Friday, March 28, 2014

Three's Company

Good Evening Everyone,

My Auntie Cheryl, and I drove down to Rochester to visit my dad today and what a nice day we've had so far. The weather is warming up and the drive down was very pleasant because (for once) there was no snow or ice! When we arrived at the Mayo we went up to his room and we were delighted to see a few of our relatives who had come down to visit! After they had left I made the mistake of complementing him on how well he looked, and I think I literally saw his head swell three sizes. His response was, "Good?! I look great! I always look great!" I love my dad:) 

Today is the last day that my dad will be receiving chemotherapy. He had a few rough days in the beginning of the week because this chemo has A LOT of side effects, but he is doing well now. It took a few tries for them to figure out the right combination of medicine. After today, he will spend 14 days in the hospital while the chemo passes out of his system. This is the period of time where nausea, and other problems such as mouth soars and skin irritation can occur. He is already experiencing some skin irritation on his hands. On day 14 he will get another bone marrow biopsy and all fingers are crossed that it will come back clean (less than 5% blast cells). From there things get a bit hazy so I won't post anything until I know for sure what the treatment will be. 

I know I addressed the topic of visiting last time I posted and I can only encourage more of that! I know it is a long drive for most and it might be hard to find time in your busy schedules. If you are interested or could possibly come down, I will post his room number. You can also call the hospital and they can give you his room phone number. It truly truly TRULY brightens his day and brings his spirits back up! 

As always, thank you so much for you endless love and support and your thoughtful prayers and thoughts. It is so comforting to know that we have so many people who care! Stay tuned:) 

Room Number: 7-416
Translation...Seventh floor, room 416

***If you are going to visit especially next week, please call because he might not be feeling very well***

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Once Upon a Nightmare

Hello Everyone,

Welcome back to the blog. I have enjoyed my time off from writing very much because there hasn't been anything new to report. Unfortunately that status has disappeared and once again we find ourselves in a waking nightmare. 

On Monday the 17th my dad received yet another bone marrow and on Wednesday the 19th the results came back. The number of blast cells (cancerous cells) had increased from less than 5% to around 15-20%. The treatment plan now is going to start next Monday on the 24th. He will be admitted to Methodist Hospital (the Mayo) in Rochester for two weeks. He will once again get chemotherapy for one week and the second week his counts will plummet so he will need to be watched very closely. This treatment is more intense then the rounds he received in October, November, and December. At 14 days a bone marrow biopsy will check if blasts are less than 5%. If the results come back clear he will get more fresh cells from his brother John. If it isn't clear additional treatment will be needed. 

Another unfortunate problem for my family is that my mom won't be able to stay with my dad the entire time. Our insurance doesn't pay for lodging and she still needs to work. I have to be at school but I will be able to visit on Friday. I know my dad would like, and in fact NEEDS company. If you can, please come down for a visit. When he was in Methodist Hospital in 2012 the visitors that came helped him stay positive and hopeful. 

As a family we have had a really good few months and everything that we have been able to do has been so special. My dad and I painted the basement, we have been able to go see movies, both of my parents have been able to support my sister and I, and the best part is that we all felt so happy. I know my dad is happy when he can tell a joke and dance around the house. It truthfully is the best thing ever. I have to hope that things will work out but for now our hearts are breaking. I infinitely thank you for your support, and your prayers, and all of your hopeful thoughts. I will post again next week either on Tuesday or Wednesday and I will update regularly. 

Laura Katchmark

Keep fighting Dad. Always.