Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chemo Elua

Emalia has just finished up round-2 of chemo. It went much better than the first time. In part because she went in to the clinic in a better state.
The past few days her nausea has really calmed down. It's not 100% better, but something has gotten more manageable. She's been up around the house a little, more active with Kahala, and even going for a swim with JB and her mom a few times to try and bump up her energy.
Typically chemo takes it out of people, and we expect the next few days to be a big rest period for Em.
Hawaiian Canoe Club women competed in the Molokai Channel race last weekend. 8-10 foot sets as the boats tried to get out of the harbor on Molokai. Despite the intimidating start "Team Emalia" got through and ended up 7th out of 71 boats. Best finish ever for HCC! I love the analogy.
photo credits Theresa Gerry & Keone Ball

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update September 20th - How you can help

Em has one week of chemo under her belt and there have been some up days and some rough days. Her spirits are good though, and she's focused on the fight.

She loved the "Team Emalia" canoes racing the Pailolo Challenge- thank you HCC!

So many of you have asked how you can help. We wanted to have an organized plan before we got back to you with specific requests. We are using a sight called Lotsa Helping hands to manage sign-ups. You'll have to register, but it only mandates an email address.

We are hoping for small healthy meals about 3 nights a week.
We're using a web service called Lotsa Helping hands so you can become a member of Em's support team and then sign up for a date to deliver a meal.

Yard Work Party 
Jordan Jokiel has volunteered to coordinate this one, so you can sign up here and he will contact you with specific times and dates to see who's available.

Special Care and Financial Kokua

Em loves massages and they are one of the things that make her feel good right now, so if you'd like to chip in toward a massage, hiring a house cleaner, or the cost of flights to the mainland when they go for treatment, you can donate by clicking the button above. This will allow you to use a credit card or PayPal account. Please contact me directly if you prefer to send a check.

Walk Aito 

Aito is a big black lab with a heart of gold. He loves to go for runs in the cane fields or to the park at Ku'au Bayview. His ability to be on leash is not so great, but he's fabulous off leash in a non- car area with his shock collar. Any time of day is fine for his walks.
So if you know Aito or feel comfortable controlling a dog on a shock-collar, it would be great to get him out for a jaunt when JB is working a 24 hour shift or when Em has chemo days.
Sign up here.

Thank you all for your love and good thoughts. Visualize Shrinkage!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hawaiian Canoe Club  
Pailolo Challenge- September 15th 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chemo Begins

Wednesday- Day 1 of Chemo
It was a rough one- the day began with nausea and vomiting at home that’s being caused by the pressure of the tumor on Em’s liver. 
 Getting to chemo at Kaiser actually offered a bit of a respite as she got to sleep once in the chair.
The initial treatments of chemo entail an IV for a few hours then going home with a pump for a full 48 hours of drip treatment. 
Em is doing a Folfox chemo treatment with the focus of shrinking the tumors in her liver and affecting the colon as well.
She will start more aggressive treatment attacking the blood vessels of the tumors once her primary colon tumor stabilizes.

As she woke up from the chemo at Kaiser a whole new wave of nausea hit her.  The nurses kept her there to monitor her and gave her IV nausea meds but it was a tough day as Em finally got home after 8 hours at Kaiser.  

Dorien spent the night with Em and JB to monitor Em's vitals. Z3 reported Em rallied late night and chowed some Lasagna (mahalo to Chef Christy Churchill).

Thursday- Day 2 From JB
Better than yesterday-  less nausea, but really tired from meds, etc. It’s good for Em to keep getting her rest.  Visitors popping by to say quick hellos while Em stays horizontal.  Kahalakea seems to enjoy showing off for friends and family.

From Em:
"Thank you all for the positive thoughts, emails, texts, phone calls, offers of help, Prayers and Love.  Many thanks for food drops, yard cleaners, house cleaners, errand runners who have helped our day to day lives.  It has made a big difference and really helps with our Peace of Mind, allowing for restful days and nights."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

SFO-OGG Saturday Morning 9-8-12

Dropped the crew at the airport and they are headed back to Maui. Em seems rested, and she has worked hard to figure out the right combo to get her pain and nausea under control.

Chemo begins Wednesday and while there are lots of unknowns about the side-effects, Em is just glad to start attacking the tumors in her liver ASAP.

So many of you have volunteered to help, and you will be receiving emails from me in the very near future. For now they are all set with food, house-help and support.

Once we get a sense of how the chemo affects Em's energy and daily function, we'll set systems in place to tap into the kokua so many of you have offered.

From our standpoint the twins will miss having Kahala as a willing audience for their antics, stroller laps, and (as the picture infers) their Flamenco dancing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Scoops on Em

Aloha Friends and Family of Emalia. We're putting this blog out to help share information about what's going on with Em and to help organize help when it's needed. We'll update this page as we know more. Thank you so much for your love and support.
The Story
Em went for a colonoscopy in May, and while that came back clear, subsequent symptoms led her back for a second scan. Thanks to the amazing fast-tracking of Dorien Romanchak those tests revealed Emalia has stage IV colon cancer that has gone into her liver.

What’s Happening Now?
Em, JB, Em's mom Brooke, and Kahalakea are now staying with Becky and Jane in San Francisco and met Tuesday with a wonderful and highly recommended GI oncologist at UCSF for treatment options. She is recommending that Emalia begin chemotherapy to shrink the tumors as soon as she returns to Maui this weekend. No more tests or scans will be done for 2-3 months while this chemo is underway. The path ahead will be dictated by the results of the chemo. 

We are starting a web group for those of you who have so generously offered to help. If you want to be apprised of when and what the Brown/Guard crew needs, please email me: I'll put you on our list and when we have an idea of what JB and Em need, a sign-up email will go out. 

How’s Em?

Em is in some pain from the liver tumor which is also pressing on her stomach causing nausea. Otherwise she is feeling pretty normal. The amazing thing about Em right now is she is super positive and focused.  She and JB are so grateful for all the calls, texts, and offers of help, and while they won’t be able to answer all of them, they feel your love. Em is infinitely grateful, exhausted, and, as you can imagine, overwhelmed. She is focusing on Kahala, and he is obliging by providing comic relief, smiles, hugs, and lots of laughter.

How You Can Help?

To streamline communication we’ll be checking the comments here and passing them on to Em.  So sorry if we can’t get back directly; they so appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers.

From Em
"I look forward to seeing friends in the upcoming months because I know there will be tough times.  But because I have no idea how I'll be feeling, I'm going to take it day by day.  Check in with me on my cell phone to see if it's a good time to stop by because I don't want you to be sitting by yourself in the living room if I am sleeping!  :) Love you all!"


At this point in time if you have specific questions and need to talk to someone, please call Becky Worley 415-713-2053.