Thursday, October 30, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

Just an FYI to let you know we're home. Tricia is still sore and tired, but feeling better.

Tomorrow is TRUNKorTREAT! We're hoping it's not too cold and that Tricia will feel well enough to help Meka, Gwyneth and I with our trunk...

Nate

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Night Update

Tricia's biopsy was successful, as they were able to get samples of the tissue in the area of the swollen lymph node. We won't know anything for sure until the cultures come back next week.

Tricia was discharged around 2, and because she was very tired and very sore, especially around her neck, we decided to spend one more night in Durham and travel home tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers today.

Nate

First Winter Hat

This post was set to automatically publish at 12:45pm.

We bought Gwyneth her first real winter hat yesterday...just in time, as winter seems to have arrived early to NC. As always, the proof of her undeniable joy is evident on her face...

Nate

In Surgery Now

Tricia is in the OR now. I'll update from the hospital after if I get a chance, or when we get home this afternoon.

Thanks.

Nate

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Long Day

Awake at 6:30am, just checking in to the hotel now at 10pm. Consult with the surgeon this morning, pre-op stuff this afternoon, walk around the mall and a late dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

Back to the hospital by 6:30am tomorrow, surgery at 8:30, home by late afternoon if everything goes well. They'll be making a small incision at Tricia's old tracheotomy scar, and sending a bronchioscope down into her chest, outside of her airway, to get a few samples from the area that appears to be cancer. This procedure has a much better chance of getting good samples.

We should know something by tomorrow afternoon, although nothing will be confirmed until the biopsy comes back, sometime next week.

Thanks.

Nate

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Nathan Update

Baby Nathan came home from the hospital this afternoon, although, his bilirubin count is still high. Thank you very much for thinking of and praying for him, and please, continue to pray that he'll return to safe and normal levels and not have to be readmitted to the hospital.

Thanks!

Nate

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Week

Sorry I haven't been updating much lately...have been focused on work, house-buying business, and spending as much time with my girls as possible.

We're headed back to Durham on Tuesday morning. Tricia has a few consults, and then the biopsy on Wednesday. All outpatient, so we'll be spending the night together in the hotel, and hopefully coming back home by Wednesday night.

Thanks.

Nate

New TRUNKorTREAT Commercial!



Don't know what TRUNKorTREAT is? Check This Out!

Nate

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prayer for Baby Nathan

Two of our best friends, Zach and Brandie, welcomed the first child, baby Nathan, to the world on Wednesday. After only one day at home, they've found themselves back at the hospital yesterday afternoon. Nathan has extremely bad jaundice and extremely low blood sugar.

Tricia and I, as well as Zach and Brandie's families would appreciate it if you would consider thinking of and praying for baby Nathan.

Thank you.

Nate

Thursday, October 23, 2008

TRUNKorTREAT Poster Winner

Actually, nobody got them all exactly right (including first names), but BrunetteKoala was the closest, so he/she wins the 75 points!

From left to right:

My dad, Rick, with the apron and chef's hat.
Me, with just my head sticking out, wearing the glasses (just left of the cow-people).
Tricia's dad, Don, up top wearing the pirate patch.
My mom, Gail, at the bottom middle dressed as a snow queen.
My sisters, Rachel and Sarah, dressed as a bee and butterfly, respectively, just right of The Incredibles.
My uncle, Andy, wearing the blond wig, upside down on the bottom.
My brother-in-law, Ramon, dressed as Super Mario.

Nate

Pic of the Week

Nate

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

TRUNKorTREAT Contest

Below is one of the posters I've designed to promote our upcoming TRUNKorTREAT. 75 crazy points go to the first person who can correctly identify every member of our families who's picture can be found in the poster. There are at least 3 and no more than 18 members of our families in this poster...if you've followed our blog closely for a while, this shouldn't be too hard...

Make sure you identify who they are (their relationship to us), their first name, and what they're wearing in the pic (ie Nate's cousin Bob in the alligator costume). The contest will end at 5pm EST tomorrow (Thursday).

If you've met us or anyone in this poster in real life, you can't participate! Have fun! (hint: click on the poster to zoom in)


Nate

Fire Engine

Gwyneth had her first experience with a fire engine a few weeks ago. The overwhelming excitement, as always, was more than evident on her face...


Nate

More Bad News

Tricia's biopsy (from last week) was no good (meaning, the sample they took was not from the right spot in her lungs). This means:

1. We'll have to return to Duke for an overnight stay and another biopsy...they will cut Tricia open and be certain to get a good sample (the previous biopsies were less invasive procedures using a bronchioscope).

2. It may be close to 2 weeks before we actually know anything more.

Thanks.

Nate

Monday, October 20, 2008

No News is Good Day

Despite not hearing a word from Duke, we had a great day today:

> Drove safely to VA this morning, with Gwyneth sleeping most of the way.
> Gwyneth had a good checkup with her eye doctor.
> We had fun looking for some new furniture for the new house.
> Bought some baby gifts for new friends arriving soon.
> Found Gwyneth's TRUNKorTREAT costume that we've been searching for (for half-price).
> Hung out with two of our best friends.
> Drove safely home tonight, with Gwyneth sleeping most of the way.

Hoping to hear from Duke tomorrow.

Nate

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

News

We haven't heard anything from Duke yet about the biopsy, so we probably won't know anything until Monday.

Thanks to our awesome readers, we won all four Blogger Choice Awards for which we were nominated. I don't know if we actually win anything other than recognition, which is cool with me, because I know that many people have found the blog because of those nominations.

Our TRUNKorTREAT is (unexpectedly) receiving some National Publicity!

Our local friends and supporters at the Southern Shores Rita's are going to be hanging out at the Kitty Hawk Elementary Fall Festival tomorrow from 10-4, raising money for Cystic Fibrosis! We'll be swinging by at some point, as long as everyone is feeling good, enjoying some delicious water ice.

And, tonight, Gwyneth will be experiencing rice cereal for the first time...you know that cameras will be ready!

Nate

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Latest

Tricia's PET Scan (Monday morning) shows that the chemo has done very little to affect her PTLD, and, in fact, some of the spots in her lungs have grown, and the lymphoma has possibly spread to a lymph node in her chest (outside of her lungs). They are stopping the current R-CHOP treatment, since it is obviously not doing her any good, and performed another biopsy on Tuesday morning.

That is literally all we know at this point. We arrived home late last night. We should hear back from Duke later this week about what the biopsy shows and what they recommend next.

We are very discouraged as we very distinctly recall the cancer doc telling us a few months ago, "If this treatment doesn't work, Tricia is in serious trouble..."

Nate

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back at Duke

Gwyneth and I just got to Tricia's room, but she's not here...she is getting her port removed and is on her way back up.

Nate

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tomorrow (Monday)

I'll be waiting to hear from Tricia tomorrow morning about what the doctors will say about her discharge. Either way, I'm heading to Durham, but, if she will be discharged tomorrow, I'll leave Gwyneth at home and go and be back with Tricia by the end of the day...if she is not going to be discharged tomorrow, I'll take Gwyneth with me to stay overnight (hopefully Tricia will be discharged by Wednesday).

Fortunately, Tricia's PET Scan is scheduled for tomorrow, and we should know something about her lymphoma shortly after. We REALLY appreciate your thoughts and prayers over the past few months about this, as it's something we've been anticipating since the original lymphoma diagnosis.

Thanks.

Nate

Caption Winner

"Cover Girl's new Pink Icing Lip Paste. Easy, breezy, Cover Girl."

Submitted by Becky

Tricia picked the winner this time...my favorites were:

"Rose Steele"

&

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is."

(nice pop culture references!)

Nate

See You Tomorrow!











Nate

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Update

Gwyneth and I had a safe and uneventful trip home yesterday. She played and talked most of the way, and we only had to make one pit stop. It did rain most of the trip, but only lightly, which wasn't a problem. Tricia assured us that she would be OK over the weekend, so Agnes came home as well, not too far behind us.

Tricia's bronch went well...haven't heard anything about what they found. They were able to clean her lungs out a bit. She is finding things to do to stay busy until I drive back up on Monday, hopefully to bring her home early in the week.

Gwyneth is hanging out with the grandparents today while I get some things done at work.

Also, Tricia has chosen a winner for the latest "Write a Caption" contest, which I'll announce later!

Thanks!

Nate

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Morning Update

Tricia is getting her bronch right now...I'm in her room waiting for her to return. Gwyneth is hanging out with Grandma at the hotel.

The docs told Tricia this morning that she should be discharged sometime between Monday and Wednesday. Because she's feeling so much better, and the medical team believes they have her infection under control, Gwyneth and I will be heading home this afternoon...either Agnes will stay here in Durham and wait for Tricia's discharge, or she'll head home as well and I'll return early next week (depending on what Tricia wants).

Thanks!

Nate

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seriously...

Mommy



Please



Come



Home



Soon!

It's starting to get ugly...

...and we need somebody to wash our clothes.

Nate

Friendly Blogger Tip...

You may notice that there are over 300 comments in the last "Write a Caption" post, but at least 50 of those comments are repeats (some repeated several times) because people are thinking their comments are not being published...

If you scroll down to the bottom of the comments page, you'll notice that there are exactly 200 comments on that page...you'll also notice "1 - 200 of 304 Newer> Newest>>"...if you click "Newer" or "Newest" you'll find comments #201 -

Just a friendly tip! ;)

Nate

Thursday Afternoon Update

Tricia continues to feel good. We just took a walk down to the bookstore, which is the first time she's walked more than a few feet since Monday...she said that her legs felt dead by the time we got back.

It was discovered today that Tricia has a staph infection...we haven't been told yet if this is something related/causing the lung infection, or something separate. They've taken blood from her port because there is a good chance the staph has started there. If that's the case, they'll have to remove her port, which wouldn't be convenient as that is the best way for her to receive meds and her remaining chemo treatments.

But, as I said, Tricia continues to feel very good. She has her bronch tomorrow...they'll clean her lungs out a bit and remove another small sample to test for rejection. We're hoping that she'll be discharged sometime during the weekend.

Thanks!

Nate

Write a Caption

A little pink cake icing never hurt anyone!

Write a caption for the picture below and win a mention of your name and winning caption in a post if I think it's worthy enough (like that's anything super special...).

Nate

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Party!

Actually, just cake, but it was still fun! I snuck out this morning and bought a chocolate cake and decorated it with pink icing (my mom will be proud). Once Tricia was settled into her new room, Grandma and Gwyneth arrived and we ate some cake (and it was good)!



Gwyneth was very interested...



Happy 9 month birthday baby GRL!

Nate

Back On The Floor

Tricia was just moved back to her normal floor. Thanks to all of the great nurses in our favorite ICU for taking great care of Tricia and getting her out ASAP!

Agnes and Gwyneth are on their way over...when they get here, we'll have a little party to celebrate Gwyneth's 9 month birthday!

Nate

Wednesday Morning Update

Quickly...

Tricia continues to be stable. Her appointments and procedures that were scheduled for yesterday were canceled, but they are planning on doing the bronchoscopy sometime today, and they mentioned that, if Tricia continues to remain stable or improve, she should be moved out of the ICU!

Gwyneth is 10lbs 2oz! Her medical team is very happy with her progress, even with her slow growth. She may kick a few more meds/supplements depending on what her blood work shows. Her next appointment is in late February, which is awesome!

Today is somebody's birthday! More on that to come later...

Nate

For the Mommy

video

From the Baby and the Daddy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon Update

Tricia is comfortable in the ICU. I'm in her room right now, and she is sleeping. She says that she slept well once she was brought here last night, which is good news for an ICU. She had a familiar nurse last night, and several other of her former nurses have stopped by to see her this morning.

Her heart rate was 125 when I arrived a little while ago (down from 150's), and is now at 113 (I have that affect on her...). Her blood pressure is low, so they're keeping a close watch on that. But, her temp is down to 98.7, which is very good.

More than likely, Tricia can be described as having Pneumonia. The specifics are still unknown, but she is stable, which is good.

Also, Tricia's mom, Agnes, is on her way out today.

Thanks for your continued comments, thoughts and prayer.

I'm off to try and find something edible in the caf...

Nate

Weight Guess

Gwyneth will be weighed this afternoon. She was about 9.5 lbs a few weeks ago...

What do you think she weighs today?

Nate

Back in the ICU

Tricia texted me at 3am to say that they moved her back to the ICU...

When she arrived at Duke yesterday, her heart-rate was over 150, which is probably faster than my heart would beat if I were running a long sprint. Although she was stable and feeling better last night, her heart-rate would not drop, so they moved her just to be safe.

Although the ICU is the last place we want to be, this is the same ICU that Tricia was in when Gwyneth was born, so we know several of the nurses and doctors, and more importantly, they know us. The next 24 hours will be very telling for Tricia...they know for sure that it is an infection, but they're not sure what exactly and may not know for a few days until the cultures grow something. She's receiving a lot of fluids through her port, an insulin drip (her blood sugar level was incredibly high) through one IV, and anti-biotics through another.

My guess is, all of Tricia's appointments for today will be postponed, and hopefully we'll be able to reschedule them before we go home.

Gwyneth will be chilling with Megan and cousin Leah this morning, and I'll be running some errands and then heading to Duke for a few hours before coming back to the hotel to take Gwyneth to her appointments.

Thanks.

Nate

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Night Update

Tricia was admitted this evening, and has been pricked and poked non-stop since (I've counted over a dozen needles so far, and the IV team is currently sliding a very long one under the skin of her left arm two feet from me as I type this...her arms are already turning black and blue).

They're pretty certain that Tricia has an infection, probably in her lungs, which is a very bad thing. They've even mentioned the dreaded "ICU" once... As always, Tricia is feeling much better (mostly mentally/emotionally) now that she's at the hospital, and she seems to be much more her normal self, catching up with several the nurses on her favorite floor. But, everything has been moving very quickly as the doctors have labeled her as "very sick" (not sure yet if that's due to her medical history, or the current possible infection).

We're waiting to hear back about the x-ray and blood labs and cultures they've been taking. We should know something more within the next little while. Tricia's port has been accessed, and they're placing a peripheral IV as well...they'll start pumping her full of liquids, and then antibiotics as soon they determine the problem.

Tricia has a fever, hasn't eaten much over the past few days, is coughing up yellow mucus, and has extremely high blood sugar, all of which point toward an infection.

I'll post again tonight if we hear more.

Thank you.

Nate

Leaving For Durham

We're leaving now...Tricia is not doing well. She's having a hard time breathing, can't cough up the junk that's building in her lungs. We're going directly to the hospital, and there's a chance Tricia will be admitted.

Thanks.

Nate

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Big Week

Tomorrow kicks off a big week for us. We'll be heading up to Durham sometime in the second half of Monday. Tuesday is filled with appointments...we'll find out how well Gwyneth is doing, and know how well this chemo is taking care of Tricia's lymphoma. Tricia has a few appointments with the transplant team on Wednesday morning, and then we're hoping to head home.

We've been praying for several weeks that the next few days will bring great news.

Tricia was in bed since last night until just about an hour ago...her chemo side effects are kicking in strong, and I'm guessing she's still feeling sick from this sinus thing. She's coughing up junk.

We're hoping that Tricia won't have to be admitted into the hospital, but we're taking extra clothes and baby gear in case (because you never know).

Also, Tricia's sister, Megan is flying down to hang with us and help me balance time between my girls schedules.

We also need to get a bit of "big city" shopping in, for things that we can't find here on the OBX.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers this week. I'll update when I can...

Nate

Hail!

The pic below was posted a little over a year ago, while Meka and I sat in our Durham hotel room, watching a great football game...I thought today was a Good Day to repost it...


Nate

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pic of the Day


Nate

New Day

Tricia's feeling much better today. We'll wait another day or two before we declare her over this, but it's looking good.

Thank you!

Nate

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tricia's Sick

Tricia's throat is sore, her sinuses are dripping, she's coughing up stuff, and she has a fever. Not good.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Nate

(Bump) We've Been NomiNATEd!

This was originally posted on 3.10.08. It appears that voting ends sometime within the next several days...the winners will be announced on October 16. Thanks to those who have voted for us...my only hope with this opportunity is that it will put the things we're passionate about in front of more people.

Like Alice, we've been nominated for a few blog awards at BloggerChoiceAwards.com! I have no idea what this means, but I'll assume that a win would mean more people would find out about CF and the other things we're passionate about, which would be really sweet!

So, if you have a few minutes...


...and vote for us for "Best Blog Of All Time"...we were nominated for 3 other categories as well (and you can also vote in those categories), but I figure if you all vote for the same category, we might actually win! It looks like you have to join to vote, but if you have the time, please do so!

And, don't forget to vote for Alice!!!

Thanks (especially to whomever nominated us)!

Nate

(Bump) CFHuband Contest - 10,000,000 Hits

Because I was pretty distracted today, and, my guess is, so were most of my blog readers (thank you!), and because this week looks to be unpredictable, I'm extending the deadline for this contest to next Monday at noon...

Again, I have nothing to give away (where do these other blogs get their free stuff from?), but, it seems you people like contests and guessing games, so here you go...


We're nearly to 7,000,000 hits! Can you guess the exact day and hour and minute that the CFHusband blog will reach 10,000,000 (ten million) hits? Here are the rules...

1) You must choose a day and year (ex. October 3, 2008).

2) You must choose a time (ex. 12:00 pm)...we'll assume you mean Eastern Standard Time.

3) You only get one guess, so make it the right guess.

4) Price Is Right rules apply...the FIRST person to guess the closest or exact day and time WITHOUT going over wins!

5) This contest will close on Monday, October 13 at 12:00pm (noon) EST.


With a little bit of research, you can make a very educated guess! Have fun!

Nate

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pumpkin Time!

Meka's always excited about taking a car ride...


Gwyneth's first scarecrow...she was fascinated...maybe he looks like Pop Pop?

Gwyneth picked out the pumpkin there on her right.

She's obviously excited beyond comprehension...


Nate

Something O'Lot O'Fun

Tricia, Gwyneth, Meka and I did find something fun to do today! Can you guess what we did?

Here are three clues...

1) Something Octoberish.

2) Something Orangy.

3) Something we only do Once a year.

Pics to come late tonight...

Nate

26 Points Answers

Several of you came very close to getting all five questions correct. I suppose the 5th question was tougher than I thought, especially considering that there were several good answers. I'll give the points to everyone who got the first four right AND thought the answer to number five was either:

a. I was 26 years old when Gwyneth was born.

b. Tricia is 26 years old.

c. It's been exactly 26 weeks since we got the transplant call.

...all good answer that I did not consider. But, here are the answers that I was looking for.

1.
Why Do I Hate September So Much?

Because I love summer and hate winter...I find September to be incredibly depressing because the summer is coming to a close.

2. Why Do I Love October?

Two words: Baseball Playoffs

3. Why Is My Handle "MilePost13"?

It's the location of my church, and the name of my band, and, because I started blogging about church stuff before I started blogging about CFHusband stuff, I just kept my original blogger handle instead of changing to something like "CFHusband".

4. Why Did I Choose Thursday Morning at 10:45am?

Today, at 10:45am marks exactly 6 months to the minute that we were told of the set of lungs that would give Tricia her breath back.

5. Why Did I Choose 26 Points?

26 Points is the number of points the Redskins scored this past Sunday when they beat the cowgirls.

6 Month Re-Birthday

6 months ago today, my wife was given a second chance at life.

Every day that goes by, I am more and more thankful for the donor and family as well as the medical staff at Duke who gave Tricia back to me.

I normally work on Thursdays, but today, I'm moving my schedule around to take the day off and spend time with my girls. We might even have a party.

Thank you. Thank God.

Nate

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Squidoo

Squidoo (an online group that raises tons of money for charities) is giving $80,000 to the charities of your choice. Basically, anyone who wants to participate can vote for one charity (from a list of about 50...don't vote more than once or all your votes will be deleted)...Squidoo will donate $2/vote. You don't even have to sign up for anything!

There are two charities on the list that we are very passionate about: The March of Dimes (currently having received 18.2% of the votes) and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (currently having received 1.8% of the votes). Feel free to CLICK HERE and vote for any charity you believe could use $2...OR, choose one of the two charities I mentioned above! You have until October 15 to vote!

Let us know if you participate, and which organization got your vote (even if it's not one of our favorites, it's all good!)!

Thanks!

Nate