Monday, March 30, 2009


Dallas' condition has declined dramatically since Friday. We left Tallahassee Friday afternoon for our grandparents' house in Tavares where we had planned a family gathering on the lake. Dallas was able to walk Friday with assistance, but by Saturday morning he was in a wheel chair. We've stopped all chemo and his doctor has made the referral to Big Bend Hospice. We stopped at Shands on our way home so Dallas could see his doctor and returned to Tallahassee Monday night.

We are so grateful to everyone for all of their support, thoughts and prayers. But most of all we're so grateful that Dallas has had such wonderful people in his life.

** A special note to all of Dallas' friends. Please come and see him whenever you're always or night. **

-J & S

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Defeat of the Platelets

Just as we always knew he would, Dallas definitely stuck it to those stubborn platelets. They were at 271,000 today! He had his weekly trip to Shands this morning which confirmed that his platelet level was still on the rise. He hasn't had a nose bleed in over four days!

Dr. Smith decided that since the platelets were so high he had the green light to begin taking Rapamycin along with the Tarceva he takes daily now. Both are oral chemo treatments which we're hopeful will slow Timmy down.

The numbness in his left side continues as does his neverending appetite, as demonstrated Saturday night during a BBQ with all his friends at the house. We had a nice turn out with about 20 or so people gathered around to eat burgers and play a little Beer Pong. Sunday included boating down at St. Marks.

Dallas is staying in Gainesville tonight to watch the Gators play in the NIT. Hopefully he'll continue to be their good luck charm. GO GATORS!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Springing Forward

With the new season coming what better time to start a new treatment? Dallas' platelet level is still climbing (at 64,000 today!) and his oncologist feels comfortable enough to start him on a new drug. This time it will be administered orally with a weekly visit to the oncologist in Gainesville.

The trips down south will keep on coming. Next weekend, the family (excluding myself sadly) will spend some time at the Grandparents lake house and again two weeks after that for Easter. Jonathan and I will hopefully be able to make that trip and escape what seems like a never ending "northern winter".

Another small vacation is being planned for a long weekend at the Suwannee River, where our Granddaddy used to have a house. And of course there's still the trip to visit the most awesome sister in the world in DC at the end of April.

Let's see those platelets try and beat all that!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Sorry for yet another delay. Dallas was released from Shands Monday evening and arrived back in Tallahassee on Wednesday night just in time for my visit. We've all been so busy since then that updating kept getting pushed back.

As of Friday morning Dallas' platelet level was still rising and had reached 31,000. Since my arrival, mom and I have been working hard on keeping up with his never ending appetite.

Symptoms such as numbness in his left side associated with the tumor have started to surface. On Tuesday he will make another trip to Shands to meet with Dr. Smith (his NO) to discuss the next step in treatment and possibly have an MRI. The MRI will help them to decide exactly what his options are and the best one to move forward with.

Since I've been back we've been very busy with excursions to the Junior Museum (now known as the Tallahassee Museum, but we'll never acknowledge the change), the beach at Alligator Point, watched numerous FSU basketball games (they just lost the ACC Championship unfortunately) and sat by the pool for a cookout. It's been a great visit filled with lots of laughter as usual, and I'll be very sad to leave tomorrow. Tonight David has promised to kick all our butts in Apples to Apples.

We'll see.


PS - New photos have been uploaded on the right. More will be posted soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Temperamental Platelets

It has been a roller coaster of a weekend, for the platelets anyway. After coming up to 15,000 on Friday they dropped again to 7,000 on Saturday. The doctors believe that surprisingly the Avastin (chemo) Dallas has been on since October may actually have caused the drops.

As of this morning his platelet count has risen to 15,000. They believe the increase is because they have taken him off of all meds and started administering steroids. When his counts reach 75,000 a new treatment path will be discussed and implemented. Hopefully sooner than later.

Poor Dallas seems to be bored out of his mind. He feels good and was finally allowed to go out for a walk yesterday but will not be released from the hospital until his counts reach 20,000. Dr. Smith (NO) seems to think that will be tomorrow or Wednesday if the rise continues. Until then he will have to occupy his time with episodes of Jerry Springer and Oprah.

That's all for now. Hopefully tomorrow will bring a post of hospital exodus.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Message Board for Dallas

Aside from leaving messages on here for Dallas, I also encourage everyone to use the Shands website:

Dallas will probably be there for the rest of the weekend so anything you send via that site will definitely reach him.

I know he would appreciate hearing from you all!


Platelets Need Attention Too


I've started updating Dallas' blog again with updates I've sent to friends since our smooth sailing has apparently ended.

I spoke too soon when I wrote last and said Dallas was reacting well to treatment. With the new drug that has been introduced into his bi-weekly infusions it takes 2-3 days for the side-effects to take hold. The weekend following that treatment (the weekend of Valentine's Day) he got sick, lost his appetite, felt constant nausea and had muscle aches that lasted for about two days.

Since then he was doing fairly well. He continued back with his classes and working regularly. However, on Monday he went for his weekly blood work, which monitors red and white cell and platelet levels, and found that his platelet level was down. Platelets help to clot the blood and prevent excessive bleeding if you have an injury, nosebleed, etc. He had two very heavy nosebleeds this weekend that took a long time to stop which now makes sense (he's always had one here and there and they have become more frequent during the past few years of treatment). An average person's platelet level is anywhere from 150,000 to 400,000. His was at 15,000. A transfusion was ordered for Tuesday. The next day his counts had barely risen. Yesterday they gave him another transfusion. His level still fell to 9,000. 8,000 is where it becomes extremely critical.

His oncologist, who is at Shands about 2.5 hours from Tallahassee, wanted to admit him there immediately so my parents drove him down last night. Since then his levels are up to 14,000, still not good. The problem is the transfusions are not working, the blood seems to be "eating them up". More tests are being done to make sure there is no internal bleeding, especially around the brain.

I've done some research on my own to see what the possible next steps would be but I'm not that bright so this pretty much came up fruitless. Obviously finding the cause of the constant drop in the level is key to determining what how to move forward. They don't seem to think is it the new drug since he hasn't had that since the middle of February (that drug is only given every other infusion). The drug that is given every bi-weekly infusion started in October so that is a very unlikely culprit as well.

The confusing thing is that he seems to feel fine. He had a headache briefly last night when the levels were at their lowest but that went away before he was admitted to Shands. This morning he has some bruising and little red spots which are very common when someone has levels this low. But again, he seems to feel fine and still has his appetite. Shands is an amazing facility with lots of good food and he's definitely taking advantage.

Today he is going be doing a lot of testing. A CAT Scan will be done to check for internal bleeding and a host of other tests will be conducted until the cause is found.

I'm afraid that's the only information I have for now. I made arrangements weeks ago to go back to Tallahassee this Wednesday to hang out with him after his next infusion (which includes the drug that made him sick a month ago) in case he felt terrible. As of right now I will stick with those plans. I'll update you all when we hear something, which hopefully will be soon.

Much love,