Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dad's Appointment Today!

Hey Everyone!
I just spoke with mom and dad as they were leaving his leukemia specialist appointment and it was all in all, good news :)
His counts were still looking good, red and hemo counts are up but white came down a little - but that was something they anticipated with stopping the shots so that isn't "alarming".
He is going to get to GO HOME WITH MOM TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!! That is the best part of the news!  The not "as fun" part is that he can stay home about a week but then has to check back in at MD Anderson on Thursday for another 4 day round of chemotherapy as an inpatient- more to be on the safe side after seeing some abnormalities on his bone marrow sample since it was so aggressive before, than anything else.  After the 4 days of treatment, if all is well and assuming there isn't a donor scenario ready to go then he will get to go home again and be monitored with blood work/ testing there until a donor can be located and readied :)
So please continue your prayers for the effectiveness of the chemo and for a donor match to happen FAST!
I know they will LOVE their time at home getting to feel "normal" again!!  Please pray for their safe travels tomorrow as well! :) 
Love to all!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Hi Everyone!!
Well, as you may have realized already I am back home with my wonderful Husband since Friday and mom is in Houston with Dad for the week :) 
They have had a great weekend and also had a GREAT visit with Kenny who was SO AWESOME for going to Houston to visit and spend time cheering dad up!!  I know he loved the company and the laughs!
Today mom and dad are at the hospital and we already have some GOOD NEWS to report!!  His counts have all started coming UP!!  He didn't need any platelets or blood for the FIRST TIME!! He also is allowed to stop the shots until further notice!!  This is INCREDIBLE and ENCOURAGING news!! Later on they will be seeing the Stem Cell Doctor and we are looking forward to lots of updates and info from him!!  They are also going to be aspirating a sample of bone marrow today to see what the status of it is - so PLEASE PLEASE keep up the prayers for continued progress with his counts and with finding a bone marrow donor match!!
More later! 
Love to all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Beautiful Day!

Hey Everyone!
Last night was a super late one and we didn't get back home till about 10:30 or so and after doing all of dad's IV drugs didn't get to sleep till almost 1am!  But, we didn't have any appointments this morning so we at least got to sleep :) 
He seems very well this morning and today - he has been hard at work doing lesson plans on his laptop and he even took on the role of breakfast chef again this morning ;) 
Later we are going to run a quick couple of errands to the store and bank.  Bobbie has a VERY yummy smelling pot of beans on the stove and Sarah and Sid are coming to eat dinner with us too tonight - we are REALLY excited!
Tomorrow we go back to the hospital SUPER early to have labs run and reviewed - we are trying to get there REALLY early in hopes that if he needs blood and or platelets that we will get to get them earlier rather than later and not spend the ENTIRE day there again ;)
Love to all - keep up those prayers - we need GOOD NEWS at his 2 BIG doctors appointments next week with the Stem Cell Doc and the Leukemia Specialist!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hi everyone - I am texting from my phone again to update. Dad had a really good night last night-no fever and no pain pills!! He slept well and even got up and made breakfast! ;-)
We are at the hospital right now and have been here most of the day- we are waiting for his platelets to be delivered and once they are he will do those and then get about 3- 3 1/2 hours of chemotherapy and then we get to go back to Bobbie's - gonna sort of be a late night but things are going well :-)
Love to all and thank you for all the prayers, love, and support!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sorry for the Delay!!

Hi Everyone!!
We had a busy and crazy weekend and I apologize for not updating the blog!!
Well, Bradley and Chachi came in town to see me and the three of us went to stay with Sarah and Sidney and there 3 pups - we had a wonderful time with them!
On Saturday dad had his very first time to himself in the evening for a few hours and it didn't go so well, he had been slowly but surely starting to feel the negative side effects from the daily shot he is taking to raise his white blood cell counts (flu like aching etc) and Saturday night it made his fever spike all the way to 102 - we were keeping in close touch with him through the whole night and thought for a while there that we were going to be back at the hospital again :( ... thankfully his fever started to break on its own around 10pm and by a little after 11 when the Forets got back home he was feeling a lot better.  So, he went to sleep and yesterday he felt ok all day and by last night he ran about a 99.something - by this morning it was totally gone.  He seems to be feeling very well this morning.  I will be with dad all this week till Friday and then I believe my mom will be coming in to spend some time with him and give me some time to go home and be with my love ;)
I will update regularly this week - I promise ;)
Love to all!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another GREAT day!

Hi Everyone!!

Very happy to report another restful night and day!!  Last night was smooth sailing and we even both SLEPT IN this morning- YAY!!  Today Bobbie and I have been helping him with the jigsaw puzzle and hanging out.  Sarah came by for a visit and her and I serenaded dad and Bobbie with our BEAUTIFUL vocal stylings (in case you are reading this and have never been graced by our singing you should know we have voices like ANGELS!!) - LOL!!! (not AT ALL) - so that was good for a LAUGH!

Then after Sarah left dad and I took to the backyard to shave his head, because last night we realized that it is falling out in chunks, so instead of decorating Bobbie's house with it we thought we may as well get rid of it all ;) lol!  He looks GREAT!  I always thought bald suited him anyway ;)

He has had a dull headache all day but other than that he is doing really well.  

This week Lisa and the guys from the hall and others have done an AMAZING job with FOUR drives for dad - 2 for stem cell donor registry and 2 for blood - the last of which is about to start now for tonight so if you are in the NOLA area and want to donate blood, head on over to the hall! :) 

Monday evening they had 32 come out to donate blood. On Tuesday evening they had 38 sign up as stem cell donors and last night they had an additional 33 sign up as stem cell donors. Tonight they are doing the blood drive again and are expecting somewhere around 20 - 30 more blood donors. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH TO EVERYONE who helped, donated, and registered - we LOVE you for it!!!!!

Everything is set up for the stem cell drive on May 23 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan. It will be from 8am - 8pm. Lisa will be sending out an email soon so everyone who wants to volunteer to work the drive can sign up.

Members of the hall and students  took up a collection to help defray the cost of the stem cell testing. They collected $500. An additional $150 was donated by a few more individuals. $50 has been collected so for to help defray the cost of the stem cell drive at St. Charles Borromeo.  If you would like to join in please contact my Aunt Lisa and she will happily accept your donations ;) 

Well, in other news, Bradley and Chachi will be arriving in Houston tomorrow night (YAY!!!) and we will be staying the nights over at Sarah and Sidney's house (about 15 minutes away). Then I think Bobbie is planning to have everyone over for a BBQ on Sunday - and I am CRAVING Gary's AMAZING BBQ chicken ALREADY!!! 

Thanks so much again to EVERYONE for all of your love, prayers, and support!!!
Love to ALL!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fabulous News!

Hi Everyone!!
I am VERY VERY HAPPY to report that we got dad out of the hospital last night and we had a great night's sleep at Bobbie's house - He is feeling and looking GREAT!!!  We are currently tackling a Jigsaw Puzzle right now and having a very nice time!!
Thank you SO much to EVERYONE for all the prayers, love, and support!!!  
Love to All!

Monday, May 10, 2010

afternoon update

well, low grade fever has returned and so has the mystery left leg pain :( ...... just seems that if it isn't one thing it is another!!  we would just LOVE to have EVERYthing go well!  Please please say prayers that it clears up - he is in quite a bit of pain and the first pain medication that they gave him earlier didn't work - they are giving him a new one right now that we are hoping works better!
I will be headed back to Houston tomorrow and mom will be headed back to Madisonville, we will be overlapping a little which will be nice - I am looking forward to getting to tell her Happy Mother's Day in person :)
Ok - I just talked to mom again and apparently the new pain med worked - he feels loopy and feel right to sleep but the pain is subsided so that is GOOD!  Lets all pray he wakes up feeling better!!
Love to all!

A Better Day!

Hey Everyone!
Well dad made it through the night with no fever :) and then upon waking up this morning ran about a 99.2... but, the doctors were optimistic this morning and are going to let him finish today on the new strong antibiotics and then if he is still doing well, then they plan to switch him back to the antibiotic that he was able to take at home and see how he does.  If he continues for a couple of days that way with no fever then there is a chance that he will get to go home tuesday or wednesday!! So, please keep up the prayers!! 
Love to all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Still in the Hospital

Well, they finally get dad into a room last night and mom stayed overnight with him in the room.  Dan and Kay are on the road back to New Orleans- please pray for their safe travels.  Dad's fever spiked to 102 last night before they finally gave him Tylenol - that was able to keep it at bay for the rest of the night and mom said that he slept pretty well, all things considered.  His fever came back bright and early this morning however and has been in the 99.somethings all day.  They docs are considering changing his antibiotics again to see if that will help control the fever.  So far we have some of the test results back that have all come up negative for infection, but we are still waiting on a few others.  Continue praying and I will update you again later this afternoon :)
Love to all!

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Aunt Lisa has been wonderful and has worked closely with Rickey and DJ from the Hall to set up both a Blood Drive and a Stem Cell Donor Drive for dad!! We CANNOT thank them all enough!!!  Your love and support means the WORLD to our family and to dad!!

The blood drive will be in the brown building behind the Union Hall on the 1st floor - Room 115 - 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm /Monday, May 10th and Thursday, May 13th.  The Union  Hall is located at 2541 North Arnoult Rd., Metairie, La.
The bone marrow registration drive will again be in the same site from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 121th.

The criteria for donating blood and for becoming a stem cell donor are different.  

Here is a link to the guidelines for donating stem cells:

Also, the procedures and time frames are different as well.  To donate blood the process takes approx 45 mins to an hour while the stem cell registry process is more like 15 minutes and only involves you filling out some paperwork and swabbing the inside of your mouth and sealing the sample in an envelope.  So far, we have more people signed up for the blood drive on Monday than we do on Thursday so if Thursday works for you that may be the better night to donate - though we WELCOME you either night!! :) 

If you are either ineligible to donate blood or join the stem cell donor registry or don't feel led to, but you are still looking for a way to help then we are also looking for monetary donations to help cover the cost of the drives and the testing for the stem cell donor tests which runs about $100 per person tested.  So, any donations would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Here are some commonly asked questions about becoming a Stem Cell Donor:

Who can be a Bone Marrow Donor?

Anyone in good health and between the ages of 18 and 60  You cannot donate if you had AIDS; rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia; bleeding problems such as hemophilia, TTP or aplastic anemia; heart disease; Hepatitis B or C or confirmed hepatitis test; chronic kidney problems; organ or bone marrow transplant recipient in the past year; active pulmonary TB, diabetes or a chronic back problem.   It is recommended that you not join if you are extremely overweight.

Is there a cost?

Financial donations are needed to help defray costs for testing the swabs, maintaining the donor file and completing donor match research when needed.   Donations of up to $25.00 are suggested payable to "Marrow Foundation",  a 501 ( c ) 3 nonprofit organization.

  1.       If I am a match is there any further costs?


A.        All costs will be billed to the patient. 

What does it involve to register as a donor?

You will complete a questionnaire, consent form and then a sample will be taken by means of a mouth swabThis will then be sent to the bone marrow registry.  If you are accepted, your name will remain in the registry until you reach 61.

If I am a match, what happens?

  1.       The bone marrow registry will make arrangements for you to come to give another sample to see if   

    you match the patient – usually two tubes of blood are needed.  Then if you are match, the procedure will be set up to donate your bone marrow. There are no fees.  You can also say "no" at anytime.

    How is bone marrow donated?

    Either by a peripheral blood stem cell donation or 2 tablespoons of bone marrow from the donor's pelvic bone. 

    For a peripheral donation, the donor receives one injection of Filgrastim each day for 4-5 days.  Filgrastrim is a drug that increases the number of stem cells released from the bone marrow into the blood stream.  The stem cells are collected from the blood stream through a process called apheresis.

    The donation is done at a local hospital or donor center.   Your blood is removed through a sterile

    needle placed in a vein in one arm and passed through an apheresis machine that separates out the stem cell.  The remaining blood, minus the stem cells, is returned through a sterile needle placed in a vein in the other arm.

    For a bone marrow donation from the pelvic bone, you are admitted to the hospital and given either a    

    general or regional anesthesia.  The procedure lasts between 45-90 minutes. Your marrow regenerates itself within several weeks..   You will experience some minor pain in the lower back for several days after donation which can be treated by taking an aspirin or non-aspirin product.   There are minimal risks involved

    For further info, go to "Be the" or call 1/800/366-6710, Ext 0 for "live" answer.

I know that was a lot of info at once - please do NOT hesitate to comment on this post with questions and I will make sure you get answers!!  Or if you would like to email me directly my email is - Please help us to spread the word and get as much participation and support as possible!

Love to ALL!

Still in the ER awaiting a room.......

Hi All,
Well, Mom and Kay arrived in Houston this afternoon safely which is WONDERFUL news!!  Now for the rest of the news...... They are still waiting in the ER for a room to open up for him.  He is once again running fever - 101.4 which is the highest since the last time he was in the hospital, which is very concerning :( ... Also, they have run a couple of additional tests and we are still awaiting results - we will of course keep you posted as soon as we know anything new!
For now, PLEASE pray for an answer to this fever question and as well as pray that they can get a room ready for him ASAP - as they will both be MUCH more comfortable up there than they are in the ER room!!
Also, I am about to post all of the details about the upcoming drives for dad that will be held at the Union Hall in Metairie!
Love to all!

Back in the hospital

Hey Everyone,
Unfortunately Dad and Dan did end up having to return to the ER last night due to a fever above the threshold that was set by his Leukemia specialist.  They started dad on a new antibiotic and this morning his fever eventually went away.  They are definitely re-admitting dad into the hospital to stay as an inpatient and they are still in the ER waiting for a room upstairs to open up for him.  I will talk to Dan again shortly and update you as to the latest from the doc.
Please keep up the prayers for the fever to stay at bay and for there to clear, concise, simple answers to his fever dilemma!
Love to all!
and yes i will be posting the Local 60 Drive information this afternoon! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hi again - this time from Round Rock

Hey Everyone!
I got back to round rock yesterday late afternoon and of course it feels great to be home again and with my amazing husband!  Though I have to say I am MISSING my dad!  I will be returning to Houston on Tuesday.
I have been talking to dad several times a day and I will continue to keep the blog updated - sorry for the delay, but I am BACK :)
Ok - there are several new points to post!
One is VERY VERY good news - I spoke with the Stem Cell Unrelated Donor Coordinator and she has completed his preliminary donor search and while the average is for someone to get approximately 10 matches at best back (all of which will of course not be viable in the end) DAD'S SEARCH CAME BACK WITH 90 POTENTIAL MATCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT'S RIGHT NINETY!!!!!!!!!! AS IN 9-0!!!!!!!!!!
OMG - I can not explain how ENCOURAGED we feel with this new news - and how THANKFUL we are for all of YOUR PRAYERS - because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is GOD answering these prayers that allowed for this AMAZING NEWS!!!!!
We are obviously far from "out of the woods" and the situation is still SO serious but what a WONDERFUL break in the clouds it was to hear that!
Ok - in other news - unfortunately dad ran some fever yesterday before his chemo treatment and platelet transfusion - but he received tylenol with both treatments and so the fever would have been masked the rest of the day.  I spoke with him earlier and unfortunately he is ran fever again all last night (in the 99 point somethings) and this morning it was 100.2 - then it broke and he went a couple of hours with none.  But I just spoke with him again and he is now running fever again (99 somethings again) and so we called the Doctor's office (his leukemia specialist) and they said that if he hits 100.4 he is going to have to return to the ER again :( 
this is obviously not something any of us wants to see happen and dad is really not feeling well right now.  So please pray that his fever breaks and stays away!  If it does return and reach 100.4 spurring them to need a return to the ER there is a HIGH probability (based on what we discussed last time in the ER with the doc) that they will then have to assume that the antibiotics that they switched him to, to be able to leave the hospital are not working well enough and then they will need to re-admit him into the hospital and get him back on the "bigger guns" meds again :( ...... clearly we don't want to see him end up back there again, but at the same time, with his counts so low he also can't afford to take ANY chances.  
So please please please pray for him and for this crucial scenario!
Love to all!  And I will update again immediately if anything changes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ok everyone just a quick update- the ultrasound came back negative- so no blood clot!! Yay!! We are both exhausted but back at bobbie's and hopefully we won't have a repeat of last night! We just have to watch his temperature all night and his leg- if we end up back in the ER tonight then they are going to have to re-admitt him- so please say prayers for a calm and restful night tonight!!
We are currently waiting for the home health nurse to deliver his IV meds and teach us how to administer them :-)
Love to all!
Hi all- I am once again updating from my phone... We did get dad discharged last night and made it to bobbie's about 8:30pm- however our stay was sadly cut short :-(
At about 2am dad was having so much pain in his left leg that he couldn't sleep and his temperature was creeping up but not fevered yet. He said he wanted to just wait and see how he felt by morning. I decided to go ahead and bunk in with him at that point. By 4am we were up again the pain was worse and he had started to run fever- so we called the nurses station and told them what was going on and they said that since it was a "new pain" we should go to the ER. So we packed up and headed back out to MDAnderson.
We didn't have to wait to long- of course once we were here the fever subsided and the pain had lessened some. However, I am still glad we came since we didn't want to take any chance that it could be a blood clot. They have run several labs and everything has come back clear. He ran low fever one more time since we have been here and right now they have him getting an ultrasound to check for a clot.
When he gets back to the room and the doctor comes to see us again I will update everyone again.
Rough night and morning - please pray for clear answers!
Love to all!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hi everyone! I am attempting to send this update via text from my phone - I have not been able to get my computer connected to the Internet today.... Anyway, dad is doing fine- another night with no fever but he didn't sleep very well - I think we are both just anxious to get out of here! And so I am about to make the room dark and police the door to see if we can get him a little nap!
After a little debate with some docs that were trying to change their mind and keep dad here longer, I think we are back on track to leave in a few hours to head for bobbie's house.... He will have to continue a few IV drugs while we are at her house but the nurse should be coming by soon to teach me how to do all of that for him :-)
I will update again once we are actually on our way out of here :-)
Love to all!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Looking like we should be able to leave TOMORROW!!

The doctor came by earlier and was pleased with dad's progress and said that he should be able to check-out tomorrow!! :) He is getting a unit of platelets right now and then I think he is scheduled to get another unit of blood after that is finished.  We have had a nice day today - Bradley and Chachi are on the road back to Austin already - please pray for their safe travels and for us to get to leave tomorrow as scheduled! :) 
Thanks again to everyone and Love to ALL!


I am SOOO excited to report another fever FREE night!!  Also, his foot is starting to look better as well!!!  The doctors haven't been in to see him yet today but we are hoping that all signs are pointing towards us getting to leave tomorrow!
Bradley and I went to mass in the Chapel with him this morning and that was really nice!  God is definitely at work here and in dad!
I will update you guys at least once more this evening - for now Bradley and I are about to run to the grocery store and then Bradley and Chachi will be getting back on the road to Austin and I will be headed back to the hospital to hang out with dad!
Love to all!  Keep up those prayers!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Day!

Well, I am SUPER excited to report that dad went through the WHOLE night with NO FEVER!!!! YAY!!! This is AWESOME news!!  He is in good spirits today and feeling pretty good!  Bradley and I just took a VERY LONG and scenic walk with him and he did really well- even went up stairs and he didn't really get too winded- in fact, he said he had an easier time with the stairs today than he was having with the ones at home before they left!!
If this good news continues and he continues to not run any fever then they are going to let him leave on Monday!!  :) So thank you to all of you for your prayers - they are working!!!  Keep it up! :) 
Love to all!