Monday, October 28, 2013

Recovering nicely

Emalia has been resting and moving slowly, and we have had many wonderful moments during the past several days. The weather has been lovely, and this whole area is totally geared up for Halloween!  The families with whom we have been staying (we are split between two cottages) have been incredibly generous with their hospitality, and others in the area are bringing us wonderful dinners during this time, which we so appreciate.

Today we will meet with Emalia's MDs at Stanford to get an idea of future treatment. 

Rochelle (Kahalakea's much loved first nanny), Emalia, and Dorien Romanchak

Emalia's new 'do!!!!! 

Dorien and Zadoc, watching the beauty action

Emalia and mom

Brunch at one of our faves, Hobee's in Los Altos
Jane Mitchell, Emalia, and Becky

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Discharged from Hospital

Discharged from Stanford Hospital
Aloha Gang-Beck here.

Emalia was discharged from the hospital Tuesday evening and is recuperating at the nearby guesthouse of some lovely Palo Alto/Atherton people. She is moving slowly and has some pain, but it’s getting better day-by-day. Emalia will meet with her oncologist next week to discuss future treatment plans, but everything in on hold for a few weeks while she heals.

After 2 cancelled flights dad, Zadoc made it to California and is with the family. Dorien Romanchak is also here helping Em to transition out of the hospital.  The amazing Aunty Rochelle is taking care of Kahala- she is a godsend.

How’s Em doing? What can I say; we all love her because she is so Em, and she remains just that way even in this hard place: gracious, concerned about Kahala, sometimes joking, sometimes quiet and tired, but always her loving, quirky self. To quote JB, she is such a trouper.

The outpouring of support from all of you has been truly awesome. 

Big Mahalo from JB, Brooke, & Beck 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Morning

Just a quick update: we're waiting to hear from Em's surgeon about her discharge date. It will probably be Tuesday. We are hoping to meet with her oncologist, Dr. Fisher, today to discuss next steps. Emalia is up and out of bed. She got to see Kahala yesterday, and today the big goal is a lap around the nursing station. Thank you all for your incredible support; calls, texts, Facebook posts. It makes a big difference in this hard time.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Surgery Update 3:15 pm PT, 10/18

Emalia went in to surgery this morning and an hour later Dr. Poultsides, her liver surgeon came and found us. When he made his first incision, he found 3 cancerous nodules in the lining of her abdomen, the peritoneum.  This indicated the cancer was more invasive than previously thought.

Dr. Poultsides called in the colon surgeon, Dr. Shelton, to consult. They both agreed that the addition of a fourth organ with cancerous nodules present (colon, liver, lung, and now abdomen lining) indicated that removing the tumors in the liver and colon would compromise Emalia’s quality of life more than benefit her.

When Emalia learned this hard news, in her ever-present graciousness, she thanked Dr. Poultsides for trying to help her.

Emalia’s stay in the hospital will be much shorter than planned, probably 3-4 days.  We will meet with the Stanford oncologist during this time and assess next steps. 

We thank you all for your support and kindness. We are all processing this hard news and will put more information on the blog as soon as we know next steps.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NIght Before Surgery

Aloha Gang- Beck stepping in to write a quick update the night before surgery.

 Outside the Stanford Hospital
We spent parts of the day with Em's Stanford doctors: Andrew Shelton (colo-rectal surgeon) and George Poultsides (liver surgeon).  Emalia feels very confident with both of them. They will remove the primary colon tumor, her spleen (it has been affected by the chemo and needs to come out), and major portions of her liver.

The liver surgery is the big dog here: it will take about 4-6 hours. The colon surgery afterwards will take about 2 hours.

With metastatic cancer, the surgeons have told us that this is not a "cut it all out" surgery, but rather "Get all the big problem areas out, get everything you can see, and deal with future flare ups if/as they occur." She will be in the hospital for a minimum of 7 days. Then recovering and staying close to Stanford for at least 6 weeks more. We have Rochelle, Kahala's loving nanny from Maui (& Canada) here for 2 weeks to help out, John and Susan Guard arrived tonight and Zadoc is coming next week.

I will be updating the blog throughout the day tomorrow, but Em, JB, and Brooke wanted me to thank all of you who are covering shifts, helping with logistics, providing housing, who've texted and called to wish her well and all of you who hold this family in your thoughts.

Many of you have asked how you can send a card to Em, here's the address:
Stanford Hospital & Clinics,
ATTN: Emalia Brown,
300 Pasteur Drive,
Stanford, CA 94305.

After October 25th her address will be
Emalia Brown C/O the Kirkhams
88 Hawthorne Dr.
Atherton, CA 94027

Also if you want to send Emalia a digital message you can post it in the comments below.

 Only Emalia, "I'm going to be staring at my toes for 6 weeks, I want them to look fancy" 

 It's not the Bellagio, but it's pretty swanky for a hospital. Fountains and everything!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Settling in...

A quick note to let all of you know that we have the most beautiful housing imaginable and are settling in.  We have been so touched by our hosts' hospitality--we are staying in two guest cottages in Atherton (only minutes from Stanford Hospital) that are only about five minutes apart by car, and we don't think our situation could be any more perfect!  So many of you have knocked yourselves out to help us with lodging, and we are more grateful than we will ever be able to say.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Surgery soon!

Emalia and Christy Churchill: Prepping toes for surgery!!!!!
We leave tomorrow morning for a full week of pre-op appointments and details before Emalia's surgery on Friday, October 18th, very early in the morning. I will keep you as informed as to how Emalia's surgery goes. 

I will also let you know when we have found the ideal housing situation or how we are patching together some very generous offers we have received. Ideally, a 2 or 3-bdrm house would be available now through mid-December and be a gift or low cost. If a pool were on the property, it needs to be childproof.

California and Hawaii team members have been working overtime to help us and have done an incredibly amazing job. We thank those of you who have responded to our specific needs and those of you who are holding Emalia in your prayers, heart, and mind.

We would be most grateful if you would please hold the best for Emalia, her surgeons, and attending staff on Friday!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stanford coming up!

We got home yesterday morning after a brief trip back to California, this time specifically to meet with the liver surgeon at Stanford. He is highly skilled, a warm and compassionate person, and we all (Emalia, JB, Becky, and I) felt really good about him. Emalia has decided to go forward with him and his colorectal surgeon later this month.

We will post specifics later but right now are assessing our needs and starting to plan since we may be flying to California around Oct. 12th or 13th. We have been told that Emalia will be in the hospital for 7-10 days and then have a recovery time of 4-6 weeks so we've begun networking as of today to see if anyone has a lead on housing and/or a car for approximately two months. Ideally, we'd find something with 3 bedrooms that didn't cost an arm and a leg or was pro bono and that was in the Stanford area--or not too far away. I will stay with Emalia until she can return to Maui, and JB will be commuting.

JB, Emalia, and Aquaman spent the weekend in Monterey
Emalia, Becky, Cole, Dillon, Sloan, and Jess Casey, E, K, and JB

In Menlo Park with Jess Grieco Casey, one of Emalia's BFs from Boulder days