Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

When Wendy and I decided to to start trying to have children, we had a very specific plan. It went something like this:
  1. Visit Europe first (done, May/June 2007).
  2. Time birth such that Wendy could take at least 6 months off of work.
  3. Time birth to occur in October (our families have an unusually high number of births in October, we wanted to continue the trend).
  4. Avoid a Christmas or New Years birth.
That was about 2 years ago. Oh how absurdly naive we were.... Then we lost a pregnancy. Then I got cancer. Then we lost another pregnancy. Then we "shouldn't have children" while I'm taking Gleevec. Then we could. Then we lost another pregnancy.

Now we just want a child. We don't care when it's birthday is, we don't care how the birth coincides with Wendy's work schedule and he or she will just have to make due if their birthday is close to Christmas or New Years. The only thing we were right about was getting a dream vacation out of the way before diving into all this. And I think I'd even go back and give that up if we could just get a pregnancy to stick.

As they say, "10 fingers and 10 toes", that's all we're asking for now.

For the curious, the title comes from the Robert Burns poem "To A Mouse". Though it's not exact, it's often quoted as "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry".

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Swag!

I created a couple of new t-shirts this month for Wendy, myself and a friend. You can see the new collection here. I wanted a shirt with my blog title in it and also wanted to give a shirt to Yanni when she visited. Her's is humorously R rated, so children beware. It's safe for work but not safe for those that are underage. (I've sprinkled more colorful language around this blog before, but just in case....)

Just so you know, I've put a $4 markup on each t-shirt. All proceeds will go directly to South Bay Team In Training.

I'm currently looking for a service that will print license plate frames that say "Save A Life" on top and "marrow.org" on the bottom. I'd love to stop advertising the dealership where I bought my truck and put that space to good use. More later when I get that worked out.

(As a side note, I'm done with cafepress, the service I was using to make t-shirts. They have some bogus restrictions that I couldn't get around without paying them money. I found another service called Printfection that's a lot more lenient and doesn't want to appropriate my hard earned money for no apparent reason.)


I've mentioned Yanni here a couple of times. She lives near Seattle and was diagnosed with CML in the fall of 2008. Unfortunately she was diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease. Gleevec didn't work for her and the leukemic cells invaded her central nervous system (basically her spine and brain). I probably don't need to spell out how bad that is.

She's subsequently been through about half a dozen rounds of chemotherapy, a handful of thoracentesis procedures (to drain cancerous fluid from around her lung cavity) and more ups and downs than you can shake a stick at (although I'm sure she's tried, she's rather feisty). Currently, she's going through one more round of chemo in the hopes of avoiding a transplant or drug trial and going back on one of Gleevec, Tasigna or Sprycel. I deeply hope that she's able to go back on one of these drugs instead of heading down the transplant route.

We've gotten to know each other via email and instant messenger over the last couple of months. She's incredibly nice and thoroughly undeserving of her current predicament. This last weekend she was in good enough health to fly down to meet Wendy and I. We stayed overnight in Sausalito at the Casa Madrona hotel where we got to know each other a little better over dinner on Sunday night. We talked about treatments, about the future, and about how much this sucks. Monday morning we went traipsing around Sausalito checking out a few shops and having breakfast.

Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling very well at all on Monday, so Wendy and I went home in the early afternoon (I slept the entire way). It was a great visit and I'm very glad to have met her. I wish her the best in the coming months as the direction of her treatment becomes more clear.

Yanni And I

As for me, I'm still plugging along. The nausea has come back in moderation and I feel like I'm getting progressively more tired. It's to the point now where I can't make it through a full work week. In fact this week I went to sleep early Thursday morning and woke up Friday late afternoon - almost 2 days. I'm working on getting more exercise in the hopes that the fatigue is related to that. We'll find how my blood is doing in a couple of weeks during our quarterly visit to Stanford.