Friday, August 29, 2008

Babies everywhere!

So it seems there is this huge baby boom in our lives right now. We know 12 couples that are expecting between October and April, and 8 of these couples are first time parents! We are so happy for all of you and you are constantly in our prayers. The one and only good thing about being away from my husband is that I don't have to worry about getting pregnant and being number 13!
Seriously, we are excited for all of our expecting friends and family. We can't wait to meet all the little ones!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If I get fat...

blame it on my employer! I have never worked anywhere that buys their employees so much food. At my last job, we had tons of "goodie days," but not at the company's expense. Let me just list a few items ZLB has bought its employees lately: (keep in mind I am part-time and have only worked here 1 month)
Einstein Bros bagels and cream cheese (all possible varieties of both)
Sonic cherry limeades (the biggest size available)
Dunkin Donuts
Starbucks (drink of your choice)
Fruit salad and juice
On top of all that, this is donor appreciation week at the plasma center. So the company has set up a popcorn machine and a snow cone machine. And do the employees get to share in this feast? Of course- endless popcorn and snow cones ALL WEEK LONG!!! What more could you want!?!
Seriously, I'll have to watch my weight at this place. Thank goodness for scrubs with elastic waist bands!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I love my brother!

Another good thing about living with my parents is that I get to see everyone who comes to visit. I'm so excited my brother is here for 5 days! We have always been close, but we've lived too far apart to see each other very often. This picture was taken at a baseball game we went to in July when Adam and Josh were in town.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Job update

This entry is for all of you who have been asking about my job. I am really enjoying this position. It's really easy, low stress, and part-time- exactly what I need right now. The plasma center is located just off the corner of San Mateo and Central. For those of you who know ABQ well, you can just imagine the wonderful array of donors we get! Being the minority (big time) has been quite the experience for me. The Hispanic and Native American communities are quite different than what I'm used to. I love these people and it seems that everyone is immediately a member of the family. My boss was hugging me after just a few days, and it is not uncommon to see females kissing each other hello and goodbye (on the lips, cheeks, whatever). I'm not quite to that stage yet!
I think that I am having a pretty good impact on my co-workers already. I had one man tell me that he knew I was saved because I had that "glow." Another guy has nicknamed me "Sunshine" because he says my smile lights up the room. Personally, I think they are just blinded by my flaming white skin!
The wonderful lady in charge of the lab is Alice. She started working for ZLB the same month I was born. How funny is that! She is short- does not come close to reaching my shoulder- and keeps me laughing non-stop. My other labmates are also wonderful.
I have come to love scrubs as they feel like pajamas. Unfortunately, I also have to wear gloves, lab coat, and face shield all the time. At least I feel like I'm in pajamas for the 20 mile drive each way to work and back home!

Dad update 8-19-08 part 2

We went to the doctor yesterday. Dad's platelet count is up to 20,000 but Dr. Lee is not encouraged. He would like to see Dad's body rebounding much more after this much time without chemo. His WBC and RBC levels are also low. If this doesn't improve, it is possible that Dad might not get anymore treatments. Dr. Lee says there is one other chemo drug we could try if Dad returns to better health. Dad may be just as sensitive to the other drug as his original one- we just don't know. Dr. Lee says that the previous average 14 month survival has been "thrown out the window" due to Dad's reactions to the chemo. We have to wait a couple of weeks before they will tell us our new timeline.
Dad will have an MRI on Sept. 2. The doctors will reassess the situation after they see the images of Dad's tumors. Dad will have more blood tests and see Dr. Lee on Sept. 4. We won't know anything else until then. Please be praying for Dad's body to get with the program and start making more platelets, WBC, and RBC. Also pray for peace and comfort.

Dad update 8-19-08 part1

The doctors' main concern has been that Dad's platelet levels have been very low. About 2 weeks ago, he had to have a platelet transfusion to try to give his body a jumpstart on making its own platelets. The chemo pill that Dad had been taking was responsible for his suppressed bone marrow function. Apparently, only 5-10% of patients on this pill have this reaction. Normal platelet levels are 150,000 - 450,000 (units?). Dad's platelets were at 15,000 before the transfusion.
The day after the transfusion, Mom and Dad took off on a 10-day trip to see friends and family in TX. Dr. Lee (oncologist) encourages travel while there are no treatments being given. The trip went well, and they returned home last Saturday.

The Overview

Well, this is my first time blogging. We'll see how it goes. For those of you who don't know our current situation, I will give you a general overview.
At the end of May, my Dad was diagnosed with 3 brain tumors. The biopsy confirmed inoperable stage 4 glioblastoma mulitforme (GBM)- the most aggressive type of brain tumor. The average survival time with radiation and chemo is ~14 months. Dad has finished his 6 week radiation/chemo combination treatment and is currently in the middle of a 4 week rest from treatments. In the future, the plan is to take 5 chemo pills (1 each day) then rest 23 days. This cycle will be repeated until it is decided that the treatment is no longer beneficial.
Due to this sad news, I decided to quit my job in WA and move back home to help out and spend more time with Dad. Titus and I moved in to my parents' house the first week of July and I started a job 3 weeks later. I am working part-time as a plasma processing technician at ZLB Plasma in Albuquerque. Josh is still living in Albion, WA and should graduate with his Ph.D. in May. He plans to visit us in NM from time to time, but I don't have any planned visits to WA. We thank all of you for your support and prayers during this hard time. I will try to keep this blog as updated as I can as we continue on this journey.