Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Calm seas

The procedure went smoothly this morning. Melissa's taking a nap now. 

Almost there, almost.

A little after 5pm central today, Melissa finished her second round of chemo. (Woo!)

She'll still be here a couple more days. The doctors are waiting for the infection on her side to get a little bit better (It's loads better already, but still has a little ways to go before being 100%.) Also, they're going to give her an intrathecal dose of chemo before she goes home. Basically, it's a small amount of one of the chemotherapy drugs injected into her spine. 

Sounds scary, I know. But from what the doctors & nurses tell me, and from everything I've read, it's pretty simple and routine. Still though, scary.

Her treatment schedule is a little different from the model for Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia because her white blood cell count was so high when she was first diagnosed, at least, this is what the doctors tell us. Usually, patients only recieve 3 days of Idarubicin (or Daunorubicin) given for 15-30 minutes a day. Melissa has gotten those 3 days as well as 5 days (overlapping) of Cytarabine, which is given constantly over 24 hours. The next (and final) round of chemo will only be 4 days. I'm not sure about which drugs will be used though.

I'm including this technical info because I've found a couple blogs of people's stories of their fight with this type of cancer and I hope that someday, someone might stumble across this and it will help them in some way. A boy can dream.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ha HA!

Posty posty post. This is Melissa. Teddy's tried to get me rights to post on my own for some time now, but it seems my gmail eats the confirmation email every time. Anyway, I'm doing well. Wiped out from chemo already, but up and about nonetheless. <3 I'll hand the reins back to the more competant bloggers now.

Little Good Things

There are a lot of doctors here. A LOT. Between residents, fellows, attendings, floor doctors, and specialists, there are a lot of people who may stop and poke their head in to Melissa's room during the day. Her main doctor, however, is Dr. Melissa Larson. She's one of the professors of Hematology here & happens to be my absolute favourite.

All morning, doctors and nurses have been butting in while Melissa's been trying to nap. As a result, there hasn't been much napping. Dr. Larson just stopped by a couple minutes ago, but she saw Melissa napping & came over to talk to me in the lobby instead because she didn't want to wake her. It may seem like a little thing, but it's so rare that it's amazing when it actually happens.

Most everyone here is very friendly & competent, though. One of the Nurse Assistants (they call them Patient Care Technicians here) knew she was going to have Melissa today so she made sure to wear her Hello Kitty scrubs and socks.

Like I said, it's the little things.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pizza, etc.

We were able to move back upstairs on Friday. I had the post typed up but forgot to send it in, apparantly.

The docs were talking about sending Melissa home for a few days to rest before they started Chemo, but they went ahead and started it. Better to get it over and done with. Her infection is clearing up nicely - the other day after one of the doctors remarked that the fluid was clear, and that was a good thing, Melissa restrained from replying with, "My juices are running clear? Does that mean I'm done? Shouldn't you check to see if my wing joint is loose?"

She cracks herself up.

Other than that, things are going generally without incident. Just a lot of sitting around & waiting. Right now I'm sitting in the lobby waiting for Pizza.

We've been keeping busy with watching Monty Python's Flying Circus (on loan from our friend, Ryan) and whatever Netflix sends us. I've been pretty busy at work, too, which helps fill the day.

The pizza should be getting here soon. I'll check in with you later.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

le Grr

Melissa was released to be moved back upstairs yesterday, but they don't have any rooms available yet.

Boo. Hiss.

Hopefully soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Melissa was sleeping when I stopped by to drop off her breakfast (croissants and conchas, breakfast of champions) but her nurse said that her vitals were holding steady all night and she'll probably be able to move back to the 10th floor today. Cue: huge sigh of relief.

Before we moved downstairs yesterday, we tried to sweet-talk a nurse on 10 into wrangling one of the bigger rooms (with a couch!) for Melissa. We'll see how that goes. It'll be her 10th room since this all started.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moving again

Melissa's blood pressure is a little low because the infection under her arm is a little worse than they thought earlier. As a result, they've moved her down to the ICU to keep a closer eye on her. It looks like they're going to try to make a bigger hole and drain it a bit faster.

She's feeling pretty good, though - no pain or anything, so that's good. Looks like they're probably going to hold off Chemo until this is all done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Once more, with feeling.

Saturday evening we found ourselves in the ER at Rush. Melissa had an abscess on her side that had ruptured (turns out that's what was causing that rash thing.) The hemotology/oncology clinic isn't open on the weekend so they told us to just hop down to the ER and get it checked out. We had meant to go Saturday morning, but Melissa and I somehow... mistakenly... ended up taking a 4 hour nap.

But it was no big deal, they gave her some tasty drugs, lanced the thingy, and sent her upstairs to trusty ol' floor ten. (She was scheduled to come in Monday anyways.) Of course, it took 6 or 7 hours for all of that to happen,but that's what you expect with the ER.

We spent Easter here, which wasn't too bad as it mostly consisted of eating candy & then passing out in a candy coma. We brought Melissa some Easter ham & kielbasa and my parents brought her even more candy.

She starts chemo tomorrow, only one day behind schedule - so not too bad overall.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Woo hoo!

We just heard from to doctor that Melissa is in complete remission! She goes back into the hospital in a week (monday 4-13) for 7 days for consolidation chemo.

Picture Post

Here are some pictures that I've been promising to post.

First a picture of Hungry, the monster from recent Weight Watchers commercials. I don't care much for WW, but the little monster is adorable. I made this little plush fellow for Melissa for Valentine's day.

These are the crocheted flowers that my sisters and both of our moms helped make for Melissa while she was in the hospital and not allowed flowers. They're really fantastic.

Our friend, Michelle, also heard that Melissa wasn't allowed real flowers...

...And so she crocheted some too! Here's Melissa getting a little sniff.