Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Have Responsibilities

October 18, 2008

A Day-Late Birthday Greeting to my baby sister, Kat (the B-I-G 4-0!). You never knew how great it would feel to earn a 4.0. Welcome to the fantastic decade.

So, with unchanged scans after two rounds of IV chemo (topo with vincristine and adriamycin and topo/cyclo), we face some decisions. Maybe the IV chemo stopped rapid progression (good thing), but maybe it didn't kill back the tumor like it should have (bad thing). That means we have to decide if we're going to use one or both of those again or change things up. The change up offered by Erin's doc is either ABT-751 or pemetrexed (both are phase II trials). We have next week off regardless of what we decide because if we continue some form of topo we wouldn't start until October 30, and the earliest we can start either of the others is October 28 (because of the mandatory wait time between therapies if you are starting a clinical trial). Honestly, we haven't decided which direction to jump yet, mainly because I tend to conduct a rather rigorous due diligence on these kinds of decisions (Hint, hint, if you have experience with any of these drugs, I'd love for you to weigh with your thoughts and opinions. Our e-mail is at the bottom of the page.).

If we do a trial, Erin will have to run down to Houston either the 24th or the 27th for bone marrow aspirations and biopsies, which we haven't done in three and a half years. I gave her the choice of going on Monday with the caveat that only Walter would go with her because I had class that I couldn't miss. She immediately protested that she couldn't possible go without me. I told she could also go on Friday, but I didn't know if she would feel like going to the school dance that night if she had just had her hips drilled. I added that I didn't even know if she intended on going to the dance, I just wanted to lay out her options. She said, "Of course, I'm going to the dance. The Student Council is sponsoring the dance. I'm the Treasurer. I have to be there. I have responsibilities."

So we tried to figure out how to arrange a Monday BMA. Ultimately, she decided she could go to Houston without me IF Walter would go ("because he's smart and can figure out all the details of where and when we need to do things so it goes efficiently"), AND if Moo would go ("because she's fun and entertaining"), AND if Jackson's mom, Shirlene, would go ("because she's calm"). Now, if I just took three people to replace in all the other parts of my life, my stock would really rise. . .

If you were wondering, Erin has thrown off almost all of the side effects of the two rounds of chemo and doesn't seem to have any tumor-related effects either. Her labs yesterday either looked super or were headed steadily up:

HGB 10.2 (not quite normal but certainly enough juice to keep her going)
WBC 8200 (super)
ANC 6000 (super)
PLT 55,000 (still low, but should be fine by soccer next Tuesday)

Last night we had regular Erin at home for the first time in quite a long way. Not dragging from chemo. Not dragging from low hemoglobin. Not dragging from low white blood counts. Not dragging from the grind of keeping up with eight classes while missing at least one day each week. Not dragging from the disruption of her life. She bubbled. She prattled. She told funny stories. We beamed.

This morning has been second verse same as the first. She has a friend (Peyton McCracken) in from Oklahoma. They have ridden bikes, tromped around behind the dam, played Legos and roof ball. They helped me with the recycling (WARNING--OFF TOPIC STORY: I don't know when the last time I recycled, but it was before I sent the old van up to Dallas for Annabelle to drive during her senior year. Anyway, as the folks were unloading the stuff from the back of my van, a worker asked if the brown bottles were from my business. I said no and why did he ask. He said they couldn't take recycling from businesses. I think he just wondered how I could be so slim if I drank that much beer.)

Anyway, that's all for now. We're headed to Adam's birthday party in a couple of hours. If you have wondered about Willie lately and noticed I hadn't written much, you can check out The Davis Report
and read the latest.

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