Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Last year at this time, my dad and family were preparing for a dismal and depressing holiday in the hospital. This year, although things are still hard and scary, my dad is at home and we are preparing for a holiday that will be filled with laughing and food which he can actually eat! The second round of chemo ended on the fifteenth of November and the weekend following that was rough. He was very listless and unresponsive which as you know is unlike my dad at every level. My mom ended up taking him back to the Mayo and we found out that too many pain pills, and a need for red blood cells was what was causing these symptoms. He has been doing much better since then and some of his appetite has returned! As each day goes by, I have more and more hope that this will pass and things will get better. Just believe:) Happy Thanksgiving!

Laura Katchmark

Always, always believe

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chemo: Take Two

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I am sitting here in class and decided to post just a quick update. This is the second round of chemo for my dad and it will last throughout the week. He is doing okay thus far but the chemo has kicked in a few times. When this happens he usually feels nauseated and pretty tired. I am so proud of him however because of the strength that he shows everyday even when he isn't feeling very well. I will give you an example that made me so happy and I know that he was thrilled as well! As I have mentioned in previous posts, deer hunting and hunting in general is a hobby and passion for my dad. For as far back as my memory can go, I can picture him going out in the cold November mornings getting ready to sit in the quiet and peaceful woods. I know it is like a sanctuary to him and the stories that he shares are some of the best I've ever heard. This year, despite all the odds, he got up and sat outside and got two deer! It may not have been the most exciting season ever but he fights the leukemia everyday. He has three days left of this round and then he has one more to go in December. I will post again on Sunday after this week is over. Have a great rest of the day! Thank you for all of your support!

Laura Katchmark

You make the best of it. I learn from you everyday. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And Snow it Comes

Good Evening Everyone,

What a blustery and rather miserable day it has been both weather wise, and just in general today. In the past few days things have been going fairly well at home and at school. My dad has been able to laugh and do a few things in the kitchen despite his fading appetite.I have enjoyed every minute of that time. He even went deer hunting and saw about four bucks and eleven does. Unfortunately he couldn't get a shot at them but he had a wonderful time. Anyways...back to today. My mom and dad went down to Rochester for labs and red blood cells. They both agreed it was a very long day both mentally and physically.My dad was feeling pretty drained and he really needs to rest. During their doctors visits they had a few questions answered and I will share them with you now. 

1) Why didn't the stem cells multiply correctly the first time around?

Doctors answer: Think of it this way. The bone marrow can be considered a bed of soil. A good type of soil to have is black dirt which has the right makeup to allow things to grow. Your (my dads) marrow is more like sandy soil which has potential but needs a bit of extra care to make things work correctly. To do this we need to administer the chemo to give your body a second chance. 

2) When is the next round of chemo?

Doctors answer: Next week. It will last for another five days. 

This information is a bit scattered right now because that is how the doctors give it to us. The Mayo has done an excellent job caring for my dad but because this is just so individualized, they are developing the treatment plan  as they go. I will keep posting (especially next week) to let you know how things are going. Thank you for your support and love!

Laura Katchmark