Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day Minus Five

Happy Easter Everybody!

Today has been a very wonderful day. My mom, sister and I visited a charming little church for Easter this morning. We listened to music and it was nice being with people who were just enjoying this holiday. After going to church we went to the hospital and got my dad breakfast and made him go for a walk! He is very tired but he still enjoys scaring the nurses a bit with his "jokes." The other day he told the nurse when she came to get his chemo bag that they hadn't hooked up the bag properly and that the chemo had been running down the side of the bed. The look on her face was priceless:) One of the nice things about the Mayo is how they let patients go out on pass. My dad has been able to take advantage of that and everyday after his chemo at 12:00-2:00pm we go out and get lunch! Today we visited Famous Daves which inspired us to make a restaurant review for anyone who would like to come visit! Tomorrow will be his last day of Busolfan and then on Tuesday he will start getting Cyclophosphamide which is the more toxic chemo. He will have  to get a catheter put in for the two days that he will be receiving that to help his body function. He isn't looking forward to that but hopefully it will go fast. If anyone would like to call my dad in his room his number is 507-287-5308! Thank you for all of your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

We have visited the following  restaurants:

Victoria's: 1 out of 5 stars (If you like Italian and are knowledgeable in Italian fare then this is a nice sit down restaurant for you but if you have no clue about what to expect like us you might want to have a back up plan. Sarah for example ordered spaghetti and it came with capers and a whole tree of olives that she gave up picking out.)

Famous Dave's: 5 out of 5 stars (As usual for my family of meat lovers this was exceptional and not too fancy! Almost everything is delicious but my mom tried a new dish which was the citrus lime shrimp and we all agreed it was very very good!)

The Canadian Honker: 41/2 out of 5 stars ( This little restaurant with its friendly atmosphere was great for a family or for anyone wanting a variety of choices in foods. I had a New York strip and it was one of the better dishes I've had over the weekend! The waitress we had was extremely nice and the prices were pretty good!)

Michael's: 4 out of 5 (One of the themes in these sit down restaurants are lots of very beautiful paintings! Both Victoria's and Michael's had some of the best. The food itself was very good but the dishes can get a bit expensive.)

Newts: 5 for the hamburgers but 2 for cleanliness (This little bar and burger joint is perfect for a casual inexpensive lunch. They have very good home made french fries but be sure if your ordering a burger to specify how you would like it cooked. My dad got one that was a bit on the rare side. It also isn't as clean as some of the restaurants but if you are the type of person who isn't bothered by that then try it out!)

They asked me what I love about my life.
I smiled and said you. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day Minus Seven

Good Evening Everybody,

My family and I are in Rochester and yesterday my dad was admitted to the hospital for his chemo. Today he started his first round at six in the morning and was extremely tired and a bit depressed. He gets the chemo three to four times a day and will get the less toxic chemo for four days and then the very strong chemo for two days. These rounds of chemo are meant to completely wipe out everything meaning all of his counts will be at zero before the transplant. The transplant is still scheduled for April 5th so if everything is going according to plan my dad will receive the cells his brother John donated. I hope you all have a fabulous    Easter and as always thank you so very much for all of your love and support.
~Laura Katchmark

Monday, March 25, 2013


Good Evening Everyone,

The day has finally arrived. My parents will be leaving in the morning for Rochester. He will be getting chemo for seven days and then on April fifth he will be getting the first "dose" of stem cells. It's a difficult time right now. My family and especially my dad have all prepared for this day but it seems a bit unreal. I would like to say thank you for everyone's concern and love over the past few weeks and ask that when my dad is in the hospital to keep the positivity coming his way! I will post the address for the transplant house up on this site as soon as my mom and my dad are in Rochester!
~Laura Katchmark

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Good Evening Everyone,

Good news! Dean is returning from Rochester today! The doctor determined that the nodules in his lungs are not life threatening but he will not be able to be the donor because he would need further testing that would delay my dads transplant. The doctors decided it would be quicker and more efficient to have John be the donor instead. John heads down on Thursday for his physical and if he is a suitable state of health he will start a series of neupogen shots on Friday leaving the stem cell collection to happen on the 26th. The original date of the transplant will have to be moved from April 1st to April 5th. This post may look familiar to what you saw on facebook but my dad wanted everyone to have the correct information. As for how my dad is doing, besides the stress of when the transplant will be he has been active and happy! He is always in the kitchen and enjoys getting out of the house for some fresh air (much to my moms horror:) Thank you for all of the calls and emails recently! My dad is so grateful to all of you and says everyday just how lucky he is to have such a wonderful support system. Love to you all and all of the thank you's in the world could never express just how blessed we are!
~Laura Katchmark

Monday, March 18, 2013

Set Back

Good Evening Everyone,

I hope your last few days have been pleasant and warm! Spring is right around the corner and something higher than the 20's might be nice:) A few days ago my dad received the news that his brother Dean could no longer be the donor because of results indicating that he has nodules in his lungs. He went from being a potential donor to a patient at the Mayo clinic and goes back on Wednesday for a follow up appointment. My dad's brother John is heading down to Mayo tomorrow for the day to begin his lab work because he was also a match for my dad. He returns to the clinic on Thursday to begin his physical and at this point any health issues that would prevent him from becoming a donor should show up. If he passes the exam he will begin his shots of neupogen which will stimulate the growth of his stem cells and then after his fifth day they will collect his cells for my dad. As of now the transplant date is unknown because of this set back, but the doctors are trying to keep everything in motion for an early April transplant. Thank you for your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

Tim's Quote of the Day:)

"If you run into a wall, keep running into it because your bound to break through!"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Count Down Begins

Good Evening Everyone,

This week has been very relaxing. My dad has been busy doing paper work and getting ready for his transplant. The date he will officially be going to the Mayo is March 25th. He has a two day session on the 21st for final testing but on the 25th he will start chemo. The test results haven't come back to us yet so receiving radiation is still a possibility. Once he makes it through the chemo the stem cells will be given to him (around April 1st) and if his body accepts them he will be able to live in the transplant house with my mom. This whole process is supposed to take about three months and his projected release date is July 10th although taking things one day at a time is the best approach! I have every belief that my dad will make it through this but words of encouragement to him (letter, text, email etc.) might help boost his spirits. It is an extremely daunting and risky thing to undergo. As always thank you for your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Family Day

Good Evening Everyone,

What a wonderful day it was today! The weather was yucky but my family got together to make keishka! My dad, my uncles, and my aunt were in the kitchen mixing up their secret recipe and telling all sorts of stories:) All of the standing made my dad's back pretty sore but his spirits were extremely high! As for the test results, they haven't come back yet but the most recent labs showed that his blood levels are all staying about the same which is good! Thank you for your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark
Thanks for a great day!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Good Morning Everyone!

My parents returned home last night and are very happy to have some time to rest! The testing went very well for my dad. Every day they had him doing multiple tests to determine his overall health so that they can figure out a "plan of attack." They also wanted to see if he will need radiation or not. One of the main differences between the U of M and the Mayo was that the U did radiation automatically where as the Mayo takes everything into consideration. The results of these tests will be coming to us soon! As of now the tentative date for the transplant is March 25th. If everything goes as planned he will have nine days of chemo that will wipe out his entire system and then they will give him the stem cells. His brother Dean is going to the Mayo on the 14th for a similar testing process to be able to donate these cells to my dad. I will post again in the next two days and update the status of the results. As always thank you for your constant love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

A quote about preparation