Tuesday, October 9, 2012

July 2012 Emails

July 30, 2012
Hello dear friends and family,

Right, so it's 9am and we're to have tom in to the hospital checked in for 10:00 if possible. Today is chemo day #1. For those who missed the last email he is at Sutter Roseville Medical Center Room 173
Address: Sutter Roseville Medical Center
One Medical Plaza Drive
Roseville CA 95661
Tom is a bit nervous, he has shaved his head in preparation and we've packed his bags. Bought him some model airplanes to build while in the room. Not sure that everyone knows but this first round of chemo will take 4-6 weeks of a hospital stay as they will be wiping 99% of his bone marrow out so that it may rebuild with healthy cells. This leaves his immune system extremely compromised and susceptible to secondary infections so they need him under watch. That said, again to re-iterate the visitation policy (we will love some visitors): please don't come if sick, maybe sick, or having just been sick. We've been told to not accept flowers due to bacteria and to be weary of little children as they are (doctor's words) "petri dishes".

Tom's feeling a bit sick this morning, we suspect between the nerves and feeling sick in general. The incision from his port being installed in his chest is still bothering him a bit. We will keep you all posted and let you know how his first day of chemo went.

Some special thanks this weekend to tom's mum who readied our house by cleaning away, both of his parents for their support and running around to get us the stuff we needed for the house, thanks to my parents for coming down and cooking us a meal, the gifts and visit from Leslie and the phone call from Gurda which seemed to cheer Tom up a bit. :) Thanks to all of the rest of you for your wonderful messages, well wishes and thoughts. I've passed them all along and we're very thankful to have such supportive family and friends.

Those wanting our address: 5051 El Don Dr #1801
Rocklin, CA 95677

Sorry for the repetition for those whom got yesterday's email, we had such an amount of additions last night that I thought I'd just go over the basics again, but I promise I won't repeat them again :)


July 30, 2012 #2
Hello everyone!

So today was day one of chemo. We were called in for ten when they had a bed, which I am told they then played musical rooms until it was decided that we would be for sure room 173 as first mentioned.

Tom had to have his port accessed which required the nurse to puncture through his skin into the implanted port... Which didn't work. Turns out after a minor moment of worry on Thomas' part that the surgeon had ruined him- he just needed a larger needle.

Next he was given some saline solution and then some anti nausea stuff and something to protect his kidneys from the chemo that was due in the evening. All was going well until the nurse came in and said she was going to have to also give Tom a "shot into his stomach". Tom, Helen and myself all cringed (I think I may have even laughed at the rather amusing facial expression thomas pulled)... Then Tom asks very seriously, "Will my protective layers be an issue in getting to my stomach?" I about died laughing! The nurse laughed and said no, pinched some skin and while injecting him asked if he was afraid of needles and then said that most men tend to be needle babies. When done Tom said, "No but I was going to ask before you STABBED me in the stomach...." we ALL cut him off laughing as he rather over exaggerated his little injection... " if it was a good idea to inject me when I already have an upset stomach ". She then explained that by "stomach" she really just meant his "protective layers" as he called them.

Aside from that we played a bit of scrabble today in which despite spelling "militias" incorrectly, Thomas beat Helen and myself. Tom is also working to revolutionize the sanitation factor of having to wheel one’s IV racks into the bathroom. Solving world peace in room 173.

He has a blood drawing at 3am, he's currently having a chemo treatment and will have another at 6am and then spinal chemo (via spinal tap) at 10am tomorrow. I don't know that today's chipper and cheeky Thomas will be hanging out as much tomorrow, especially after around 11am.

Hope you are all well!

Today Tom was supposed to have had some platelets this morning due to the risk involved with the spinal fluid... They had a difficult time getting an Iv early on (his veins were being really shy/difficult), so they decided to go ahead with his 6am chemo and wait for the better blood people to arrive at 8am.

8am came along and this woman did her best to woo toms veins to the surface. She massaged, warmed, had Tom pumping, nothing worked. In the end they decided to run a picc line through his arm up into the heart area which will be so much easier than an Iv and give his veins a break.

According to the ladies who did the procedure- even during the procedure toms veins continued to dodge the needles! After some poking and prodding and the extreme difficulty of holding in some choice words (as Tom put it), success was had.
Unfortunately, the doctor who would be giving the spinal chemo was still not comfortable with toms level of platelets even after having received some. They prefer you to be at a level of fifty for any sort of procedure that could yield a bleeding threat- Tom was at 27 this morning and after the addition of a bag they were just shy of the targeted 50, coming in at 48. That said- they have rescheduled that for tomorrow after tomorrows morning chemo. The evenings aren’t the most comfortable for tom but he is soldiering through. So that's the nitty gritty for today.

the super duper news is that last weeks spinal tap testing for leukemia in spinal fluid came back CLEAR!!!! Fantastic news!!! They still do some treatment just to make sure it doesn't go there as well.

Fun notes: tom's brother Alex made it up with his wife Emily and adorable daughter lily, Tom thoroughly enjoyed the short lived visit due to Alex's health risk. Get well now, Alex!

Tom also received some super comfy ugg slippers!

Hope you have all had a great Tuesday!


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