Sunday, February 17, 2008

Communicating with me...

I do not have the outgoing server information (yet) to send outgoing emails, so we can communicate through the blog but remember the blog is public. I hope to have this resolved Monday morning. My overall energy level is expected to drop dramatically, so soon updates are likely to come from either Mickey or my mother. Please do not reply to my mother's blackberry b/c she has very limited space and is actually needs the blackberry for work while we are here. I still have my cell phone, so please feel free to contact me that way. If I can't answer, I won't so don't worry about disturbing us. I have enjoyed staying in touch with everyone. It is a reminder of how excited I am to get HOME!

Thank yous and other misc. fun stuff

I got a really neat book from my mentor Dave Perkins who completely understands my geeky financial side! Thanks Dave :) The angel that Mike sent me fits over the heart door hanger that Tommie and Terry sent me and it just makes me happy to look at them both together. Thank you to Kim Green for driving so far to bring the boys gourmet, allergy free food....I've warned Stephen not to get used to everyone's fantastic cooking b/c I will be back with my sub par cooking in no time ;)

Bobby, my brother, has arranged for another visit to see me this coming weekend and my Aunt Carol the next weekend...thank you for taking time out of your schedules to come freeze in NE :) :) I am thoroughly enjoying the super soft robe that Paula brought out to me on her trip. Please see the photo of us in the snow. Thank you to Sarah Freeman and Laura Brown for being surrogate mothers for Walker at school. Your presence, love and children have definitely made his transition much smoother. Thanks, Sarah, for the Valentine's Day party photo. I have posted it for all to see how much Grandpa likes to visit Walker at school.

Walker also went to the GA aquariaum with his buddies Casual and Tommie. Thank you to the Butler family for letting Walker crash your visit! He had a blast and I will post those photos as soon as I have them.

As always, thank you for your love and support. One last special shout out to my parents who have put their lives on hold to take care of me and my family without even a wimper of complaint!


BEAM is the acronym for my club chemo cocktail of the week. So far, not so bad. I get 2 treatments per day at about 3 hours each session. My esosphogitis is being managed with pain medication so I'm still getting calories :)

The rest of my treatment goes like this: The counting of my days starts with a -6. It is Sunday and I'm officially on -3. On Wednesday I will be on day 0 which is the day my stem cells will be replaced back into my system. Then the waiting begins. According to the doctors the going gets pretty tough once the cells are back in my system. This is reason they will watch me for 10-14 days in patient and then another 10 days outpatient (but still in NE). The next PET will be at 100 days from transplant, so I will go home hoping and praying that this has worked.

Hospital Address

Please send all snail mail to the following address. I should be here until 3/2/08.

Laurel Alberty/#5711
Lied Transplant Center
987600 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-7600

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Endoscopy results...

Just a little esophogitis so we are all green lights for tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finally...a Friendly PET

Today was big b/c we got the PET results that would determine if I am eligible for the stem cell transplant....and, I am. YIPEE!!! It is hard to believe that one would get excited about getting a stem cell transplant, but I am. The uptake went from a high nine to a low seven which is a nice improvement particularly since I am only a week out from radiation.

We do have a slight delay due to my esophigitis. I will have an endoscopy in the morning to be sure that I don't have a bigger problem. Assuming that the results from tomorrow's test continue with the same positive momentum as we had from the PET, I will be admitted to the co-op on Thursday to begin the transplant.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support...clearly it works!!!!

PS-Stephen and Walker had a safe trip home. Walker was very excited to get back to school and tell his friends all about his trip to the zoo :) :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Visit

Stephen and Walker came to visit and we had a WONDERFUL time! We went to the zoo which is a very impressive zoo with many exhibits. We only made it through two b/c it was so large. Fortunately, it was indoors b/c the temps were in the teens. My friend Pam reminded me that it is all relative since last week it was -27 in Alaska where she lives....YIKES now that is COLD! The zoo tickets were given to me by a fellow patient at radiation. I have really been blown away by everyones' kindness toward me and my family....

Along those lines, I need to do some shout outs for care packages to Mickey and Mike and all the things they like :) Judy and Mike Adams for all their favorites too....too many to list. And Sarah for delicious cookies, candy and magazines! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting packages in the mail. It feels like Christmas all over again. Thanks for thinking of me and taking time out of your busy schedules to put together packages with such attention to detail.

Tomorrow is the big day and Mickey will likely send the update in the evening. I have the PET at 9 am and an appointment with the doctor at 4:30 pm central the results will be late. I've had a minor setback that might cost me some days. I have esophigitis from the radiation (like a sore throat except in my chest). Dr. Armitage is likely to delay the transplant by a few days...we will know more tomorrow....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Measuring by Milestones

Radiation is complete and my dates with "Henry the Hammer" are over. Dr. Enke thinks that there is some shrinkage of the halo albeit subjective. The next measure is on Tuesday 2/12 when I have the PET/CT. I am cautiously optimistic since this is the appointment that always seems to throw us a curve ball. My counts are on the way up and finally the WBC is 2.8...still not what they want, but getting much closer.

My visit with Walker was cancelled yet again...he can't seem to shake the stomach bug. I did however have a very special visit with my brother two weeks ago and with Paula this past weekend. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting, catching up by phone, receiving cards and the extra special package from Tommie and Terry!!!! Also a special shout out to Sarah, Don and Phyllis for feeding the boys...and always to Mickey for being the center of the Team Alberty organization...Thank you.....Love, Laurel is snowing like crazy here. Four inches during the day and potentially 4-6 more tonight. It is really strange how temperatures in the teens can make temperatures in the 30s seem warm :)