Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 22/100

Good Evening Everyone,

This weekend has been awesome! My dad has been doing very well! His counts have continued to rise (platelets from 70 to 120 and his white blood cells from 100 to 400) and he is feeling even stronger than last Sunday! His appetite is still present, and hopefully he will start to be weened off of his anti-rejection medication soon. The reason for this is to check for signs that the stem cells have been working. The optimum reaction that the doctors would like to see is a mild rash proving that his body has recognized the treatment. Another fantastic piece of news is that my dad got to come home this weekend! If he continues his progress he will be able to come home every weekend which would be absolutely amazing:) As always thank you so much for your support and love!
~Laura Katchmark

I'm so proud of you Dad. You are the bravest person I know. Keep flying.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 16/100

Good Evening Everyone,

Sarah and I spent a wonderful weekend down in Rochester and just got back today! It was so nice to see my parents and to know that things are going okay. We got to stay in a hotel for the two nights we were down there but the transplant house isn't a bad place to be. They have a lot of rules but we got to cook a few meals together, and I played the piano they have for my dad. Originally the house was an old mansion, but they converted it for transplant patients. Kitchens, living rooms, and private rooms are all available and they have lots of little nooks and crannies which adds a touch of coziness to an otherwise lofty and rather sterile environment. As for my dad, things are going wonderfully! The stem cells are taking root and he is feeling great! He has been able to eat more and more with less anti nausea medication! Hopefully he will be eliminating all of the anti nausea medicine within the next few weeks. We got a bit of sad news this weekend. Uncle John Thrun died and my dad asked me to say that he will be missed. My loyal and adventurous hunting buddy also passed away. Sam my dog was almost 15 years old and he will also be missed. I will post again next Sunday. As always thank you for your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

life, friend, quotes, sayings, cute, happiness

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 9/100

Good Evening Everyone,

Today wasn't the best day ever for my family. My dad was doing okay but his appetite was fading quickly. The chemo takes a while before the side effects kick in and once again his hair is falling out and he just isn't feeling good. This is normal but it has the tendency to make us all on edge. My sister and I were supposed to go down to Rochester today but because of the unpredictable weather we have had our trip was postponed until driving conditions are safe again. One of the hardest parts about our situation is just how quickly things can change, including our emotions. Sometimes, something hits you and you realize what a horrible thing it is to be separated from the people you care most about. Even though I'm a teenager I would be the first person to say how much my parents mean to me! Please give someone you care about a hug and just remember what they do for you everyday. Thank you for your love and support.
~Laura Katchmark

The Mayo Clinic Falcons
There are two falcons nesting on top of the Mayo Clinic building and they have put a web cam in their nesting box for patients to watch their progress. So far the falcons have two eggs and regularly fly in and out preparing for their babies to hatch.

Missing Someone Quotes Tumblr

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 7/100

Good Evening Everyone,

This has not been the spring we had hoped for so far with all of this snow and cloudiness! Things are going well down in Rochester and according to my dad even the weather is sunny and warm! So far my dad has been eating and drinking which is an amazing accomplishment considering all of the things his body has had to endure the last six months. A lot of times eating can be the most difficult part of the transplant because of the nausea but besides the first day or so my dad has been able to keep his food down:) You may have noticed the title of today's post and basically I will be doing that from now on as a way of counting up to his 100 required days in Rochester. I will also be making a weekly post on Sunday to summarize the week. Most of the time my dad just needs to rest and so there isn't much to talk about! One thing that I would like to mention is graft v. host disease. This is a disease that makes accepting stem cells very difficult due to your bodies defense system. Just like you would fight off an infection or sickness (cold, flu, etc.) your body does the same to the stem cells. Some of the symptoms are rashes, mouth sores, and edema. With my dad, if he contracts this, his symptoms will appear on day 14/100 but we are all hoping that this doesn't happen. If you have questions about the disease please post them either on my facebook page or on this blog and I will do my best to answer them:) Besides the worry about graft v. host disease everything is going extremely well and its so nice to hear my parents laughing again! I've always loved how both my mom and dad are such funny people and to hear my dad cracking jokes is something I will never take for granted again! As always thank you for your love and support.
~Laura Katchmark

A Special Thank You

To all of you who donated hours to my dad's vacation donation bank I cant express how grateful my family is for your generosity. Because of your contribution we have received enough hours to put us in a very good place until my dad will be able to return to work. He will now be able to focus on getting better and for me that is the biggest gift you could have ever given us. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Off to a Good Start!

Good Evening Everyone,

Things have been going well so far! My dad has been so brave and finally it is starting to pay off. The first few days after he got his stem cells he was very nauseated and couldn't eat anything. Today however he ate an entire burger and fries! He is feeling much better even though his counts have bottomed out. Now we are just waiting for the cells to start grafting into his body. If everything is going well during the first month he may even get to come home on the weekends! He is now staying at the transplant house and I have an address to send cards to:) There is also a room telephone number to call if you would like to talk to him and don't already have his cell phone number. As always thank you for your love and support!
~Laura Katchmark

Gift of Life, inc. 705 second street SW
Rochester MN 55902. Room 36.

Phone Number

Friday, April 5, 2013


Good Evening Everybody,

Today is the big day! For all of the hell, through all of the tears, prayers, and sleepless nights it has finally arrived. My dad finished his chemo on Wednesday this week and by the end wasn't doing well at all. One of the side effects of chemo is vomiting and severe headaches and those symptoms plagued him for the two days that he received Cytoxin. On Thursday he got his last dose of that horrid poison and hopefully it will be the last dose he ever has to have. Today at ten in the morning he got the stem cells and things went quickly and fairly smoothly. He is on anti rejection medication and is feeling very good. The cells will begin to grow inside of his bones (bone marrow) and produce the right blood instead of cancer filled blood. If my dad doesn't have a reaction to the cells in a few days he will go to the transplant house. When he does move there I will be able to provide an address but until then the house wont accept mail. Thank you so much for your love and support. In this day and age we have medicine and we have experience in dealing with things like leukemia but the healing power that you have brought us has been such a gift.
~Laura Katchmark

To the miracle of a cure and to the miracle of hope