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  Dodie Orlando
Dodie Orlando
I'll beat cancer and have fun doing it!
Spring is Springing and So Are We!

Dodie with Dakota's (Gene's) sister Nina on Cayman Brac

Last mid-November, 2014, we left you aware of our plans. Now, all has been fulfilled!

Nikki arrived on December 12 and Dan and Lauren on December 16. We had a wonderful visit filled with many happy memories to hold close.Dan and Lauren left for Denver on Christmas Eve, but Nikki was able to stay on until January 3. She is doing well in her Graduate program, maintaining an 8.9 GPA. Can you tell that I am a proud Mom?

On January 9, we departed Reno for warmer climates. We spent nine days in Florida to attend the FWA (Florida Writers Associatio


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  Dodie Orlando
Just Two Left!

Yesterday, my blood work was great…at least, good. A Neupogen injection was not required. My platelets were 113.

Today, I received my final big chemo. This evening, my blood sugars have been outrageously high with apparent insulin resistance. We are hoping that they will stabilize by bed time so we can get a good night’s rest. Two more chemos to go!

Tuesday we took a satisfying walk, after which, I cooked up a delicious pot of black eyed pea soup. Lots of scrumptious vegetables go into everything I cook, and my blood sugars were great after eating a bowl full this morning. Can’t wait

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  Dodie Orlando
Another Vacation Week!

A River Runs Through It: The Truckee River through Reno, that is. Riverwalk Park provides scenic strolling and access to the water.

It’s hard to believe that my doctor wanted me to skip my chemo today. My platelet count was still too low. Last week it was 70, yesterday it was 57, and today it was 73. Dr. Bowman indicated that a transfusion is not done until the count is below 20. What a lovely gift another day off from chemo was…and I don’t have to make this one up either. However, next week is another story. That will be my big chemo week with both chemo meds. Dr. Bowman says that o

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  Dodie Orlando
First Year Ending

If you haven’t guessed, Dakota and I are celebrating our first anniversary tomorrow, May 31. We plan to take a walk in the lovely weather, go out to lunch at the Wild River Restaurant in downtown Reno along the Truckee Riverwalk, and take in a movie. Other than that, we plan to gaze lovingly into one another’s eyes often throughout the day and profess our immense love and gratitude for the fact that we have each other to share our lives with. If any of our readers are now ill…so be it. It has been a wonderful year together and we have made many happy memories.

Having an extra week wi

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  Dodie Orlando
I’ve Been Transfused!

The last couple of weeks passed in a haze of exhaustion and sleep. Over Memorial weekend, exercise came to a halt. Desperately hanging on till the weekend ended so I could have a transfusion, I had no idea that I was as bad off as my pre-chemo blood work ultimately showed.

CA125 -16.7Normal 0-35 (Good progress!)

WBC – 1.6Normal 3.5-10

RBC – 2.23Normal 3.8-5.8

HGB – 7.6Normal 11-16.5

HCT – 21.9Normal 35-50

PLT – 68Normal 150-450

When they saw my results, the staff erupted into quite a hustle. Because of the long weekend, the 2 transfusion centers had no space until the next morning so they a

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  Dodie Orlando
Four Down – Five to go

The Last Flowers of Spring

We’ve been enjoying beautiful spring weather until today. Today the weather turned into Seattle. We have had lots of lovely rain. We had a forest fire in the foothills below Lake Tahoe so the rain is fully appreciated. Our walks are becoming shorter and slower as I develop anemia and low blood pressure.

Today was chemo day, and I had my fourth infusion. Yesterday’s pre-chemo blood test was barely fine for today’s infusion, but by this morning my WBC had dropped from 2.9 to 1.9. Since my chemo schedule moves to Wednesdays starting next week, Dr. Bowman asked me t

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  Dodie Orlando
What? No Chemo?

Upon waking yesterday, I discovered that I was very weak, dizzy and sporting “dire rear” issues. After having had such a good Sunday, I was disappointed at finding myself feeling ill again. I slept until time to go to the oncology clinic for my pre-chemo blood work and to see the physician’s assistant about my seeming relapse. They were happy with my test results but found me to be dehydrated. After receiving a liter of I.V. fluids, we returned home in time for me to sleep most of the evening away while Dakota went to his first Reno writing clinic. Three individuals showed up and he was

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  Dodie Orlando
Ohhhh, My Stomach

R2D2 closeup. Doesn't she look like R1D1?

We are finally mending. Dakota felt well enough yesterday to go to the High Sierra Writers, where he had the opportunity to promote his writing clinic and volunteer for jobs within the organization. He now has 5 individuals signed up for his writing clinic and they meet for the first time tomorrow night. He was a bit tired after 6 hours of being out but was very happy with the results. He monitored the phone every second by putting it on vibrate and holding it in his hand the whole time—ready in case I needed him to dash home.

Meanwhile, I stayed h

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  Dodie Orlando
B-day – Way Better than C-Day!

Me with my new R2 (R2D2 = Reta 2 Dog 2)

The day was so full and long with celebration and phone calls that I waited until today to tell you about my birthday. I have married a most wonderful, loving and creative fellow!

After breakfast, I discovered a large box on my recliner. Ripping into it, I found an almost life-sized, stuffed, black Standard Poodle with a hair cut similar to my previous Guide Dog, Reta’s. It was such a sad consequence of cancer to lose Reta that I had been longing for a tactile reminder of her. Well, Dakota certainly took care of that! After dressing R2 in a jersey, colla

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  Dodie Orlando
Two Down – Seven to Go!

You guessed it…my second infusion was today. Pre-chemo blood values were great when they checked yesterday. I did not need a neupogen injection.

In addition to other problems, my sugars have been out of whack since my last chemo, but they don’t seem to be connected to the chemo. I finally tracked the problem to a supplemental “infusion tea” started last week. It is supposed to benefit my electrolytes and blood values, but does not seem to do so. I was advised to stop taking it for a few days…which I already had…then try a fourth of the recommended dose and see if I ex

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  Dodie Orlando
Another One Bites the Dust

                                  Picture above: Close up of nearby mountain. 

The first of my last 9 chemo infusions was completed at 12:30 today. Dakota and I tried a new restaurant to celebrate leaving another transfusion in the dust. Their Greek salad was very good and the waitress did her best to accommodate my dietary needs. Dakota loved his meal.

My last chemo is currently scheduled for July 2. Dr. Bowman indicated that he’d prefer not to skip any weeks if at all possible so we’ll just see how i

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