Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Friday, January 30, 2009

CA-125 down to 11!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a super-fast update while I am in the San Francisco airport: Just got word from my dear JuJu that the Ca-125 is down to an UNBELIEVABLE 11 points before chemo #4, and all that after a six-week interval! She is kicking it, folks, she is kicking it as hard as she can. They told us the CA-125 would be up, and now she has done it again--one third of what it was beforehand, exactly like every other treatment. Oh, I can't tell you how I feel!!!!!!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Smooth Chemo #4

Just as a quick update: Judy had a smooth Tuesday at Doc Phillips' office, getting her fourth round of "killer kemicals." Afterward she went to work for the rest of the day. Wednesday we went to see the good doc for a routine exam, and we had to chuckle when he asked whether Judy is "functional." I told him that Judy is probably more functional than the majority of women her age who are not sick. He liked to hear that Judy enjoyed every minute of our Albuquerque excursion.

Usually we receive the latest CA-125 report on Thursday after the chemo, but the results weren't in today. Maybe that had to do with the icy conditions we had in the region since the blood sample is being sent out of town. We'll see where we are this time around—maybe the markers will be up a little since it was six weeks between treatments.

Judy continues to take the chemo well, with only a limited amount of nausea and feeling crappy. What a trooper she is!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Chemo Round #4 Tomorrow—Finally!

After a three-week delay because of unsatisfactory blood values, Judy finally will receive her fourth round of chemotherapy tomorrow, Tuesday Jan. 27. If everything had been on schedule, she'd receive round #5 tomorrow.

The delay was quite frustrating for Judy, and there is no telling how many more postponements we will face in the rounds ahead, but this hurdle has been cleared for now. Judy is so ready to get on with killing the beast, and you know that she will.

We will update you on how she is feeling in a few days.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mini Vacation in NM

Practically every January, Judy and I travel to Albuquerque, MN, for my birthday--it just so happens that it is also MLK weekend. This year we were joined by Alan and Martha H. The fact that Alan is also Judy's Infectious Disease doctor was an added bonus, just in case Judy might feel funky. Well, none of that happened. Instead, the four of us spent two nights in Albuquerque and then the two of us went over to Santa Fe for a third night. We gorged ourselves on New Mexican red chile dishes, took several nice walks (one of them in the lava fields west of ABQ, where the photos were taken during a beautiful picnic with our friends), and ate superior pizza at Il Vicino's, one of our favorite restaurants anywhere. I had a chance to introduce Alan to several fine brew pubs, and I even turned him on to buying a growler of IPA (while I refilled two of my own).

The weather was perfect with nothing but sunshine and daytime highs in the mid-50s--on the way home from Santa Fe it was even warm enough to drop the roof on the Miata! Judy was beaming the entire time, and when we took our little hikes she was like a little kid in the candy store. She loved "being out of prison," as she called it.

Now we're just hoping that the R&R, extra iron rations, and general atitude help in getting her back on her chemo schedule next week.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Another delay

Chemo round #4 has been delayed by another week since Judy's blood values are not what they should be. After today's lab work Judy was told that she would need another blood transfusion tomorrow. Obviously she's not too excited about that, especially since the three-unit transfusion will be treated as day surgery, meaning she'll be at Covenant for the better part of the day. Maybe it is time to pull out the EPO...

But as one of her doctor friends opined: This seems to prove that the chemo is doing what it is supposed to do--kill everything in its sight.

Happier news: Judy's birthday cake for Anna's 3rd birthday was a hit! It featured Dora, Boots, and the theme from Ready, Set, Go!, where our little friend's birthday was celebrated last Saturday. Anna, in pink, LOVED her cake!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chemo #4 postponed

Jürgen and I decided it was time for you to hear from me personally. I want to thank each of you for your support. I am constantly amazed and humbled at the cheering section I have.

I was scheduled for my 4th chemo this last Tuesday, but my platelets were low and we have to wait. If my labs are fine on Monday, I will have the treatment next Tuesday. In the meantime, I have been stocking up on iron. I am not the best meat eater, so I have been munching dried fruit, nuts, beans, and other iron-rich foods.

I continue to work and try to walk or ride some every day. I am very tired and get sick sometimes, but, generally, life is somewhat normal. I am looking forward to our annual trip to Albuquerque for Jürgen's birthday next weekend. We usually cross-country ski, but this year we will hike. When I asked Dr. Phillips about skiing (even cross-country) he jumped a little and said, "You scare me." I decided not to mention the mountain bike.

Again thanks for being there for me. I look forward to this all being over soon.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

From the two of us come the best wishes for a healthy and happy 2009!

We rang in the new year in a quiet fashion, first with a nice steak dinner (and a fine bottle of wine) at home and then for a little while with some friends who had invited us to a small gathering at a hotel within walking distance--we just didn't want to drive anywhere last night after Lubbock had seen some horrible accidents over the past few weeks. We hit the rack a few minutes before midnight and somehow managed to miss the ball dropping on TV. Oh well.

2009 will be challenging, in many ways. But we're ready after last year brought such profound changes to our life. Judy appears to be on such a positive path that we continue to be extremely optimistic in regard to her health, and everything else will then fall in place. If anything, we have become even more aware of our fragile position in this universe.

We hope that all of our family, friends, and acquaintances will experience much positive in the year to come. Cheers to all of you, and may we see each other soon!