Friday 10-01-10

Wow….I’ve made it through my first 2 weeks of treatment! This is the low-down: 7 blood draws, 10 bags of IV Zofran (anti nausea), 10 chemo IVs, 23 EKGs, 1 central venous catheter insertion, 24 heparin flushes, 2 dressing changes, 1 visit with Dr. Garcia-Manero, 6 visits with a Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, 11 visits the research nurse, and 1 bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. Grand total before insurance: $18,637. I hate to think about how much those chemo drugs would cost if I wasn’t in an investigative trial! Thank you, thank you, thank you for my health insurance! And I have survived this madness!!!! After my week off at home we will start another round. Dr. G-M is out of town this week giving a speech somewhere so I’ll be happy to see him next week.

My blood counts are doing funny things…hemoglobin is up (!), absolute neutrophil count is up (!), and platelets are way down (which is expected).

I don’t know if I will blog much while I’m enjoying my week off at home. Here is my good thought I am taking with me. My dear friend Rosanna told me to always keep a smile on my face and my body will follow! That is good advice for everyone! I love you and miss you Rosanna!

Here is me getting my chemo. By the way, the chemo nurse must wear a paper gown over her scrubs, a mask, and 2 pair of gloves before opening the bag containing the chemo drug Velcade and administering it to me!

Wednesday 09-29-10

Well I am very sad right now…..Wade just left a few minutes ago to fly home. And even though I get to fly home Saturday, I am still very sad! Wade has been truly phenomenal! The very best caretaker a person could ever hope for, and on top of that my sweet hubby I adore and love. Thank you Wade for always being there for me and then laughing with me about it later!

So what better way to give me happy thoughts than my grandkids! Here are pictures we took right before we came to Houston. Oh how I love them!!!

Tuesday 09-28-10

Got moved in to my apartment yesterday… We rented it without looking at it, and are very pleased. It was so nice not to wake up in another hotel this morning! Very nicely furnished, top floor, feels safe, and has shuttle service to med center. So we tried the shuttle bus this morning and it worked great! Took about 15 minutes. I’m going to like not having to negotiate parking garages every day! Crazy that I rode a shuttle bus everyday to the building next door to MD Anderson to go to dental hygiene school at UT Dental Branch over 35 years ago!

My blood levels are hanging in there! My hemoglobin actually went up….I love this new found energy! Even if it is sporadic! And doesn’t last very long!!!

Here’s a little side note about Julio, my Cuban friend. He is soooo excited about his upcoming trip next week to Colorado because he will see snow for the first time. Please let there be snow for Julio!

Here are some pics of my new digs.

Monday 09-27-10

Ok food….we have to talk. I have loved you all my life. I have devoted countless hours learning all about you and tastefully preparing you. Spent lots of money on you and books about you, and shared you with lots of people. So why are you doing this to me? You are no longer appealing to me. Just when I think I am hungry, after a few bites you turn on me again! You just don’t taste like you should. Please don’t do this to me!
And what’s up with every where I go, I smell fried chicken?! I like fried chicken, but it is getting annoying smelling it a lot, even outside in the open air. Can I at least not have fried chicken, maybe chocolate chip cookies or coffee? Think about it, food.

TGIF 09-24-10

Sitting in the chair unit receiving chemotherapy (as opposed to the bed unit….they both have beds!). About to have my first week behind me! Yay! The drugs are beginning to affect me while they are dripping in, headache, nausea, dizziness. The good thing is that it is pretty much gone by the time I am finished. I can do this 🙂

Everyone have a great weekend!

Thursday 09-23/10

Julio is the guy who comes and gets my EKG in the evening (we’ve been here until 8:00-8:30 every evening). His accent is unusual, so I asked him where he was from…..Cuba. He is a medical doctor. Two years ago he went to Uganda, Africa to work in his field (oncology). He defected to the US, through the American Embassy. He can get his license to practice here if he will study and pass the exams. Meanwhile he is working in the research lab. He told us he would be imprisoned for life if he ever decides to return, which he won’t. His parents are still there, and not allowed to leave. He is a very kind man, and his story touched me.

Small world department: while walking through the clinic someone called out “Wade, what are you doing here?”. It was a girl from Hereford that worked at one of the other banks in Hereford, and moved to LaPorte a few years ago. Crazy!!

Met Kelli and Lynzi at Outback for steaks and had a great evening. Lynzi had just passed her driver’s ed course, so we had something to celebrate! Good times!

Tuesday 09-21-10

Today my infusion nurse, Marsha, told me that her dad is the number 1 person in the trial I am in. This was cool to get to visit with her because he started 2 weeks before me, so I had a lot of questions for her and what his side effects are. He is doing good, with tiredness being his biggest problem.

Out of the hospital at 8:00 p.m……another long day. Time for some Italian food! Collina’s over on Richmond is a small little place that makes awesome pizza. They import 00 flour from Italy for their crust. It is so yummy! Great ending!