Friday, January 28, 2011

It's a Numbers Game

A big thanks to everyone who is participating in the Baskin and Robbin's fundraiser today! We just found out about it last night and are so thrilled with all of the support out there in the community. If you're near Sebastopol, you can find out more by clicking on this link.

One of the big things they're watching for right now is RJ's white blood cell count. We had a quick lesson on wbc counts here at blog central and from what we can tell, the normal amount of wbc in the body is anywhere from 3,500 to 15,000. This morning RJ had a whopping count of:

His count has to get over 500 in order to be able to start this last round of chemo, so it's just a matter of waiting and seeing. For someone with a virtual absence of white blood cells, RJ's actually feeling pretty good. In a bizare universal coincidence he's been eating well and gained 8 pounds since his last hospital visit. The upside of this whole thing is that he can pretty much eat whatever he wants, which these days includes lots of pizza and egg sandwiches from Tommy's in Hayward.

We're posting this recent photo of him with Courtney and cousin Alex for no other reason than RJ hates to get his photo taken. We think it's cute, and what's life all about if you can't annoy the cancer kid once in awhile?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Just to spite us for that last post, RJ went and got a fever this morning and is in the hospital. Fine. Whatever. We won't post things like that in the future - we get the point.

RJ was scheduled for chemo this morning anyway, but just as Jessica had the car packed and they were headed south, they got a call that his white blood count was ridiculously low and that he couldn't have chemo until it was higher. They had some other appointments, so they decided to head down anyway - they even stopped so that RJ could see his friend's band play, although blog central could tell last night that he wasn't feeling great. His temp this morning was a bit over 101 and at last hospital check it was 102.6. We think they're going to put him on antibiotics and keep an eye on him, but we'll let you know. Hopefully, this will all clear up quickly and he can start chemo next week. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Last Round!

Tonight, RJ, Courtney and Jessica make their way down for RJ's last round of chemo! The doctors had originally said that it would take months longer, but the oncologists hadn't figured on RJ having no major complications from each round. He's been able to take each chemo on schedule which has shortened the time considerably. He hasn't felt all that great at times, but his body is handling everything better than anyone expected.

Do you live in the East Bay and want to help? Jessica usually stays at the hospital to have dinner with RJ every night and hospital food isn't...the best. Wonderful friend Dede has been bringing tasty meals for them to share and we'd like to know if anyone else would like to do the same. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but a home cooked meal can make the end of a long day special. If you live near Oakland and want to help, contact Dede at

Monday, January 10, 2011

RJ Goes to the MRI

So RJ got to go on a trip today. He needed an MRI to check on the cause of his headaches and the nearest MRI machine was in the next building.

So...he went by ambulance.

They loaded him up, drove the 100 or so feet to the driveway next door,unloaded him and took him up to the MRI.

RJ got a nice change of scene and it was an interesting adventure for all.

(We put this older picture of RJ and Gypsy in just because it's cute.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not Slacking Off

I was just told by the boy himself to stop slacking off on the blog, so here we are ;)

You might be able to tell by the comment that RJ is feeling much better this round of chemo. He went to the hospital on Wednesday with a more positive outlook and that has followed him through this week of treatment - the change really is remarkable. It's hard to pinpoint what's different, but the nursing staff at the hospital got a jump on his nausea medications and his blinding headaches so he feels physically much better and because of that everything has been much easier. He's pretty active on Facebook, so feel free to comment over there too. RJ finally shaved his head last weekend (not that we didn't love the ostrich style chemo-do) and everyone agrees that he looks awesome - thank God he doesn't have a weirdly shaped head. Unfortunately, he won't allow us to post any non-hat photos, but we're working on that.

There have been some great things happening recently - the Dr. Pepper company sent RJ a great package full of cool stuff: a Tshirt, hat, pin, a patch and dogtags (which he'd better keep around his neck or they might find their way into the hands of a few of his friends who covet them). Now he can wear a Dr. Pepper T-shirt pretty much every day of the week.

Blog friend DeDe has shown up at the hospital three nights running with awesome food that RJ is gulping down (despite his particular taste in meatloaf, hers passed with flying colors) and hopefully he'll start to put on some weight. Despite the weight loss, blog central swears he's grown taller the past few months - we are tall, but he's just about to pass us which isn't right at all.

One of the best gifts for Christmas was a new iPad so that RJ can watch movies, play games and read books (even textbooks-ha!). Unfortunately, the night before he went into the hospital it just stopped working - no power, no nothing. Jessica didn't have the packaging or a receipt with her down here in the East Bay, so blog central decided to venture to the Apple Store (which, not owning even an iPod, felt a little like being a heathen in church) and explain the situation. The tech plugged it in, fiddled around for a few seconds and within five minutes we were walking out with a brand new iPad which has been great for him to have this visit. Go Apple. Blog central might have to investigate getting an iPad for headquarters.

RJ's grandma found a great program called PJammin' where kids wear pajamas as a fundraising and awareness effort as part of World Cancer Day on February 4th. Follow this link for information if your school is interested in taking part.

So - that's it for the slack from blog central. Stay tuned for any new developments!