Monday September 24, 2001
Well it was confirmed today that in addition to the Leukemic tumor in her lacrimal gland, Alex has relapsed in her CNS (Central Nervous System). This means that going forward with the six week course of interthecal chemo was a good decision. Unfortunately this also means that it's just a matter of time before she relapses in her bone marrow. Once that happens Alex will begin preparations for a second transplant at Duke. As you can imagine that's not something we want her to have to go through again, but it's going to take a major miracle to avoid it. Prayers from any and all religions are encouraged! <grin>
On a positive note, our friend Lisa from Make a Wish got us complimentary tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and we took the day off to go there. Alex had a great time seeing all of the animals including the baby Asian Elephant "Hansa". There were also a lot of kids at the zoo, so Alex spent the whole day introducing herself ("My name is Alexandra Elaine
Martini. What's your name?"), running around and playing. It was good for my heart to see her so happy.
We do have one other serious problem looming in the near future. Our Cobra health insurance coverage is ending in January 2002 and Alex's relapse means that Andrea finding a job with health insurance benefits is no longer an option. It's also impossible to obtain personal health insurance in Washington state that will cover a second transplant or even her current treatment.
Our final option is for me to find another job with health benefits, while continuing to run my business. Obviously that's not going to be easy, especially if Alex does relapse and we have to relocate to North Carolina for another 4-6 months. Please contact me if you know of a company that would be willing to put me on the books strictly to give us access to health benefits. I would be more than willing to pay both the employer and employee portions of the health benefits to ensure coverage.
I also wanted to ask everyone to pray for my Dad who is in the hospital recovering from another heart attack and kidney failure. He has just started kidney dialysis and it's been very hard on him. Please pray for him to have the strength to keep going.
Lastly I wanted to say a few words about what happened on September 11th. As some of you may know I grew up about 15 minutes from New York City. From my bedroom I could see the Empire State Building during the wintertime when the trees were bare. I was in New York City only six weeks ago visiting friends and I was amazed how much I missed it after being away for eight years. To see this incredible city attacked only a day after finding out Alex had a tumor was almost too much to bear. Several of my friends and family work in the World Trade Center area and I dreaded getting a call that someone I knew was gone.
Incredibly everyone I know is okay, although there were some close calls. My sister-in-law Kris was in the PATH tunnel on her way to the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. If she had caught her usual train she would have been just exiting onto the street outside the WTC when the plane hit. Our friend Michael WAS just exiting the WTC when the first plane hit. Luckily he got away without any injury. And then there
is our friend Brian who we didn't hear from for two days. When we couldn't get in touch with him I sent an email to his work address and got back a response saying he was away on business. That put our minds at ease because I knew he wasn't in the city. Thankfully we didn't know that he was away on business in Washington DC and was evacuated out of the building he was in when it appeared a fourth plane was going to hit. I am so thankful that none of my friends or family were hurt or killed, but I am also heartbroken over the thousands that lost their lives. I hope that their loved ones will find some peace in time. I hope we all find some peace in time.
Todd, Andrea and Alex
P.S. I know a lot of you wanted to
see some photos from our trip to Europe, so here are two from that trip. The
third photo is from a hike on Mt. Ranier that Alex and I took with Brian and
my Father-in-Law back in July. This is one of my favorite photos of Alex and
you can see a larger version of it by clicking on it.