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.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Next Chemo Not Until April 14

Well, the blood values have spoken: Even though Judy's red blood cell count is up her platelets and white cells are not ready for another round of chemo just yet. Judy had her routine lab work done this morning, and the verdict was that chemo # 6 will most likely come right after Easter.

In a way we're glad about the delay since we're going to fly to New Orleans Thursday evening for the inaugural New Orleans 70.3 Half-Ironman, for which I am the head referee. Had Judy received her chemo tomorrow, chances would have been good that NO would have been less fun. We're looking forward to working this race since—drum roll—Wednesday (yep, April Fools' Day) is our 20th wedding anniversary and we had honeymooned in the Crescent City. So, for us it is not just a race (a big one at that!) but also a return to the past.

We'll let you know how this trip comes along. As an early gift from American Airlines we received our upgrade notification last night, meaning we'll be flying in style on the short hop from Dallas.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Transfusion Day

After Judy's blood values still had not recovered sufficiently from her last round of chemo, the doc wanted her to have another transfusion. She went to the hospital this morning, and when I got out of school she still had the last half bag (of three) to go. Around 4:30 p.m. we were home, and now she is resting. The transfusion made her nauseated and she had to throw up a few times. Poor little thing! She looks even tinier when she is not feeling well. We don't know yet when the next chemo will happen, but we doubt that it will be next Tuesday, the day before our 20th anniversary.

Let's hope that this "outside assistance" is going to perk her up a little.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Might as well have some FUN!

Judy's hair is doing funny stuff: after a period of falling out and becoming patchy it has decided to grow, just a little bit--but in a funky way. So Judy decided that it was time to have a little fun, and with the help of her biggest supporters she was given a purplish mohawk yesterday. The color is very temporary, and we already had to touch up a little this morning.

We didn't go to Waco this weekend for the race, as planned. Waco had torrential rains, so the Outback Blowout was rescheduled for next weekend. Since I will be in Germany for a few days with my dad, Judy will have to work the race by herself. We were able to snag one of the last seats on AA (think spring break and all the flights being full!), and she'll fly to Waco on Saturday morning and come back on Monday morning.

The worst of chemo #5 is behind her, it seems. This morning she is going to have her routine blood work done, and we'll see whether her booster shot of Aranesp last week has had the desired effect.

For those of you who will be in Waco next weekend, check the color of Judy's hairdo as she may go for something different by then.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Judy is an Official EPO Doper!

The word today was that Judy's blood values are fairly anemic, but Judy insisted that before going for yet another transfusion she wants to try other ways to boost her red blood cells. So, she received a dose of some EPO-like stuff, and we're hoping that it will have the desired effect so that Judy won't have to spend a day in the hospital for a transfusion. The platelets are low, too, so overall please send any rusty nails, scrap iron, or yummy veggies our way. :)

We'll get through this, too.


Friday, March 6, 2009

CA-125 Down to 10—"Normal"!

Wow! Judy's cancer markers have dropped once again. This time the drop was not as significant as for every other treatment cycle so far, but we had expected a slow-down or even a slight reversal. When Judy went for chemo #5 on Tuesday, she underwent the usual lab work. Today she was told that her CA-125 had dropped from 11 to 10. This number is actually seen as lying in the "normal" range, so we are quite encouraged.

Three days after chemo Judy is starting to feel the effects of the immuno-therapy which is part of the treatment. Her chest hurts, and overall she's feeling yucky. Still, tonight we're going to celebrate Wayne's birthday at his and Lorane's place—something that Judy wouldn't miss for anything. Hey, she even made some Tatooed Canaries so we can celebrate isalnd-style!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Chemo Round #5 Scheduled for Tuesday

We just received word from Dr. Phillips' office that Judy will have her fifth chemo treatment tomorrow, on Tuesday 3/3. We really didn't expect this since Judy has not been able to shake whatever respiratory infection we both seem to have, and this has been going on for several weeks now. So, the surprise was great that everything is a "go."

Over the weekend, Judy and I were in a tiny place north-west of Dallas, St. Jo. We officiated a big mountain bike race on a ranch, and it was great to see how many of the racers came up to Judy to give her a hug and see how she's doing. Our extended mountain bike family gives Judy a lot of strength and energy, even if working the event was obviously not as relaxing as sitting in an easy-chair at home. Judy was good and didn't overdo it, and she even took a few breaks so that she wouldn't discharge her batteries.

Maybe it was all those good wishes and positive thoughts from the weekend that boosted her blood levels! We sure would like to think so.