Thursday, June 29, 2006


I haven't been posting too regularly and this will be the last one for several weeks. We moved out of our house yesterday and now are relegated to hotel living until we move in to our new house on July 21. It's a good thing that there's a trip to Spain in the middle of it. :)

Adrienne is doing well with her radiation though she sleeps much of the day. Her last treatment is Friday (tomorrow). The pain seemed to be getting better last week but now it's worse again. The radiation oncologist didn't expect it to get better that soon in any event, and Adrienne plans to take her pain meds to Spain. We'll take taxis or drive her door to door if necessary, and she can take naps with the other Spaniards during afternoon siesta.

Adrienne is looking forward to tasting the local foods and even having a bit of sherry since the drinking age in Spain is 18. Her grandma is one of those people who likes to stare at a painting, to take it all in, while Adrienne and I like to take a moment and move on, kind of like "speed museum" (think "speed dating"). That should be interesting. Otherwise, we all like to do pretty much the same things.

"A Lion in the House" Last week, PBS broadcasted a 2-part, 4-hour documentary following six families of children and teenagers with cancer. Personally, I didn't watch it because I knew it would be too upsetting, bringing back too many memories and feelings. For those of us living with childhood cancer, we know what it's like but many people can only imagine. If you get a chance, I hope you'll watch this important program to get just a little insight into what families like ours are going through and how it affects not only the child with cancer, but the siblings, parents, and anyone else who knows them.

I'm sorry that I haven't been in good touch lately, not always returning phone calls. I promise to be better once this craziness settles down. We are all keeping our cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You can always reach us at the same old places as I don't want to post the new addresses and phone numbers on this (very public) blog. Drop me a note if you want the details of the new house.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Very Tired

Adrienne's radiation is going very well, right on schedule. She has been incredibly tired but otherwise is doing fine. Her skin is a bit tan where she is being radiated so she puts lotion on daily. The hip pain seems better already but, touch wood, it's a bit too early to be sure it's gone.

I've actually been gone for a couple of days down to Las Vegas to sign the final papers on the house. We did a walkthrough Tuesday morning and just before, I thought, "what if I don't like the house?" It occurred to me that I had really only been there once. Luckily, I still love it. We're having fun buying some new furniture while being totally stressed trying to move out of our house here in California, all while trying to work. It's amazing how much junk you can accumulate in 14 years living in the same house.

We've had some trouble lately with our Internet connection. Our provider, Earthlink, seems to have a problem understanding dates so they turned us off too early. Some of our bills and even water have arrived at the new house despite our being clear about our move dates. I don't recall having these problems with past moves but it has been 14 years. Ah well, it'll be over before you know it.

Save the date: we are planning a housewarming party and re-marriage (yes, a tacky Vegas wedding) on October 14. Should be fun.

Monday, June 12, 2006

First Treatment

Adrienne had her first treatment today and it went just fine. She doesn't have any nausea, which is great. She will be getting 15 treatments of 240 cGy each day for a total of 36 Gy. This is the same dose as she got for her neck last fall but over a shorter period of time. The area being treated is actually quite small so she can tolerate the higher dose each day. We are happy that she will be able to finish before we go to Spain.

Adrienne is feeling much better overall. Her sinuses are feeling better and she's over the side effects from her immunizations. We even did a little shopping at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale after her treatment.

We are busy getting ready for the move. Curt's company is packing and moving us so the big project, as Adrienne says, is "editing." We've accumulated so much stuff over 14 years in this house. We'd like to start with a lot of new furniture so we are selling much of what we have here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Radiation to Start Monday

Yesterday was another one of those very long days at the hospital but we got a lot accomplished. Adrienne had her setup for radiation and will begin on Monday for 15 treatments. This area of the pelvis has never been treated before and there are no critical structures in the way so they can be very aggressive. Fertility isn't an issue since Adrienne has ovarian failure from her first transplant and they won't treat to a high enough dose to cause adhesions in the large and small intestine, the only other real risk. Adrienne has her antinausea meds just in case but they are treating low enough down on her body so that shouldn't be an issue.

The doctor did a very thorough examination of Adrienne's hip. It seems she has pain outside the area that is abnormal on the scans. Add to that, the abnormality on the PET scan doesn't align with the abnormality on the MRI. So the plan is to treat a wider area than we originally thought. It may take some time for the pain to resolve so Adrienne will continue her pain meds for as along as needed. There is still concern that there is other disease that's too small to show on the scans so we're investigating additional treatment once the radiation is complete.

For some months now, Adrienne has been having sinus trouble. Her illness of the last week has only made things worse. Yesterday, she had a head CT and saw an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Between infection and inflammation, she has very little space left in the sinus. She is starting a more aggressive antibiotic and a short course of steroids. We were concerned about the steroids because of the AVN but her oncologist says it's a short enough time (12 days) and a low enough dose that it won't cause more problems. If this doesn't resolve the problem, Adrienne will need surgery to open up the sinuses.

Adrienne finally got her immunizations yesterday too. She's had two transplants, which completely destroys whatever immunity she had. Since then, she started the shots but couldn't finish because of relapses and treatments. Since we're going abroad, we really wanted her to have the shots now while her immune system is strong. This morning, she isn't feeling great but hopefully that will pass quickly. Her white count was quite high yesterday so she might be getting sick again too. We are all looking forward to having this behind us and enjoying our trip to Spain.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Radiation Plan

There's not much to report except that Adrienne will have her radiation setup on Friday and start the following Monday or Tuesday. She should be able to get 12-14 treatments before we go to Spain and then the rest (whatever that is) when we get back. She may stay with my mother or sister for awhile while I work on the move into the new house. Needless to say, this is all quite overwhelming but we are coping.

I have to say that Adrienne is amazing and determined to keep doing all of her regular activities. Her bronchitis and pink eye are much better and the pain from the biopsy is gone, thankfully. We are looking forward to a quiet week and enjoying the nice weather before starting those daily trips up to Stanford.