Wednesday, November 1, 2006

November 2006 Posts

November 29, 2006 - Wednesday
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.

Dear Chris,

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...