February '01
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Schedule of Events

bullet2/1 - We're now coming to the month that will represent the one year anniversary of this journey called "Jeri's Unplanned Adventure."  Much has happened but so much more to go.  The month started out slowly.  Jeri spent the day studying.  She's been dedicated to keeping her schoolwork complete to her standards.  She's also said that we can tell about her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  She's asked to go to Los Angeles to meet the cast and make a cameo appearance on her favorite TV show, 7th Heaven.  They said they would try but they best they may be able to offer is to attend the taping and meet the cast.  They've called back and said that it should work out and are working on a time to do it this month. It should be an interesting trip.  We should be getting confirmation of a date in the near future.  Then it will be time to face the reality of answering the question, "What's next?"
bullet2/2 - Jeri had school today.  It was followed by physical therapy.  She enjoyed both even though the physical therapy was a bit more difficult than usual.  Her left ankle is a bit sore from all the work with the cane.
bullet2/3 - Today was girl's day out to lunch at McCormick & Schmick's.  I'm afraid there might have been some light retail therapy mixed in.  Fortunately, I haven't seen much evidence.  It doesn't take a large sack to make a dent in the life savings when shopping around the Galleria area.
bullet2/4 - Jeri had an easy day today.  She spent a little bit of time on schoolwork but nothing serious.  She's convinced her teachers to let her have another day at school tomorrow.  It also shows how much she wants to regain her normal life.  She said that she's got about a month before she has to worry about more medical procedures and she would appreciate if everyone would refrain from talking to her about medical things.  I think she deserves a month of trying to be as normal a 14 year old as possible.  Of course, as her Dad, it's ok if I worry about what happens at the end of that month.
bullet2/5 - School was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for Jeri.  She wants to get back to a normal life as bad as anyone could.  School was an island of normalcy in the midst of this terrible storm.  She saw her friends, participated in classroom discussions and talked Randi into taking her to get a snack after school.  Sometimes it's nice having an older sister that drives.  She was exhausted this evening.  I caught her napping in a chair while the TV played a special on the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team.  The hockey was my clue that something was amiss.  I might be able to catch Jeri sneaking a peak at a football game as I develop her appreciation for the finer points of the game, but hockey.....I don't think so.
bullet2/6 - Jeri and Virginia made today a shopping and movie day.  I'm not sure what they were shopping for but I'm glad to say that it was mostly shopping with very little buying.
bullet2/7 - Today was a pretty quiet day for Jeri but we did take a small retail trip to the mall for some new makeup colors.  Jeri struck her modeling pose tonight as she showed off her "evening look".  I guess we never get too old for dress-up.
bullet2/8 - Jeri got to sleep until noon today...something that she really enjoys doing.  She is definitely a night owl like her dad and most definitely not a morning person like her mom.  She did manage to escape the house long enough to get a pedicure this afternoon.  Now if I can just get her to clean up her room....
bullet2/9 - Jeri didn't feel very good today.  Allergies seem to be attacking her.  Her worrywart mother took her temp and did several "passes on the forehead" but so far, so good.  Now she has instructions to go to bed early (HO<HO!)  It is parent bragging time again.  Both of the girls received their grades for this term and we are very proud.  Jeri has straight A's and Randi has all A's except for one B in Advanced Placement English.  Jeri is chomping at the bit to go back to school.  She misses all the classroom camaraderie.  Randi is enjoying her senior year while continuing to work very, very hard.  Brit comes home from Anchorage tomorrow and we are looking forward to it.  It is always too quiet around here when he is gone.
bullet2/10 - It's the weekend.  I suppose that means more retail therapy.  One of Jeri's friend's mom treated her daughter and Jeri to "Build-a-Bear's" at the Galleria.  The girls all had fun putting their bears together.  Virginia treated all to lunch at King Fish Market.  They reported that there was no lunch menu on the weekend and the portions were too big.  They didn't seem to mind that much.  Randi and Jeri went to our local mall this afternoon.  Jeri used her crutches for both expeditions.  That means her leg is getting stronger.  She was tired by this evening.
bullet2/11 - Jeri continued her mode of taking it easy during the weekend.  She accompanied her mom on some errands but other than that, it was a stay at home day.  I added a hyperlink to Build-a-Bear in response to a couple of emails asking about it.  My apologies.  I didn't think to check on it last night.  I should have known better.  Most everything has a web site these days.  I should mention that we have an appointment with the solid tumor team at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on Tuesday.  We decided to get a second opinion at this stage and our doctors at TCH agreed.  M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has a team that also specializes in treatment and clinical trials for solid tumors in children.  The two hospitals staffs' share treatment protocols but sometimes participate in different clinical trials.  That's the stage Jeri is at so we felt that we should see what they have going.
bullet2/12 - The highlight of Jeri's day was the receipt of this very large box from some of my friends and coworkers in Bartlesville.  Yes, they can be both.  It contained an extraordinarily large mass of assorted Valentine's Day goodies.  Jeri was in modeling mode when I got home from work this evening.  Check out some of the results in the Photo Album.  Extravagant doesn't begin to describe the contents.  She (and we) are always thankful that we have such good friends that remember Jeri.....even if they all spoil her too much.  That's my job!  But, ok, I can always use a bit of help.  Who needs retail therapy anyway.
bullet2/13 - Jeri started her morning at the TCH cancer clinic getting blood counts as well as a check-up in preparation for our trip to L.A. next week.  The counts are good (see below) and everything else checked out ok.  I called Brit, who left the office, picked up some fast food and met us at M. D. Anderson.  We ate our lunch in the lobby and then started our afternoon off at new patient registration.  After we finished there, we went upstairs to the pediatric clinic where Jeri was examined and we answered lots of questions about her treatments so far.  Then we met with Dr. Jaffe.  After he examined Jeri a little bit more and viewed her CT-scan, he gave us his recommendations for treatment.  There are a few options, but Jeri is already lobbying for the option that can be done on an outpatient basis.  I don't blame her a bit.  The one thing, in Dr. Jaffe's opinion, that is a certainty, is that Jeri will need to have lung surgery again to remove the existing tumor nodules.  Whether or not this will be done before or after the next treatment has yet to be decided.  After we get back from our trip next week, we will meet with Dr. Berg from TCH and get her recommendations for treatment.  Then, a decision of some kind will be made.  At this point, we are just trying to gather as much information as possible. Until we return, we are just going to concentrate on having a blast in California.

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 10.4
Platelets 250,000 100,000 160,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 2200
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 1270
bullet2/14 - Happy Valentine's Day!  If Brit were here, he would decorate this entry in a seasonal fashion but, alas, that is beyond my realm of knowledge (way, way beyond!)  Jeri struggled through her physical therapy today.  She said that she just felt exhausted and her heart was definitely not in it.  As the day progressed, Jeri perked up and she was fine for her schooling this afternoon.  Now it is late and she is going strong....strange schedule!  Tomorrow morning she will get to sleep in while I attempt to dodge the raindrops and play a rain makeup tennis match from last Friday.
bullet2/15 - Yesterday, Jeri might have been tired and cranky but she was her sunny energetic self today.  She attributes it to being able to sleep in and not having to deal with an overly perky mom first thing in the morning.  She even cleaned her room today!  Since she gets to sleep in again tomorrow, I am hoping for a stronger physical therapy session than she had on Wednesday.  Her sore ankle does seem to be improving and she is walking well with crutches and pretty well (though reluctantly) with the cane.  Tomorrow will be her last physical therapy session and home schooling session before we leave for California on Monday.
bullet2/16 - Jeri slept late today.  She must have thought it was the weekend.  Not much happened until physical therapy.  She came home feeling good since she had done well.  She did a lot of work using a cane, including starting to step over objects.  We also had a visit from the Make-A-Wish Foundation representatives to give us the itineraries for the upcoming trip.  I'll add more detail when we return.  It looks like a fun time.  They do wonderful things.
bullet2/17 - The day was going well for Jeri until late this evening.  She was using her crutches and trying to carry too much.  She insisted she didn't need any help.  She stubbed her right toe and in moving back, she stepped on her left foot in an unusual way and felt a severe pain.  We felt of her foot to see if we could feel anything unusual and could not.  We applied ice while having her keep her weight off the foot.  There was no swelling by bedtime so we'll wait until the morning to see how things are going.  On another note, this is the one year anniversary of the diagnosis.  I was in Bartlesville that day and received a phone call that evening that I'll never forget.  We had hoped that Jeri would be through all the chemo treatment by now but it just hasn't worked out.  What a difference a year makes.
bullet2/18 - Jeri and Virginia made a quick trip to the hospital emergency room today to have Jeri's foot examined.  It was hurting a lot this morning.  We were fortunate to have a hospital nearby so it didn't take them too long.  Nothing was broken.  She's sprained her arch.  She has to stay off it for a few days, apply ice occasionally and keep it wrapped.  The rest of the day was filled with anticipation of Jeri's Make-A-Wish.......and packing.  We leave at 6am in the morning to head to the airport and to Los Angeles via Salt Lake City.  Thank you Delta Airlines.  We'll be staying at the Beverly Hilton.  Thanks you Hilton Hotels.  Most of all, thank you to the sponsors and volunteers of  Make-A-Wish Foundation for creating such a special event for Jeri.  

Here's a thumbnail of the trip.
bulletMonday - travel day, free time upon arrival
bulletTuesday - Bus tour of Los Angeles
bulletWednesday - Universal Studios
bulletThursday - the Wish
bulletFriday - free day
bulletSaturday - return home

I can see too much time in the itinerary for retail therapy.  I suppose the good news is that we will be in close proximity to Rodeo Drive and that's too expensive. The Make-A-Wish Foundation didn't include that in the budget.  That won't stop any of my crew from looking.  I've even promised that I would not do any email this week and enjoy the vacation with everyone else.  That's what it's for.  Work will be there when we return.  This is a special trip for Jeri and we will all do what we can to make sure it turns our to be a wonderful time.  The next update to the diary will be when we return.  We hope to have plenty of stories to tell and pictures to show.

bullet2/19-23 - Make-A-Wish trip.  Click here to go to the trip diary, if you dare.
bullet2/24 - We all made it back this evening.  A good time was had by all.  We'll be working on a travelogue to detail the trip, complete with pictures.  I didn't take my digital camera so we'll have to get them developed and scanned.  I go out of town again on Sunday so don't expect the write-up until this time next week.  Virginia is doing the first draft and then I'll get to edit it.  The taping of 7th Heaven was an interesting experience.  They weren't doing crowd scenes so Jeri only got to watch from behind the camera.  She met the members of the cast that were working that day.  She met Beverly Mitchell (Lucy), David Gallagher (Simon) and Catherine Hicks (Annie).  Mackenzie Rosman (Ruthie) was there but was sick.  It was best to not expose Jeri.  The cast members she met were all very friendly and took some time to visit with Jeri for a bit.  Like I said, more later.
bullet2/25 - Brit took off for Norway and England today.  Poor guy...his body will have no idea of what time zone to relate to.  Of course, that is why the travelogue won't be published quite yet.  It just wouldn't be complete without Brit's insights.  Besides a little light laundry and unpacking, the rest of us resembled a pack of slugs today.  Tomorrow, we will swing back to routine with Randi heading to school, Virg to tennis and Jeri getting to sleep in.  Jeri and Virg will head to clinic tomorrow afternoon for a conference about the experimental procedures available at Texas Children's Hospital.   Jeri's ankle continues to be sore and tender and will probably slow her physical therapy for awhile.
bullet2/26 - This was a good day for Jeri.  She got to sleep late (which is always a plus for her) and she got good news to boot.  She has been invited to join the Sunshine Kids (a volunteer organization dedicated to increasing quality of life for kids with cancer) in a week long trip to Las Vegas.  We got the official ok from her doctors today, so she will be traveling again in two weeks.  Before she leaves, she will undergo all of the necessary tests and scans so that she can resume treatment as soon as she returns.  Meanwhile, with the exception of that sprained foot, she continues to feel great.
bullet2/27 - Jeri rested up today so that she could party the night away tonight.  Well, not exactly... Randi and Jeri are at the rodeo tonight watching the Duran Duran concert (with tickets donated by Make-A-Wish).  I'll have to remind Jeri how much fun she had tonight when I try to blast her out of bed in the morning for her physical therapy session.  I am sure that I will be growled at.
bullet2/28 - My prediction from yesterday was certainly true.  Physical therapy was shortened today since she still cannot put much weight on that sprained foot.  For all you daily readers of the update, technical difficulties will prevent me starting a March calendar tomorrow.  (I don't know how to put up a new month!  and Brit doesn't get back until Friday.)  So, until Brit's return, February will just keep getting longer and longer.  (Ed. note - I returned and got things moved to the March page.)

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Brit:    brit@stickyshoe.com

Virg:    virg@stickyshoe.com

This page last updated:  June 13, 2006