Friday, January 18, 2008

Day 4 Update from Jeff

Day 4 of Sean's aggressive Therapy - We didn't really start the day until around 10:30 because of Sean's doctor wanting to visit with him......Sean, Karen and Kathy spoke highly of him prior to me meeting him today and I can see why...a totally COOL Doc!!! His name is Dr. Nitan Chandramouli (see photo) and he is so down to earth its' not funny. [Pay attention Dr. Wright and future Dr. Martella]

He listens and answers our questions while putting us at ease; after all, Cancer is one of the worst words a doctor can ever have come out of his/her mouth! He spends quality time with us versus the "rush in and rush out" type treatment along with a good mix/sense of humor with serious knowledge / advice / recommendations, he's very focused on seeing us through the treatments and wanting to know every little detail because they can often lead to other signs/symptoms that are part of the therapy, and on and on and on......this is a doctor that changed his field of practice (while in college) 2 or 3 times before deciding on "Internal/Oncology" medicine. Oh well, the visit went well and Sean's still having the standard Nausea (not too bad though) along with the "all night get up and down #1 visits to the bathroom every night" because of the fluids being pumped in during the day...totally normal and he's still maintaining a positive attitude. Sean's incision from surgery is healing nicely as the bandage was removed today and it looks very nice according to the doctor. I asked the doctor when he expected Sean to start losing his hair so I could plan on my day of shaving and it looks like another 2-3 weeks, so I'm going to plan a Shaving party for my next visit up in SLC (probably around the week of February 4th). After all, if he's going to lose it, then so will I.

Future Important Visits for MRI and CT Scans
: MRI of the Brain to ensure NO spots (last big hurdle for fast/prayer) is scheduled for 7:00am on 1/24 and then he'll do a CT Scan after the treatments (March/April) because he can monitor Sean's blood markers daily if needed to ensure the Chemo is doing its thing. I'm sure there will be others, but these were the 2 biggies I wanted to make everyone aware of to this point.

One of the office staff members came over to our little "fish tank" corner and handed us a couple of buttons that read, "Cancer Sucks" in big bold letters because I was asking her about the yellow "LIVESTRONG" wristbands that are apart of the Lance Armstrong's cancer foundation for us to show our support, she only had one child size wristband at the time (too small for Sean and I, so teeny tiny Kathy is wearing it proudly) was a very nice gesture from the office staff as they have been so nice to us!!!

Before my trip up here to visit with Sean during his therapy, I had the opportunity of visiting with some very good longtime friends (Francois family in Chandler Arizona) from when we lived in Arizona back in the mid 90's and he is now a Bishop in our Church and it was his counsel/advice/friendship that night that put me in the right frame of mind to return home in Salt Lake City with the proper spirit/mindset and I will always be grateful to him and Laura for being there...he read a few verses to me out of D&C 78 that caused me to think differently because the Lord has a plan for each of us and sometimes we don't see it when it's right before our very eyes...I am thankful for my blessings and and I will be faithful to the end as Brian and I discussed the proper peace of mind during the various trials/challenges in our lives.

One last thing before I let you go because this really tells the story of our family; my wife Kathy has decided to defer her Dental Hygiene program/schooling for a year while she tends to our family with me in Phoenix/Scottsdale working for great hotel company at their Hilton Garden Inn and other/future projects. Kathy is without a doubt the backbone if not the frontbone of our family and Sean is so LUCKY to have a mother like this in his life today as I am very grateful to have a friend and wife in her...thanks Honey and please know how much we LOVE you for what you do.

Keep up that Martella Spirit gang and thanks again for your SEAN support!!! jm


Melanie Whiting said...

You guys are awesome. I think of you all the time. What troopers!!! I love the blog and that we can see his progress. Sean looks great for having chemo. Funny that you are playing yahtzee. Way to keep your spirits high. I love you guys and keep up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean, Taffy, Jeff and girls,
It's a good thing I have Melanie around to get me into the computer to see how all is going. I have been thinking of you all and praying for you. Having been the chemo support for my brother not too long ago, I know it is very tiring, but it sounds like you are doing great! Uncle Mike and I are thinking of you all. Jeff, I was so happy to hear that you got some good advice before you came home. Sometimes when things like this happen, it is very hard to understand. I am thankful that you are all upbeat cause it will help so much. The Dr. seems awesome and I am so glad that you have one that truly cares. That is huge. Thanks for the updates. We haven't called because we know you need peace and quiet when you get home, but know you are in our thoughts. Taffy, hopefully by putting school off you can have a little more rest and not be so stressed. Sean, we love you and you look like you are doing well. Hope the nausea lets up soon. Love, Aunt Diane and Uncle Mike

Annban10 said...

Martella's- :)

I am grateful for this blog..

Journaling your thoughts and also capturing the whole process with pictures will be of help to others in the future as well, I'm sure. Uncle Jeff, I'm sure you were inspired to go and see your old friends... I'm glad you had that experience. I hope your health is good also. We worry about you too..

What great parents you have Sean! We continue to pray for each of your family members, and want you to know that we love you! You have ALOT of support!

Family is what is most important...
Loveya, Ann and Chad and Family

M & M said...

What I really want to know is: Taffy, are you shaving your head too?


Rich said...

Sean, Karen, Taffy, Jeff, Nat and Steph,

We sure love you guys! Hang in there, and know that you have tons of support out here. I'm happily wearing my livestrong wristband (I'll bring a few up with me when I bring g-ma and g-pa up Monday). Whenever we think of inspirational stories to tell people, your story and the story of your dad and mom, are an amazing inspiration to all of us. It shows how inspiring family interconnections can be for all of us. We think your desire to become a neurologist is absolutely wonderful, and with an awesome friend like Karen, and inspiration from people like Lance A., we expect you'll be another amazing success story!

Love, Uncle Rich, Grandma and Grandpa Tenney

Anonymous said...

Jeff, Kathy, Sean, Natalie and Stephanie...You are such a WONDERFUL example of how "families" are to pull together during these trying times. Karen and her parents have also been WONDERFUL...Please let them know how much we appreciate their support, help and the loving care they give to you all. WE WISH WE WERE THERE TO HELP YOU TOO. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers constantly. Lastnight was a HUGE scare and I am sure it is SO HARD to see your child in so much pain and not be able to do anything EXCEPT what you did...YOU did the RIGHT thing and brought him to get "medical help." He WILL have to take pain meds and meds for his stomach to get through this...It was SO HARD to see Mom go through her chemo treatments and everything that Sean is going through now. Dad and I felt SO HELPLESS...I had to shave Moms head when her hair started falling out. She asked me to shave it for her. (I know you'll all think I am crazy but I kept a little chunk of her hair and I put a little baggy) I don't know why I did save some but I felt I needed to. I had to shave her bald. HOW FLIPPING HARD DO YOU THINK THIS WAS??? It was DEVASTATING for me, Mom and Dad to watch me shave her head...Thank you so much for contacting us last night so we could pray as a family for you all. I KNOW Sean WILL beat this cancer...PLEASE take care of yourselves so you can stay strong too...Jeff, I know you are in constant pain and getting weak with your MS so PLEASE take care of yourself too. Kathy, I know this was a hard decision putting schooling off for 1 year. You BOTH are examples of the "unconditional love" and the sacrifice you give to make sure your family is taken care of. I AM PROUD TO BE A MARTELLA TOO...WE ALL LOVE YOU.... Love to you all, The Martella Family