Monthly Archives: March 2010

His First Haircut, and a Clean Up for Me

Kelly Barret at Salon Cuvée. She is something special.







Beginning Grumpy. Now Just Sleepy.

I started the day quite grumpy. The house to pick up and just general exhaustion. Then Cousin 3 came by to collect Ruby the great dog. And I swear, my cousin has some storage of energy to help me focus and appreciate life. It is just her manner, but having someone whose decisions you admire and respect pop by, (on her birthday) started the day off well.

I decided to head to mom’s and finally give her a meal. Corned beef, of course. We chatted and saw each other for the first time in 3 weeks. It was another dose of familial love that gave me a long-needed 2nd wind. Lemon, at first, fussed. Soon, he was crawl-following mom around and giggling. Then, I looked at the time and realized I had completely forgotten about my Oncology appt. I called the wonderful MA and she said, “I was a bit worried, you are always early, and your appt was 30 min ago.” And if I could make it by 3, they could cram me in. Mom and Clark stepped up and took over Lemon and I booked to Kaiser Morse. I was actually teased. I believe a joke was made that next time, they would tell me an hour earlier. That is good reputation to have.

Dr. Adams led the other good lift for the day. I showed him my minor rash and he kind of shook his head and said he had seen the combo of Tarceva and Avastin with lung cancer and had seen the skin having problems due to the Tarceva and the Avastin slows the ability of the skin to recover easily. I mentioned that I was trying to give up high allergy foods: shellfish, nuts, strawberries. He seems to think it was not a bad idea. That my body is so fully of the chemo treatment, that it was difficult to tell what causes what. I would agree.

So tonight I start on Temodar. And I am paranoid about the hives. But I have to mentally conquer it. But just think, I had four fantastic, positive, influences today. Take the positive messages you get from whomever you may meet. Some days, it is just the positive people that will lift you out of fear. I was petrified this week. Not anymore. Fatigue outweighs fear. This is a good thing.

Not Sure Why, But I’ll Take It

I am wiped out. For good reason aside from the meds, but still. The volume of laundry done this evening and the 2 corned beefs I cooked (Steve, Paco, Mom: Lovers of the Meal) cooked. But the idea of starting Temodar tomorrow is freaking me out a bit. A rash already exists on my forearms, but not hives. Who knows what causes what. It seems everything can cause everything.

So I was exhausted and bummed from fighting with Paco (we got through it, but ugh) and an overtired Lemon and having to do major chores. So I called Shan to get my toosh in gear. And I also received another insistence on caretaking/visiting the end of this week. I know I can ask. I just don’t until I am at my darkest. As though I am saving up every offer for another time. But then, it seems like magic that every month someone is here during the Temodar round. That is awesome.

All is Good

Farm League baseball game: good. Chatting with awesome neighbors: good. Vivian coming over and tracking the kids for me: great.

Lemon: “Vivi, Vivi” in his baby language.

I am tired, but I would probably be so matter what pills I am putting in my mouth. Kid=Joy and Fatigue.

White Cell Good. Platelets Good.

I am up at 4 AM due to Tommy. Poor thing. Teeth.

I am also nauseous. Mildly so. Thank goodness for Bea. We have been pinging each other with side effects here and there. So a pre-Temodar nausea is not unique!

Usually this is the low platelet reading. I cannot complain…though the columns did not paste in, so you have to envision them. I am too tired to fix it!

Component Results
Component Your Value Standard Range
WBC COUNT 6.0 3.5-12.5 K/uL
RED BLOOD CELLS COUNT 4.48 3.60-5.70 M/uL
HGB 14.2 11.5-15.0 g/dL
HEMATOCRIT 40.9 34.0-46.0 %
MCV 91 80-100 fL
RDW, RBC 12.7 11.9-14.3 %
PLATELETS COUNT 237 140-400 K/uL

MONOS %, AUTO 6 4-12 %

Tennis Erin

About 4.5 years ago, this Erin started to watch Paco. They bonded over everything. Sports especially. She was home to Los Gatos (San José) to visit her folks, after an early graduation from UCSD. She drove from there to visit us yesterday. It was a reminder of how good life is. She is superb with Paco, and Lemon took to her right away.

No Tennis, It Was Raining

While in high school, Erin spent her summers teaching tennis. Paco had a private coach at home! She is now a good (young) friend. And, yesterday, she gave me a nice break from being on my own. I made the New England Boiled Dinner, finally (waiting for the temp to drop). The 4 of us barely left any for Steve when he arrived home late.

Pastel vs. Torta

I have to post this as Judy will be proud. In most countries, the Spanish word for “cake” is “pastel” (I think in Spain, it is “tarta”). In Argentina, it is “torta.” “Torta” in Mexico is a sandwich.

This is Paco’s daily book.

Una Torta y Panchito

Yesterday was the letter “t”. We know Judy will be overjoyed.

My Mom is so Cool

I realized we forgot to calculate the Tarceva that was already in my system. I could not figure it out quickly, so out of curiosity, I asked my mom at Midnight last night. I woke to this at 7AM.
From Barbara:
After each half life, the amt in your system is 1/2 of what it was 1 half life (36 hours) before.  So for the 100 mg which you took 16 days ago, the amt remaining after each half life is:
Day 0          100mg
Day 1  1/2    50mg
Day 3             25
Day 4 1/2    12.5
Day 6            6.25
Day 7 1/2    3.125
Day 9           1.56
Day 10 1/2   0.78
Day 12          0.39
Day 13 1/2    0.195
Day 15           0.1
Day 161/2      0.05
The one you took 16 days ago would have about 0.07 mg reamining.
The one you took 15 days ago would have               0.1 mg remaining.
The one you took 14 days ago would have around 0.15 mg remaining.
”            ”             ”            13 ”       ”               ”    ”            ”                    0.26       ”
”           ”              ”            12                                                                     0.39
11                                                                      0.65
10                                                                      1.04
9                                                                       1.56
8                                                                       2.60
7                                                                        4.16
6                                                                        6.25
5                                                                       10.25
4                                                                        17
3                                                                       25
2                                                                       42 (c0rrected)
1                                                                        67
0                                                                      100
Total remaining is about                                        277 mg (corrected).

The amts remaining ofter days 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 are exact.  I just interpolated linearly in between, so it is not exact.  It would be better to graph it on semi-log paper.  The biggest errors are for the last few days and those errors are much bigger than the amts remaining due to the earlier days that you can almost neglect the earlier days.  I think that the amts I have calcuated are an overestimate, since I assumed the amts remaining dropped linearly between the exact amts and they actually drop off exponentially.

A few days later: Clark found a formula on line for calculating the exact amts remaining each day.  Assuming that your 1  1/2 day half-life of tarceva is correct, if you take a 100 mg pill on day 0, then the amts remaining each integer day are:

Day 0    100mg

Day 1       63.0

Day 2      39.7

Day 3     25.0

Day 4     15.7

Day 5       9.9

Day 6       6.2

Day 7       3.9

Day 8       2.5

Day 9        1.6

Day 10     1.0

Day 11     0.6

Day 12    0.4

Day 13    0.25

Day 14    0.15

Day 15    0.1

Day 16    0.06

So, the one you took 16 days ago has about 0.06 remaining, the one you took 15 days ago has 0.1 , etc .  Add up the column, round to the neareast 0.1, and you get 270  mg remains including the 100mg that you took today.  If you didn’t take it today and for 6 days before that, there should be about 10 mg left in your system.

Saint Paco

Or Saint Francis of Davis. Paco does not like this series of books as much as I do. They are all in the Rioplantense dialect of Argentine Spanish. I love that dialect. Listening to my mother-in-law, she was, at times, insulted (not she, the people confused by the dialect). This book, along with a wikipedia entry, taught us both that it was an officially recognized dialect by the Royal Academy of Spanish. Filled with Italian and French influences, it is fun to learn and I am such a poser. Zhzzzo me zhzzzamo Erin.

Lemon was work today. Overtired, teething, crying if I leave the room. I apologized to Paco for being so grumpy. So he picked one of my favorites to read. Chau is the primary goodbye in Buenos Aires. Pronounced as Ciao, my in-laws always write “Chau.” A few trips to Argentina and I converted.

Forgot the Photos

My infusion. Easier than the hep block while in labor!


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