Friday, June 27, 2008

Dinner Sign-up, Round 2!

Hi Everyone:

The 1st round of dinner sign-ups are over and I want to personally thank each of you for making it a HUGE success. Trisha and Oak (I'm sure Caden too) are so very grateful for all of your support during this time. Given the success of the dinner program, I've created Round 2! I know this is a small way you all feel you can help this wonderful family get through this challenging time. Please feel free to sign up again.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

another tuesday, another can of chemo

ahhh its tuesday...
must mean a trip to store to pick up another can of chemotherapy..

so off to the stanford university cancer center we go..

8:15am: arrived for our 8:00am appt... imagine that

8:25am: seated for a blood draw from nurse christy

8:35am: heading downstairs for our 9:00am appt with dr. carlson. this is the first appt with dr. carlson in the past 4 weeks. we are now visiting him once a month.

hopefully trish's blood counts are good today. we gave her 4 shots of Neupogen (Filgrastim) this past week, as opposed to the three shots during the previous two weeks... her counts were borderline last week, we hope this wont be the case today.

keep your fingers crossed...

results should be back in an hour or so..

ill post back after the visit with the doc...

update #1: 12:00pm
9:25am - 10:50am: met with dr. telli, and discussed a little bit of everything from blood, surgery options, chemo schedule for the coming months, food, alternative medicine, vitamins, etc..
she also referred us to a surgical oncologist as well as a plastic surgeon.

it was nice to get caught up with dr. telli, as we haven't seen any of trish's doctors in the past month.

dr. carlson is out of the office today, so we setup an appointment to check in with him prior to next weeks chemo.


trish's blood counts are back up :)
there will be taxol today

blood counts:

white blood cells, Absolute neutrophil count (ANC):
was 1.47
is 6.05

red blood cells, hematocrit (HCT):
was 28.2
is 28.9

trish is litte bit anemic, but her red blood cell count has been down since beginning chemo.
this can be a result of being pregnant with caden, as pregnancies can deplete the body of iron and the body can take several years to recover. to help this, she will begin taking some iron supplements.

trish will continue receiving the nuepogen shots, four times week to keep her white blood count up. she isn't too thrilled about this, as lately this has been the hardest part of the treatment. the shots make her really achy in her bones (its all that marrow making some whiteys..)

there are corresponding drugs for red counts, Procrit or Epogen, but they are not recommended for those undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

11:10am: trish got her chemo chair... #C3
11:40am: nurse carol began trish's premeds of decadron and pepcid
12:05pm: begin the benadryl... might as well tap a bottle of wine, as this makes her loooopy...

ill give you another update later after she begins the chemo...

trish's mom, ria, is joining us today...
here is a pic taken a minute ago:

update #2: 12:30pm
12:30pm: premeds are done... trish is hooked up to the taxol.

the harp lady also just came in with her 5' tall harp..
shes strumming some tunes while trish is getting ready for la la land...

ETA of getting out of here is 3pm...

stay tuned..

update #3: 3:00pm
2:00pm taxol finished up, began on the herceptin
3:00pm: herceptin done
3:10pm: nurse carol flushed the mediport with anticoagulant, heparin

heading home...

another day in the bag...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

chemo is spiffy, even when you blood counts are iffy..

back to stanford we go...

9am we arrived for trish's blood draw from nurse christy...

while waiting for the blood test results, we headed down to dr. calrson's office to get a note to excuse trish from the jury duty summons she got last week...

(if ya ever want to get out of jury duty... just go get yourself some cancer)

we headed back up to the infusion center at 10am to get the results of the blood test from nurse bev.

trish's counts were a little iffy today, but dr. carlson decided to continue with the treatment this week.

white blood cells, Absolute neutrophil count (ANC): 1.47 (cutoff is typically 1.5)
was 4.7 last week, and .6 a few weeks ago

red blood cells, hematocrit (HCT):: 28.2
was 30.3 last week and 28 a few weeks ago


its 11:30am and trish just finished up her first pre-drug of decadron and nurse bev just hooked up the benadryl. she will then get her pepcid, and then on with the taxol and herceptin.

the 6pm update..

trish began on her taxol around 12:15pm...
herceptin at 1:50pm...
we were done and walking out the door at 2:30pm

trish is looking and feeling good, but again, her immune system is pretty low.
she is more prone to getting sick, so caden did not go to storytime today, and we need to keep trish as healthy as possible.

if you want to come visit, please call first...

ill be giving her shots of neupogen beginning tommorrow for 4 days, in efforts to keep her white blood cell up..

so thats the update from the oak ridge estate..

here is a pic of trish and her new tshirt on saturday morning before we headed to the farmers market downtown...

"My Oncologist Is My Homeboy"

and here is a pic from this morning in the waiting room...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

an order of herceptin, and a side of taxol please...

trish's blood counts are good! she will be getting taxol today...

she just began her dose of the steroid and nurse lea is giving her the pepcid right now.

blood counts:

white blood cells, Absolute neutrophil count (ANC):
was 0.6
is 4.7

red blood cells, hematocrit (HCT):
was 28
is 30.3 (a little below normal, but not low)

more updates later...

its 6:00pm... the herceptin is done, and we are heading home...
ill provide a little more detail later

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


as you hopefully know, we enjoy and appreciate all the visitors we get, but those planning a visit to see trish in the coming weeks, we ask that you please call and make arrangements with us prior to stopping by.

based on trish's blood counts today, her immune system is at a point where even a small cold could mean a trip to the emergency room.

we ask that if you do come, (after calling) please leave anyone who is sick, was sick, might be sick, could be sick, should be sick or will be sick at home.
this also means ABSOLUTELY NO CHILDREN, regardless of their current health.

and a reminder, if you do visit...

for your disinfecting pleasure we encourage you to please hose yourself off with the bottles of purel hand sanitizer conveniently located next to the front door.



red, white..... and blue :(

so trish, her brother steve and myself headed off to chemo today...

trish had her blood drawn around 10:30am from nurse kyla, and by 11:45am we were back in the chemo chair getting ready for treatment with nurse chris.

unfortunately, nurse chris came back with trish's blood test results, and they were not what we had hoped. trish's white and red blood cell count were down from the week before, and her white count was at a point where dr. carlson canceled trish's weekly dose of taxol.

nurse chris continued on with trish's dose of herceptin around 12:15pm and about a 1/2 hour later trish was done. (the good news here is that trish didn't need the 3 pre-drugs that she would typically get with the taxol)

dr. carlson and nurse jan prescribed Neupogen (Filgrastim), a drug that helps convince the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.

trish will get three shots of this a week, beginning today... administered by Dr. Oak, after the superb training i received by nurse chris today.

aside from an emotional blow of a skipping a treatment, trish is feeling good, but it is clear that her immune system is pretty much at an all time low.

it is now more important than ever
we keep trish from getting sick

this means caden will be limited in the activities he does with other kids (gym, story time and swimming) for the short term, we ask friends and family to call prior to any potential visits, and please no children even if you think they are healthy.

the neupogen shots should get trish back on schedule with her taxol and herceptin regimen next tuesday, and she will continue with the shots 3x a week until her blood counts stabilize.

this isn't a huge shock, as the doctors have prepped us for this possibility since the beginning of chemo, nonetheless we dont like it. the reason trish gets weekly blood tests is to monitor her blood counts, and low blood counts are all part of the chemo ball game...

so it wasn't necessarily bad news today, but it wasn't good news either.

home around 2:30pm... but we would have gladly stayed longer if taxol was an option.