January '01
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Schedule of Events

bullet1/1 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
bullet1/2 - The blood counts were good enough so Jeri will spend the first part of the new year at TCH.  Her ANC needed to be at 1,000 but was only 935.  Dr. Murali thought they could begin anyway since the other counts were within range.  Jeri and Virginia went to the clinic this morning and got the news.  They figured that it would be a while before a bed was available so they called me at the office to meet them for lunch after they did a bit of light retail therapy.  We met at Escalante's, near the office, for a bit of Mexican food.  Jeri and Virginia went home to get some rest and wait for the phone call that a room was available.  The call came around 9pm this evening.  Jeri and Virginia took off for the hospital for the night.  Treatment will probably begin in the morning.  Jeri is never ready to go (who would be) but she was as prepared as possible.  She was glad to make it through Christmas and New Year's.  She knew it was coming and was mentally prepared to begin.  Here are the counts:

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 9.7
Platelets 250,000 100,000 115,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 1,700
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 935
bullet1/3 - Jeri is resting this evening.  She's had both Ifosfamide and the Etoposide (VP16) today and is getting a bit queasy.  She's getting some medicine to help that a bit.  In spite of the chemo, she's still eating.  She had a hamburger for lunch and requested ice cream for dinner.  The hamburger stayed down.  Let's hope the ice cream does the same.  Virginia will stay this evening and then I'll take her place tomorrow evening and Friday.
bullet1/4 - Today was just another boring day of chemo.  Just the way we like it!  Jeri had a couple of Taco Bell tacos for lunch with a gingerbread latte from Starbucks.  She enjoys the parental catering service.  I (Virg) also had to make a Marble Slab run for an afternoon snack this afternoon.  Brit is staying with Jeri tonight and tomorrow night.  I will return to the hospital on Saturday AM (so that Jeri will be spared all of the football playoffs and Dad will be able to enjoy them from the comfort of his easy chair.)
bullet1/5 - Jeri finished her third day of chemo today.  One more day of chemo and then a day of hydration. (Don't want those nasty chemicals hanging around in her major organs).  Brit made a La Madeleine run for lunch and then got pizza for the two of them for supper.  Jeri must be feeling pretty good as she called home a few times today just looking for conversation.
bullet1/6 - Today was the last day of chemo for Jeri.  She'll receive a dose of Ifosfamide followed by three doses of Mesna at 8 hour intervals.  Mesna is used to prevent some of the side effects of the other drugs.  She expects to be released tomorrow (Sunday) around 3pm.  Randi and Chris gathered up a van and SUV load of friends of hers and Jeri's and ventured to the hospital this afternoon.  Jeri called it JeriPalooza.  (That's a play on Lollapalooza for those of you over 30.)  She enjoyed the company.  I spoke to her on the phone afterward and she was still pumped up.  She'll need to get her rest now, for sure.
bullet1/7 - Hooray!!!  Jeri made it home today.  They were pretty much on schedule at TCH for this round.  That is simply amazing.  Jeri was tired and glad to be home.  It didn't take her long to find the remote control for the TV.  Now the wait begins for the next CT-scan.  It's been two chemo's and about two months since the last scan.  It was positive so we're hoping that this one will be a continuation of the good news.
bullet1/8 - Jeri is still pretty tired today but had enough energy for a card-playing and visiting session with one of her dance teammates today.  When we got home, the recliner looked really good to her and she hasn't stirred since then.  A big thanks to all of you who have donated blood in Jeri's name.
bullet1/9 - This was another day to spend in the recliner.  Jeri has been reading all day and just taking life easy.  She reviewed some Biology notes for her first home school session of the new year, tomorrow.
bullet1/10 - Today was a much busier day for Jeri than the previous couple.  She had physical therapy for an hour this morning at 10:45.  Then, we went out to lunch at RJ Goodies, a local sandwich and pastry shop.  (Best quiche in town!)  When we got home, it was time for school.  It looks like Cherry Ellas, her teacher, left plenty of work to keep Jeri off of the soap opera circuit for awhile.  It will be early to bed tonight as we have a 7:45AM appt. at the clinic tomorrow.
bullet1/11 - Clinic went quickly this morning through our bleary eyes. (although the gingerbread lattes from Starbucks helped)  Jeri's counts were good enough that she didn't need any transfusions today.  Those will probably come next week.  We even got to visit with Dr. Johnson, the surgeon who removed the tumor from Jeri's leg and did the leg salvage operation.  He was impressed with Jeri's range of motion in the leg.  He continues to be less impressed with her stated desire to become a lawyer.  He thinks she would be better off going to medical school.  I am sure that this particular debate will continue.  Since we were out by 10, we drove back to our side of town for lunch at Jacquisine.  Jeri was definitely recliner fodder after that.  Her energy level probably won't improve much until next week...she never complains though.

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 8.2
Platelets 250,000 100,000 38,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 500
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 345
bullet1/12 - Jeri didn't have school today.  Her teach wasn't able to make it.  Jeri had done her homework, just in case.  Virginia and Jeri decided to use the time to go to a movie.  That's about it other than the G-CSF shot to stimulate those white counts.  Oh yes, the next CT-scan should be sometime next week.
bullet1/13 - Jeri stayed around the house today.  She's pretty much homebound until the blood counts improve.
bullet1/15 - Schoolwork was today's theme.  Jeri worked on her education most of the day.  That is, most of the day until time for some of her favorite TV shows this evening.  She's tired and gone to bed early in anticipation of getting up early for tomorrow's trip to the clinic.  It will be amazing if she doesn't receive blood.  Tiring as easily as she has been is a sign that the blood counts are pretty low.  We shall see, won't we.
bullet1/16 - Today was clinic day.  Jeri and Virg headed out early this morning.  Jeri's blood counts were low but the hemoglobin is hanging in there.  She didn't need whole blood but did get a fill-up of platelets.  Platelets take a long time to administer.  They didn't get home until after 5pm.  These things have a way of ending in time for the famous Houston rush hour.  Amazing how that works.  They've confirmed the schedule for the next tests as one week from Thursday (January, 25).  Jeri will get the full treatment.  She'll have the CT-scan we've been anticipating along with a chest X-ray and bone scan(Editor's note:  Virginia corrected me that it is a leg X-ray, to ensure that the bone allograft is healing properly.  I made an incorrect assumption about a chest x-ray..)  They will start early in the morning and probably finish in time to face rush hour once again.  We didn't get the regular listing on the counts so these are the best we can do after picking Virginia's memory.  Oh yes, Jeri also gets to discontinue the G-CSF shots.  That means the white blood cell counts and ANC will drop precipitously by the next blood test.

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 8.5
Platelets 250,000 100,000 14,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 Off the chart
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 11,000+
bullet1/17 - Brit is gone tonight and so Virg will be doing the update.  The tests that Jeri will have next week do not include a chest x-ray.  The x-ray is of her leg.  This is important to the doctors so that they can make sure the bone graft is continuing to heal well.  ( I just told Brit that there would be an x-ray as one of the tests...I just forgot to tell him what kind.)  Jeri had a good day today with both physical therapy and home schooling.  Her teacher says that Jeri continues to do well.  Jeri would like to meet her teachers up at the high school and spend an entire day going to all of her classes.  We are aiming for next Monday.  (The way Jeri's home schooling works is that her teacher that comes to the house receives all of the assignments from Jeri's teachers at the high school.  This is to ensure that Jeri is on track with the rest of the freshman class.)  Jeri is really looking forward to the day when she can return to school.  She misses it.
bullet1/18 - Brit is returning tonight but the ugly weather will make him late.  Jeri had a great day...she got to sleep in as late as she wanted, go out to eat and pick out lots of extras when she accompanied me to the grocery store.  She did manage to slip in some schoolwork along the way.
bullet1/19 - School and Physical Therapy were the orders of the day.  The day started with Jeri picking up a little mess she left in the family room last night.  She didn't protest too much.  Her teacher came for school today.  Jeri did well.  This afternoon she had Physical Therapy and began work on the treadmill for the first time.  Not a bad way to finish the day and head into the evening.
bullet1/20 - Jeri was glad the weekend came.  No school and no official physical therapy classes.  I did manage to "catch" Jeri practicing walking with her cane.  That's good.  I had been giving her a hard time that the only time I saw her exercising was when I asked her to do so.  I told her that one day I would like to "catch" her doing her exercises.  I guess today was one of those days.  Now, of course, she has more to live up to.
bullet1/21 - After sleeping the morning away (the same as Randi), Jeri accompanied her father to the Home Theater Store (Ed. Note - They have a bad web site.  Shopping, not buying. BBP)  to check out HDTV's.  (Definitely not Mom-type shopping.)  Tonight, she went with Randi to church and to religion class afterward.  This is the first class that she has been able to make...she's been doing those at home too.
bullet1/22 - Another first for Jeri today.  She went to the Q Sports Club (not a first) and did time on the treadmill and exercise bike.  That's the first treadmill on her own.  she just started that in physical therapy last week.  She did the treadmill, exercise bike and practiced walking with her cane.....all in the same day.  Wow!  I didn't even have to nag her.  She also had a bit of Retail Therapy earlier in the day.  I guess some of those Christmas spoils were starting to burn holes in her pockets.  Jeri and Virginia go to the clinic tomorrow.
bullet1/23 - Today's visit to the clinic went reasonably quickly.  Jeri's blood counts were barely high enough to avoid a transfusion (platelets or blood). That was good news for Jeri and Virginia both.  It meant less time at the clinic and a bonus opportunity for lunch.  They went to Lupe Tortilla's for fajitas.  Not too shabby if you ask me......  They will get a chance to do it all over again Thursday, likely without the lunch, when Jeri goes back for the much anticipated tests.  Here are the counts:

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 7.6
Platelets 250,000 100,000 43,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 1,100
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 308
bullet1/24 - Jeri was a tired girl today.  Working out on Monday, Clinic on Tuesday, low blood counts...you name it.  And on top of all that, she had school and physical therapy today.  She managed to make it through in good spirits.
bullet1/25 - The day started early for Jeri and Virginia.  They left just before 7am to head to the clinic and TCH.  The day started with a blood test at the clinic and then on to the hospital to begin the tests.  She was scheduled for a CT-scan, leg X-ray and bone scan.   They got to watch the bone scan in real time.  The technician administering the test gave commentary on what they were seeing.  She didn't see anything that would cause alarm but cautioned that we needed to get the official results to be sure.  She's been pretty reliable so it's a good sign that "old C" hasn't returned to any bones.  The blood test showed the platelets were still low but borderline for a transfusion.  Jeri said she was feeling ok so they didn't recommend a transfusion.  The schedule was such that they had a late lunch at King Fish Market.  They both gave it passing grades.  Dr. Murali called this evening to give the preliminary results of the CT-scan.  The news wasn't what we had hoped.  The preliminary results showed that the existing spots on Jeri's lung had grown slightly and there were what appeared to be new spots.  He said that tomorrow, he will do a thorough review with the doctor who interpreted the scan.  He said he would call sometime tomorrow and let us know what a more thorough examination revealed.  In any event, it was not the result we would have preferred.  Here are the counts:  

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 7.6=
Platelets 250,000 100,000 54,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 800
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 256
bullet1/26 - We received a callback from the doctors today.  We've got a consultation with one of their colleagues that is running a clinical trial for which they believe Jeri may be qualified.  We're scheduled to meet on Tuesday to see what it's all about.  Other than that, they day has been pretty quiet.  Jeri had physical therapy this afternoon and spent time on the treadmill and exercise bike.
bullet1/27 - It's the weekend and Jeri was in weekend mood.  She and Randi both did homework this morning.  That was after Jeri finally rolled out of bed.  I think her hours are getting turned upside down.  She's still playing a computer game as I write this at 12:50am (Sunday) morning.
bullet1/28 - Super Bowl Sunday!  Jeri made it through the first half of the game with the rest of the family so that she would be sure and not miss the half-time extravaganza.   After that, she was "Nintendoing" in the other room while the rest of us finished watching the game.  She is in bed early tonight as she will be going to school tomorrow for the entire day.  She will be going to all of her classes and meeting her teachers (as well as her teachers meeting her.)  She is really really looking forward to it.  I knew she would miss the social aspects of school but she is finding it increasingly boring to do school work all by herself. Randi is also excited as she will be helping Jeri get from class to class and showing her the ropes at the high school.  Jeri wishes that this were the precursor for a return to regular schooling but knows that in reality, it is not.  (Mom's note:  I just hope that she doesn't pick up any nasty bugs at school!) - Virg
bullet1/29 - Jeri did enjoy her day at school.  Three of her classes today just involved watching movies...I believe she thinks that high school is not as difficult as it is cracked up to be.  She fought a nasty sinus headache all day and between that and all of the walking from class to class, she is really pooped tonight. (In bed before ten...unheard of for Jeri!)  Tomorrow, we will be going for her regular weekly clinic appt. followed by a conference with the experimental procedure doctors.  With any luck, we will have more answers and fewer questions after that meeting.  (I am an eternal optimist!) - Virg
bullet1/30 - Jeri and I started our morning with our regular clinic visit.  Current blood counts are below. Brit was able to join us then and we met with one of the experimental trial program doctors and discussed the next steps in Jeri's treatment.  There aren't many options and none that immediately said "try me".  Those are decisions that don't have to be made for a few weeks since Jeri's blood counts need to fully recover.  After we got the heck out of there, we enjoyed a very nice lunch at Damien's before Brit had to fly off to Bartlesville.

Category (see link for definitions)

Normal Adequate / Acceptable Jeri
Hemoglobin 12 8 8.7
Platelets 250,000 100,000 82,000
White Cells 4, 000 - 10,000 4,000 1000
ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) 1,500-5,000 1,000 490
bullet1/31 - Jeri struggled through her physical therapy this morning but after a nice lunch at R J Goodies, she felt better for her home schooling.  She is excited because she has received permission to go back to high school for yet another day on Monday.  She is even more excited about getting to sleep in tomorrow morning (while mom plays some tennis).

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Brit:    brit@stickyshoe.com

Virg:    virg@stickyshoe.com

This page last updated:  June 13, 2006