Sunday, May 30, 2010
Mary had put on her blog updates 1, 2 + 3 about this new treatment. Well, after a wonderful family wedding (Mary's comprehensive Flickr set) in which Mary got hit with the circulating stomach flu, we headed back to the hospital to start the treatment. It happened kind of last second, because Mary's phone was dead and we didn't know we were going in until the day of it all! Yes, Yosemite birthday fed to bone marrow biopsy fed to family wedding in Utah fed to end of semester fed to hospital time fed to Spring Party, Graduation and Spring Show at school. phew. I think we have some chances to take a breath or two now.
We went in on Monday for Mary to get her PICC line (the tube they put in your bloodstream all the way to near the heart so this intense drug wouldn't collapse her smaller blood vessels); fortunately, Mary had already had one of these - so no surprises.
Starting Tuesday morning, Mary started the ATG treatment (EQUINE) - yes, horse cells! She started this with benadryl, steroids, antibiotics and also another intense drug treatment: Ciclosporin. Let me give you an idea of what she is ingesting these days (yes, she is still taking many of these even though we are out of the hospital):
Oy. The ATG and Mary didn't get along at first. The dosage was too high (somewhere around 250ml/hr) and she broke out in serious hives on her face, back, chest, stomach, arms and thighs. It was a bit scary. They stopped the treatment, got her on more steroids and benadryl ... and she improved relatively quickly. I could go through the details, but I'll let Mary tell the story when and how she wants, but we got her down on the rate of dosage and were able to complete the ATG by late Friday night (tecnically, Saturday morning.)
Relative to the last hospital visit, this one was uneventful and bearable.
We had a pizza party, a Sam visit, played cards and enjoyed our story about owls! (Movie prep.)
We busted out Saturday around noon with bags full of drugs. Sam did remarkable, even spending a night by himself! We actually haven't seen him much as he continues to be enjoying time with friends, including the Giants game today. He's doing great though - we at least got to feed our little carnivore once.
Mary's dealing with the effects of having such intense things done to her immune system, but how much better is Mary feeling this time compared to last? We went kayaking in Sausalito this morning!
Woo-Hoo! Let summer begin!
Monday, May 24, 2010
I just want to make sure everyone is aware of the latest. Mary discussed on her blog about a new treatment. Well, it looks like that treatment is going to start today - we are headed to the hospital in a couple of minutes here and she'll probably be there until Friday. So please excuse our scatterbrains and lack of response. We love you very much - just preoccupied and more focused on finding pockets of peace right now.
For those who want to send flowers - instead go outside, take a beautiful picture of some flowers and then email it to Mary (we probably will be under the neutropenic guidelines of no fresh plants of any type - Nothing speaks health like that!)
Cam, Mary & Sam
Sunday, May 23, 2010
So the semester ended and it was a busy, busy time to the end. Most semesters end with me being ill, but given Mary's compromised immune system, my body decided to manifest the end of this semester stress in the form of serious lower back pain.
I'll get back to blogging as soon as I'm back to breathing and walking like a normal person again!
Friday, May 7, 2010
For the non-Facebook followers, Mary and I are heading to the hospital in a couple of minutes for her to have another bone marrow biopsy (the ghouls demand their Osso Bucco). It is a baseline and we aren't really "looking for anything bad" - just taking a peek before we start the new treatments outlined on Mary's blog. Anyway - warm thoughts are much appreciated. This is not a fun procedure.
Thanks to all the students who let me skip out on them today so I can hold her hand throughout the procedure. You are much appreciated.
Monday, May 3, 2010
So, we did manage to make it out to Yosemite this past weekend. We ended up doing almost NO prep leading up to leaving- but we had some yummy Joe's Taco Lounge and a nice Birthday tiramisu (with "Happy Birthday" piano accompaniment) for my birthday Thursday night. Friday morning, I got everything together and Mary gave a nice update on her blog about the latest on her health - we are going to be trying out a new treatment:
2) Death Star
Our trip was AMAZING! The Mist Trail was closed because of the weather, but it ended up giving us the chance to explore other things. Our campsite was lovely and mostly quiet. We slept fairly well every night. Our first day we hiked from the campsite up to Vernal Falls bridge (and a bit beyond) back to the stables and then on to Mirror Lake and Yosemite Falls. The second day was a 10-mile hike around the Valley from Camp 4 past El Captain to Poho Bridge and back, with an exciting crossing of Ribbon Creek and a Bridalveil Fall viewing. The next morning we got up and out of the site in no time. 4 hours later, back at home. I got the Flickr set up - because things get pretty busy for the next 4 weeks or so! (Please excuse typos here and Flickr set ... just trying to get this stuff up.)