Thursday, January 29, 2009

No news is good news

Adrienne is doing great at school. Yes, she's tired and sometimes has a hard time getting around, but she's loving her classes, spending time with friends, and is even taking a beginner's yoga class. This all would not have been possible in early December, but here she is, just weeks later, back to living life and enjoying it. She's also working on a research thesis on blood donation, so I'll probably be posting here sometime soon for people to take a survey. The next big things are on the schedule are scans on February 10 and chemo on February 12-13.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to CMC

Adrienne is back at college. We had a hard time getting all of her things out of storage but it all worked out. The only thing we didn't get to do was fill her frig. She has plenty of dry goods but I wanted to make sure she had other things to eat. Hopefully she'll be able to make a visit to Trader Joes today or tomorrow. Classes start this morning with History of Broadcasting and the first assignment is to watch the inauguration. She got papers to fill out to get ready for graduation. It's starting to sound real and very exciting.

Yesterday, she saw her cardiologist and oncologist at City of Hope. We were a little concerned with her low blood pressure, which caused her to drop one of her cardiac meds. The doctor said there's a good solution: gain weight. It makes sense: lose weight to lower your blood pressure and gain weight to bring it up. We know she's trying but it's tough. She'll see him again in two months and hopefully she can add the med back again.

The oncologist didn't have any great ideas, but he's always interesting to talk to. He's a real scientist type and has an interesting view on things. He'd like to add valproic acid back into her regime but we decided to just follow Dr. O's advice. Adrienne had labs done and her hemoglobin and platelets dropped quite a bit so we wouldn't be surprised if she needed transfusions later this week or early next. She'll have a PET/CT in about two weeks so we can get a better idea of how the Bendamustine is working, but we're very hopeful.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yes, it's a Pepsi can...

... and right behind that, you'll see Moe, our newest addition. We got him just before Christmas but wanted to make sure the house was safe before posting. He's another toy poodle, a parti this time, weighing in at a whopping 2.5 pounds.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Tonight

We're still in New York but will be flying home tonight. Adrienne gets a Neulasta shot today and hopefully the Aleve/Claritan combo will eliminate the pain she had last time. Chemo went fine the last two days with the addition of Emend and a little Ativan. She actually feels pretty good this morning so we're going to have a nice lunch before going to the clinic and then the airport. Overall, we've seen much improvement: her arm isn't hurting any more, all her other pain is gone, her shortness of breath is gone, and her blood counts are normal. We are cautiously optimistic that the chemo is doing it's job and she can go back to school.

We talked about the next few months with Dr. O. He'd like her to have 4-6 cycles of the Bendamustine and then go directly on a trial, either Belinostat or SGN-35, if it's open. Given the recent aggressiveness of her disease, he wants her to go from one treatment to the next to the next. This is going to be tough, but if we can keep the side effects under control, it should be manageable. We've decided that Adrienne will fly home from school for the next few cycles of Bendamustine, which she'll get at Nevada Cancer Institute. That way, I can take care of her more easily in our home than from a hotel in Southern California.

Adrienne will have scans in a few weeks just to confirm that the Bendamustine is doing it's job. Dr. O thinks there's a good chance that she'll get a remission from this, we haven't thought of that possibility for a long, long time.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Pain now?

Since the ER visit last week, Adrienne has had increasing pain in her upper arm, shoulder, and back. This morning she seemed a little better but by this afternoon, it was bad enough for pain killers again. This pain isn't nearly as bad as what she had from the tumor between her ribs (which you can't feel anymore!!!) but bad enough to keep her from wanting to do much. We're off to New York on Saturday and hopefully they'll have more answers. At least she isn't blue any more.

Things are quiet here in the new year, which suits us just fine. Adrienne is going back to CMC in two weeks so she's been making plans and starting her thesis, which she needs to finish to graduate in May. Yes, we're concerned about her going back on her own but she's only a 50 minute flight or 3.5 hour drive away in case of an emergency, a lot closer than when she was in New York on her own, and I feel better with City of Hope nearby rather than with what we have here in Nevada.