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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Next Chemo Scheduled For Sep. 1

After a full-meal-deal type of transfusion last week, we didn't think that Judy would be up for her second chemo of regimen #2 this week. So it came as no surprise when after lab work yesterday the verdict was: Lets have a cocktail next week.

So, that'll give Judy a chance to recover a little more, even though her trip this weekend to the Hotter'n'Hell bike races in Wichita Falls will not be exactly a vacation. Judy will chief the mountain bike race on Friday afternoon, and then she'll work the road races and the crits on Saturday and Sunday. But she wouldn't hear anything about sitting this one out--after all, the HHH is her longest-running officiating gig, something like 12 years in a row or so.

Say hello to her if you see her!

I for my part will jet out to Seattle right after (the semeter's first) classes on Thursday and then continue to Vancouver and Penticton, BC, on Friday morning. This will be my third year to be Head Referee for Ironman Canada.

I'll be back home Monday afternoon, in time to kiss Judy good-luck for Tuesday's chemo.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Triathlon Behind Us--And A Transfusion Ahead

Last weekend, Judy and I were in the Seattle, WA, area for yet another half-Ironman triathlon. As you can tell from the picture, it was a beautiful day for racing, even if it started out a little foggy and cool. Lake Stevens is set among forested hills about an hour north of Seattle, in a beautiful part of the US. We are truly thankful to race organizer Bill Burke to have brought us out here--he's been a great supporter and friend. Even though there is always a lot of work to be done, every race brings with it great moments that show us how lucky we are.

When we got back to Lubbock yesterday, Judy had more lab work done. Now we know why she had been bruising up so easily: Her platelet count was down to a paltry 7. In a way that is good because it appears that the chemo cocktail is doing the trick, but it also means that Judy is pretty vulnerable. So, tomorrow morning (Thursday) it's off to the hospital for a few bags of fresh blood--sounds like Dracula, doesn't it? This should also help her perk up a little, because she has been quite tired, even though one wouldn't know it from seeing her go after things at work or at the races.

Right now it is doubtful that she is going to receive another round of chemo next week, as initially planned. Well, we'll take it the way it comes.


Here's the full crew:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Without Steroids Chemo is Less Fun

Well, that's the mild way of putting it. Judy began her second cycle of six to eight rounds of chemo on Tuesday, and things were (and still are) quite a bit rougher than we expected. We had been told that the new drug that she is now getting (Gemzar) has fewer side-effects than what she had been getting (Taxol). Maybe that's why she wasn't given her usual accompanying dose of steroids. Whatever the reason, Judy has been feeling rotten since Tuesday's treatment. Next time around, she'll ask for the steroids, for sure.

The CA-125 cancer markers continue to inch upward--not good. It will be interesting to see whether this new drug and the renewed chemo after the lengthy hiatus will convince the disease to start receding again. Sure, it's just numbers, but that's all we have to go by.

I am writing this update while sitting in the Miami airport, waiting for my flight to Costa Rica where I am officiating an international mountain bike race this weekend. Judy and Emily will spend Saturday and Sunday in Abilene for their annual "Ride of Passage," a tradition that goes back 10 years. The idea has always been to ride a little farther than the year before and to try something new--in line with progressing from one school grade to the next. Now Emily is getting ready to enter college, and the Ride of Passage is still as apropos as a decade ago. Judy may be feeling crappy, but she won't let that stop her from doing what she wants to do. Maybe they'll adjust the length of the ride a little....

Stay tuned for the next update. Let's hope we have some good news and maybe a new photo.