Saturday, February 10, 2007

Today's Update

Another uneventful day. Jeff is just finishing his fourth and final dose of chemotherapy. He has to suck down one more bag of Interleukin tonight and take one more interferon shot tomorrow and then he will begin his day of "observation." The doctor visited him this afternoon and expects to discharge Jeff on Tuesday. He told Jeff that "you and your body are behaving well." He also felt Jeff's two remaining bumps (the "subcutaneous nodules" that started this whole thing. Remember, he originally had three but one was surgically removed on January 3rd). He could no longer find one of them and thought that another one felt "flatter" which prompted him to very boldly declare "it looks like everything is working." This was a very encouraging assertion. If you've had any dealings with an oncologist whatsoever, you will find they are even more non-committal than lawyers, so we were very happy that he would utter such a declaratory statement.

The doctor was so impressed with Jeff's stamina and performance he decided to increase the speed of the Interleukin drip and deprive him of Tylenol. This sounds like punishment, but is actually a compliment. The nurse told me that increasing the speed of the Interleukin can make the side-effects more severe because the body is taking on more of the medicine at once and has to work harder to flush it through Jeff's system. The Tylenol controls Jeff's temperature (which they try to maintain between 101 and 103). Jeff's temperature has mostly hovered around 100 today and high fevers debilitate the cancer cells and make them more receptive to treatment. Dr. Legha decided to stop giving him Tylenol to ensure Jeff could work up some "nice high fevers." So, Dr. Legha is working him extra hard which is actually a very good thing.

I've also been working very hard. Ok--that's not true, but I've always wanted to see what it felt like to say that. Ha! Anyway, who can think about work when Anna Nicole Smith is dead and Lindsay Lohan is in rehab? (I think I've been reading too many People magazines). I told Jeff that I hope he can stop worrying about the crazy astronaut love-triangle (we are in Houston, ya know!) and focus on his own recovery--but he didn't laugh. I'm sure it's only because he didn't hear me. I'll say it again later when he's awake--I'm sure he'll be in just the right mood to appreciate my humor and flair! Plainly, I'm only entertaining myself . . .

In the meantime, I want to thank Vickie and Dick for encouraging everyone at the office to help send our kids to see Disney on Ice tonight. The kids were very excited and we can't wait to hear all about their Big Night Out! Thank you SO MUCH!! You guys--and everyone at Petrie & Stocking--have been fantastic. I look forward to being back in the office next week. Until then, take care and I'll update everyone again tomorrow.



aubrey kate said...

Hi mom and dad! What's up with you down in Texas? I am having fun up here! We just got back from the Disney on Ice show and it was pretty cool! Caroline came with us so it was SUPER fun :)
anyway, just thought i'd leave a comment to let u guys know how things are going. i'll send u an e-mail later to tell u more about wisconsin and how we're doing (u wouldn't BELIEVE how cold it is!)
lot's of love,
aubrey kate (and family) ;)

Michelle & Jeff said...

Thank God for uneventful circumstances! All of this news is so fantastic to hear. Jeff, I just can't help but say again how strong you are!!! Keep it up!
Love you guys,

Katie Clancy said...

Awesome news - glad to hear the doc is raising the dial on pummeling those cancer cells! It seems like from the reading that this session is going faster and a bit easier on Jeff. (I am sure it may not feel that way to Jeff though) but it seems very, very encouraging. Keep up the great work. Kelly, how are you feeling? do you stay at the hospital 24-7 when Jeff is there? Lots of love to you both.
Talk soon, Katie

mka said...

Hi. I just got back from Kansas City and helping Anni and John with their new baby. She is so cute and really easy to care for. So far she isn't fussy, and loves to be held. Now I'm anxious to try my newly acquired swaddling skills on your new baby. (after you have him of course) I'm glad this chemo session is going easier on Jeff and that the treatments and all the prayers are working. Love, Mom (Myrna)

Patrick and Tracy said...

Jeff and Kelly-

Glad to hear that everything is coming along well. Tracy and I are listening to the original cast soundtrack of "Hair" in honor of you Jeff. "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius..." Anyway...
It was great to talk to you both today. Always good to hear your voices. We had a great time with Jeff and Michelle in San Diego. Can't wait til Sept. when we can ALL be together.
Love and prayers to you both-
Patrick and Tracy

Jerry and Lu Olmsted said...

Dear Jeff and Kelly: Sounds like you guys are tackling this second round with guts, glory and humor. Have about decided Kelly could write for Letterman. We are always so enlightened by Jeff's courage and Kelly's positive energy. Don't make duos like you two very often, so proud of you both. Just more love and prayers from Kansas. Always---Uncle Jerry and Aunt Lu

Rita said...

Dear Jeff and Kelly

We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers daily. Jeff keep up the good fight and soon you will be good as new. We have to have faith Heb 11:1.
Take care of each other and give the kids a hug for us when next you see them.
Love ya Dad & Rita

Patrick and Tracy said...

Hey Aubrey, Regan and Jack-

Just wanted to say "hello" to you all. How was your first plane experience? I remember the first time your dad and I flew on a plane. We flew to Phoenix to see our cousins Lynn Ellen, Dan, Ryan and Courtney Crowley. It was great. Aubrey, how was your audition? Grandma Mary told me you sang "Popular" from Wicked. Great song. Do you have any Valentine's Day parties planned?
Hope you are all doing well. We love you and miss you-
Uncle Pat and Aunt Tracy