Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're Home!

We're all home at last!

Got back from North Carolina on Monday and broke Eva out of the hospital! Wahoo! She's doing just fine! They sent us home with IV antibiotics, which Jon and I I get to administer but still, we're home.

Things are still set for Monday's chemo. We are going to check into the hospital for the night, get an MRI and get chemo on Monday and Tuesday. Then, we go home.

I'm heading to Norfolk tomorrow for Dyda's funeral. Strange, I feel such at peace about it. I think that all the crying was such a release of all the tension I had been carrying for so long. I really feel better. Dyda, thanks, again!

Going to miss Halloween, which saddens me deeply. It is my favorite holiday outside of christmas. I always put on this witch hat and answer the door while Jon takes the kids out trick or treating. I sure love to see all the kids in their costumes! Alas, I will miss it.

That's about it. I'm up because I have to change Eva's medicine but I sure can't wait to go to bed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Love Letter

Dear Dyda,

Well, I always knew someday I would write this letter to you. I had just hoped that it would be a bit longer until I did. Alas, God had other plans.

You see, I have always considered myself one of the luckiest persons ever to be to not only have one incredible father, but two. Bama and you were like the extra set of parents any gal of seven siblings needed. Not only were you MY grandfather, but you managed to adopt just about every friend that I have ever had. Nearly all my friends tell me that they have always considered you THEIR granfather, as well.

All my earliest memories have you in it. Dyda, you I often think of those weekends in Snug Harbor, all the kids running around, you on those mini-bikes and dazzling us all with your ability to water ski. You, Daddy and Uncle Denny shooting off your firework display for the cheering audience each Forth of July remains the highlight of my childhood. You had infinite patience with those rugrats running about climbing on your things, breaking your things, moving your things. Maybe you didn't, really, but it sure felt like you did to us.

As I got older, my relationship with you just blossomed. I cannot remember any situation that I might have found myself in during my teen years that I did not tell you and Bama. As a matter of fact, I remember very clearly driving home late one Friday night when I was in high school. I was pulled over for the first of my many speeding tickets. The police officer said, "Well, Missy, where are you coming from at this late hour?" I said, "My Grandparent's house". He said, "Yeah, right. On a Friday night?" I was like, "Yeah, where else would I be?" He let me off (so thank you for that, by the way).

When life got tough in Atlanta, you opened your home to me so that I could finish school in my mid-twenties. That time, our "roomie" time, means more to me than I can say. You saw me through many boyfriends (most of whom you hated but would NEVER let me know until we broke up!) but we always kept our Thursday night date nights at the Arby's. Why did I need a boyfriend when I had my main squeeze at home?

I also remember our Jeopardy nights when I had to work the night shift. I would take my 15 minute break just at the end of Jeopardy so we could play our little game, Guess the Final Jeopardy Answer Based Only on the Category. Maybe we should have thought of a better title for that game. But, nonetheless, your answer to my answer was always the same. "Oh, no, no, no, that's too obvious!"

I was also in awe of your ablity to fix anything. Anything at all. I would come home with my car "acting funny", a few minutes later, it was fine. I used a hairdryer that you rewired and rigged with duct tape for about 7 years. Even when your sight was failing, you were a marvelous instructor. "See that red line, cut it." "Uh, seriously, Dyda? I'm not a mechanic at all." "Dahlin' cut it!" Ok! All was always well.

As I got married and moved to Dallas, distance separated us, again, but not certainly in my heart. Dyda, seeing you with Bama has always served as my role model for a perfect marriage. You were two people who loved each other desperately, always respectful of each other and had ability to make the other laugh so hard! You two were truly a united front, a force to be reckoned with. Now that I am married, I know that took such hard work but you two made it look so easy.

Dyda, more than anything, I'll miss seeing your wonderful face and hearing those words, "Hi Daaahhhhlin', Hi Sugar Baby!!!!" as I enter the room.

I know you are up there with Bama, Uncle Denny, your Dad, Mom and brother, Alice, and all those whom you have loved. We got you for 93 years, so, I guess it is just their turn.

I love you so much, my handsome fella.

Your Roomie

Settling in for the Long Haul

Well, it looks like we're going to be here for a while.

Dr. Goldman came in this morning and told us that she did, indeed, grow staff in the culture. What that means is that we need to give her IV antibiotics to get this under control in order to save her port.

He told us that we were going to be here until the culture came back negative and then seven days after that. So, the earliest we can go home is next Friday. He did say that if her counts were up, we might be able to negotiate going home next Monday with an at home nurse. Maybe. So, that's what we're hoping for.

Good news about being in the hospital? Chocolate Thunder Cake. I mean, really, let's look at the bright side, shall we? What do they put in that little bit of deliciousness? It is a fork full of heaven.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Little Update

Just a quick update.

Eva had a rough night. Jon was with her because I had a Board meeting this afternoon. When I left last night, she was just this little limp bit of nothin', clinging to Jon and me.

This morning, they found that her cultures grew a staff (they think) infection. So, they changed her antibiotics. They also found that her counts were low on all around so this afternoon, they gave her a transfusion.

She's MUCH better now, almost back to her old self.

Here's the bottom line, we're here for a while. The doctor said we could leave Monday at the earliest. So, we're settling on in.

Thanks so much for all your notes, thoughts and prayers!!

Oh, how quickly things change!

Well, had fully prepared to come home and write a silly confessional, my first in a bit. However, Nubbin had something else in mind.

Mother is here and when I walked in the door, she said that she thought Eva felt warm. She had taken her temp and it was 99. I took her temp, it was 101. Off to the hospital.

So, that's where we are for the next couple of days while they try to find out why her fever is spiking.

Yesterday, Jon took her to the doctor. I thought for sure her counts were high because Monday, on her birthday, she literally ran in the yard for 40 solid minutes while the family played freeze tag. Turns out that her WBC was .8 (should be 4.0-11.0) and her ANC was 0. The doctor told Jon just to keep doing the neupogen shots and keep her on at home lock down until Friday. Well, that plan just did not work.

Last night, you would never know she was the same gal who ran in circles just 24 hours ago.

She'll be ok, we just have to find out what is causing the fever.

More to come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Eva Squared!

Happy Birthday to my two favorite Eva's!!!!

Eva is a big 2 and Grandma Eva, well, she's a little older!

I'm way too emotional about these two gals to write much more other than I love them both more than I can say.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008


My pal, Laura, over at Catholic Teacher Musings asked for a Bad Haiku Friday Festival, here's my entry.

At the pumpkin patch,

Jack and Eva make their choice.

No rotting gourds, please.

Transfusion-Free Friday!

Well, it's a new holiday, Transfusion-Free Friday!

Took Eva to the dr. and her counts were terrific! I'm sure it has lots to do with the neupogen shots and they think that they might have to transfuse on Tuesday but for now, we'll celebrate OUR holiday!

I'm so happy her counts are so good as we're heading into her birthday weekend. Mother is here (hooray!) and it is just so fun to watch the two of them have fun at the next table while I work.

Happy Transfusion-Free Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hot Fuzz

When Eva was very little, Jack always called her Fuzz. When asked, he would say that it was because Eva had fuzzy hair (she was a baldy). Well, that look is back, again.

Here she is. For me, I've had my cry-out in the car on the way home. I am saved, of course, by the fact that she is so adorable with or without hair.

Thank you, Stephen, again for your friendship and your superior hair dressing skills!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oh Oh, We're Halfway There, Oh Oh Livin' on a Prayer!

You know, I always love the days when I can sneak in a Bon Jovi reference into my blog. I loves me some Bon Jovi.

Well, we are, in fact, halfway there. Eva had her second round of chemo yesterday. It went ok. Last night, of course, the vomiting arrived and Jon and I were all hands on deck. Poor Nubbin, she did not know what hit her. Jon and I are alternating nights and it was mine last night. So, it was a long night.

Several of you have been asking exactly what Eva is taking, here's the plan:

Round 1-Done
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days

Round 2-Done
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Cyclophosphamide-1 hr in 1 day
Doxorubicin-1 hr in 1 day

Round 3
Cyclophosphamide-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days

Round 4
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days
Doxorubicin-1 hr for 1 day

Each round is three weeks apart from the other one. If we keep to schedule, meaning Eva can receive chemo on the days that she is scheduled, we will finish the week of Thanksgiving.

The day is long because you need two hours of IV hydration prior to chemo and two hours after. She also gets a shot for nausea that takes 15 min and a 30 min antibiotic.

So, there is lots of time to kill in a little room at the doctor's office. Eva felt fine, though, and asked to see her Imagination Movers dvd every thirty seconds. Eva, do you want to eat? Answer, "Movers!!!" Eva, do you want your paci? Answer, "Movers!!" I tried to mix it up a little bit and found a High School Musical cd in the Child Life area. Any music is fine by Eva. Alas, she could not be dissuaded from her beloved "Movers!!!" By the time it got to "We're All in this Together", Eva would not stop saying "Movers! Movers!! MOVERS!!!" Fine.

Yesterday, her counts were low. She had such high counts last week I think I was riding high a bit. Well, they were not a "false reading" but they were definitely altered by her neupogen shots. Dr. Lenarsky said that while her counts were low, she was "normal for a chemotherapy patient."
Her counts will continue to go down and be at their lowest on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Eva's 2nd birthday is Monday so I'm really hoping she feels well enough to celebrate some.

Today, she is doing well. Her beloved Imagination Movers have a tv show in Disney now so we have it taped on our DVR. She has been asking all day to watch it and demands that we dance along with her. If we are not in the room, she comes to get us and just yells, "Movers, Dance!" Quite the dancing dictator, Little Nubbin. I wish I had filmed her in the crib dancing yesterday and today in the den. Hilarious.

Tomorrow, I'm taking her to get her head shaved. She's lost so much hair even since yesterday, there is no need to keep the few strands she has left because you can't really apply any sunscreen without making a big mess. I think I'll be ok. Think.

Anyway, here she is in her crib yesterday at the doctor's office. Paci in her mouth, paci in her hand and you can't see it but she is holding another paci in the other hand. She cracks me up. My sister gave her the shirt she is wearing. She is, indeed, one brave chick.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random Thoughts

Ok, won't call this a confession because actually, it is Thursday night. So, it is now, just random thoughts. Forgive my stream of consciousness.

Where have I been?

Well, apparently working 5:30a-5:00p can make you awfully tired. For the past two weeks, I've been going to bed at 8:30.
Up with the Eva news first. She's doing great. Great. So well, in fact, that our doctors told us we did not need to come in this week for counts. Her WBC is higher than mine, I think.

We start chemo round 2 on Monday. I'm not looking forward to that at all.
Jon told me yesterday while I was sitting at my desk that Eva's hair has started to fall out. I completely fell apart at my desk and was useless the rest of the day. Just could not get it together about it. I think I had been in a bit of denial but when the hair started falling out, it just became so real. I just kept thinking, is she scared because she does not know what is going on?

So, when I went home, she came running up and pulled a wad of her hair out, said, "Look Mommy!" and then busted out laughing so hard she fell on the floor. So, to Eva, it's just a fun new party trick. Hey, look at me, betcha I can do something YOU can't do!

That makes it a bit easier.

For us, Jon said when you kiss her it is like kissing a cat. You get a mouthful of hair.
Have had a busy week. Can't even talk about all the goings on because it has been so much. Car blew a tire and had a huge adventure that day, went to a cocktail party for the King Tut exhibit here in Dallas, saw the exhibit twice, went to the state fair, work work work work. I've got lots to blog about so will catch up when I get back.

SOOO excited but am heading to VA for my 20 year high school reunion this weekend! YIPPEE! I'm staying with my girlfriend, SG, who has said that I don't need to even get out of bed this weekend. Ahhhhhhhhh....