And great news! The lymph nodes are clean. So we have a the best results that we could of had... a 2nd staged case with everything reconnected and full functionality expected, and a VERY LONG LIFE :)

She had the staples removed from her stomach and is recovering and gaining weight daily. She is still staying with Sherry and I, but has been talking about trying to go home.... hopefully she will listen to reason, which is my middle name.

Next steps: January 3rd is the reverse ileostomy (removing the bag that she is using to go to the restroom and resume normal digestive functionality), and a follow up in a month to see how things are going. She will most likely start the final round of Chemo after the January 3rd surgery which is 4 months long.

So all in all today is a great day.


Life at home

By Beebe4

Pearl moved in without a hitch. She has been recovering with Sherry and lots of guests to keep her company. The home nurses came by yesterday to admit her into the home care program, and her assigned nurse is coming tomorrow for her first visit. Sherry has taken off work for these first couple of days and will reevaluate the status or Sunday night. But Pearl seems to be happy to be out of the hospital and in the care of her family with an occasional visit from the nurse.

She is eating and the swelling is going down as her body readjusts to all the changes it is going through. Her feet are swollen and Shawn purchased all of Walgreen's heating supplies for feet... heating pad, electric socks, the foot spa, the works. She likes the socks the best.

She is sleeping much better and has been napping regularly as she recovers. She has to get up often in the night to urinate as her water weight continues to drop which is normal for post operation patients. I fly home tomorrow and get in late at night so I can't wait to see both Sherry and Pearl. It's been hard to be away.


Happy Birthday

By Beebe4

Wanted to say Happy Birthday to Greg. In honor of your birthday I am going to go eat dinner with your brother. We are going to Farallon, which I have eaten at before, last time I was in town. We might go for drinks afterwards.

Anyway, Happy Birthday... Yeah Come On!


Good Progress

By Beebe4

So Pearl is coming "home" two days early. She will be living with Sherry (and I) for the next couple weeks until she feels healthy enough to go back home (where her bedroom and bathroom are on the 2nd floor). She has surpassed the expectation of the doctors as far as recovery and pain tolerance (no surprise to anyone that knows her) and they thing she will be ready to go tomorrow. Which is flippin' great news.

These last few weeks have been crazy busy. My friend Lee is in town right now trying to setup the closing of her house, and I feel bad since I wasn't able to help her out as much as I wanted to during this stressful time... I forgot to tell her that buying a house (especially the first one is one of the top 5 stressers in life). So I attended the home inspection on Sunday with her, then got recruited to help Shawn avoid city citation by getting the front of his house looking "uniform" and then at 7pm Shawn and I started the cable running project that I had been delaying for a long time so that Pearl could have a TV in her room while she recovers. We got it down before 9 with a little luck and some "oh so much fun" under the house crawling, and on the fly GT (and a little UVA) engineering / rigging.

I then got up this morning at 5am and had my lovely wife drop me off at the airport so that I could be at the San Francisco office before noon PST. It is now 7:18 pm and I am about to head out of the office and get some grub. I was stupid and forgot my cell phone at the house this morning so I will not get to talk to Sherry as much as I usually do.

The Kitchen is complete as far as what I had paid for, all that is left is priming and painting, and so other small finishing touches. But we are pleased, and very confident that we have greatly raised the value of our home, plus I love being able to talk while in the kitchen now... the hole was key.

I will try to post nightly while in SF, since I know my biggest fan checks this thing hourly.



but if it is true, it is interesting
IQ and Politics


Good news

By Beebe4

The operation went well. I was lucky enough to get to hear Dr. Vargas tell Shelley, Shawn, Sherry and Pearl's mother that the surgery went well. He believes that all of the tumor was removed and that there was no spreading to other organs. The lymph nodes and tumor have been sent to the labs and the pathology report is expected no later then Tuesday. From that we will receive the prognosis and the staging information.

The tumor was large.

Roughly 9 inches of her large intestine were removed and the majority of her rectum, but he was able to successfully connect everything back together so she will regain full use of her digestive system in around 2 months. She has a temporary colostomy while everything heals. The mass was so large that although the radiation had shrunk the tumor down to basically nothing the outer mass had grown large enough to act as a clamp on her intestines.

Previously we had been informed that her small intestine had fallen during treatment and might have been burned by the radiation, but that was not the case. So she should not see any effects of that which is huge news, because that was a potential life long pain (unbearable to most of us) that she would of had to endure.

So you can understand what we are waiting on it is important to understand TNM Staging (and that metastasis = spreading).... for Pearl we know the T and M components.

TNM Definitions

Primary tumor (T)
T0: No evidence of primary tumor
T1: Tumor invades submucosa
T2: Tumor invades muscularis propria
T3: Tumor invades through the colon wall*
T4: Tumor directly invades other organs or structures

Regional lymph nodes (N)
NX: Regional nodes cannot be assessed
N0: No regional lymph node metastasis
N1: Metastasis in 1 to 3 regional lymph nodes
N2: Metastasis in 4 or more regional lymph nodes

Distant metastasis (M)
MX: Distant metastasis cannot be assessed
M0: No distant metastasis*
M1: Distant metastasis

Stage I
T1, N0, M0
T2, N0, M0

Stage II
T3, N0, M0
T4, N0, M0

Stage III
Any T, N1, M0
Any T, N2, M0

Stage IV
Any T, Any N, M1

* What Pearl has

Which gives us T3NXM0 so far, and stages the cancer as either II or III. From WebMD:

Stage II
Also called Dukes B colon cancer, the tumor extends through the muscular wall of the colon, but there is no cancer in the lymph nodes (small structures that are found throughout the body that produce and store cells that fight infection).

The 5-year survival rate for Dukes B colon cancer is 87%.

Stage III
Also called Dukes Stage C1 or Dukes Stage C2, the cancer has spread outside the colon to one or more lymph nodes (small structures that are found throughout the body that produce and store cells that fight infection). Tumors within the colon wall are classified as Dukes Stage C1, while tumors that have grown through the colon wall, and have spread, are classified as Dukes Stage C2.

The 5 year survival rate for Dukes C colon cancer is about 55%. Patients with one to four positive lymph nodes have a higher survival rate than people with more than five positive lymph nodes.

So we are basically praying for a negative result for the cancer presence in the lymph nodes. But in either case she has the upper hand and statistics in her favor... and if you know me, you know how much faith I put in numbers... they are a pure language :) Plus I think my mom has St Peter himself taking a few minutes out of his day to offer up a prayer for Pearl.

All in all the doctor, Pearl, and the family and friends are pleased with yesterday. It was an excellent start to the road to remission.



By Beebe4

Off to the hospital.... please keep us in your thoughts today.



By Beebe4

I played poker last night at Hal's house last night. It was my 2nd time playing poker with the boys (plus Erica) from work.

Poker really is a game of swings. I was never actually up last night, but I had fun and only lost $16. We started off with dealer's call format, but after the female player left we transitioned into a No Limit Texas Hold'em tournament. I busted out first :( trying to play what I thought was "the hammer" but was informed after my "all-in" was called that they have to be unsuited to be the worst hand in poker. You can reference Hal's blog to try and understand why there is foolish pride in bluffing (or somehow winning) a pot with the worst starting hand in poker.

But it was fun and hope to host one of them at our house soon.



By Beebe4

Please go vote! I have just cast my ballot, and it honestly does feel good, given what is going on in the rest of the world. I heard someone on TV say something along the lines of "Lets show the world how the oldest and strongest democracy in the world does it" and I agree whole heartedly. It is the least you can do to honor those that have given their lives to give you this right. Take the 60 minutes of your life, watch one less episode of <insert stupid reality show here> and get it done. The excuse that "my vote doesn't count due to the electoral college system" is WEAK. Get off your ass and make a difference.