Well, Jeff's back on track and gearing up for his third cycle of bio-chemo which will likely start on February 28th. He really turned the corner on Tuesday afternoon and has been eating well since then. In some ways, his reaction to the second cycle has mimicked his reaction to the first. After the first round, he felt completely exhausted and drug-out. He ate very little for the first few days and slept a lot. During the first round, he was released from the hospital on a Wednesday feeling generally terrible. However, the following Monday, he turned the corner and felt like his old self again. That's when he really began to eat and rest well. He began to put on weight and take big walks.
After the second cycle, Jeff spent several days feeling nauseous and throwing up. But, almost as soon as his white blood counts rebounded, so did he and by late Tuesday he was eating and sleeping well again. Thankfully, he has a solid week to regain his weight and strength. I know he is very anxious to see the kids. I'm sure that will be the best medicine of all. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who is making our trip possible--to the people who donated money to our family fund for airline tickets, to the people who brought the kids games and other distractions for the plane ride, to my partners and paralegal at work who are on the front-lines of my practice while I'm gone, to our next-door neighbor who always makes sure our driveway is clear of snow whether we're there or not! You have all been too wonderful for words.
And in special thanks to all the people who have donated to our Family Fund, I thought it might be fun for you to see some of the costs your generous donations defray (ala the ole' MasterCard theme . . .)
Dr. Legha's hospital visits (5 days) . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500.00
(he doesn't take insurance, ya know!)
5 days of chemotherapy (drugs only) . . . . . . . . . .$23,000
(OK--this IS covered by insurance, but I thought you'd like to see just how much these freaking drugs cost!)
5 plane tickets to Houston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,428
(for me and Mary to change posts and for the kids to see Daddy)
6 days of Hospital Cafeteria Food . . . . . . . . . . . . .$180
(Apparently, the same hospital policy that allows them to charge $8 for one Tylenol tablet also allows them to charge $2.29 for four ounces of milk. Plus, I can't eat McDonald's EVERY day).
Being a 5 year-old boy and getting to watch
the Superbowl on your Dad's lap . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PRICELESS!!
(I have a cute picture of Jeff and Jack watching the game together at the Medical Apartment on the kids' first trip to Houston--I'll post it if I can figure out how to load pictures).
These are just a few fun examples of the expenses we are incurring (Multiply all of these times six treatment cycles!). They don't include many other costs such as the exorbitant parking fees at the hospital; travel to and from Chicago for flights; insurance co-pays; the time (and, therefore, money) Jeff and I have lost at work, etc. It is heartbreaking to think of all the people in Jeff's situation who do not have such generous friends and family members to help them. We really do appreciate it so much. More than anything, your generosity relieves our stress and gives us peace of mind by helping us avoid hard decisions that would otherwise have to be made on the basis of finances. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
In the meantime, please continue to pray for good scans for Jeff. And, if you wouldn't mind, please throw in a prayer for safe travels for me and the kids. I only have a couple more opportunities after this to go to Houston before I'll be side-lined by my pregnancy, so the kids and I will make the most of every trip!
P.S. I heard that Britney Spears was so inspired by Jeff that she shaved her head to show her support! Or, she did it because she's crazy. (I know it was one or the other).