About Me

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Concerned Citizen and a Serial Entrepreneur wrapped in a progressive democratic soul longing for us all to get along.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday, Halloween 2010

Today is Sunday... a day of worship and we are thanking the Lord for his guidance and support...  I slept very deeply with the aid of a new sleeping pill...man did I need that!  Tracy slept well too... we awoke to the dawn of a new wondrous day... my man is coming home!!!... So many questions for the doctors....and they’ll be here soon...
Victorious T, Dr. Johnson, Wen Jeng, Bruno
Tracy is to use common sense.  Avoid lots of visitors. Rest... Riley will be ok ... T may even make it to Tuscany and the beach.  Slowly, carefully with 2 weekly visits to Stanford for chemo and bone marrow tests... we shall overcome.  They will monitor him carefully and Tracy understands the consequences....
Tracy wants me to get back to our health care story which is the story of many.... We are both self employed.  We pay our taxes.  We pay for a family Blue Shield plan and have been covered continuously for 17 years.  We were healthy at the start of the policy so, we elected a major medical plan with a high deductible so, we’d pay low premiums and pay for all medical visits... it was an emergency insurance policy.  Over the years, our premiums continually increased due to our aging...not for use or abuse.  Until the first incident of Tracy’s strange illness.  Then, after a 25 day stay in 2 different hospitals; our premiums grew by leaps and bounds... until we experienced what most people find insurmountable.... the premiums became larger than most mortgages along with a huge deductible.  At that point, most people give up... I believe that’s what the insurance companies want.  When the cost of insurance coverage competes with food on the table or the roof over your head or gas for your car to stay employed... that’s when you know this country is in trouble.  So, I played the game as best I could.  When our insurance premiums were increased by 40% last year ( in a year where we didn’t use the insurance and never hit our deductible)  to be clear... we paid for all treatment without hitting our deductible AND paid the exorbitant premiums... Now since Tracy is one and a half months younger, we made him the subscriber which delayed the dreaded increase 1.5 months and we increased our deductible to $8000.  This arrangement allowed that once the deductible was met;  our coverage was now 100%.  Thank God for intuition and just blind luck... Had we not elected to pay the higher deductible... we’d be in a world of hurt right now.  With a $4000 deductible, we had been responsible for 30% of charges after meeting said deductible.  We’ve been told that just T’s Stanford hospital room costs $35,000 per day.  OMG!!!  Talk about a world of hurt!!!!
It’s a sad state of affairs that in this our great nation people are forced to make unreal choices... some go without medical insurance because they simply can’t afford it and then, our nation suffers as a whole... wreaking havoc on emergency services, mental health and the prosperity of the masses....  We as a nation must find our way to health care for all... other nations do... and we must!!!

GO GIANTS!!!!  We let the Rangers save face last night... NOW FINISH 'EM OFF!!!!  

GO NINERS!!!  We need this one!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

World Series Game 3 Update, the 30th

OK So, Tracy just got his last in-room hell shot infusion during the 3rd inning of the 3rd game of the World Series. OK settle down you guys... don't listen to these stupid Fox announcers and please ignore Dubya.. it took the Rangers 12 years to get over his leadership, I wonder how long it'll take this nation... but I digress...

Take a good look! Tw/hair

Liz & Albert  dosing T's Hell Shot

World Series Watching at Stanford
Tracy will also be infused with Neupogen and antibiotics tonite... here's the great news:  his white cell count is up to 1.4 as of this morning!!!!  Normal is 4-11 and he's on his way back baby!!!

Sat. Oct. 30th BEST UPDATE !!!!!

Tracy just called.  He told me to tell my boyfriend to go home... so I said "Riley, get off the bed" and laughed....  I had been in my slug station, watching our wedding video on my laptop in bed....  

Tracy's next words were " I'm coming home tomorrow."

The Doctors had just left T's room.  They said they could trust sending him home.  He will have to return to Stanford twice a week for chemo and next Sat. for another bone marrow test BUT  HE'S COMING HOME TOMORROW!!!!!!

Thank you for your support, love and prayers!!!  KEEP IT COMING!!!

Saturday, October 30th

GOOD NEWS!!!!  What a strange play unfolding....
Tracy had started complaining about his hair hurting and his bones and joints and knees aching...  I was afraid.... and then, who would have thunk?  The Dr’s came in on morning rounds absent Bruno yesterday... Tracy told his tale of woe and the Drs all began to smile and then, they were beaming... and I’m thinking “what the hell?”   Well, the aches and pains indicate that T’s numbers are coming back... that he’s actually responding!!!!  Here we stood at Day 15 in hospital and Day 14 for treatment.  At approximately Day 22 of treatment, the decision for the need to transplant bone marrow is made.  Tracy’s white cell count at admittance was hardly worth noting... he had come all the way up to .7 !!!   I’m convinced that the treatment, the prayers, the love, the faith and the hopes of all of us have gotten Tracy to this point... PLEASE keep it coming!!!!
We’re going to make it and tho’ T’s losing his mane we won’t lose our man!!!!
The rest of the day was a blur... I went home by way of the Apple Genius Bar... no real help for my non-native apps... home to sleep ... I’d only slept about 3 hours Thurs. night.  Now I could rest... Tracy had a massage which he thoroughly enjoyed (thanks Ellen & Tery) and we both relaxed....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday, Oct. 29th

Yesterday, was an exciting day... it was like my birthday... presents and surprises were around every corner, building up to pure pleasure...seeing my honey.  I reveled in the joy of last evening’s light bulb moment; when Sam Farr understood what we as Realtors live daily in the face of short sales, REO’s and foreclosures and he truly wanted to help!!! 
I believe that each twist in our paths happens for a purpose and it’s how we deal with that journey which determines our fate... so it’s by virtue of how we experience those highs and lows that we attain the next plane....  
....I awoke at 3:00AM this morning, feeling the enormity of what we’re facing for a long time to come....I hope for the strength to feel my way through and know we have the faith... Tracy just spoke aloud in his sleep “a big juicy burger ... yah that’s right... a big juicy burger”  and then, turned over...  I’m on my separate cot, trying not to laugh...
I digress.... so, yesterday dawned and Riley and I needed a walk.  With a sweater added to my warm ups and realizing too late I should have added mittens... Riley led the way... 2 bags later, a happy boy and I stopped for a cup or two with Jim & Linda.  Riley wasn’t satisfied so, off we went for another lap; changed the open house sign on my Granada listing, home to shower and face the day.  I donned my Giants shirt, orange turtle neck & black jeans and went to the office to copy, scan, sort, save and email the 1031 purchase paperwork and assemble my file... and on to Broker’s Tour to see the latest listings and revel in the Giants’ first win.  After tour, home to grab my assorted bags for the trip to Stanford and was greeted by a stocked to the brim refrigerator.... assembled dinners, packaged individually with instructions for reheating or cooking... enough food for weeks.... I was blown away!!!  Kara & Deb had prepared it all; Deb & Gary had delivered it and Michael & Anna, Kara & Dan and Deb & Gary had contributed the food to sustain me for weeks to come... the thoughtfulness and caring was overwhelming and Fran had brought Halloween candy in a wagon & DCC best wishes for dessert.  Tery and Ellen made arrangements for massages for us at the hospital.  The love and support is overwhelming... the cards and emails and calls sustain us...  thank you from the bottom of my heart... Thank you Johnny & Shar for your lifeline and your love and counsel... you’ll never know....
Each time I exit 280N at Alpine Rd., the excitement mounts...it’s palpable... I’ve got the drill down... find a parking spot... unpack my car, bundle the bags for only one trip, get a visitor’s pass from security and wallah.... my Tracy is just behind the final door and the game is about to begin....
We screamed and hollered after every run to alert the nurses to the score... pretty easy chore... strolled as victors through the halls afterward and were kicked out of the admitting area by security (Tracy wanted a closer look at a painting)... after all, a very tall man in a mask and hospital garb and his gal in Giants garb are always a threat.... we laughed like little kids and returned to our little corner of the world...  Tracy showered  and afterward complained that his hair hurt... uh oh... 
Tracy is our DJ this fine morn... Diana Krall does Joni Mitchell’s  “A Case of You”, Iz does “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, Jackson Browne’s “Late for the Sky”,  James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain”  and Bob Marley sings “emancipate yourself from mental slavery... none but ourselves can free our minds”   and “Get UP, Stand UP for Your Right... Don’t Give UP the FIGHT”,  Clapton’s “Presence of the Lord”, Jesse Winchester's "No Pride At All"
Misty & T
Misty just told us Tracy’s white blood cell count has gone from .5 to .7 !!!!!   Normal is 11 and he’s progressing nicely...
and we greet the day.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday, October 28th

Tracy sounds like he's back to being normal except he's not here.. I awoke @5 AM yesterday to Riley's call to run with Bina on the beach...Running pre-dawn together they must make quite a sight!!  I made my slug station (full pot of decafe, OJ, vitamins, yogurt, iPhone & MacBook Pro) in bed and began to formulate my ideas and write my blog.  It took awhile and when I’d finished;  it was time to eat.   After scrambled eggs with gouda shared with Riley...  I went to the office to meet with clients.  We are devising the game plan for realizing their dream of buying a little bit of paradise in Prunedale.  As Barry said, “I feel like we’re in a high stakes poker game and I don’t play poker!”  Luckily, I do.  Let the games begin.... Worked out the last few concessions for my 1031 client and we are in contract!!  Now the work begins as we open escrow...
Next stop:  Our Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors hosted Congressman Sam Farr and Assemblymember Bill Monning for a lively discussion about the dismal state of short sales, REO’s and foreclosures and there is some hope... Sam is willing to garner the forces: Regulators, Finance Committee members and Banking heads with we, the Realtors on the front line.  As Sam said, “I’m a fix it guy.” We all want a solution...  As we left the Association, I approached Sam about our favorite topic, health care reform.  I sent him yesterday’s blog. A few of us walked over to Michael’s on Main for dinner and more lively discussion constantly monitoring the first game of the World Series by the screaming in the bar.  Dinner was done by the top of the 8th and it was a major decision to drive home to watch the last inning.  I made it and watched it with Tracy on the line... each of us willing our beloved rag tag Giants to beat the Pros at home against all odds.... I keep telling T that the Giants made it to the World Series and so can he!!!!  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 27th

Tracy is better... Thank God!  Yesterday was the first time I'd seen my T since Sat. night.  He's being pumped full of antibiotics, hemoglobin, platelets and fluids as the chemo continues...& Tracy still has his hair!!  He sounds like my man again... just very tired.  I just listened to my spiel on KUSP, our Santa Cruz NPR station.  It aired on 88.9FM at 7:33AM and will air again at 4:33 PM today.  Click TeaParty.mp3  for your listening pleasure....

I'm going to speak to our health care crisis this morning.  There is something inherently wrong with a medical industry that has allowed itself to be pushed around and essentially led by the insurance carriers.  There is no doubt in my mind that the insurance carriers are dominating and manipulating the care and treatment that we receive.  I have been preaching about the health care crisis for years now and hoping that health care reform was actually here...My case in point:  A year ago, our medical insurance premiums increased by a whopping 40%!!!!  They had been increasing annually but that was the largest increase by far.  I called Blue Shield and complained to no avail.  Our medical coverage was now costing what a lot of Americans earn annually.   We worked hard and begrudgingly, paid the premiums.  We didn't hit our $8000 deductible last year.  This year, we didn't go to the Dr. unless it was a necessity and yet, our premiums increased another 13%!!!!  Fast forward to Sept. 16th, when our lives were engulfed by the very real and present emergency that threatens Tracy's existence.  As each increasingly serious test was done, we were asked for the Blue Shield negotiated rate up front before services were given.  It tested our patience, emptied our pocketbooks and fulfilled our deductible.  Tracy made a wry comment when asked for $2641 before his lymph node biopsy.  As a licensed General Contractor, he could NOT ask for payment of services prior to completing the work.  Interesting and oh, so true....  Fast forward to Oct. 14th, when Tracy's Oncologist informed us that he was to pack a bag (because they'd probably want to keep him) and appear at the Cancer Center at Stanford the following morning at 8:00AM.  Dr. A also informed us that there was no alternative if T wanted to live more than a couple months.   The gravity of the situation was mind blowing.

We appeared at Stanford according to instructions and were immediately immersed in the fight for Tracy's life.  It is all consuming and without the loving and personal treatment that Tracy is lucky and blessed enough to receive... I don't know how we'd survive.  Now, fast forward 8 days. Tracy has been in treatment and has developed an infection that prevents him from moving his head, speaking and is extremely painful.  The Giant's are about to start their last game of the pennant and all the forces have been gathered.  Tracy is hoping they won't take him for his cat scan until after the game.  I'm hovering.  Tracy evicts me.  I stop at the Whitney's briefly not wanting to rain on their birthday celebration.  I arrive home and cry my fears out and then, proceed to open the mail.  There is a letter from Blue Shield that states that Tracy is only approved for 5 days at Stanford.  Nice....  Yesterday, I called Blue Shield to talk about an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) that we hadn't received, where there hadn't been any contract negotiation by Blue Shield and THE letter.  I was subsequently informed that I could not speak about the policy or coverage since I was no longer the Subscriber... interesting... since I'd been continuously speaking with Blue Shield for the 16 years we'd been covered under my name and also continuously for the last year when Tracy became the Subscriber....no sympathy, empathy, compassion, sensitivity.  My husband is fighting for his life and Blue Shield is dictating what can be done.  I was advised by my sis, Shar, to find the advocate at Stanford.   I took the five page document that would grant my ability to speak to Blue Shield for us and THE letter to Tracy.  He filled out the authorization and signed it.  I then found our advocate.  She very tactfully informed me that insurance companies were all the same and this was the reason for her position.  These advocates are forced to ask for treatment approval every 2 days.  So, insurance companies are dictating our treatment... NOT our Doctors.  Isn't there something glaringly WRONG with this picture?  I'm disgusted to discover that this is the very real state of our health care today.  WE NEED HEALTH CARE REFORM and we need it now!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, the 26th

Yesterday was a blur... Tracy is better.  Says he's back.  They are continuing to pump antibiotics and fluids... chemo continues... he's very tired.  I woke him several times on Sun but yesterday he was back.  I'll see for myself today.  I'm excited to see him soon.  

Good news:  time well spent with a client yesterday...  

T's favorite - Jackson Pollack's dog
Royce administering chemo
T, Diana, Di & Mike
Here's some more pictures 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today is Sunday, October 24th

Yesterday was Tracy's nadir (the lowest point).  After feeling so good, it all caught up with him.  He had a little pain at the base of his tongue in the morning which he brought to the Dr. 's attention on their rounds...along with a little razzing...Dr. Madeiros, a young, gifted, good looking Brazilian usually arrives at 9:30AM with his flanks...Stanford is a teaching hospital after all. He examines Tracy and they chat a bit. On the weekend, Bruno dresses down, close fit designer jeans, no tie or white lab coat and yesterday, the banter was about Halloween and the Stanford game.  He mused that he wasn't sure what costume he should choose and I suggested a Dr.... thank goodness he was amused!  Then, he went on about Stanford playing Washington State and I just couldn't resist... 'Go Bears!'  The ever present Cal - Stanford rivalry reared up altho' Cal's looking pretty dismal these days... well, I bowed to Stanford's superiority and Bruno was placated...T's tongue, throat & neck were noted and the pace was set to monitor.  All along the nurses and the Doctors have warned that T is to report any change, no matter how small, because of the many complications that might occur with this protocol.  T was rearing to take a walk after his platelet infusion so, off we went... strolling the halls until we happened upon a Tai Chi instruction in the atrium and we joined in... long graceful stretching and smooth continuous movements felt so good after a night on the cot... T participated 'til he was spent and then, sat down.  Tammy's Gary found us and then, we strolled back to F 033.  Gary visited 'til  T was tired and feeling some real pain... Lisa Clancy, the feisty little Irish nurse in her lilting brogue, clocked Tracy as true to his word and knew that the pain was real.  She marshaled the forces, put a 'NO VISITORS' sign on the door and reiterated all the warnings and restrictions.  The Dr. once again stated the facts and prescribed oxycontin for the pain, meanwhile, monitoring the progression of symptoms.  Now there was obvious swelling of the neck and T's voice was gravelly and he was complaining of pain when he moved his neck or swallowed.  An understatement that I was scared, Tracy allowed me to stay for a few hours and then, evicted me.  He wanted to just rest without me hovering, hoping that his catscan wouldn't interrupt the Giants game.  I needed to be home and after venting my fears in tears; I called T after every significant inning... His spirits are good... keep him in your loving prayers... The SF Giants are in the World Series and my honey is going to come home!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday, September 23rd Part 2

 Houston we have a problem!  Tracy hasn't any immune system.  If you've been exposed to anything in the last several weeks or been ill yourself;  please stay away!!!  Tracy is ill...he's got a sore throat and ear ache and his lymph gland in his neck is swollen.  The Dr. is monitoring it.

Please DO NOT VISIT TRACY for the time being!!!  I'll let you know in my blog when the ban has been lifted.  We appreciate the outpouring of love and support.... that's whats gonna get him home!

Today is Saturday, October 23rd

Wed's Frisky Frolics 
Gary, T & Deanna
Now I know I must save periodically... I lost my whole blog when I added pictures.  Ai yi yi!!! So, I'll try to start over.

Tracy's rooftop hideaway
Tracy is blessed, yesterday was a great day! T was finally untethered from his IV sidekick... free to stroll around the hospital for several hours in the morning, taking small rests along the way, outside for the first time in the rain and loving it.  The topper: some dairy was added back into his diet;  mac and cheese dead ahead... so I was surprised not to see him in the atrium when I arrived.  The Otto Heizinger trio was playing their last tune... a Segovia/Methanyesqe smooth salsa/ jazz combo... I loved them!  When I got to T's room his spirit was everywhere...he's so thankful to be alive and able to move around unfettered, masked but free...  wearing a Giants knit ski cap  ... fighting his way home...   Di & Mike and Diana had brought the cap along with Halloween candy and Vanpire teeth ...Deanna & Gary arrived with Deeana's eggplant parmigiana for me and then, Lila brought homemade peanut butter cookies for the cookie monster.  Next round:  Michael & Anna came with app suggestions and then, Jayne topped it off with bagels & shmear, my Quicken rescue (hopefully) and an iTunes card.... what a day!!!  T wanted a walk before his shower so, we wandered down lots of hallways... and finally a dead end locked us out of the Med School... hand in hand basking in the moonlight ...  strolling around to the hospital entrance to continue the good fight....
Tracy joined me on my cot and we spooned for a little while... 'til the lack of space and comfort forced him back to his bed... I thank you one and all for your love, support and prayers!  T is feeling it today.  We thank you dear friends for all the attention!!!  We think we need to put all visiting on hold for awhile tho'.  He loves your visits but he needs to rest...this disease is a strength sapper and T is so happy to be alive... he needs to walk and then, nap....eat and then, sleep... he needs to build that inner strength back up so keep sending your love, email, call and prayers... Tracy is gonna make it with all your love and support!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Today is Friday, the 22nd

in the wee small hours of the morning.... that song keeps playing in my head.  I awake to a new day and a new appreciation for what this day will bring...I get to see my love today. The little things I used to ignore or dwell on are no longer very important...you hear that all the time.. well carpe diem!!!  Tracy had a good day yesterday.  He took several walks and had a day off from chemo.  This protocol was created by T's Dr. Medeiros.  T sounds sooo good!  John Scannell & Gary & Deb watched the game with him... nobody saw that coming but I figure the Phillies had to save face... that way when we win; they don't look so bad...kind of a win- win.  Anyway, I had dinner and watched the game with the Hall's & Riley.  We have the best neighborhood in the world!  Between Allen & Evelyn lovingly caring for Riley and Allen helping me figure out my printer ink and the outpouring of love and support from Linda & Jim and Debi and Bina and Judy and Laurie... how could we ever live anywhere else?  We are truly blessed.

Tracy is determined!  The nurses all love him...who wouldn't?  Riley is starting to understand that daddy's in the phone... when T told him to speak, Riley did!  He stands with his head cocked and listening... he cuddles a lot more with me now...but I'm not fooled...he wants his daddy....meanwhile he's being spoiled to death!

Yesterday was Broker's Tour day and Vicki & I set out to see most of the new listings in the afternoon....one gorgeous home in Country Club Park captured me... it's amazing how some homes radiate the peace, love and joy of their residents.  This particular home was filled with her art... and the gardens were entrancing... It reminded me of the peaceful joy of my Corralitos listing...filled with her art and his wood work.  People inhabit their houses... some people actually live there.  I can't wait 'til my love comes home to the house he designed and built and we love....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today is Thursday, the 21st

I'm thinking about October and the significance it's had in our lives... Halloween 1970 was the scene of a crazy costume party at Tina & Greg's in Mt. View.  My first Halloween in California and it came with a scavenger hunt.  Each team was tasked with a list of insane items which enticed us to go all over Mt. View to check off the most items on the list and win the prize.  I was just getting my sea legs and dressed as a gypsy.  I felt free.  I met several of what would become my new enhanced family that night...  I recall walking up to a shy young man and saying "Hi, I'm Anne Marie."  Gary Reed and I have been dear friends ever since.  Fast forward to 1993.  It's a full moon and Michael is hosting a party at his home in San Jose.  I had gone costume shopping with Deb & Di and found a wig...inspiration!  I went home to Los Gatos, got out my leather shorts, gold lame top, belt, black seamed stockings, CFM stilettos, a little bit of light brown foundation, big lips, even larger eyes and my microphone and ta da... Tina Turner appeared singing "What's Love Got to Do With it?"  Jayne, Andre', Carla, little Lea, Michael, Gary Whitney, Deb, Di, Diana and my beloved Cenz in gorgeous drag...we're all in costume, ready to rock out!  
Lea, me, Di, Jayne
Cenz in drag
Diana mentions that her brother, Sam & Mike Detrich, are hosting a party at their home with 2 bands.... we all pile into cars and traipse up Soda Springs Rd.  to the top of the mountain above Lexington Reservoir... what a picture...full moon...beautiful clear evening... so many cars we have to park and continue on foot; not easy in stilettos...but Cenz shows me his sexy stroll and we laugh all the way to the top.  We make THE entrance... Cenz is in front of me and I can see the men's reaction... from the back .... he's this curvy brunette in a full length blue silk gown and heels strutting his stuff...from the front his huge blue eyes, handle bar mustache and hairy chest complete the picture ... The first band is playing their last song... 'Rockin in a Free World' and the party is on!!!  They've put a floor over the pool for dancing and we're loving it!!!  Suddenly, the song is over and Popeye puts down his bass and comes off the stage... He's very tall with a goatee & mustache, corn cob pipe, sailor shirt, bell bottoms & yachting cap with these massive arms and a smooth deep voice and a gentle, fun loving spirit.... Tracy & I dance a few... he asks me out for lunch...  I say yes but leave without giving him my number....   For 2.5 weeks Popeye calls Gary Whitney for my number.... Finally, Gary asks me if I want to give my number to him and Tracy calls..." Hi I'm Popeye"... we enjoy talking and set a date for lunch on Sat. but having given up my addiction to cigarettes in Dec. '90... one of the hardest things I've ever done... I'm reluctant to date a smoker and Tracy smoked.  So, after trying to break the date;  Tracy said, "I've been looking for a good reason to quit"... and he did.  We met at the Crab Shack in Saratoga... he met me at the door with a single red rose... we married Nov. 24th, 1995... 

Fast forward to Oct. 1999... Tracy has  totally remodeled our loving home in Los Gatos.  I'm a head hunter again, executive recruiter and HR consultant to fast paced Silicon Valley start ups & such.  We're having the time of our lives... we've traveled that year for a romantic stay in Venice and Paris; to my nephew, Shawn's graduation from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York; the after party at my bro's home in Cotuit on Cape Cod; a visit to Toni, Tracy's sis in Fredricksburg, Maryland; Gary & Deb's wedding in Conn.;  Tracy's niece, Maren's graduation from law school in San Antonio...and on any given weekend we'd take our dogs, Max and Spec, to Scott's Creek just north of Davenport... we loved the brackish water and the ocean.... I remember noticing that Tracy had an open cut on his leg.... which Tracy dismissed.   We had a glorious day in the sun snd surf and by Sunday, Spec was ill....Tracy wasn't feeling great but he ignored it.  Within 3 days,  Tracy spiked a fever of 102.9 and wasn't able to eat or keep anything down....for the first time in my life, I called our GP in the middle of the night.  Dr. Gregory told me to give him aspirin to get his fever down and then, meet him at the emergency room at Los Gatos Community Hospital.  That odyssey ended 25 days later when Tracy was finally released from Good Samaritan Hospital with a diagnosis of lymphoma and an unknown virus that had been named for Tracy...  that's a long twisted tale.. too long for me to relate now...

Fast forward to today and how this October has unfolded. Tracy had a good day yesterday.  He was infused many times but we took walks and were entertained in the atrium for an hour by the Frisky Frolics, Tin Pan Alley-era classics with a ukelele-driven singer, slide guitar, hollow body rhythm guitar and stand up base ... Tracy loved it!!!!  Food for the soul.  Tracy was very tired so, when my broker called with a listing opportunity in Sunnyvale, I left.  Tracy was being cared for by Royce, a new dad, and I knew he was in good hands.  Yesterday was the sixth day.  The sixth and the twenty-second days are the days of the most toxic hell shots.  T was scheduled to receive 3 shots in the stomach at 5:00PM.  Thank God for the  Giants and the distraction...  We spoke twice last night... he's holding steady... I just spoke with him.  He said "If this is the nadir, I can do this!!!"  Thank God!!! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday, the 20th

I slept all of 1.5 hours until my brain finally gave it up at 5AM and slept 'til 10:30. I'd missed my office meeting but my body craved the sleep more.  I got on the road later than I wanted.  Mom's saying " Get up and get it done!" was in my head & I did.  I arrived by the 3rd inning and T & I cheered the Giants on to win!!!!     He had a day off from chemo and was given several blood transfusions and in the early morning unfettered by the feeding machines long enough to take a 45 min. walk including stairs( he won't be pushing the stairs again soon)! He loved the freedom and understandably, he's pretty wiped out.  His 45 min. walk, the excitement of the game and a couple of visits, Ann Bailey & Carla took their toll.  He enjoys the visits immensely but doesn't have a lot of energy to entertain, so thank you for short, sweet and fun visits.... Tim, Marit and Tammy he loved the fact that you laughed a lot and those cute pipe cleaner toys plus Sports Ill. bathing suit issue gave him some cheap thrills...
Courtney gave him Neupogen, a white cell booster and after reading the container we learned it was derived from E Coli!!!!  Unbelievable!!  They also gave him Allopurinol and God only knows what else.  The nurses on this unit work 3 -12 hour shifts.  They are the most caring I've ever seen.  We love Courtney!  She's single and she lives in SF.  OK so once a yenta, always a yenta....  now who do we know?

I had dinner in the cafeteria with Carla so T could nap for awhile.  Carla had accomplished the impossible... she found boats that actually fit my honey...  when the slippers we had found Sun. weren't wide enough, Carla traced his foot on a paper towel, even drawing in the toes and succeeded at the boat quest!  We are blessed.... After all the meds, T seemed to relax... his blood pressure was high and he'd had a headache and was a little crotchedy....so he showered, I washed his back and then, we settled in for the night.  Tues. evening always means Zeba watching and it was a really fun  Good Wife and finally the news.  No John Stewart or Stephan Colbert tonite.  They brought in a cot for me and a glorious night of sleep was had by all.  We are blessed!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday, the 19th

Yesterday was a day when I heeded Tracy's advice.  I slept in ( 5 hours) and decided to stay home and take care of business.  Our routine has always been that Tracy gets up with Riley and takes him for a walk.. chats with the neighbors and Riley deposits 2-3 bags.  Wherever T goes to work or play; Riley is his faithful sidekick.  Riley's excitement is visible as the blue bomber passes with his head out the window.  Well, I threw on some warm-ups this morning and Riley took me around the block to a field where he got to run a bit and deposited only 1 bag.  Our boy isn't eating a whole lot cause he misses his daddy terribly.  After tears & coffee with Linda & Jim, I went home to spend a couple of hours on my Real Estate biz before I met with clients.  I realize my respite is finding solutions for my clients.  I love figuring out how to solve the puzzle.... sometimes it takes longer than everyone would like but I'm always elated by advocacy for my clients.

So, I mustered up some energy and went to meet a client who's in escrow to discuss our investigations into the property & in order to satisfy my client's questions; scheduled a chimney inspection later today which my amazing friend, Marilyn covered for me.... .  I then, showed several properties out in Prunedale to the "horse whisperer" and his wonderful wife. Unique needs and we may have found just the right piece of paradise for them today...

Only slept a few hours but T & I spoke several times today and he had his 3rd hell shot and he's doing well... so far so good and I sincerely thank you friends and family for your calls, your emails and Tracy's visits.  We were warned that the 7-10 day mark is when Tracy will either continue being strong or will need some help...  Keep that healing white light surrounding my love... send him strength and courage to fight and face the future....
He's fighting the good fight and so far he's winning!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, the 18th

Sunday was a full day... Gathered up photos and stuff to make Tracy more comfortable in his home away from home.  Then Carla & I headed to Kohl's to find an electric razor & slippers... did I say boats to keep his feet warm... then on to KUSP to record my latest Tea Party piece for First Person Singular which will be aired on the 27th.. then to Stanford to watch the niners kick those traitors butts out of town.... & visits by friends seemed to pick Tracy up ... it's a good thing... we walked the halls of the hospital & Tracy showed me his favorite painting... A Gilhooly piece- the making of Jackson Pollack's dogs.. pretty amusing.   I'm pretty positive and very tired.... I was in bed by 9PM ... Riley misses his daddy very much but now he's cuddling with me....and I'm thankful...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday, the 12th

Yesterday was a long and very interesting day.  I felt like I was walking towards a mirage and being guided all the way...  Neither one of us had clear vision but we have each other to lean on.  The day started way too early but T relaxed and went with the flow.  We took a walk after he had breakfast and I think, T actually enjoyed being the gentle masked giant... he has such appreciation for his surroundings... the art, the gardens and he asks about anything he doesn't readily understand.  It feels like he's been reborn and I 'spose that he really has been... Yesterday gave me great confidence that he will survive... He was infused twice with hemoglobin to counteract his low levels and then, finally received his hell shot and then, an infusion of platelets.  As fast as they give him blood transfusions;  they turn around and take blood away for testing.  If he hadn't had the PIC line, he wouldn't have any veins left to use.... BUT he seems to be tolerating the chemo.  We walked several times yesterday and they've told us that he needs to walk so, that his bowels and his lungs continue functioning.  We're going to learn every nook and cranny of Stanford hospital.

So, I left Tracy as the SF Giants started their game ... had homemade Italian soup at Deanna & Gary's Saratoga home where Carla met me and then, drove me home after the Giants WON!!!!!  Go Giants!!!

Thank you my friends for all the love and support!!!  We're overwhelmed but oh so thankful!!!
Tracy's first shot of hell....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today is Saturday

Tracy will be here for a month give or take a few days.  The chemo will clean out his bone marrow so, he'll be given transfusions along with all kinds of meds to mediate the side effects of this virulent dose of hell.    Then 8 months of outpatient chemo and it's a 2 year process.  Tracy asked about the alternative: he would have a few months. I'm in shock; a deer in headlights.   My eyes are swollen shut & all I want to do is cry.   I went home after he was settled in to his room with a view about 2( they gave him his 5th bone marrow biopsy, put a PIC line in his arm, echo cardiogram, cat scans & so many blood draws I don't understand how he's still got any blood). I then packed a bag & decided to come back & spend the night with him.  He's in a private room and they brought in a sleeping chair for me.  i don't know how anyone sleeps in a hospital but they certainly try to tend to his every need.  Stanford is impressive!  We're blessed. They've answered every question even when we don't want to know the answer.  This morning the chemo starts. It's amazing how quickly they mobilized this effort.   He's surrounded by loving caring people who will help us thru this ordeal.  Tracy  wants to live and we're going to beat this damned disease. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bad News

 I haven't been writing lately.  I haven't had the urge. Life has gotten in the way.

 We met with Dr. Alexander yesterday.  He apologized and explained the delay.  Tracy is being admitted to Stanford this morning.  We're meeting with Dr. Bruno Medeiros in Hematology.  Tracy has lymphoblastic leukemia/ lymphoma and lymphocyctic lymphoma and God knows what else.  It's very complex and Dr. A explained that if it were him; he'd go to Stanford to be treated.  He's arranged for Tracy to be handled by Dr. Medeiros.  The treatment has to be done in-house and because it's in his bloodstream and his bone marrow; has many complications.  Please surround him with white light whenever you think of him and send me the strength to be his advocate. I thank you my friends.  Please keep us in your prayers.