Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Dog Days of Chemo

It’s been a week since Erica last blogged and not a whole lot has changed. She still eats, sleeps, and Wii’s in her room here at the Stanford Medical Center. Each new day brings with it a new visitor and a new chemo-induced quirk about her body. As a result of the 5 days of chemo that she received when she first arrived at the hospital, her white blood cell count is very low, meaning that her body’s ability to fight off infection is at its lowest (but this is a good thing, it means the chemo is doing its job). On Sunday she woke up with some pain in her arm and started running a fever. The doctors have been expecting this to happen and are treating everything accordingly.

Yesterday Erica underwent another bone marrow biopsy. This time, the doctors were able to pre-medicate her and make the experience much less painful than the last. She made it through the procedure with her friend Josh stroking her hair, her Mom rubbing her feet, me (Jamie) holding her hand, and 50 grams of fentanyl/ativan making the triple derrick-rigging of her hip bone like a psychedelic night at Studio 54 (Erica’s words).

Right now it is looking like she has at least two more weeks here. The doctors need to monitor her very closely and watch for any sign of infection. She will only be released from the hospital when her doctors feel confident that her counts have risen enough to fight off infection. Best-case scenario is that she will be able to avoid infection over these next couple of weeks, but it will be no surprise to anyone if she does get sick as her ability to ward off bugs is non-existent.

Overall she is still feeling pretty good and enjoys visitors (especially those who bring good, hot home-cooked meals-- look at the crap they feed her!). She is incredibly grateful to everyone for their cards, e-mails, and gifts. Please keep the positive thoughts coming.


Anna said...

Hi Sweetie,

I am thinking of you and figuring out when I can manage to get away from this crazy job and visit. I LOVE YOU. Do you have a schedule of visitors?

xoxoxoxo ciao bella,


Anonymous said...

Oh my god E, I don't know what I'd be more scared of - the chemo or whatever the hell THAT is on your plate!?!? hee hee! Thinking of and prayer for you constantly!


Abby Wood said...

What's this? We can bring food? Tell me, Miss E, what would you like? I'm planning to stop by on Sunday (do you have a scheduling czar I should call in advance?) and will happily bring you something to eat if it's allowed!
Phone: 817-996-8784. Have your people call mine.


Alex said...

Hi Erica,
I am constantly visiting your site and I am thinking of you a lot. You are one of the most amazing women I have ever get to know. If I find a good flight to come to states this year, I will visit you.
hugs and kisses from germany,

Georg, Stephanie & Liam said...

Ms. Erica
I am in graduate school, raisng a two year old, thankfully with the help of my hubby. I've kept up with your blog for the past year or more and I am encouraged by your strength to manage school and treatment! You go girl!!!! Many positive waves of energy your way .
Check out Kris Carr's site, she's the producer of crazy sexy cancer. Check out her story and blog, she's crazy alright! http://www.crazysexycancer.blogspot.com/

Peace & Veggies!


Nancy said...

Thank you for continuing to blog. I'm hoping and praying for you. I heard today on the news that actor, Patrick Swayze is also being treated at Stanford MC, but for pancreatic cancer. Maybe, you'll happen upon him. Take good care... we only have good thoughts for you!!! Nancy Sakakura

Anonymous said...

Hi Erica, It's Kiki from Santa Maria (Brian's mom). Sorry you are back in California. Praying for you daily and in the church bulletin and Prayers of the Faithful. Know that alot of us here are rooting for you again. Give my love to your Mom & Jackie. What a great family you have, and alot of great friends. We will also pray for your doctors! They need to take care of you and finally cure you. This will be our prayer. Much love....

Andrea said...

dear erica! this is andrea (gioia's friend from switzerland) gioia told me about your blog - it's so good to read and see that you are as strong and positive as i remeber you! i'm thinking of you a lot - send you all my best best wishes, tons and tons of good thoughts and energy and i really hope to meet you again soon! hugs from zürich - andrea

Giselle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Giselle said...


Hola, amiga! Aqui estoy pensando en ti, mientras escribo y escribo para mi tesis (sigh!)...
I am proud of you putting up with all of those painful procedures.
Sending my strength, love and prayers your way, sweetie.


artineh said...

Hi Erica!
I'm counting the days to come see you. I didn't know there was a scheduling czar, but I remember telling you I'd be in town this weekend, right? My sisters and I want to come visit you on Saturday if that's OK. My flight gets into Oakland at 10 and I leave Sunday morningish so Saturday is my full day. Can't wait! And though I don't live there and the food I cook looks very much like that thing you have on your plate, I'll see if I can bring something yummy :)

love ya!
PS call or email if it's NOT OK to come on Saturday.