Day Five – September 7, 2009

Greetings!  I just spoke with Martha, and I have a bit more substantive news re: Reid’s status.

Reid started chemotherapy last night.  It really knocks him out; he’s sleeping a lot.  Please keep this in mind if you’re visiting (as opposed to staying at OHSU as a caretaker).  Longish, chatty visits can be exhausting.
The strep throat is still a bit of a bother.  The docs have Reid on heavy-duty antibiotics and they’re hoping for a result soon.  The strep has made it difficult for Reid to eat any solid food for around one week.
A more definitive diagnosis has been made, although we’re not crystal clear just yet.  The docs are certain Reid’s dealing with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but there are seven sub-types of AML.  They think he’s looking at either type 4 or type 5.  We’ll know more when the bone marrow biopsy comes back.  The long weekend is having an impact on staffing at the hospital, and the tests take time even when fully staffed.
Yesterday (9.6.09) was Day One of chemo.  He’ll have seven days of treatments, and then be allowed to recuperate.  On Day 14, they’ll do another bone marrow biopsy and determine at that point what further treatment is required: more chemo, perhaps something else.  On Day 28 there’ll be yet another bone marrow biopsy to evaluate how the treatments are working.
If yesterday was Day One, and he’s in for at least four weeks after that, we need to extend the care calendar into October.  I would like to get folks signed up through October 4, which would be Day 29 on the chemo schedule.  Please look at your calendars and let me know who can do what.
I’ll be meeting with Martha when she returns to Ashland soon, and I’ll put her days in the calendar as well.  The goal here is to have at least two caretakers present at all time, so that they can relieve each other and keep watch.  Martha will no doubt be there the lion’s share of the time, but we want others present in order to provide support for both Reid and Martha.
Scott will be in Portland today, and Karen O and Pete will be travelling north as well.  Pete will be there through Friday, when Michael Kane (David’s partner) will come up from LA for a few days.
Best to all,

About Martha Phelps Studio ~ creative on purpose

...a meandering journal of a changing life and the unexpected graces it brings. Earlier posts may provide some history, but this series of writings aren't likely to follow a straight line as I explore topics such as raising kids, making choices, self discovery, the impact of change on a family and how to (hopefully) live with balance and purpose.
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