Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On to Phase 4...

It's been a while since our last report. At the end of February, we finished Phase 3, which was our last round of Methotrexate. We were glad to finally get through this phase. The final dose of chemotherapy was very hard on John. He experienced a lot of nausea, headaches and fatigue. To give you an idea of how lousy he felt - he stayed home and watched Cal win the Pac 10 conference championship at home in bed. Jimmy brought home a whole box of blue and gold confetti to celebrate when he got home -- I'm still finding pieces of it all over my house. John did go over to Cal a few days later to congratulate the coaching staff and team. He brought a banner that he colored, balloons and a 6 pack of yellow Gatorade for coach.

Phase 3 was also difficult due to the amount of time we had to spend in the hospital. We were there for between 3-5 days at a time, with only a week or so in between. I want to say a special thank you to my siblings for their support during this time. I'm so lucky to have been born into a large family and have married into an even larger one. Although Mike and I had the logistics handled on the home front, my brother and two sisters knew how emotional the hospital time would be for me. They each flew up for one of the treatments so I wouldn't be alone. Their support was incredible - I couldn't have done it without them. John has appropriately knicknamed all of them - Geoff "Uncle Chill", Jillian "Aunt Fun" (she actually named herself), and Melissa "Aunt Crafty". It seems my mom and dad did it right - they raised loving siblings who will drop everything to care for one another.

And now we've made it through Phase 3, and the great thing about John is when he rebounds, he does it big. John came back feeling strong and had a great 10 days catching up with his pals and being a kid. He was able to participate in Orinda Baseball's opening day and play in their first baseball game. (more on that later)

Where are we now? John has moved into his 4th and final phase before maintenance. We have been focused on getting to Phase 5, or maintenance, which we will last 15 months. This will be the phase where John can have his broviac removed, return to school and sports and start to get back to a "normal" life. He will still be getting treatment but it will be far less intense.

Phase 4, or Delayed Intensification, began on March 8th. This phase lasts approx 2 months and we basically redo phase 1 & 2 in a consolidated form. He has already had two rounds of chemo and should receive 3 more rounds which will all be administered at the outpatient clinic. Reconsolidation will happen in April and will consist of one last and final hospital stay (24 hours), 2 weeks of chemo administered at home by me and the last two spinal methotrexates.

As far as activities, we've been keeping busy. We spent this past week on a road trip down to LA to watch the Pac 10 basketball tournament. The boys had a great time watching a lot of basketball. Caroline and I enjoyed the better part of LA - shopping on Robertson Avenue and a visit to Newport Beach. We will continue to keep you posted on our progress!


  1. You are all in our prayers. We are so amazed by your strong will and bounce Johnny. You are very brave. Sending love and our support.

    love, Candy, Roger and Adam

  2. You are ALL amazing and such a great set of role models. Grueling but doing the job. Phase 4 will be tough, but the reward awaits.
    Sending strength and applause!

    Lisa and all the Alberts

  3. Kate & FamilyMarch 21, 2010

    Thinking of you, John, as you push through Phase 4....we are looking forward to hearing about Phase 5 and all the awesome activities you will then be invovled in! You have such an amazing family-both nuclear and extended. Hope you had a blast in LA and you are in our thoughts daily. Love to you all, Kate & Family

  4. Love reading the news...even if i am only a few blocks away and fortunate to see you all often. So glad things are moving right along...and that all the supports are in place. We are ready and waiting for any assignments you have for us....perhaps there are more nicknames to be created?!? Way to go Johnny!! and kudos to the whole family for sticking together as a strong unit!