August 8, 2005

Not much news to report for the last three weeks – Remember – “No News Is Good News”

Diana had her chemo treatment this past Wednesday in Frisco at Dr. Trillio’s office. All went well. However, even in this more relaxed environment – no travel, short drive from home and no other tests – Diana’s blood pressure was really high. 165/98. Every-time we go for a test or to a doctor’s office – Diana has her blood pressure taken. Normal procedure. Usually, it is higher than normal but not this high. Later that afternoon at home – she tested at 145/ 88. The next morning she was back to 125/78. Poor Diana really gets nervous going to the Doctors.

Diana has had a mild reaction to the chemo treatment this time but has not been nauseated. She has been quite tired, We rested most of the weekend. The prior 2 or 3 treatments she really had no reaction.

The past 3 weeks have been good. We have gone out to eat, movies and shopping several times. No long trips and no bowling – my knee is still not fully recovered from that activity. Almost recovered but still a little sore – but it is getting better every day.

We are making progress on the sale of Diana’s business. There are several companies/people interested. Our goal is to have an offer/deal by the end of this month. Diana is happy/unhappy about selling the business. She started it in 1993 and even though she won’t admit – is emotionally involved. I have started and sold businesses before, so I am not as attached as Diana.

We are scheduled to be at MD Anderson the week of August 22. Diana is scheduled for blood tests, x-rays and CT Scan at that time. We will see the Dr. on Wednesday. If all goes well she will have her chemo treatment after seeing the Dr. on Wednesday of that week. We will have more to report at that time.

Diana is looking great and enjoying each day. I come by for lunch every day. We eat at home a couple of times per week. Often I will pick her up. We will usually go to Subway and get a sandwich. There is a nice park nearby with benches and we often sit on the bench and enjoy each other’s company while we eat. It is so great to see her feeling so well.

Diana really enjoyed the drum corp competition. We left our home early and had a quick snack before the competition started near the stadium. We had great seats near the center of the field. Diana brought her binoculars so she could spy on the buglers – make sure their uniforms were perfect etc. She is a neat freak as you probably know and of course spotted every mistake made. There were two or three top corps and the rest were good but not in the same class as the best. The corps came from all over the US – New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, North Carolina, Ohio,…. It was a hot but fun night. Good entertainment even for me.

Again – thanks for your support and prayers. We really appreciate them

August 25, 2005

We drove to Houston on Monday, August 22. Diana had her regular 6 week test cycle scheduled – followed by a meeting with the Doctor on Wednesday and her scheduled chemo treatment after the Dr visit.

We did the series of tests on Monday and Tuesday. All went well.

On Wednesday AM we met with Colleen – Dr. Blumenschein PA (Physician Assistant) and Dr, Lu. Dr. Lu is a colleague of Dr. Blumenschein’s – Dr. Blumenschein was out of town but in communications with Dr. Lu about Diana.

The results of Diana’s tests were mostly good. The lung tumor was stable. No new cancer was detected in or around the lung. Her physical signs were great. However, a new tumor – about 2 cm in diameter – was detected in her liver. There was only one tumor in the liver and it was perfectly round. As a result of this new tumor it was decided to delay Diana’s treatment until a biopsy could be performed on the new tumor in the liver.

Thus Diana has an appointment at MD Anderson scheduled for Monday afternoon 8/29 with the liver specialists. She is scheduled for a biopsy on Tuesday morning, 8/30 at 9:00 AM. We will probably not have any results of the biopsy until our next appointment with Dr. Blumenschein which is scheduled for Wednesday 9/6 at 10:30 AM. We plan to drive home Tuesday after she is released from her biopsy procedure.

Based upon our discussions with the Drs. this week the tentative plan is as follows:

If the tumor in the liver is malignant – it will probably mean a change of treatment for Diana to a new chemo. This has not been decided yet.

If the tumor is benign – she will probably continue with the same chemo treatment – Alimpta.

Until the results of the biopsy are received – her treatments are on hold.

Diana has been feeling great the past 3 weeks. She has been very strong and very active. We have been getting up early for an early morning walk (leave at 6:30 AM and get back at 7 AM) nearly every day. Diana had a slight reaction following her last chemo treatment – she was tired for about 2 days. No nausea, just fatigue. She bounced back and has been very active. Physically, she looks great.

We drove home Wednesday afternoon. She did set a new personal high for blood pressure on this trip – 165/115. The nurses are now expecting her to be high and don’t get as nervous and concerned as they did in the past. As soon as we got home last night – we took Diana’s blood pressure again. It had dropped to 148/101.

Today it was back to 140/98. By tomorrow she will be even lower. Once she crosses the threshold of MD Anderson – her blood pressure soars.

We have our fingers crossed and will be spending lots of prayer time the next few days. Everything has been going so well. We did not expect the finding that the CT Scan showed. Diana is taking it well – better than me I think although I hope I am not showing my anxiety to her about this turn of events. We will drive to Houston on Monday morning leaving around 6:30 and plan to return home Tuesday afternoon/evening.

We have received several offers for her business and we hope to have a deal by the end of this month. The potential buyer will then have up to 45 days to accomplish their due diligence. If all goes well, we will have a sale by mid October. Diana is happy but sad about the sale of her business. Her emotions are still with her business. She grew it from scratch and is definitely attached to it.

Thanks for your continuing support and prayers.

September 11, 2005

We traveled to Houston this past week on Tuesday. Sept. 6 to meet with Dr. Blumenschein on Wednesday Sept 7, Fortunately we had made our reservations with the Marriott earlier. When we arrived the hotel was full of people escaping the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. We spoke with several people who did not know the status of their homes. All of the people we spoke with only have the clothes they took with them. Wow, we did not expect to be in the middle of this disaster but we feel for the people.


We both have been very nervous since the biopsy. We did not do as many outside activities during this period. We spent more time at home resting and trying to relax. Not an easy time. Unfortunately, Dr. Blumenschein confirmed that Diana’s liver lesion was malignant. However, he was very optimistic – he told us that her lung was very stable. No signs of any new cancer there. The tumor in her lung was stable. The liver tumor was only 1.2 CM in size and there was only one lesion. He was pleased with Diana’s overall physical condition.Dr. Blumenschein explained the options to treat Diana’s new tumor. He explained again that over time cancer cells tend to build an immunity against a chemo being used – and that is what happened to Diana – her chemo – Alimpta – had done a great job of killing the cancer cells but finally some cancer cells built up an immunity to the Alimpta chemo and spread to her liver. Thus the new lesion on the liver. Dr. Blumenschein stated that we could change to a new chemo type. However, Dr. Blumenschein felt it was time to attack her cancer with new anti cancer drugs.

Dr. Blumenschein spoke to us about a new Clinical Trial that he hoped would open to new patients soon by the beginning of October Diana would meet the requirements and he felt the drugs being used would work well in her system. The new drugs are Tarceva – an approved FDA drug and RID001. Both are pills which will be taken orally Both of these drugs are designed to block tumor growth by targeting protein cells that are present on the surface of the cancer cells. The two drugs work in different ways to achieve their goal. Tarceva is approved for lung cancer treatment. RID001 has not been used for lung cancer treatment previously – it has however been used for other cancers. This is the first time the two drugs will be taken simultaneously by a patient.

Dr. B was very confident Diana could wait until early October to start a new treatment cycle. However, she was not guaranteed to be selected as only 6 new patients were to be selected. The trial is being conducted jointly at MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic. He had already submitted her name before our visit. Dr. B had us meet with the Research Nurse for the Clinical Trial. She explained the Clinical Trial procedures in more detail.

We arrived home late Wednesday night – actually early Thursday AM and received a phone call from the Research Nurse on Friday. The Clinical Nurse called to let us know that Diana had been selected for the clinical trial. She had a tentative schedule that will finalized in the next few days. It was good news. No more chemo and IV transfusions. Chemo is such a difficult treatment for anyone to endure. Now Diana will only have to take some oral pills and there is no nausea associated with them. There are of course possible reactions to the drugs.

Tentatively, Diana is scheduled to start on this new medication the week of Sept 20. We will have to be in Houston at MD Anderson for 2 weeks initially. During this period she will start to take the pills in a controlled manner. They will be monitoring her blood with a sample taken every 3 hours. We will then need to be at MD Anderson one day a week for the next 3 weeks. Once past the initial startup procedure – we will have a monthly visit with Dr. Blumenschein. CT Scans, etc, will be done every 2 months.

We are both pleased that the Clinical Trial opened early and that Diana will be included. At least the uncertainty of Diana’s future treatment has been resolved. The clinical trial is very comforting to Diana. We are anxious to get on with the treatment. Diana is happier when she is getting the treatment. The thought of the cancer cells in her liver without any treatment is a little unnerving to both of us. We will be more relaxed once Diana starts the treatment process.

Prior to this past visit – I had discussed with Diana that we should discuss her blood pressure with Dr. B. Every time we go to MD Anderson – it is very high. We have been taking her blood pressure at home and it seems to have settled in the 130 – 140 range. Higher than it used to be. Anyway, we agreed to discuss her blood pressure with Dr. B.

Anyway – the nurse comes into the room and takes Diana’s blood pressure before we see Dr, Blumenschein – we are all waiting for the blood pressure gauge to “pin the needle” – however, it only measures 126/88. Which is great. It figures, the one time we expected it to be high and it is low.

We relate the info to Dr. B and he says that Diana’s blood pressure has been a little high from the beginning and it is nothing to be worried about. Later Wednesday afternoon – Diana got an IV of Zometa – a Calcium supplement that she usually got as part of her chemo. Since she did not have her last chemo treatment – she didn’t get her Zometa. Dr. B wanted her to have it. We go to that portion of the clinic. A nurse takes her blood pressure again – standard procedure every time you go to a new area in the clinic – Diana was back to 145/94. At least we are not worrying about it as we were before this trip.

We have a week of rest while we prepare for our 2 weeks at MD Anderson. Her blood pressure has been in the 120/130 the past two days – really good.

Diana looks great. She has been coming to work for about 4 hours per day and really active. She is really doing well! And she is helping me get the records in order as we finalize the sale of her Company (unbeknownst to the employees of course.)

Thanks for your continued prayers and support.


September 25, 2005

We traveled to Houston on Monday, September 19. There was a new hurricane – Rita – brewing in the Gulf and headed for Texas. Hurricane Katrina had already hit New Orleans. Our hotel was full of New Orleans people. FEMA had set up a desk work area in the lobby for displaced New Orleans folks that were staying at the hotel. There were kids running all over the place. The Marriott had to close their swimming pool because some kids had dumped soap in it and it had turned to a bubble bath. Fortunately we had a room since all of the Houston hotels were full with people displaced by Katrina. Now we were expecting Rita to hit Texas. It was an uneasy situation in Houston.

Diana had a full schedule of tests and meetings on Tuesday starting at 6:20 AM with a chest x-ray. Next was a CT Scan followed by a meeting with the Research Nurse for the Clinical Trial. After that meeting Diana had an EKG followed by a meeting with Dr. Blumenschein.

All went well except for her blood pressure and the EKG. The EKG printout stated abnormal – what was abnormal we don’t know. Diana was provided with a copy of the EKG to give to Dr. Blumenschein. He told her (and me too) not to worry – all looked fine on the EKG printout to him and to ignore the machines abnormal interpretation. We both felt relieved. Dr. Blumenschein said all was set for Diana to start the Clinical Trial Treatment on Thursday. The fact that Dr. B was going to start the clinical trial on Thursday was extra assurance that there was nothing wrong with the EKG. We left the clinic – had a very late lunch and retired to our hotel to follow the progress of Hurricane Rita.

The next morning, when we woke up at 6:30 AM, we turned on the TV in the hotel room. All that was on TV was information regarding evacuation routes from Houston and school closings for the rest of the week. Hurricane Rita was now pointed at Houston and expected to hit Saturday/Sunday timeframe. Galveston Beach – about 40 miles south of Houston, was in a mandatory evacuation zone. We had a 9:00 am meeting the Research Nurse. At 8 AM I called via telephone to her office to verify our meeting and treatment schedule was still valid. She said all was still a green light. With what had just happened in New Orleans – it felt like Houston was about to go into a panic situation.

We left for the Clinic and our 9 AM Meeting. As soon as we met with the Research Nurse, she told us that they were worried about starting Diana’s treatment on Thursday. Did not want to have the process interrupted by Hurricane Rita. Thus we were going to postpone her first treatment until next Thursday – 9/29. We agreed. She said she would change all the schedules accordingly. We left the clinic and went back to,the hotel to checkout.

We got on infamous Interstate 45 which is the highway that connects Houston & Dallas about 11:30 AM It took us 6 hours to drive home – about an hour longer than normal because of evacuation traffic. However people who left Houston only a couple of hours after we did – took from 12 – 24 hours to make the trip because of the ensuing traffic jam on that highway. Cars were running out of gas. Everyone was trying to leave Houston at the same time. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US so it was a huge number of people trying to evacuate. Traffic jams the likes of which had not been seen in this area occurred. We were very lucky to get out of Houston when we did.

On our ride home Wednesday afternoon – we received a phone call from MD Anderson that all appointments except emergency ones were cancelled for Thursday & Friday. The Clinic was going to be officially closed on those days. Fortunately, we were already on our way home.

We are now home and do not have a schedule for next week. I will get on the telephone on Monday to verify/setup our next weeks’s schedule.

Hurricane Rita eventually veered East and missed the Galveston/Houston area totally. We did not even get any rain or winds in Dallas. Today, Sunday, the sun is shining brightly. The temperature high for the day will be about 95. Another normal day in Dallas. Even though Hurricane Rita did not hit the Houston area, Houston was basically shut down by the fact that so many people evacuated the city. I will try and call MD Anderson on Monday and get a revised schedule for Diana’s treatments.

In the meantime, we have accepted an offer for Diana’s company. The potential buyer is requesting lots of information which I am doing my best to provide. I have been meeting him early in the morning at a Starbucks and giving him the information he has requested. At least I am getting an early start with coffee. We are looking at a closing of mid October. Even Diana is starting to get a little excited about the sale – although she does miss her company. She knows it is what we need to do and will allow us to concentrate on moving. Our next obstacle will be our house once we find a new one in the Houston area. Since we will be spending lots of time in Houston the next couple of weeks for her clinical trial treatment, we should have plenty of time to look for a house.

Thanks for your continuing support and prayers.

October 14, 2005

Hurricane Rita came and left with no damage in the Houston or Dallas areas. However, Hurricane Rita did cause MD Anderson to accept only emergency patients for about 2 weeks. The reason was because so many of their employees had evacuated the Houston area prior to the storm’s expected arrival date. With the evacuation process taking so long – 24 hours to go to Dallas – Many of the Houston residents did not try to return for many days. Two weeks later, all is finally back to normal in Houston.

We had a rescheduled meeting with Dr. Blumenschein on Oct 4. So we drove to Houston on Tuesday Oct 3. Dr. Blumenschein had read Diana’s CT Scan and saw some very small growth in her tumors. Diana has been off of any chemo since early August. Dr. Blumenschein wanted to get Diana back on medication asap. The clinical trial that Diana was approved for and supposed to start earlier was temporarily closed for new patients. One of the people on the clinical trial had had a skin reaction and no new patients would be started until it was determined if the skin reaction was caused by the clinical trial medication. So here we are back to ground zero again with no treatment plan.

After discussing options as well as pros and cons – Diana agreed to start a new Clinical Trial, taking a drug referred to as RAD 001. Diana will be the first patient at MD Anderson to take this new medication. The medication has been given to several patients at both Dana Farber (Boston) and Mayo Clinic (MN) for the past 2-3 months and they have seen great success. The drug is one of the new “Smart Drugs”. Whereas, chemo is very toxic and targets all fast growing cells in one’s body (even good cells like hair cells), this drug is designed to seek out and only attack the cancer cells. It cuts off the blood supply to the cancer cells. The idea is not to eliminate the cancer cells but to prevent them from growing/spreading. Diana takes 2 pills orally each day.

After meeting with Dr. Blumenschein last week and agreeing to start the Clinical Trial, we met with the Research Nurse assigned to this Trial. She informed us that the protocol for this Clinical Trial required that all tests be completed within 2 weeks of starting the Clinical Trial. All of the tests that Diana had done in September were now out of date. So Diana had to do the following tests over again: Blood Tests, X-Ray, EKG, CT Scan and PET Scan. We remained in Houston thru Friday last week to finish the tests. We made arrangements with the nurse to take the new medication home with us – but agreed to not start taking the pills until all of Diana’s tests were reviewed. Once all was approved, the research nurse would call Diana to give her authorization to start the trial.

On Monday Oct 10, Diana was given the green light to start taking the RAD 001 medication. She takes it daily with a low fat breakfast. This medication is much less toxic than chemo and Diana has not had any abnormal reactions so far. All has been going well.

As part of the Clinical Trial, Diana has to be in Houston the next four weeks. We will be leaving each Sunday and spending Monday/Tuesday at MD Anderson to meet with the Research Nurse and do additional tests. On days 8 and 29 of the Clinical Trial Diana will get a PET Scan in addition to her X-rays and blood tests. Once past this initial time frame if all is going well – we will only need to be in Houston once per month for a CT Scan and meetings with Dr. Blumenschein.and the Research Nurse. It will mean about 3 days in Houston per each monthly trip.

Diana has been very active during the past 3 weeks. She been working part time every day we are not in Houston. Our days are active and Diana has resumed most activities except golf. There isn’t sufficient time for golf for either of us in our current situation. The sale of Diana’s company is proceeding well and a closing date of October 19 has been set. For the first time, Diana is actually looking forward to the sale. Once the sale is completed, we can focus our attention on finding a new home in the Houston area. Since we are scheduled to be spending much of future time in Houston, we will have plenty of time to look for the house. All else is well.

Thanks for your support and prayers. They are really appreciated.

November 20, 2005

Well time flies and it has been 30 days since Diana started the Clinical Trial using the new drug RAD001. Lots has happened in the past 30 days. The sale of Diana;s company was completed on October 19. I am committed to spending the next thirty days assisting the buyer. Diana and I went to the closing in the lawyer’s office. Diana signed all the documents. Around noon we went back to her office to notify the employees of the transaction and introduce the new owner. All went well.

During the past 30 days Diana has been complaining of more muscle pain in her shoulder and right thigh than previously. Otherwise, no significant visual signs were detected. After being on the RAD001 for about 2 weeks, we met with Diana’s cholesterol Doctor in Dallas. One of the side effects of the drug Diana is taking for cholesterol – Crestor – is muscle pain. Her cholesterol count was down to 180 so he suggested to stop taking Crestor for a short while to see if the muscle pain went away. The muscle pain did not go away and Diana’s Cholesterol count went up to 285 in 10 days. She is back taking Crestor once again and her level will be measured on our next trip to MD Anderson in December.

One of our best friend’s sons was getting married on November 12 in Boston. We had made plans to attend – flying up on Thursday November 10 and returning home on Sunday. We had purchased our airline tickets and made hotel reservations but we were not sure if we would go. The final decision would be dependent upon how Diana felt at that time and her schedule at MD Anderson. Her schedule allowed us to fit the trip in, however, Diana was still mentally and physically stressed by the tumor growth determined at our last MD Anderson visit. She was also physically and mentally fatigued. After much discussion, Diana decided to make the trip to Boston. Even though we were there for only a short time, we saw many friends and had a good time. The weather was cold – we stayed at the Hilton in Back Bay and walked on Newbury Street – one of Diana’s favorite streets for shopping. It was a great wedding. A trolley car picked us up and took us to the church. After the ceremony, the trolley took us to the reception at The Old Meeting House in Boston. Other than going to the wedding and reception, most of our time was spent resting in our hotel room.

We arrived home on Sunday and pronto – it was time for a checkup in Houston at MD Anderson Clinic. Upon arriving in Houston on Monday, Diana had her normal blood tests and chest x-ray. In addition she also had a CT Scan and a PET scan. Diana also had a PET scan prior to starting the Clinical trial – therefore we would get an update on that test also during our visit.

On Wednesday Nov. 18 we met with Dr. Blumenschein. He gave us some good news and some not so good news. The lesion in Diana’s lung had shrunk – it has previously grown a little during the 2 months (August & September) that Diana did not have any medication. That was the good news. However, the lesion on her liver showed growth of a few millimeters. The PET Scan also showed two new spots on Diana’s spine. Dr. Blumenschein made an instant decision to stop the Clinical Trial medication – RAD001 – and had Diana start taking a new recently approved FDA drug – Tarceva. Again, it is an oral pill taken once per day. Dr. Blumenschein was pleased with how Diana looked and felt overall, but he was not happy with the liver lesion growth even though it was very minimal.

We are now back in Frisco. Diana has been taking Tarceva for a few days now. So far, no visible side effects which is good. She appears to be losing some of the muscle pain which could mean the pain was coming from the drug RAD001 reaction. It is still very early and time will tell if the muscle pain goes away. Otherwise, she is quite active.

We are scheduled to be back in Houston for tests and a check up with Dr. Blumenschein starting on December 12.

Please note my change of email address. We are getting so much spam on the old addresses that Diana and I have changed our email addresses. We have tried to filter out the spam but also lose good email in the process. So please correspond to our new email address – Diana’s is Since we sold Diana’s company, we would also be losing access to the domain name used in our email addresses. Please make the change.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday. We are going to enjoy ours at home. It has been a busy and very active month for Diana. We will both enjoy the rest at home – especially since we no longer have to go to her office to catch up on work. We will both relax.

December 20, 2005

We visited MD Anderson this past week for Diana’s scheduled tests and an appointment with Dr. Blumenschein.

Diana has been taking her new oral medicine daily – Tarceva for about 30 days now. Since taking Tarceva, her physical strength has increased. The pain in her shoulder, thigh and back have decreased measurably. At the end of each day’s activity or project, it is now me requesting that we slow down and take a rest – not Diana. Good signs.

Dr. Blumenschein reported that all results were stable in the tests. Diana has also been taking her cholesterol medicine again for about a month now. Her cholesterol measurement dropped to 159 – the lowest it has been in many a year.

Dr. Blumenschein was very pleased with Diana’s physical condition – said it was a great sign that the Tarceva appears to be working very well on Diana. He gave Diana a green light to proceed for another 30 days of Tarceva. He scheduled her next visit for the week of January 16, 2006. She will have another CT Scan at that time to measure the progress of the Tarceva.

While we were in Houston, we spent our free time looking at new houses of course. Diana has found a house she likes. Diana wants to build a house rather than buy one finished. She built our Frisco house working with an architect and contractor. This time, she has found a house plan she likes and we will work directly with the builder. Of course the plan will have to have some modifications to walls, etc to meet Diana’s requirements. However, she is quite excited. It will take approximately 6 months to build and should be ready in June 2007. Traveling around Houston and looking at houses has been a good activity for our minds. We are thinking about MD Anderson 24 hours per day while we are here. It is really great to have something else for Diana to worry about – rather than her cancer.

It has been great not having to worry about Diana’s business. I am still assisting the new buyer but spending much less time in the office and more with Diana. My focus has moved to selling the building that Diana’s business was housed in. It is a 3000 sq. ft. building built in 2003 that we purchased new as part of a 30 unit free standing, single story, condominium business complex called Town & Country Park. It is located approximately 1 mile from our house across from Stonebriar CC in Frisco, TX. The buyer of Diana’s business already has space in Addison, a town approximately 10 miles south and plans to consolidate his businesses in the Addison location by January 31. My next task is to get this building listed with an agent. We are both enjoying out time together. We are even doing errands together. With Diana looking and feeling better, We enthusiastically look forward to each day with our early morning walk.

In the meantime – we are looking forward to enjoying the Holidays this year. We will be putting our Frisco house up for sale soon – assuming we finalize the purchase of the new house in Katy TX. But it means this will be our last Christmas in our Frisco house where we have lived since 1990. Christmas will be a happy and sad time. Last year was a very depressing one. Diana had been just diagnosed. We really had no idea of what the future would be for us. Would Christmas 2004 be our last Christmas together? Those thoughts were in both of our minds at this holiday time last year. This year will be different.

This year, Diana’s brother and his wife will be visiting for Christmas week. We will enjoy their company. We have a couple of short day trips planned. We also have an early New Year’s Eve dinner reservation at a local restaurant planned with friends. We have a lot to be thankful for this year and will certainly enjoy the holidays best we can.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Have a Happy Holiday season. We are going to enjoy ours at home.

January 19, 2006

Christmas was both a joyous and sad time. We knew it would be our last Christmas at our Frisco house which we called home for 16 years. We took a day trip to the Gaylord Texan Hotel. It is a fantastic hotel – Las Vegas style – and has a replica of many parts of Texas landmarks such as the Alamo, San Antonio Riverwalk, The Palo Dura Canyons, Oil Derrick, integrated into a setting inside the hotel walls connected with walking trails that are lavishly landscaped. It is a great hotel and visitor spot. We spent a couple of hours just walking and eating at the hotel. While we were there, I met with their landscape manager. As many of you know, Diana has had a small waterfall and pool in our yard where she has raised Koi fish. She started with five about 7 years ago. There are now thirty fish in the pond – really too many for the size of the pond. So while we were at the Gaylord Texan, I made a deal with the manager to move 25 of Diana’s fish from our pond to their Riverwalk. In return, they gave us several nights lodging and free meals at all three of their restaurants for two. The Gaylord would hire a company to move the fish at a date we agreed. Diana was quite happy knowing that her fish will be in such an elegant setting and one that we can visit in the future.

It has been a very busy time. Besides finishing up my support to the buyer of I have signed an agent for the sale of our building. In addition, we had initial meetings with several real estate agents on the sale of our house. The house is in nice shape – Diana redid the kitchen and family room a couple of years ago. She ripped up the tile and carpeting and had the concrete stained. This is a finish you find more in commercial buildings but looks great in our house. One issue we have with the house is that we have cedar shingles for the roof. Lifetime for a cedar shingle roof is 20 – 25 years. This type of roofing material was very chic twenty years ago when we built the house. However, there have been some housing developments built with houses close together using cedar shingle roofs and with Texas winds, when one house caught fire for any reason, sparks were easily transferred to adjacent roofs which caused several houses to burn. So insurance companies no longer like cedar shingle roofs. Rather than put on a new roof that a potential buyer may not like, we have decided to include 50% of the cost of a new roof in the price and the buyer can select the roof the buyer likes. Our real estate agent suggested this and it sounds like a good idea. We plan to put the house officially for sale on February 1, 2006.

We drove to Houston on Monday for Diana’s tests on Tuesday and appointment with Dr. Blumenschein Wednesday at MD Anderson. Our first stop was to meet with the builder and sign contracts on a new house that we would build in Katy, TX. Diana was excited and happy with the new house she had selected. The house had a “mother-in-law suite” (bedroom and sitting room with private bath) and a guest bedroom with private bath. Diana has been watching much TV as she is resting and has fallen in love with the HGTV designer’s shows. We agreed – Diana said she wanted to work with a designer and I got the opportunity to say yes – that we would work with a designer on the house. As part of the negotiation with the builder, we wanted to take possession of the house prior to completion of the finish work such as painting, floors, tile, etc. We were also making many changes to the walls on the inside. We finally got agreement with the builder and signed contracts. Of course we did not have an interior designer selected so that would be our next goal on our next trip.

Diana had started on Tarceva – her new oral drug on Nov 11 after her previous CT Scan (on Nov 8) had shown growth of her liver lesion. Diana was taking a clinical trial drug at that time but because of new cancer growth Dr. Blumenschein stopped the clinical trial and started the new drug – Tarceva.

Needless to say – we were both a little nervous – in actuality extremely nervous – for the results. It has been six months since we have had positive results from her treatments. Diana has felt good and been very active for the past month. After Christmas, she caught a cold (from me) and a cough is still lingering. Otherwise, she has been feeling really good. Hasn’t taken any pain pills in over 2 months (Previously she was taking 2 or 3 every day) She has had some of the expected side affects from Tarceva – most people have their face break out badly, Diana’s hasn’t, but she does have very dry skin. Another side affect is diarrhea – which unfortunately Diana has experienced. These side affects are minimal when compared to those that Diana had with the Chemo. (From my perspective that is, however, I am not having to deal with them.)

Anyway, we got great news from Dr. Blumenschein. The lesions (tumors) in/on Diana’s liver and lung have shrunk substantially. We viewed her CT of Nov 8 versus her CT scan of Jan 17 side by side on a computer screen, In November, her Liver lesion was about the size of a quarter in diameter. On January 17, it was the size of the head of a ten penny nail. Substantially smaller. The cancer in her bones was stable and no new cancer was detected by the radiologist. Dr. Blumenschein was very pleased. Diana and I were ecstatic and had a very nice ride home. Finally we had something to cheer about. This past year has really been a time of ups and downs. We have had some pretty low downs and some pretty high ups.

Dr. Blumenschein is going to have Diana get a monthly infusion of Zometa – this is a drug to help strengthen her bones. She had previously been receiving Zometa at the same time as her Chemo treatments.It takes about 15 minutes for the infusion. However, it was too late to receive it at MD Anderson yesterday, so we will schedule her to get it in Frisco rather than stay another night in Houston.

Finally, our next appointment with D. Blumenschein at which time Diana will also get her CT Scan and associated tests (blood, x-ray, etc) will be in TWO months – mid March. Dr. Blumenschein said he will miss seeing Diana as often as he has in the past but is very pleased with her progress. Don’t have the dates yet – should have them in a day or so. As soon as the appointments are scheduled, we will pick them up from the internet.

That means no update report from me until after our next visit to Dr. Blumenschein in March. The two month appointment time was such a boost for Diana. You would’ve thought someone gave her a million dollars from her reactions.

Thanks for your support and prayers. We really appreciate them

March 16, 2006

The two months since our last visit to MD-Anderson in January has past very quickly. During this time period, Diana has been feeling well and has been very active. We put our house up for sale the middle of February – so there has been lots of cleaning, sorting, etc associated with that task. Diana and I have been very busy with this task. Fortunately or unfortunately, the house sold within the first week it was on the market. We now have to vacate our house by April 7 – and of course the house we are purchasing in the Houston area will not be completed until mid July. We were not prepared for such a fast sale and – Yes we will be homeless starting in April. Good news that the house sold so fast but a new problem for me to solve – where do we live in the meantime.

We have also received interest from a buyer – from New York City – for our building. Yes I have been busy. As far as our short term problem of where to live, I came up with what I thought was a great idea. We could rent a vacation house on Galveston Island for 2 or 3 months and treat the time as if we were on vacation. Diana is not planning on taking most of our furniture to Katy – won’t work with the design scheme she has. I thought it was a really good idea. I spent two weeks on the internet and telephone trying to line up a house to rent. I could not find one that met our requirements. Found a bunch that looked great, on the water, with a fishing dock, etc,. but it turns out this type of house is built on stilts – because e of the water and the stairs would not work for Diana’s Mom.

When we first moved to the Dallas area 16 years ago, we rented a corporate apartment. A corporate apartment is a furnished apartment that you can rent for short term. Typically, when someone is moving because of business, they will rent a corporate apartment rather than stay in a hotel for 2 – 3 months. Once I gave up on Galveston, I turned my attention to a corporate apartment. After all, it was now mid March and we had to be out of our house by April 7. Diana’s next set of tests at MD Anderson were scheduled to start on Monday, March 13. We drove to Houston early, departing on the prior Thursday, which would give us a few days to find a temporary place to live. By Saturday afternoon we were depressed and I was getting scared. None of the corporate apartments we saw would fit the bill. Diana and I went back to our Marriott room Saturday night shaking our heads. Not only were we exhausted from looking at 7 – 8 apartments, the thought of having to live in one of them for three months left us both depressed.

We woke up Sunday a little refreshed. I proposed a new strategy. Whereas we were not going to move very much of our belongings to Houston initially but put it into storage in Dallas until our new house was finished, let’s look for an unfurnished house and move everything to Houston now. We would only unpack what we needed as we needed it. It would make for an easier move into our new house once it was finished. So we drove to the Katy area, where our new house was being built and drove until I saw the first Realtor office.

Diana stayed in the car and I went inside. I asked to see an agent. A very nice lady realtor came out and we went into her office to discuss my needs. I went into my sob story of our house being sold in Frisco and we needed a temporary unfurnished home for a couple of months. She took our housing requirements – clean, single story, clean, short term lease, clean, etc. and said she would call me later in the day. Anyway more on that saga later.

Diana had her Blood Tests, Chest X-ray and CT Scan scheduled for Monday. On Tuesday she received her monthly infusion of Zometa. Zometa is a prescription drug given to strengthen the bones by intravenous infusion (IV). Diana has been and will be getting Zometa every month.

On Wednesday afternoon we met with Dr. Blumenschein for her checkup and to discuss the test results. Of course, we were both quite nervous and concerned. Diana’s blood pressure soared to new highs, but she won’t let me report them here.

Dr Blumenschein gave us great news – On the new CT Scan, there was no evidence of any lesion or tumor in the liver! It was totally gone. If you remember the liver tumor arrived on the scene in August and grew in size each month until November. Diana started Tarceva in November and the liver tumor shrunk from the size of a half dollar in November to the size of the head of a ten penny nail in January. Now it was totally gone.

The tumor in her lung was stable – it is about 1.5 centimeters in diameter at this time It was a little over 2 centimeters when it was first diagnosed in Dec 2004. All other signs and tests were normal. Needless to say Dr. Blumenschein was pleased with Diana’s response to Tarceva – the new drug she is taking orally daily and has been on since November.

Dr. Blumenschein was so pleased that he said Diana does not have to see him for 3 months – not until June 2006. Diana will be getting her monthly dose of Zometa in April and May – so we will be visiting the MD-Anderson Clinic in those months – but no other tests and no doctor visit until June. Wow!

The real estate agent we are working with in Houston called us as she said she would. Between appointments at MD Anderson on Monday and Tuesday we visited several houses that were for rent. We departed for Frisco on Wednesday hoping our realtor will finalize one of the houses we looked at so we somewhere to move and sleep in April. With the news from Diana’s tests so good, we could probably live in a tent for the three months. Not really, but we were on a high for the drive back to Frisco. We had seen a couple of houses that would work – our agent needed to work out the details to our satisfaction. Once done we could sign a lease remotely and send her the deposit checks etc needed to fulfill the contract.

Our address and contact info will be changing soon. Not our email address nor my cell phone. Again, thanks for your support and prayers.

May 25, 2006

Well it has been almost 3 months since my last update. Time goes by fast and much has changed. We sold our house in Frisco at the beginning of April and we have moved to Katy TX, a suburb of Houston. We have moved into a rental house temporarily as we wait for the new house we have purchased to be finished. I have listed our new temporary contact information at the end of this email. Once we have a permanent address (around July 1) I will forward that information.

We moved all of our belongings to rental house. It is a single story, recently remodeled and with a huge garage. We have boxes all over the place. Two of the rooms (dining room and living room) are full with stacked boxes and packed furniture. All of the pictures are still packed – we agreed as part of the short term lease to not hang anything on the walls. A couple of days before our actual moving day, I drove one of our cars to Houston and put it into the garage of the rental house. I arranged for a taxi to pick me up and drive me to the Houston airport. I flew back to Dallas and Diana picked me up at the airport. Diana wanted to drive one of the cars to Houston while I drove the other one – but I did not want her to do that. I won this argument.

All else went smoothly with the move and closing of the house sale. The Gaylord Texan picked up Diana’s Koi fish. We visited them before we left for Houston. Man, they must feel like they are in Paradise compared to the small pond in our yard. Diana was sad to see them go but happy with where they went. We received an offer to purchase on the building in April and completed the sale in late April. Wow. In nine months, we sold Diana’s business, sold her building, sold our house in Frisco and have purchased a new home under construction in Katy TX – all while looking after Diana’s health and treatments. Someone was looking out for us. It sure was a busy nine months.

We have been adjusting to our living in the Katy area. The rental house is only about five minutes for the house we bought. It makes it very convenient to keep tabs on our new house. Plus we are learning the area. We have made two trips to MD Anderson for Diana’ Zometa – less than thirty minutes each way and we sleep in our own bed the same night. Pretty good.

Ever since we moved in the beginning of April, Diana has been complaining of more pain, mainly in her back. For the past couple of weeks, she has been complaining about head/sinus and neck pain. She (and I) have not been sleeping well. At first we were attributing the pain to the move and work associated with it. The pain has not subsided and new pain has been felt.

As a result, I contacted Dr. Blumenschein at MD Anderson by telephone – informed him of Diana’s status and he decided to move her next scheduled tests and appointment to this week from the first week in June.

On Monday, Diana had her Blood Test, X-Ray and CT Scan. Yesterday afternoon we saw Dr. Blumenschein. Well, we got some good news and some not so good news.

The good news – no sign of any lesions in Diana’s liver. As you may recall, those lesions were gone on the March CT Scan. Dr. Blumenschein was really pleased that none have returned. The liver still looks clean.

The not so good news – the lesion in Diana’s lung showed small growth. The lung lesion grew from 2.1 cm to 2.5 cm since our last CT Scan in March. The lung lesion is now back to the same size it was in December 2004 when Diana was first diagnosed. In addition, there was some swelling of the adrenal gland – Dr. Blumenschein attributed this to a cancer lesion in or on the gland. Still small but obviously there. Since we have seen new lesion growth and a new lesion – means change of treatment again for Diana. Every time things appear to be going well, we hit a bump in the road.

Also for the past month Diana has lost her appetite. She also has not had as much energy as she normally had and has been resting more. About a week ago, Diana noticed a small bump (size of a half dollar) on the top of her scalp. Because of all of the above – Dr. Blumenschein is going to schedule Diana for an MRI of the brain and a complete bone scan. Both will be scheduled for next week. We will then meet with Dr. Blumenschein after he has the results of these 2 tests and decide how to proceed. There are several options for future treatment, including the possibility a new chemo like drug, called Avastin. Once her MRI and Bone Scan are completed – a decision will be made as to which treatment path to proceed. Diana has responded very well to her daily oral pill – Tarceva – since it has eliminated her liver lesion, Dr. Blumenschein wants to keep her on Tarceva while adding a second treatment. Avastin is the leading choice at this time but no decision will be made until after the new test results next week.

It was sure nice coming home yesterday. We finished at the clinic which is very close to downtown Houston at 5:45 PM – height of rush hour. We were at our house by 6:30 PM Quite a difference from our Dallas commute days which took 5+ hours each way plus nights in a hotel. Last night we slept in our own bed. Where we have moved is extremely convenient to MD Anderson.

Besides the above – Diana has been very busy finalizing choices for the new house. She has selected an interior designer to work with in finalizing colors, etc. We have only opened about 10% of the boxes that were packed and moved – essentials only. Likewise, with the furniture – most of it is piled and stored in the house and garage of our rental house. No more will be unpacked until we are in our new house. The designer has taken several pieces of our furniture that Diana is going to keep in the new house. The designer is going to paint or recover to match the color scheme. Those pieces will be ready when the new furniture arrives. My computer is set up on stacks of boxes – not pretty but at least functional. For clothes, we are basically living out of the suitcases we packed. We haven’t opened any packed clothes. Walking through our house is like traveling a maze made out of packed boxes. Oh well, it will be over soon.

Again – thanks for your support and prayers. It has now been 18 months since Diana was first diagnosed. Your prayers and support have help us through this tough period in our lives.