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 29, 2010

Easter is almost here

Yesterday, Judy and her little friend Nicole did a little bit of prep work to make sure that the Easter Bunny is going to find its way to Nicole's place. The two worked quite diligently on coloring eggs and decorating the pictured Easter tree that will adorn Nicole's bedroom. I guess I should have found a better background for the photo than one of our trees in the backyard, but you get the drift.

It was a good weekend for Judy, who spent Friday and Saturday nights in Midland with Candice, Alli, and Griffin. When she came back yesterday, first she was "crafty" with Nicole and then Lorane came over to knit and enjoy a cup of tea. Ah, the ladies are so civilized!

Spring finally seems to have arrived, and we're looking forward to a good week.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Encouraging News Before the Weekend

Just wanted to let all of you know that Judy's CA-125 decreased a tiny bit from 142 to 140 between her last regular chemo five weeks ago and this week's start of the new regimen.

We had expected the cancer markers to start soaring since the treatment seemed to have lost its punch and the interval was so long--a full five weeks. The fact that everything esssentially stayed stable is really encouraging to us.

Let's see what this new treatment is going to do and whether we can get a better hold on that damn old cancer.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday's Chemo OK

Just a quick update after the first of the new round of chemo treatments yesterday: It took about an hour and a half to administer the new meds, and Judy said that apart from a little queasiness for a short while she felt OK. Apparently, the pace of the chemo was a bit on the slower side than what she can expect in the future, just to make sure she was OK.

So, we'll see how this new approach is going to work out; next week Tuesday will be the next treatment. Of course, Judy is at work and doing everything that she has been doing pretty much ever since all these treatments started. This was her 16th chemo, and who knows how many more there will be. Let's hope that the third round proves to be the magic bullet.


Friday, March 19, 2010

New Chemo Delayed By One Week

Just in case you were wondering how the first of Judy's "mini" chemos came along this Tuesday, well, it didn't. The approval from the insurance did not come until Monday, too late for Dr. Phillips' office to order the drugs. So, the start of this new treatment has been postponed until next Tuesday. The good thing is that we have insurance approval.

Meanwhile, Judy keeps plugging along. I was in Switzerland and Germany for the past week and returned home just last night. It sure feels good to be back home and be with Judy!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A change in strategy

The CAT scan results are in, and it looks as if the cancer continues to rear its ugly head. Without going into too much detail (which, quite frankly, I don't have since we have not seen the report proper), the almost-two major rounds of chemo have not delivered the knock-out punch that we all had been looking for.

Thus, Dr. Phillips is changing his strategy and wants to go with another round of chemo; however, instead of delivering one massive treatment every three to four weeks (which especially in the first round hit the cancer hard but also kicked Judy's blood levels very, very significantly) he wants to administer a much smaller dosis on a weekly basis. The new schedule would be three weeks on, one week off, three weeks on, etc. Right now we're waiting for approval by the insurance since the overall cost appears to be even higher than the treatment so far. (All of you out there: Don't even think of going through life without health insurance! We'd be broke forever, without hope to ever dig ourselves out of the financial hole that such a diesease will dig for those without insurance.)

Most likely, Judy will have the first of these "mini" chemos next Tuesday. Let's see whether this is finally going to do it. If you're from the US, keep your fingers crossed, and if you're German, press the thumbs until they hurt!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A new kid-sized stent for Judy

Well, Judy just made it home from the hospital, and she's grinning because she received a "Junior stent." In this morning's procedure, Dr. Aronoff installed a smaller stent in her ureter than the first time around. She already is saying that it feels more comfortable than the first one. Maybe some of the discomfort with the first one had to do with the size. Anyhow, the doc said that the first stent did not show too much calcification, and this new one may last as long as 9 months. Now, that'd be a relief!

Lorane sat with Judy while I went through my teaching moves at Tech. I blew off my office hours, and when I arrived at the hospital a few minutes after 2 p.m. Judy was about to be discharged. And now, at 3:30 p.m., the two ladies are having a civilized cup of tea.

On a completely different note, our weekend was anything but relaxing. Friday night we worked the early registration for the Texas Tech Omnium bike race, and on Saturday we put in a 12-hour day with two different races. The photo (courtesy of Derek O.) shows Judy starting the time trial. Yep, those kids had built a real TT ramp! Tim R. is the holder, and Karen T. looks on. Judy felt like crap, coming down with some respiratory crap (which now seems to be hitting me). Sunday was another tough one with the wind blowing at times up to 25 to 30 mph, but it all came off OK. The Tech kids did a very, very nice job, and the WTCA volunteers who came out seemed to have fun, too.

So, let's hope that Judy will take well to the stent and that we can get some rest in the next few days.