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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Saturday January 27, 2002

Hi Everyone,

Alexandra Martini - ArtistSo far things are going as well as can be expected. Alex is receiving Ribaviran treatments for the RSV (respiratory virus) and they appear to be doing the job. Alex posed quite a challenge to the Respiratory Therapists who administer the Ribaviran, as she refused to wear the mask and stay under the tent that's required for it to work. It doesn't help that the Ribaviran treatments are two hours long and Alex can't leave the tent while it's being administered. Finally they rigged up a cube for her to go into within the tent and Andrea gave Alex some water based paints to use within her tent. As you can tell she enjoyed herself!

In addition to the Ribaviran treatments Alex is receiving two antibiotics which appear to have cleared up the onset pneumonia. Because of this and the fact that her White Blood Count is above 20, we went ahead and gave her the first dose of Mylotarg tonight. We'll wait two weeks before doing a bone marrow biopsy that will hopefully show that the Mylotarg is working. After that we'll do a second dose of Mylotarg and begin preparations to relocate to Duke University for a third time. This time for at least four months, probably more. <sigh>

There was one upside to the timing of Alex's relapse. At the end of this month we were going to switch Alex (and ourselves) over to a new insurance plan since Cobra went up to $850/month. It's a good thing we didn't make the switch, as the new policy has a six month waiting period on transplants. We managed to keep Alex on Cobra for the next six months while Andrea and I moved over to the new insurance plan. I'll probably need to add Alex to our insurance plan, so there won't be any waiting period for transplant related costs when Cobra ends in July 2002. Of course that will mean paying for two insurance plans which means we're back to over $800/month! Thankfully Andrea's parents are going to help out by paying for Alex's Cobra.

We're still trying to sell the house, but of course it's going to be a little harder with our current situation. If we are able to sell the house before we leave for Duke (a very long shot) then we'll board our pets, put our furniture in storage and worry about finding a new house when we get back from North Carolina. If we can't sell the house then I'll probably have to commute back and forth between Duke and Seattle, as I did during Alex's six week stay back in June 2000. We're not looking forward to being split up for any amount of time, but as long as we're paying this mortgage I can't afford to take any time off from work. The more work I can do before we leave for Duke, the more time I can spend out there. If you're a client don't worry about bothering me with requests and if you're a potential client don't worry about me not having time to do new projects.

I wanted to thank everyone who sent us emails, sent cards, balloons and presents to Alex or called during the past few days. I wish I could write back or talk to each of you, but right now I feel like I'm juggling chainsaws. <grin> Hopefully things will calm down a little before we leave for Duke. I also wanted to thank everyone who visited the Alex's Coupons site and made purchases. It doesn't bring in a lot of income, but every little bit matters right now.

Thanks again to all of you for over three years of love, support and prayers.


Love,

Todd, Andrea and Alex


 

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