Friday, December 1, 2006
Well Christmas Day was the best Christmas ever! Now that the kids are older they don't get up at the crack of dawn! We started opening our presents around 8:30 and were able to finish up by 11:30 this year. Everyone was happy with what they got! Chris received a diamond bracelet from me and Santa put a diamond necklace in her stocking. She was very excited and was certainly deserving!Everyone came over to our house around 3pm. Chrissy made a turkey and a ham to eat. Other people brought things and we had an informal dinner around 5pm. We exchanged presents and did a special game with presents too!
There were more than 30 people here including the kids. I don't keep an exact head count! I posted pictures on the pictures page but you can get to them here.We did get a phone call on Tuesday from the Oncologist's office already! They were just confirming Chris's upcoming appointments in early January. She is going on a 4 week schedule vs. the 3 week one she was on. The last 2 trips her blood counts were low and it took another week to have them bounce back. January is right around the corner and soon it will be back to business!! For now, we are enjoying the wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for the continuous prayers!
December 21, 2006 - Thursday
This past week has been very busy for all of us. Chris is doing great. No major complaints. A little tired but all in all doing great.
She's been very busy at work this week. Alex started working again this past Monday and will be working for a couple of weeks straight. This will be great as she can earn some money before going back to college in January. She's going to Orlando for a lacrosse tournament and needs the extra funds. We've finished up our Christmas shopping and are preparing the house for having everyone over! We can't wait. It will be a fun time.The dog got her first haircut this past Tuesday. It was really easy and she doesn't look like a furball anymore. Just a dog. Check out all the pictures of her on the pictures page. Here's one of the better ones.
December 14, 2006 - Thursday
Well today was a busy day for everyone! I drove up to Lycoming College to pick up Alex from school. She had her last final today and just completed her first semester! She'll be home for about 3 weeks.Since I wasn't home Chris ended up driving HERSELF to John's Hopkins today for treatment. She did just fine. It was not easy for me to be away while she was there. I've only missed one or two treatments in the past 2 years but she insisted and did very well. Her platelet counts were way over where they needed to be so the extra week made a huge difference. We excited to have Alex home and are looking very much forward to the upcoming Christmas holiday.
December 11 - 13, 2006 - Mon-Wed
Well this was hard. I had to travel to Salt Lake City for a sales presentation for work. Being away from home this time of year is hard and even more so with Chris getting treatment. But we continue to work hard to keep our lives as normal as possible and travel is a part of my job that must be done on a routine basis. Of course, while I was gone people stepped right up to help out. Andrew made a wonderful stew on Monday, which I am now enjoying with all the leftovers. Wonderful!! And on Tuesday a friend that we met just last year came over and brought Chris and the boys an excellent meal as well. Those leftovers did not last long either! Thanks Billie! Those 2 nights of generosity made it much easier to be away from home knowing that others are here to help out!!!
December 8, 2006 - Friday
I went out to lunch today with 4 guys that I worked with about 10 years ago. Although I have not seen them for quite awhile it was a great reunion! We talked and joked about the good times we had way back. It was really great. The next day, Saturday morning, I looked at my email and to my surprise they all decided to get Chris and I an American Express Gift card. I had told them that we were unable to really get out and celebrate our 20 and 21'st anniversaries and they wanted to help up out by jump starting a trip early next year after chemo stops for awhile. Thanks to some wonderful friends!
December 7, 2006 - Thursday
Wow... First off today is Michael's 11'th birthday. He's really exited about it. Unfortunately, Chris was scheduled for treatment today. We left the house after the boys went to school and got to the hospital around 9:30. Chris got her blood drawn aound 10:15 or so and then we waited for the lab results to come back.She has been feeling really well the last couple of weeks with lots of energy and a big emotional high last week. Well, today her labs came back and showed that her platelet count was too low. Here's a good place to see what plateletsare all about. There are lots of side effects associated with low platelet counts so the Dr. sent us home and we will be going back next week. At least we got home early this afternoon and can spend more time with Michael on his birthday.Many thanks to Rachael at COMSTAR who made dinner for us this past Monday. It helped out a lot as Chris stayed late on Monday.
December 3, 2006 - Sunday
Chris and three friends went into Frederick and attended the annual Christmas House Tour. Each year several houses are opened up to the public for tours. This year's houses were about 110 years old! Afterwards, the girls came home and we all packed back up and went out to one of Chris's favorite resturants. It's called Isabella's and it is called a tapas bar. Check it out here.After Wednesday's news we've really been on a high and doing a lot around the house to prepare for the holidays. Chris spent most of Saturday decorating the house and strategically placing her angels and snowmen!
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
We arrived at John's Hopkins around 10am and Chris went in for her scheduled CT Scan. She had to drink 2 very large nasty tasting drinks for contrast before the test. I had coffee and a danish. After her scan we went downstairs and waited until she was called back to see her Oncologist. The wait was longer than normal because she was waiting for the Radiologist's report.
Well as soon as we saw her we could tell it was good news. After 2 years of this it's getting easy to read the face of the Dr. She told us right away that the results were very good! The large mass has reduced in size significantly, as well as many of the other tumors that were present. Some in fact have gone away.
Now, although this isn't a cure, what it means is that all the hard work that Chris has done is starting to show results! She has another 3 months of this chemo and will have another CT at that time. The Dr. is very optimisitic that it will continue to improve. After that, the next step will be Tamoxifin for hormone therapy and the possibility of getting into our Dr's clinical trial.
Dinner was at home with the boys and very simple, but yet very good!
November 26, 2006 - Sunday
We took Tyler and Michael to Chris's brother's house to rake leaves. They were there most of the day. Alex, Chris and I then went out for coffee again while they worked! Isn't that great? We took Alex home and her cousin Gillian picked her up around 2pm to go back to school. Gill goes to Bucknell which is about 25 minutes from Lycoming where Alex goes. Alex is in the last 3 weeks of the semester and working hard.
We picked up the boys and took them to their indoor lacrosse game today. They are really doing well. Michael scored 2 goals and Tyler scored 3 today. They are playing hard and getting ready for the spring season.
Tonight our good friends, Ray and Cheryl, had us over for dinner. We haven't had a chance to sit down and visit with them in a while so this was a great chance to catch up.
November 25, 2006 - Saturday
Chris and Alex went out shopping for a little bit this morning. I drove and tried to keep them moving! The 3 of us went out for coffee and sat and talked for awhile. Having Alex home is really great as we miss her very, very much. She's doing really well though and we're very happy for her.
This afternoon Chris and Alex took Chloe to see our sister-in-law, Dr.Kelly! She gave her a shot and did a little grooming on her. We can see her eyes now! She also told us that her ears were a little infected but gave us some drops to take care of it.
Our friend Greg Z. gave us tickets to the MD vs. WakeForest football game. I took the kids to the game and they had a great time as did I. It was a cold evening so Chris decided not to go but instead went SHOPPING. She had a great time being out by herself and the stores were not too crowded. Many thanks to Z for the generous gift!!!! It will be remembered greatly!
November 24, 2006 - Friday
Finally slept in a little bit. In the afternoon we went out towards Annapolis to visit with our some friends at the MacQuillam's house. We took the dog with us and she played with their golden retriever all day long. It was fun and really nice getting to see our friends!
November 23, 2006 - Thursday
Wow what a great day! We had 24 people come over for Thanksgiving dinner. Brothers, Sisters, Mom&Dad, all family. We made turkey and stuffing and everyone else brought a dish. It was really great to have everyone together today. Chris really looks forward to having all of the family over and together for the holidays. I got a little emotional before saying grace when I saw everyone together. It was Thanksgiving and we were all very thankful to be together!
November 22, 2006 - Wednesday
Chris's feet and legs were bothering her a little bit this week so far. She continues to go to work and is really doing quite well. Alex came home from college on Tuesday night. Tonight we all went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in downtown Frederick called La Paz.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and everyone is coming to our house for dinner. Chris really enjoys having everyone over. There should be about 24 or so at the dinner table!
November 17, 2006 -Friday
Chris had to go back to Hopkin's today to receive her shot of Neulasta. It's an expensive drug used to keep your blood counts up. Well since it's expensive the insurance company is a little cautious with handing it out. In any event the paper work wasn't done in time to have is shipped to us so she went back to the treatment center and got it done there. After that she went back to work and after work stopped by a church that was having their Christmas bazzar. She saw her Mom and Sister there and spent some time looking and buying! Her mom made dinner for us and gave it to Chris there.
She's feeling pretty well after her treatment so far.
November 16, 2006 -Thursday
Another looooooong day at the treatment center. Her appointment was at 9am so we left a 7:45. Got there in plenty of time. Well it's a busy place and from what we've seen the AM time includes a lot of people for bloodwork. By the time Chris got her bloodwork and the lab results back it was 11AM. The nurse told us she would have a chair around 12.
Since the chemo takes about 4.5 hours Chris told me to leave her there and come back. They are doing renovations on the center and there are no chairs for visitors only patients in the treatment area especially during peak times. I really didnt' want to leave her but I would have been sitting around for the next 6 hours! I went ahead and drove home. When the boys got home we all packed up and went back to Baltimore. It's about a 50 minute drive to the hospital. Chris was done when we arrived and took the boys up to the treatment center for a look around. We think it's important for them to know and see what is going on.
Aftter that we drove down to Fells Point and had dinner at the Green Turtle. It was enough time for some of the traffic to die down. It had rained all day today and parts of Fells Point were flooded and traffic was a mess. By the time we got home it was after 8pm! Long day, hopefully good results! A CT scan is coming up soon to check Chris's progress. Keep your fingers crossed!!!
November 13, 2006 -Monday
Friends of ours that we have not seen for a long time came and brought us dinner today. We've known June and Jimmy since I moved down here in 1985. Chris used to work with June at the credit union before June retired. We talked about old times and made an agreement to go out to dinner soon in Frederick.
November 12, 2006 - Sunday
I drove up to Williamsport, PA on Friday to get Alex. She came home for the weekend. It was really great seeing her again. She just wanted to spend the time at home with us. She went to breakfast with us to our favorite place in Frederick, Beans and Bagels, on Sunday morning and then went to watch the boys play indoor lacrosse. We all watched the football game and I drove her back up Sunday evening. Very nice...
November 10, 2006 - Friday
Chris attended her credit union's annual planning conference all day today. I drove up to Williamsport, PA to pick up Alex and bring her home for the weekend. She will miss her radio show on Saturday that she does but she found a stand in!
November 9, 2006 - Thursday
Treatment Day!!! This would have been Chris's 3'rd treatment this round. That's right would. We arrived at Hopkin's a little earlier than her 9:30 am appointment. she went in for her bloodwork right away. It's nice because since she has a port implanted she gets to bypass the non-port people and get blood drawn right upon arrival. After that we waited for about and hour or so to have the nurse come out and tell us one of her blood counts was just a little low. 950 instead of the usual 1000. In most cases the doctor would let it go. Today however, the doctor was in Washington, DC and the pager system for the hospital was currently down! So we waited until a little before noon. The nurse came out and told us that she did contact the doctor and she wanted to hold off 1 week. Since the counts were low they would only go lower after treatment so 1 week should be plenty of time for them to get back up.
Packed up our belongings (we take a bunch of things to keep us busy) and started our way out of downtown Baltimore. Got about 4 miles away and Chris realized that her port still had the access device in it!!! I offered to yank it out as I've seen it done many times, but she insisted we go back.
Since she didn't get treatment and was still feeling pretty well she decided to go to the dinner that her credit union had each year before their annual management planning conference. She went to that, spent the night in the hotel where it was at, and had a night away from the boys! We missed her, but she deserved the night away!
November 4, 2006 - Saturday
Today we all go up early and went with Michael to a local highschool where he ran in a memorial cross country race. He's not the best runner but did well. This is the same race Alex ran in when she was in middle school. After that Chris went out into the yard and did some gardening. A lot of things are were wiped out by the hard frost we had the other night and she went out and cut them down. It was a nice sunny day, but a little brisk.
November 2, 2006 - Thursday
I have to share another card that Chris received today.
I want to thank you for the beautiful gifts your sent to our breast cancer patients. As you can tell the beutiful fleece blanket was given to a young woman who will celebrate her birthday this week on chemo. Your kindnesses are deeply appreciated by the many who will receive them and by the staff who have the opportunity to pass them on .
You are a courageous woman. I am certain this is not something you asked for in life, but please remember your strength, courage, confidence and hope are lessons you are teaching to your children. Lessons they will learn from and never forget. Thank you for widening your circle so that women who ar facing your same struggle are strengthened by your life and example. Ella Wilcox said, "With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see." Thank you for allowing me to witness your harvest and share it with you. May God continue to hod you close.
November 1, 2006 - Wednesday
Well Halloween was a fun night. Chris spent time getting the boys and their friend Kyle dressed in their costumes. It was a hectic night as always but fun. Today I went to NJ for a business presentation. I was able to go up and back in one day and had dinner with everyone when I got home.
Chris continues to feel pretty well. No major setbacks at this point. We're gearing up for another treatment day next Thursday.
Chris received a thank you card in the mail today from someone who received one of the donated cancer awareness items we gave on Monday! The item that was donated was a hand made fleece blanket. The blanket was a pink (of course) print with awarness ribbons on it. Chris and I had bought it at silent auction fund raiser earlier in the year. Here is what the card said:
I was the lucky recipient of the wonderful fleece blanket that was donated. I was shosen because it is my birthday this week. I will happily be her to see my 34'th birthday and NEXT year I will say I am a 1 year breast cancer survivor! Thank for wrapping me in love and warmth for my treatments! With much thanks, M.M.
Nothing can explain the feeling that you get just knowing that someone is going through a really tough time in their life and that we made a small difference. I tell you, every little bit helps...
Sunday, October 1, 2006
October 30, 2006 - Monday
Chris and I have been collecting a lot of breast cancer awareness items over the last couple of years. Today we went to the Cancer Therapy center in
October 29, 2006 - Sunday
The boys and I went to Chris's office this morning to help hang pictures and clean out a storage room. They just built some new office space and needed a hand getting some things done. We were supposed to go to a Halloween party Saturday night but Chris was feeling pretty tired so we felt it was best to pass.
Sunday morning we got up early because of the time change, so Chris and I went to our favorite breakfast place in downtown
This coming week will be a little harder as I have to go on a business trip on Wed and Thursday. Here's some dog update pictures too.... For the record, we did NOT buy the pink sweater. It came from our good friends across the street.
October 27, 2006 - Friday
Chris and I finally had a chance to go out to dinner tonight. She has been feeling pretty well all week and went to work each day! It was a pretty relaxed week for us which was great! Dinner from Chris's co-worker on Wednesday! Thanks Rosalie!
October 22, 2006 - Sunday
What a great weekend. Chris was still feeling well all weekend and we basically did nothing. Watched football on Sunday, did a little shopping on Saturday morning for Halloween. A nice weekend to relax. Chris did a little work in the yard by trimming up her flowers and stuff. I tried to get her to cut the grass but no luck! :) People keep checking in with us regularly via email and phone. Thanks for checking up on us! We don't mind at all!
October 20, 2006 - Friday
Had to give Chris a shot today! She is being given a shot after treatment now that will hopefully keep her white counts higher. It's a very expensive shot and the insurance company has some goofy rules about it. In any event, I got to inject her with it. Kind of scary. Chris felt pretty good and went to work today.
Thanks to Marianne for dinner tonight!!
October 19, 2006 - Thursday
Well it has been a somewhat uneventful week in our lives. Chris has been to work each day this week and has been feeling pretty well. We cherish these day! Today was treatment day at John's Hopkins in Baltimore. The current treatment takes about 4 hours to actually flow. Getting bloodwork, waiting for a seat, and misc. other delays takes another 3 hours! We left home at 10 and got home around 7. This is the 2nd treatment and was actually pushed off 1 week to finish up her other at-home treatments. Since it was the 2nd treatment we are now experienced at how everything works at JH and where we need to go and what we need to do. That makes it so much easier. Chris's parents came over to be with the boys after school and our neighbor Randy made dinner for all of us!!! Big thanks to you Randy!
This week we have been blessed with dinners from so many people and it has made it has made this week even better. Thanks to Sally, Karen, and Andrew for keeping us fed this week! The cleaning company came by on Wednesday. The employees where Chris works generously donated money to a collection and have contracted with a cleaning company to clean the house every 2 weeks. This too, is a huge help to us as it allows us to spend more quality time with Chris. The list of people is really long, but a special thank you to our COMSTAR family is certainly needed.
October 17, 2006 - Tuesday
A beautiful flower arrangement was delivered by the local radio station that Chris has been advertising with. Chris absolutely loves flowers and these were just wonderful. I sent flowers to her at work on the same day so she's surrounded by them now! Many thanks to Linda and all the folks at WFRE and WFMD.
October 15, 2006 - Sunday
Michael, Chris and I (Tyler stayed home) got up early and drove to Lock Haven, PA to watch Alex's college lacrosse teamgood week so far. The drive was beautiful and the weather a little brisk but the sun was shining. It was great getting a chance for Chris and I see Alex play for her college team. It all was possible because her treatment was pushed off 1 week. She has been feeling great. Next weekend may be a different story. We'll enjoy this weekend all week! I also added photos from the tournament in the pictures page.
October 14, 2006 - Saturday
A friend of Chris's had a cookout today. She has some good friends from highschool that she has now been back in touch with since their 20year reunion a couple years ago. There were several of them at her friends cookout. It was really nice seeing them. The weather was pretty cold and since Chris has no hair a stocking cap is a must!
Earlier this morning we listend to Alex on the radio! She has a timeslot on the campus's radio station from 10am to noon! What's great is we can listen to her via the internet. You can too, just click here.
October 12, 2006 - Thursday
A good week so far. Chris went for bloodwork on Tuesday. The Dr. called back and told her all her counts looked really good. Neutrophils were 1600! She postponed this weeks treatment as she wanted Chris's counts to be even higher and wanted her to finish up her at-home IV antibiotics. Dinner was graciously provided 2 times this week! Thanks very much to Mallorie and Sabrina!
I played in a small golf tournament today to help raise funds for friends of ours that have been impacted by cancer. Since Chris's treatment was pushed off I got a chance to get out and play. Great day and we did raise some good $.
We're planning a trip to see Alex's first collegiate lacrosse match this Sunday. Her team plays in a 5 team tournament! The boys, Chris and I are going up for the day to Lock Haven, PA. Should be a nice day and fall colors are coming in.
October 9, 2006 - Monday
Chris and I both had the day off from work. We went out for coffee this morning and then I took he to Kohl's so that she could buy some new clothes. She has been really great!
October 7, 2006 - Saturday
We went to a party last night where several couples were celebrating 20+ anniversaries this month.
October 6, 2006 - Friday
Well after a very long and hectic week Chris has finally come back home. Here fever that had been as high as 102 went away very quickly. In fact, she was admitted Tuesday night and never had a high fever after that because of all the antibiotic and antiviral meds she was taking. Her white counts or neutrophils were of the most concern. Normal numbers are 1000 or above. You get hospitalized if you're less than 500. Her's were in the dangerously low range on Tuesday at 180! Wed morning they were 150... After all the drugs and rest Thursday morning they were 780! She did NOT receive a white blood cell injection to help boost them either. They came back on their own.
She came home last night and is feeling pretty well. A home nurse will come today and show her how to administer at-home IV therapy for some continuing antibiotics. Chris's parents came over each day to be with the boys and several of Chris's coworkers sent home dinner each night. A HUGE help!
Thanks for all the calls and keeping in touch. Next chemo treatment is scheduled for Thursday. That may change though. I'll keep you posted.
Alex called later Thursday and found a ride home with one of the girls on her lacrosse team. Her visit was most welcome!
Chris and I both went to the barbershop this morning. She decided to go ahead and have her hair cut off as it was beginning to fall out. She remembered what it was like the last time so she attacked it straight on!
October 5, 2006 - Thursday
Today is our 21'st wedding anniversary. Great present. Chris came home!
October 3, 2006 - Tuesday
I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that Chris has been admitted to John's
A chest x-ray showed that her chest was in pretty good shape, however blood work showed that her white blood cell count was very low. She was admitted immediately. It took a long while to find a bed as she needed a private room to reduce infection. Her oncologist stayed with us for over an hour in the admitting area of the hospital making calls and finally getting a room for her.
I left her around 10 pm and she was doing pretty well. She's tired and looking forward to getting some rest. She'll be on IV antibiotics and also getting a shot to help increase her white cell count. They anticipate 2 to 3 days in the hospital.
Chris's parents came and watched the boys today and looked after our new dog. I'll know more tomorrow (Wed) but for now her room is 448 in the
Don't hesitate to call my cell phone if you want additional information. I'll try to keep you all posted as best I can.
October 2, 2006 - Monday
Sally, who works with Chris, sent home a wonderful lasagna for us to have for dinner. The boys and I really enjoyed it!
October 1, 2006 - Sunday
This was parents weekend at Alex's college. The whole family went up to watch a football game and spend some time with Alex. She also had a scrimmage scheduled on Sunday. It was great getting a chance to see her in her new environment. She's doing well and making friends quickly. We took her grocery shopping, and also to the mall for some much needed malling! We really had a good time and went to our favorite restaurant The Bullfrog Brewery. Check it out.
Chris felt okay most of the weekend. She has been fighting off a cold for a couple days and unfortunatley it caught up to her! Her fever elevated a couple of times on the weekend but she was able to keep it under 100.5 most of the time, until Sunday afternoon when it really went up quickly for some reason. We think that is was due in part to her not drinking enough liquids. She was able to get it back down to almost normal by the time we arrived home late Sunday. Pictures of the weekend can be found here.
Friday, September 1, 2006
Sept. 29, 2006 - Friday
Chris woke up around 4AM with an elevated temperature. By the time the boys went to school it had come back down. She decided to stay home and work from home this morning. She called the hospital and they told her that as long as it stays in control that everything is ok. The Dr. had previously told her that this was most likely "tumor fever". Hopefully, it will go away as treatment continues. We're leaving this afternoon for Lycoming to visit Alex. We're all psyched!
Sept. 28, 2006 - Thursday
Chris went to work feeling well today. Before going to work she had to go to the Lab to get bloodwork done. The lab immediately faxed the results over to her Dr. early this afternoon. The Dr. called Chris this afternoon and told her that her white counts were lower (expected) and her bilirubin counts were
Sept. 27, 2006 - Wednesday
Today was Chris's 44'th birthday. She did go to work today. I took her some noodle soup and crackers for lunch as she wasn't feeling too well. We were planning on going out to lunch but this was just as good! She took a cat nap in the car after I left and felt better. For dinner Chris's CEO made us a wonderful tortolini soup. It was just perfect for us. The boys loved it and it was greatly appreciated! Chris got many flowers for her birthday and a new IPOD to listen too while she's getting treatment. Unfortunately, she also got a fever of 100.5 which meant she had to call the Dr.'s office. They prescribed some antibiotics and she was able to get her temperature back down.
Sept. 25, 2006 - Monday
Chris stayed home from work today. All weekend Chris has been having severe pains in her legs and has not been sleeping very well. She has also started feeling a little bit sick to her stomach. The anti-nausea medicine has worked pretty well on that so far. Thank goodness it's covered under our insurance. The pills are $100 EACH. We had a run around with the insurance company about how many and how often they'd pay but it was finally resolved by the Dr's office.
Sept. 23, 2006 - Saturday
Some good friends of ours from the
Sept. 22, 2006 - Friday
Chris was feeling pretty good this morning when she got up so she went to work. She felt pretty good considering everything she went through yesterday. By the end of the day she was very tired and went to bed very early.
Sept. 21, 2006 - Thursday
This was the first day for the new round of treatments. We ended up being away from home for 13 hours at John's Hopkin's Hospital in