Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chemo Round 1 Completed

Elise finished her first round of chemo. She had to skip one night because of nausea. We aren't sure if she felt sick due to the chemo, or if she had the same bug that Jasper had a few days prior. The doctors increased her anti-nausea meds. Outside of that one incident, she's had mild side effects ... yeah!

Elise went to a follow-up appointment with the rehab doctors last week. The doctors were very impressed with the increase in movement and strength on her right side. They prescribed some outpatient physical therapy to help her learn to stand again ... with walking as the ultimate goal. They also gave her some good ideas of how to work on standing up at home.

The 4th of July in Fall City (where hubby and I live) is always a fun time as the neighborhood lights up with many individual family firework displays ... We are looking forward to having Elise, her family and some friends over for a good time!

Suanne (Elise's Mom)

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Tonight Elise starts her chemo, I really hope it doesn't effect her as badly as I suspect it might.
Jasper got to go to the zoo with his best friend Aiden, they are too cute, they play together every day. Here they are playing Spongebob.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Update from Suanne

We've been home for about a week now ... recooperating from a wonderful trip, and beginning a new round of medical appointments. The weather turned cold and blustery, so Elise opted to cut the trip short ... plus, she started feeling the effects of the lack of steroids (decadron) -- more tired and fuzzy thinking. Since then, she's gone back on a management dose of the steroid. Her energy is up, thinking is clearer ... she's just back to being more of herself. In fact, she's getting much stronger on her right side, no longer needing as much help getting from here to there ... yeah!
She had another MRI yesterday (Wednesday) and found that the tumor is stable (no growth) ... that is good news. The doctors decided to be a little less agressive given the tumor's no-growth status and Elise's functional improvements. They recommended putting the stereotactic radiation (gamma knive) option on the back burner for when/if the tumor grows, and focus now on doing chemo therapy. So, that's what Elise will be doing ... maybe starting as early as this evening.
The chemo therapy is a pill (temodar) that she'll take for 5 days each month, just before bed. One side effect that we were told to expect is tireness, starting about the 3rd day into taking the pills and lasting for about a week. The doctors tell us that they are pretty good at finding the right anti-nausea medication to handle the sick feelings.
We saw some beautifuly country on the Yellowstone trip, spent some fun times enjoying family, and listened to some good music on the way to and from ... we've got some wonderful memories to cherish. Cameron and Elise got some wonderful video and pictures that capture those moments forever.

more pics

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Better late then never I guess, been busy since we've been back.
But a Happy belated Father's Day to all the Dad's out there, specifically Daddy Dudley, my brother my brother Ken, brother in-law Sean, John, Grandpa Ken, brother in-law Joe, Matt of Pagliacci and all those dads I missed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

we're back home

Good to be home, more pics when I get to it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

back to yellowstone

So I say goodbye to wi fi and probably won't be able to post until we get home because it's camping from here on out.
It's been a lot of fun, Cody, Wyoming is a cute town and it was really nice to meet Elise's Aunt Connie and Uncle Dave. They really made us feel at home and treated us to some great food at The Irma Hotel.
I am a bit sad that we didn't take advantage of all the fun things to do here. However our first day here Jasper and I did run down to the Wholesale Fireworks store and get some great stuff.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

We are at the half-way point of Elise's Yellowstone vacation.

Tomorrow morning we leave the comfort of Cody's Super 8 Motel, managed by Elise's Aunt Connie and her husband Dave. They have been gracious hosts and provided a very comfortable stay. They even treated us to dinner at the historic Irma Hotel ... good food ... where we met a gentleman bearing a remarkable resemblance to Buffalo Bill Cody.

Yesterday we went fishing at a small local lake. Despite the wind, Elise was able to catch (and release) a small perch. Cameron got a couple of nibbles and Jasper enjoyed himself a lot ... especially playing with the night crawlers! I think they are ready to go fishing again.

For about a week now, Elise has not been taking any decadron (the steroid) and I'm pleased to say that she's handling it very well ... that is, she is not experiencing the extreme tiredness or fuzzy thinking that was a problem last time. Since we've been on this Yellowstone trip, she usually takes a nap during part of the day to conserve her energy to do some activity later in the day or evening. And some times she's takes a full day to recuperate and rest up for the next day's activities.

Tomorrow we'll be staying in the actual national park for this first time during this vacation ... at a campground close to the middle of the Yellowstone. It's suppose to be dry tomorrow, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a few snow flurries (that don't stick) while camping there. It's forcasted to get to freezing during the night. I'm just looking forward to setting up and tearing down the campsite only once in these next 5 days instead of every evening and every morning like we do when traveling here and back.

(post by Suanne)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

today and yesterday

Jasper at breakfast

Jasper jumping from bed to bed at our hotel room

Elise at breakfast

sunset in west yellowstone

A buffalo a couple feet away from me

old faithful

Jasper playing with kids at old faithful

hot springs, very hot

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hi from West Yellowstone

Today we begin our 2nd full day in West Yellowstone. We are really taking advantage of the hotel stay, both resting up and taking excursions into the park. This late Tuesday morning, Elise, Cameron and Jasper are napping and later today we plan to visit Old Faithful. Yesterday we visited the Fountain Paint Pots. They were fantastic. The boardwalk over and around the thermal areas was wheelchair accessible, so we were all able to get up close to these amazing volcanic sites. One thermal pool was very deep,clear, and vibrantly colored aqua blues, steamy, and surrounded by a rusty orange colored shallows. Another pool was boiling and popping gray mud, sulfur smelling. Further on, a small opening in the earth had red mud that roared as it boiled angrily. There was another pool that looked just like an innocent fishing pond except that water boiled along it's edge. And in the distance we could see a small erupting geyser that
never stops. I'm sure Cameron will post pictures that he and Elise took.

Other highlights of yesterday's drive included the wildlife. We saw lots of bison (buffalo) and lots of their new calfs jumping and playing at dusk. Cameron took a small diversion on a "road less traveled" and we came upon a cow elk laying down just chewing her cud ... only about 10 feet from the van. We also took a 2 mile drive, 800 feet down into Firehole Canyon ... seeing Firehole Falls which drops a spectacular 40 feet. The lush green, steep rock canyon walls, and rushing white water were inspiring.

Right now, I'm going to do some window shopping. West Yellowstone is very much a touristy town with lots of buildings make like log cabins in the old west style.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

on the road

We have been having a lot of fun. Last night we had a dramatic thunderstorm hit with hail about half the size of a golf ball. It's been a challenge at times but always fun. Here is a couple pics. Small post due to being at a resturaunt.

bowl and pitcher campground near spokane.

on the road

Missouri Headwaters campground