed up to san francisco for the closing ceremonies of the 3 Day walk, and to congratulate all the members of "Trisha's Trailblazers". about 20 minutes into our search for a parking spot, caden decided to choke on a tortila chip and toss his cookies all over himeself, his clothes, the backseat & the carseat...

just another normal day in our not so normal life.

later in the day, as the closing ceremonies were about to the begin, trish headed off with her mom, ria... ria was asked to be the flag bearer for the "I walk for my daughter" flag. so during the closing (and opening) ceremonies, ria walked out on stage, in front of the thousands of walkers/supporters/volunteers, waving the the flag in support of her daughter.

the closing ceremonies were a little bit more special, as trish was on stage with her mom.

it was a very emotional day for trish... for all of us...
trisha's trailblazers and every other team in the walk all did such a tremendous job of raising money and awareness of breast cancer.
i think the final tally for the SF walk some north of $4 million dollars.

it was a very special experience to be able to witness.

you can see pictures from Day 3 of the 3 Day here

we got home sunday night around 8pm to a beautifully decorated house. we later found out the secret decorators were none other than Mr. and Mrs. P.
Ron & Dianne Puccinelli, the in-laws of one of the Trailblazers, anna.... and the father of our longtime friend ron, who was a groomsman in our wedding.

thanks guys, the pink streamers, balloons, signs, etc... were a great end to an emotional day. trish got a little teary eyed (again), but we had to push them tears back in so she didn't dehydrate herself... ;)

monday 9/8:
feeling really good, trish spent the morning shopping with her dad, judas, and the afternoon hanging out at home with caden. we had a nice brisket stew and spinach salad lunch brought to us by trish's old boss, kim, and we had a tasty meatloaf dinner from neighbor bonnie and family... im sure all that red meat and iron helped push trish's red count over the top :)

tuesday 9/9:
feeling the best she has in weeks, we are back at stanford getting knocked down again.. but this week is gonna be different... its gonna be better... and she is gonna kick ass.

the cytoxan just finished up... trish has been sleeping like a newborn for a couple hours..

we should be out of here in the next 45 minutes..

our special guest star today is long time family friend, steph... she stopped by at the perfect time, right after the nurses woke trish, and 30 minutes before the end of the day.

all in all, the day went smoothly... and sometimes it odd how fast a 6 hour day at C-town can be..

thanks for checking in...

trish & ria, on stage at the 3 Day closing ceremonies

trish & steph

the work of mr. & mrs. p

thanks ron & dianne

the almost done, but functional i might add, master shower

inside the shower


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful update, Oak. Love the humor that you're able to squeeze in there. You both have such great attitudes. We love you Trish! STAY STRONG, hon!!!
Lynde, Tim & Family

Anonymous said...

Kick ass this week!!! I love you! See you this weekend, you get to see my face for a week! :)


Anonymous said...

Oak - thank you so much from those of us who are faraway and can't be there! Your updates are amazing...you should really write a book someday on this whole experience!
Treasure - Keep up the ass kicking, can't wait to hug you soon!
love you sweets,
Ginger & Family

Shari said...

Trisha, Oak & Caden: Thanks so much for the updates. I can remember the 3 Day I walked like it was yesterday. I had no idea how emotional it would be. Trisha: You WILL be one of those women wearing the pink hat as a SURVIVOR!!! You are winning this battle. Keep fighting. When it feels like you can't fight anymore, just look at that sweet boy of yours. The fight will be revived. All my love to you!