Monday, February 7, 2011

Random Updates #2

Hair remaining: About 3 pct. Those patches in the back of my head are pretty small to non-existent now.

Number of Doctor Appointments to Date: At least 67, including many all-day appointments. This number would be compared to my normal doctor visit rate of about 1 time per year.

Treatment Remaining: 3 more months of chemo, 4-6 weeks of radiation. Then, most likely, 5 years of a hormone therapy drug, which is supposed to have a lot less side effects than all the other treatments and is supposed to be the most effective weapon against my particular cancer type.

General blabbing:
I think I'm finally starting to feel better and get some energy back after that last round of chemo. Happy face. (Although don't quote me on this statement when 5:00 pm gets closer). During the last couple weeks, we finally got a good mug shot of Flicker. The ultrasound technician had to get a weird angle because his feet were in his face. To make the feat more difficult, his feet had locked the umbilical cord in front of his face too. But the technician finally got a good one of what appears to be a winking baby.

During the ultrasound on Jan. 24, the technician estimated him to weigh 3.3 pounds, which put him at the 46 percentile for growth even with the chemo. Hopefully the Jarboe trend of bigger size babies will help him out with what is shaping up to be an early exit. I like to say that if Henry was 8 lbs 12 oz at 40 weeks, maybe Bobblehead #3 will be just a little lighter than some people's full-term babies.

Due dates?? We're looking at having the baby anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks early so I can get back on my chemo program sooner. Without the baby, chemo would have resumed last Friday. The longer you wait, the more you risk that the chemo won't be as effective. Then again, we know from a genetic study of my cancer that chemo is not the most effective tool at fighting my brand of cancer. But it is THE tool available at this stage of my treatment. This next round of chemo will introduce a drug we were somewhat hesitant to take while pregnant since there was so little data on how it impacted the human babies, and the animal studies didn't look promising. The good news is that I just found this study that said pregnant women, when treated early, didn't seem to fare any worse when it came to cancer recurrence rates 5-years later than non-pregnant women.

So, to the baby likely to be named Kilean, which can mean brave little warrior in Irish, get ready for your early exit sometime during the last week of February or first week of March. You'll soon have a chance to earn your name some more.

PS1 - The lovely new family photo was taken by my friend Jeri the day before my surgery.
PS2 - Here are the lyrics to a song that my brother Eric wrote me for Christmas. I really liked it. My favorite part are the first two lines.


Flicker on a screen,
you saved me.
A mother and her child
Caught candidly.
With that belly full of love
God intervened.
So call it fate,
But i say I'm free.

If they say that it's different for everyone
Then I claim this one as mine.
Dare try cancer to take my bobblehead from me.
Dare you to give me all the fines you would please.

Flicker on a screen,
You saved me.


  1. he's lovely, kathy. that is an amazing photo. i am rooting for you and for him, heart and soul.

  2. Me too! (The rooting for the both of you part.) I've never had a 3D ultrasound before. That is so amazing. Look at him winking at you! Cute!

  3. Fantastic picture - and I'm so glad you're getting a break from feeling crummy. I think of you every day :)

  4. Wow!! I"m glad things are getting better, and that Baby is doing so well. What a great little guy you have already. So when's the baby shower? I need to get his blanket ready...

  5. Amazing picture!! I think about you all the time - and I'm glad to hear you are feeling better after your last chemo. What a wonderful song too!

  6. Good luck - baby will be here soon! What a wonderful 'most-likely' name - we just went to Ireland this past weekend, awful weather, but amazingly beautiful and rugged and wild - perfect for an Irish name!