Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Well, last week I said how I had become so comfortable that I hadn't asked about the white blood cell count. Last night I asked. It had been very low last week but just enough that they could go ahead with the chemo. Today, before they started the chemo Kathy was informed that the count was too low. Her doctor is on vacation and they will email her but they dont' know if that means a delay for a few days or what. Since this is a short week and next week we are on vacation it looks like no chemo this week or next.

It is frustrating. Not only for Kathy who plans her life around these chemo cycles but for those who help us. Today, Darlene drove from the Bay Area to help and simply got her there and took her home. About 200 miles round trip just to hear that nothing is happening. Sorry, Darlene.

On the other hand it is probably good. Kathy had more side effects this week than usual. Her arms broke out in a rash/burn from the chemicals and the sun combination. It has been over 100 degrees this past week and that may help her sinuses but now it seems it hurts her in other ways. In addition she is having her hands and especially her knuckles peal and they are very sore. Maybe two weeks off is good at this point.

On Monday the 13th she has another CT scan and we see what is changing.

The whole process is frustrating. Especially if you have the kind of personality where you plan and plan and keep on a schedule. Chemo and cancer can't be scheduled.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All Good So Some Family Stuff

Kathy had her chemo today and our daughter-in-law Kathryn went with her. It is the quick version today since she doesn't have the Avastin every time. They were done by 11:00.

Kathy is doing well with the treatments and is just mostly tired. I can tell that I am getting much more comfortable with the whole thing again because I haven't asked about her white blood count for more than a month. Is that because there is no reason to worry or that I just am too comfortable. I don't know.

A friend of ours in the ward, Kimberly Cope, also has breast cancer and is going thru chemo for the first time. Actually, she has had her last treatment. She got really sick after every chemo and after her last time she ended up in the hospital with an infection. Any infection during chemo is very dangerous. She was in the hospital for four days.

It is things like that that keep me pondering. It doesn't take much. But I dwell too much on the negative.

The bike trip is coming along nicely. We have 22 -24 people going and it should be a fun group. I think most are going to be ready for the ride. Some more excited than others but whatever.

David and Kathryn are pretty settled into our home for a little bit. I think it is going well but what do I know, I'm just the Dad. David will start working for a medical translation company. THey will send him to various hospitals around the area when Russian interpretation is needed. We aren't sure how many hours he will be working but it is something. Maybe he can get some translation work on the side. The FBI thing is going very slowly.

Mike is getting ready to go to BYU-Idaho in September. All registered for his classes and stuff. He is the first of our family to go there so it is all new to us. I think he is getting more excited or resolved to going there. I think he will like everything but the weather.

Well, that is all from me. Kathy says she still loves me so life is still good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good Week Off and Now Back to Work

Kathy had a good week off of chemo. She rested a lot and regained some of her strength. She had her chemo treatment yesterday and feels better today than she did a few days ago. That is great news.

We will keep a careful eye on things for the next couple weeks as we get ready for our big bike vacation. We leave July 6th for a week of riding down the California coast. We go 350 miles in 5 days ending up at Santa Barbara. We are counting on Kathy being a driver of one of our four vehicles. So we all have motivation to see that she remains healthy and strong.

Once we get back she will have another CT scan and we will see. For now, things are going very good.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week off and Doctor Visit

The good thing about the cycle Kathy is on is that one week a month she doesn't get chemo. That is a week of recovery and feeling a little better. On the other hand it is the week she is the most tired because of the buildup of the drugs from the previous three weeks.

Anyway, cycle 1 of the Avastin and Taxol mix is done. Kathy is much more tired than she was before this cycle and that was more tired than when she was not on chemo. She sleeps 9 or 10 hours a night and takes at least one 2 hour nap a day. I may have that wrong but not by much. By the time I get home from work and dinner is over, she is pretty much wiped out and ready for bed. Consequently, I haven't seen too much of her awake lately it seems.

She saw her doctor today and talked about being tired and the bloody noses she has been having. She has been doing this nose rinse thing twice a day to help stay the sinus infections but they have been giving her bloody noses. She has been having bloody noses like twice a day which is the same number of times a day she does the rinse. So each night as she readies for bed she brushes her teeth and rinses her sinuses and gets a bloody nose. This of course happens when she is exhausted so it has been a stuggle. Bloody noses happens to be one of the side effects of the Avastin.

It could be a lot worse. She still gets around, serves in the temple one day a week and keeps the house running. At half speed she does more than me.

Cycle 2 of this treatment starts next Tuesday and goes for three weeks. Then we leave for the bike trip down the coast. There are 22-24 of us going and we planned on it being Kathy's week off treatment. Lets hope that works out. When we return from the trip she will have another CT scan and we will hold our breath to see what is cooking in her body.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Three More Treatments and Going Well

Kathy has had three infusions with the Avastin and continues to do well. There is some evidence of some side effects but not too many.

Due to complications with insurance here first infusion on the new chemo mix was delayed to May 22nd. She then had the second on May 28th and the third yesterday, June 3. That means that next week she has not chemo. That is always welcome.

There was some concern after the second treatment last week that our insurance would not cover the Avastin. Finally, our doctor, Dr. Chew, called the insurance people and "Chew'd them out". It is all straightened out and no longer a problem. Good thing because that stuff is expensive.

The biggest side effect continues to be tiredness. She sleeps longer than usual every night and takes one or two naps every day. We can't really complain about that when friends of ours are fighting nausea every day. We feel lucky.

Kathy continues to have numbness in her hands and feet, feels cold often, and her hands have tender spots and the skin peals off to some extent. The skin peeling thing was getting worse and worse before the hospital stay but has been much better since. We are just watching and waiting and praying.

Thanks for your support.